Deleting my previous post on my UAV imager book

Update, 8/2/2016:

After reading some posts below, I think it *might be* okay for me to put up the general book description and the ToC. If this is not okay--that is, an advertisement, only--I'm sure I'll find out. The book's Preface and sample pages may be obtained at its landing page within the SPIE website.

Best to all,



Book Description:

Getting Started with UAV Imaging Systems: A Radiometric Guide provides the tools technologists need to begin designing or analyzing the data product of a UAV imager. Covering the basics of target signatures, radiometric propagation, electro-optical systems, UAV platforms, and image quality, it is replete with examples that promote immediate application of the concepts. Reference materials at the end of each chapter, including many links to current systems and platforms, offer further guidance for readers. Engineers and scientists who specify instrument requirements; design, build, or test hardware; or analyze images for commercial, scientific, and military applications will find the book a useful addition to their working library.

Table of Contents


List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

1 Introduction
1.1 UAV Imaging: A Disruptive Innovation
1.2 Components of a UAV System
1.3 Size, Weight, Power, and Platform
1.4 Terminology and Acronyms
2 Radiometry of Targets: Emission and Reflection
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The Electromagnetic Spectrum
2.3 Emission and Reflection within Spectral Regions
      2.3.1 Overview
      2.3.2 Emission
      2.3.3 Reflection
3 Radiometric Propagation Basics
3.1 Plane Angle and Instantaneous Field of View
3.2 Solid Angle and Projected Solid Angle
3.3 Radiometric Terms and Their Units
      3.3.1 Radiance
      3.3.2 Irradiance
      3.3.3 Radiant exitance
      3.3.4 Radiant intensity
      3.3.5 Summary of radiometric terms and units
      3.3.6 Summary of the terms, in photons
      3.3.7 Imaging spectroscopy and wavenumber
3.4 Relationships Important to Propagation Calculations
      3.4.1 The inverse square law of irradiance
      3.4.2 Intensity and radiance relationship
      3.4.3 Conclusion

4 Imaging System Basics
4.1 Introduction
4.2 The Camera Equation and Image Plane Irradiance
4.3 Terms and Definitions Relating to Image Acquisition Geometry
      4.3.1 Elevation angle
      4.3.2 Sensor relative elevation angle
      4.3.3 Sensor relative azimuth angle
      4.3.4 Horizontal and vertical fields of view
      4.3.5 Ground sample distance
      4.3.6 Slant range
4.4 General Description of Optical Systems for UAV Imaging
4.5 Spectral Imaging
4.6 Calculating the Signal from the Focal Plane: A Multispectral-Channel Example
4.7 Noise Equivalent Power
4.8 Noise Equivalent Radiance
4.9 Noise Equivalent Irradiance
4.10 Noise Equivalent Reflectance Difference
4.11 Modulation Transfer Function

5 Platforms, Sensors, and Applications
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Large Military Platforms
5.3 Small UAV Platforms
      5.3.1 SWaP-C and sUAS
      5.3.2 UAV swarm: the smallest platform/sensor subtype
      5.3.3 Factors that influence platform selection
      5.3.4 Pointing the payload
5.4 Platform and Application Examples
      5.4.1 Distinguishing between two objects at UAV altitude
      5.4.2 Near-infrared and SWIR imaging comparison
      5.4.3 "Day/night" imager and covert illumination
      5.4.4 Uncooled thermal microbolometer
5.5 Thermal Contrast
5.6 Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference
      5.6.1 NETD expression for energy units
      5.6.2 NETD in terms of photons
5.7 Minimum Resolvable Temperature Difference

6 The Image Data Product and Quality Metrics
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Imagery Authentication
6.3 Metadata
6.4 Video, Motion Imagery, and Full Motion Video
6.5 Video Scan Types
6.6 Definition in Lines per Frame
6.7 Image Quality Scales
      6.7.1 Introduction
      6.7.2 Motion imagery: video NIIRS
      6.7.3 Still imagery: NIIRS and IIRS
      6.7.4 Predicting NIIRS: the general image quality equation
6.8 Probability of Discrimination
      6.8.1 Johnson criteria and target transfer probability functions
      6.8.2 Probability calculations
      6.8.3 Comparison with the NIIRS criteria
6.9 Atmospheric Correction
      6.9.1 Introduction
      6.9.2 Atmospheric windows and narrow bands

7 Detectors for UAV Imaging Systems
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Photon Detectors
7.3 CCD and CMOS
      7.3.1 CCD basics
      7.3.2 Color CCDs
      7.3.3 CMOS basics
7.4 Thermal Detectors
      7.4.1 Thermal detection basics
      7.4.2 The microbolometer
7.5 Detector Noise Sources
      7.5.1 Johnson noise
      7.5.2 Shot noise
      7.5.3 Generation-recombination noise
      7.5.4 Temperature fluctuation noise
      7.5.5 1/f noise
      7.5.6 Photon noise
      7.5.7 Quantization noise
      7.5.8 Additional detector noises
      7.5.9 Noises in arrays

8 Conclusion
Appendix A SI Base Units and Derived Quantities
Appendix B Concise Notation, Uncertainty Reporting, and CODATA 2014 Physical Constants
B.1 Reporting Uncertainty
B.2 Pending Changes in Values of "Constants"
Appendix C Drones and the Law
C.1 Commercial Use of Drones and FAA Regulations
C.2 Security, Privacy, and Law Enforcement Issues
Appendix D The Need for Standards in UAV Imagery Analysis
D.1 Connecting the Dots
D.2 Marking the Scorecard


After carefully considering the commentary generated by my post, announcing my new UAV imaging system book, I have decided to delete the post and its link. Interested potential readers may Google my name and "drones" to find the website where it may be ordered. (They may also find my website. I have a _lot_ of experience explaining technical concepts, even in non-technical venues.)

I did, of course, read the TOS before posting; but didn't realize that the issue was this dicey. Many thanks to those who found my post interesting and relevant.

Here's part of my philosophy: I've been in the optics community for about 30 years. We don't do that great of a job of outreach to the broader world where talented individuals are working on innovations that may benefit from the knowledge we have. In fact, many of our books and other publications are written strictly for our professional peers, and never find their way outside the university.

With UAV imaging, I sought to broaden that reach by designing my book to be as practical, and as applied, as possible. One should have an engineering/physics/or scientific background to understand every single detail; but smart individuals with even a high school physics understanding will benefit from it, I believe.

Before the book was published, I spoke to my publisher about my desire to attract a wide audience; I believe that review copies were sent to UST Magazine and Wired, as well as to our usual optical engineering/optical science publications.

My hope, I said, was that the work would come into the hands of individuals already working on drones, but without the background knowledge in fields of my expertise. I still hope so. Putting the two together will increase the disruptive potential of UAV imagers and further grow the industry and applications markets.

Best, to all.

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  • Agreed, Thorsten. Hugues, there are some other practical considerations...such as cost. Crewed aircraft are expensive! And if you check the sample pages offered on the site with my book, you'll come to another won't be dealing with cockpit fatigue when a long-distance flight is necessary.

  • The question was not only drone vs satellite, but also drone vs plane. I think your list is very good, but I'd add the cost.

    And if considering a plane, besides the cost there may be some legal restrictions, more risk or complexity to fly in some environments or bad weather, or to stay stationnary for a certain time.

    I think all options are very different, and all have their strong points. It's clear that drones will take some missions reserved to the satellites or planes but not all of them.

    • You can fly at ultra low altitude to find insect damage or becoming diseases
    • I hope cheaper than a real airplane.
    • More fun. ;)

    I think that is complementary with satellites.

  • T3

    Hi Hugues,

    not scientific but practical:

    • You can fly any time you like - and not if a satellite is happy to
    • You can fly multiple times a day
    • You can change the sensor to your specific/scientific needs
    • You can repeat a flight if the lighning conditions or anything else was not perfect
    • You never have clouds in your images
    • You can achieve higher resolution
    • You have the data at hand and can respond the same day

    I am sure there are some more advantages



  • MR60

    I'd like to find arguments (scientifc ones) showing advantages to use UAV for imaging rather than satellites or planes. Do you have this in the book ?

  • I also read the table of content. What a work !

    Barbara why not resend your post , with this TOC, and without the cover. If ever some sensitive fellows here are offended by seeing a (small) war machine picture. 

  • Ups!! linking table of contens it's all the info about the book and summary :) , I jumped that.

  • Thanks for putting the link up there, Gary! And Ben!

  • @Marc... That's the point: NOT the armed Predator drone at all !
  • Thanks for your book from the table of contents it looks extremely interesting and IMO the subject is perfectly adapted for the readers of this forum.

This reply was deleted.