In general, there are 3 remote sensing techniques, which are ground-based, airborne and space borne techniques.

ĄP Take measurements along the shorelines

ĄP Traditional and earliest

ĄP Relatively accurate

ĄP Time consuming

ĄP Labour demanding

ĄP Concern in safety issues

ĄP Suitable for small size


Total stations

ĄP Share similar concept as in total stations

ĄP Slightly faster

ĄP Collect flood boundaries data along the shorelines

ĄP Can be utilised both in hydrological and topography survey

Global Positioning System (GPS)

Remote Sensing techniques

University of New South Wales

Integrated Remote Sensing For Flood Mapping

Ground-based techniques

ĄP Share similar concept as in ground-based GPS method

ĄP GPS antennas onboard helicopters

ĄP Helicopters fly along flood boundaries to collect and record the flood extents


Global Positioning System (GPS)

ĄP Take photos of the ground at elevated positions

ĄP Capture different bands, wavelengths and spatial resolutions

ĄP Onboard airborne platforms: fixed-wing aircrafts, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, balloons, blimps, kites, rockets and etc.

High resolution cameras

Airborne techniques

ĄP Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)
Optical instruments
Onboard Earth Observation satellitesĄXTerra and Aqua
Revisit the earth in 1 to 2 daysĄXhigh chance of meeting the flood peak
State Emergency Services are now using it for large emergency events

ĄP Landsat Multispectral Scanner (Landsat MSS)
Delineating flood boundaries by monsoon rains

ĄP Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA AVHR)
Maps the extent of flood and generate flood hazard maps
Coarser resolution

ĄP Landsat Thematic Mapper (Landsat TM)
Delineating the maximum flood extent on a coastal flood plain
Efficient and economic

Passive remote sensors

ĄP Mainly uses Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

ĄP High resolution images

ĄP Measures relative motion between antennas and target regions

ĄP Creates images using received echo waveforms relative to different antenna positions

Active remote sensors - Radar

Space borne techniques