Remote sensing and field seminar
Gilles Peltzer
Arden Albee
Jakob Van Zyl, Tom Farr, Simon Hook
ESS C162/262
Ge/EE 158


Space Radar Image of Saline Valley, California -SW looking view (courtesy of JPL)

Field view of Saline Valley 

This site is the front page for the data archive used for the Remote Sensing and Field seminar of the winter quarter (UCLA ESS C162/C262, Caltech Ge/EE 158).  The field trip will take place during the spring break.

You will find below a description of the various data sets available for this class and the way to download the data and a short description and location of the sites that we will visit during the field trip. A short list of visualization and processing software is given.


Data archive:


The data available for this class are located on a server at UCLA.
The archive is directly accessible from the UCLA remote sensing lab computers on the disk  /data/data/rs/.

The archive is accessible via anonymous FTP from JPL and Caltech.
To access the archive via ftp follow this link or use the command
ftp from a Unix shell window.


The previous archive set up at JPL is still open to anonymous FTP:

Login as the usual anonymous, and use your email for the password.
If you ftp from *, *,  or *, then you'll automatically
be authorized to "cd /rsclass" where the data are stored.

Sensors, coverage, and format:

Some of the satellite data have been compressed as *.Z files on a Unix system. To decompress the *.Z files on a PC you can use the COMP430d program.

Visible, short wavelength infrared, and thermal infrared (VIS, SWIR, TIR)):

LANDSAT:  Landsat 5 and 7, Thematic Mapper data (6 VIS and SWIR bands and 1 TIR band) are available as well as some mosaics of Landsat 1-3.  Spaceborne.

SPOT: Systeme Probatoire pour l'Observation de la Terre (Panchromatic). Spaceborne (VIS, SWIR) .

ASTER: Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer. Spaceborn (14 channels in VNIR, SWIR, and TIR).
    See coverage of current ASTER data archived on this site.

AVIRIS:   No data available yet. Airborne.

    See coverage of current MASTER data archived on this site.

TIMS: Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner. 6 bands between 8 and 12 microns. Airborne (TIR).


AIRSAR: Multi-spectral, multi-polarization SAR. Airborne.

SIR-C: Shuttle Radar L,C,X bands mission. Multi-spectral, multi-polarization SAR. Spaceborne.

SRTM: Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Digital elvation data, 30 m posting.


COMP430d:  This DOS program allows you to decompress *.Z files that have been compressed on Unix machines with the compress command.

ENVI: This is a quite complete processing software that is based on many of the algorithms developed at JPL for image enhancement and analysis including radar, multi-spectral, and hyper-spectral data. Exist for Unix, Linux, PC, and Mac. Developed and distributed by Research Systems Inc.

Freelook: This is visualization interface of ENVI that is distributed for free by RSI. Freelook allows you to visualize the data and to do a limited number of contrast stretch and filtering procedures. You can print images but cannot save your data in image format. You can download the package from RSI:

VICAR: State of the art image enhancement and analysis software developed by JPL. Versions of this software exist for various platforms. WinVICAR is a package of VICAR including a GUI interface that has been developed for Windows and will be available for the lab work before the class.

Gimp: The GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software suitable for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. Photoshop-like.

The United States Geological Survey's Mini Image Processing system is a fully functional digital image processing software package complete
with online documentation. MIPS has been ported for the Digital UNIX and Open VMS operating systems on the DEC Alpha platform. Because it
was developed by the USGS it is in the public domain and therefore available free of charge.


For more information

Arden Albee :
Tom Farr:
Simon Hook:
Gilles Peltzer :,
Jackob VanZyll:

Jet Propulsion Laboratory - MS 300-233
California Institute of Technology
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Tel. 818-354-7539

Earth and Space Science Division
University of California Los Angeles
595 Charles Young Drive East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567
Tel. 310-206-2156