Remote sensing, which consists of examining an area from a significant distance, is used to gather imaging and information remotely. This practice consists of using tools like drones to create topographic maps, detect algae, assess plant health, and more. There are various types of remote sensing that can be useful in environmental projects, which we’ll talk about in this article.

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Common Types of Remote Sensing

While there are various types of remote sensing, each one is differently suited for analysis. While some methods are optimal for close scanning, some offer more advantages from greater distances. One of the most used types of remote sensing for environmental projects is radar imaging.

Radar Imaging

You can use radar imaging for critical safety-related remote sensing tasks. Weather detection and air traffic control are two essential uses for this type of remote sensing. Analysts use radar imaging to detect adverse weather, see how storms are progressing, and collect meteorological data. Law enforcement agencies also use Doppler radar to monitor driving speeds and traffic. Other types of radar imaging can be used to create models of elevation.


Lasers are another common type of remote sensing. Laser altimeters placed on satellites can measure things like the direction of ocean currents and wind speed. They are also useful for mapping the seafloor, as altimeters are capable of measuring the bulges of water caused by seafloor topography and gravity. You can create accurate seafloor maps by measuring and analyzing the variances in ocean heights.

LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, is a specific form of laser remote sensing. It’s a method that measures distances by using light reflection, and it can also measure the height of objects on the ground and the number of chemicals in the atmosphere.

Other Types of Remote Sensing

While radar imaging and laser altimeters are the most common types of remote sensing you’ll see, there are a variety of other methods. Those methods include using multiple air photos to create stereographic pairs, which are often used to create topographic maps and view features in 3D. Photometers and radiometers can collect the emitted radiation from infrared photos. Finally, using satellites to obtain air photo data, like with the Landsat program, is another type of remote sensing that can be useful, depending on your project.

Remote Sensing Applications

There are many uses for remote sensing, but it’s a field of study mainly used for image interpretation and processing. Interpreting images that were obtained through remote sensing allows you to closely study an area without needing anyone to be physically present, which makes researching unreachable or potentially dangerous areas possible. And image processing allows you to manipulate photos to create maps and save important information about an area.

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Remote sensing is a continually-developing sciency, and you can apply it to various fields, including:

Geology—Using remote sensing, you can map large remote areas. It makes it possible for a geologist to classify the rock types of an area, study its geomorphology, and track any changes caused by natural events.

Agriculture—You can also use remote sensing to study vegetation. It allows ecologists, biogeographers, foresters, and agriculturists to take photographs remotely to determine what vegetation is present, its growth potential, and the optimal conditions for survival.

Land-Use Planning—Remote sensing can help regulate land usage over broad expanses for those studying land development. This data is typically used for general modification of the environment and city planning.

Geographic Information System Mapping (GIS)—You can also use remote sensing as the input data from digital elevation models (DEMs). You can digitize air photos created through GIS into polygons for later use as shapefiles in the map-making process.

Because of remote sensing’s varied applications and its ability to easily allow people to collect, manipulate, and interpret data from otherwise inaccessible locations, it’s become a useful tool for researchers in a wide range of concentrations.

Enterprise Solutions for Your Environmental Project

At HANA Resources, we’ve been providing remote sensing services as a multidisciplinary environmental consulting firm since 1995. We take a data-driven approach to environmental consulting with our experience, initiative, scientific expertise, and technological innovation to natural resource management.

With cutting-edge technology like the best software, cameras, and drones, we help our clients develop and implement the best approaches to successfully complete their environmental projects.

We serve a wide range of clientele, including government, private, and tribal agencies for projects dealing with transportation, electric utilities, oil & gas, and commercial, industrial, and government market sectors.

Our Remote Sensing Services Perfect for Your Environmental Projects

Our approach focuses on using reproducible methodologies to create a strategic approach driven by your project’s unique needs.

At HANA Resources, we use remote sensing and GIS technologies to provide innovative custom solutions for your environmental projects. Our team of specialists can perform spatial analysis for assessing plant health, create environmental site plans, and disseminate information from web applications.

We’re experienced in using the ESRI suite of GIS, GPS, Autodesk AutoCAD, and geomatics applications. Our cutting-edge technology and equipment allow fast processing, customized workflows, and high-resolution imaging. In addition, we ground-truth the resulting data to ensure validation and accuracy. At HANA Resources, we’re committed to pushing the boundaries of existing remote sensing methods and staying up-to-date with the latest tech in the field.

Related: View Our Environmental Projects

Some of our specialty remote sensing services include:

  • Algae Detection
  • Plant species recognition
  • Plant health assessments
  • 3D photogrammetry
  • Aerial mapping
  • Dense point clouds
  • Contour mapping
  • Thermal imaging
  • Progress monitoring

We also provide the following remote sensing and GIS cartography services:

  • Spatial statistics
  • Impact analysis
  • GPS data collection and warehousing
  • Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)
  • Aerial imaging and 3D mapping
  • LIDAR data analysis and modeling
  • Topographic analysis
  • Habitat suitability modeling
  • Interactive web-applications
  • Watershed analysis
  • Site mapping/ resource mapping
  • Data capture and management

Learn more about all of our remote sensing services on our website!

With advanced technology, we pride ourselves on producing objective, process-driven, and reproducible methodologies to ensure the success of your environmental projects.

Reach out to our remote sensing specialists at HANA resources and see how we’re changing the environmental industry.

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