TU Wien:Introduction to Earth Observation VO (Wagner)

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Lecturers Wolfgang Wagner, Wouter Arnoud Dorigo Mariette Vreugdenhil
ECTS 1,5
Department Geodesy and Geoinformation
When winter semester
Language English
Links tiss:120031
Master Data Science Pflichtmodul DSA - Domain-Specific Aspects of Data Science


  • Earth Observation in the 21st century
Population Growth
Resource Depletion
Climate Change
  • Pysical Basics
Energy Sources and Radiation Principles
Energy Interactions in the Atmosphere
Energy Interactions with Earth Surface Features
Interaction Mechanisms
  • Historical Developments
Airborne Photography
A Brief History of Microwaves
Beginnings of the Satellite Era
  • Sensor Systems
Optical Satellite Imaging
ALS (Airborne Laser Scanning)
SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar)
  • Data Processing
Data Pyramid
Geometric Rectification
Radiometric Calibration
Digital Image Processing
Geophysical Parameter Retrieval
  • Applications
Benefitting from Uncertain Earth Observation Data
Scaling Issues
How Earth Observation Data can be used
  • Outlook (mainly the IT challenge and Big Data)


Weekly 1-hour lectures on Zoom on some of the topics in the script. The script is the basis for the lecture and the exam and can be bought at TU Verlag[1].

At the end of the course, there is a 45-minute open-book (necessary!) multiple-choice test on TUWEL. Attendance via Zoom is required, but only for identity verification.

Benötigte/Empfehlenswerte Vorkenntnisse[edit]

Theoretically none, but basic concepts from physics regarding mechanics and optics are helpful.


The lectures are good and the lecturers try to convey the basic concepts in an understandable manner, but not sufficient for the exam. The lectures are also a bit hard to understand if you have no prior knowledge, so reading the relevant chapters before the lecture is recommended. The slides don't have too much information on them (mainly images), and they were not very useful for the exam. However, they provide a good overview of the topics.

The script itself is a compilation of papers and lecture books on the topics (think copy-paste in an academic sense) and often goes far beyond what is mentioned in the lecture. It is easy to read and has some helpful explanations between citations.

Prüfung, Benotung[edit]

TUWEL multiple-choice test with 45 minutes of work time. 16 questions in total (at least one from each chapter), but 4 questions from the chapter on sensor systems. The questions are in randomized order and taken from a pool of questions. The questions and answers are reformulations of parts of the script, and not exact formulations by design. Therefore, it is highly recommended to read the script as preparation for the exam and have it at hand during the exam. There are partial points for each question. Questions have between 1 and 3 points, and there are 32 points in total.

Dauer der Zeugnisausstellung[edit]

Semester Letzte Leistung Zeugnis
WS20 22.01.21 27.01.22 < 1 week


One hour per week for the lectures and a couple of days for reading through the script a few times.


Script available at TU Verlag (15€, 177 pages)


Buy the script

Verbesserungsvorschläge / Kritik[edit]

noch offen


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