News

GSES Doctoral Candidate Successfully Defends Dissertation
May 27, 2016
Doctoral student Hongzhou Wang, from the Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) graduate studies program, recently defended his dissertation on, “Fusion of Full Waveform LiDAR...
GSES Doctoral Candidate Successfully Defends Dissertation

Doctoral student Hongzhou Wang, from the Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) graduate studies program, recently defended his dissertation on, “Fusion of Full Waveform LiDAR and Passive Remote Sensing for Improved Land-Cover Classification.” Land cover classification is a crucial step in interpreting remote sensing data, and the accuracy of the classification determines the reliability of the product for further downstream applications. Hyperspectral sensors have been widely utilized for classification because of the discrimination afforded by their rich spectral information and high resolution in both the spatial and spectral domains. Additionally, lidar data has gained increased interest for use in classification, because it provides precise 3D data with information regarding target backscattering properties. With the introduction of full waveform lidar (FWL), the possibility of using lidar for target discrimination has been enhanced due to the additional structural information acquired. The geometrical information and backscattering properties measured by FWL is complementary to the reflectance characteristics recorded within hyperspectral imagery (HI). The fusion of FWL and HI is, consequently, desirable. Hongzhou’s research aimed to build a framework for fusing FWL and HI while demonstrating the application of combined datasets for land cover classification. Feature extraction methods and classifier designs were proposed after considering characteristics of both datasets, and performance of the proposed methods were evaluated. Experimental results showed that the suggested methods were successful in extracting features from reconstructed FWL data.

Hongzhou has accepted a position at CGG as a Seismic Imager. Dr. Craig Glennie was Hongzhou’s graduate advisor. Congratulations and good luck!

NCALM/GSES Hires New Research Professor
May 25, 2016
Dr. Preston Hartzell joins NCALM and the Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences faculty as a Research Assistant Professor. Preston earned his Ph.D. (2016) from University of Houston...
Dr. Preston Hartzell

Dr. Preston Hartzell joins NCALM and the Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences faculty as a Research Assistant Professor. Preston earned his Ph.D. (2016) from University of Houston and his B.S. (2004) from Pennsylvania State University. His doctoral dissertation focused on using terrestrial laser scanning intensity to enhance terrestrial hyperspectral image shadow restoration.

Preston will be working closely with Dr. Craig Glennie and the USACE Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory on related work in instrument and data calibration and multi-instrument integration.

GSES Doctoral Candidate Defends Dissertation
April 25, 2016
A Ph.D. student from the Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) graduate research program successfully defended his dissertation. Ning Cao defended on, “Advanced SAR...
GSES Doctoral Candidate Defends Dissertation

A Ph.D. student from the Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) graduate research program successfully defended his dissertation. Ning Cao defended on, “Advanced SAR Interferometry Methods for Ground Displacement Estimation from Spaceborne and Airborne Platforms.” Ground deformation measurements are important for monitoring and improving understanding of many natural geological phenomena or human-induced events, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, and land subsidence. Therefore, ground deformation studies can provide critical information for disaster prevention and protection of people and property. Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) is a powerful technique for monitoring ground deformation phenomena.

In Ning's dissertation, several problems with the current advanced InSAR techniques were expressed, and corresponding approaches were proposed to solve them. He mainly focused on studying subsidence and landslide phenomena, producing results that can be used to monitor land subsidence in high spatial and temporal resolutions and to assess the impacts on civil infrastructure. The research also improves understanding of landslides to provide critical predictions and warnings.

Ning will be working as a postdoctoral researcher with NCALM/GSES at the University of Houston. Ning’s advisor was Dr. Hyongki Lee.

Congratulations, Ning!

Two GSES Ph.D. Candidates Defend Their Dissertations
April 7, 2016
Two students from the Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) graduate program recently defended their Ph.D. dissertations. Preston Hartzell defended on, "Active and Passive...
Two GSES Ph.D. Candidates Defend Their Dissertations

Two students from the Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) graduate program recently defended their Ph.D. dissertations. Preston Hartzell defended on, "Active and Passive Sensor Fusion for Terrestrial Hyperspectral Image Shadow Detection and Restoration." The dissertation broke new ground in the application of radiometrically calibrated laser scanning intensity for enhancing existing and new shadow restoration techniques within fused hyperspectral imagery. The developed techniques demonstrated sub-pixel image shadow detection and enabled accurate recovery of spectral information within shadowed areas for improved image classification results. The work extends the value of terrestrial laser scanning information in sensor fusion applications beyond the currently employed spatial dimension into the spectral domain.

Xiao Zhang defended on, "Lidar Based Change Detection for Earthquake Surface Ruptures." Significant damage due to earthquakes, coupled with poor comprehension of the mechanism of earthquake surface ruptures, requires the ability to rapidly characterize 3D deformation over large areas to study stress change on faults and after-slip activity. Earlier studies showed the potential of obtaining displacement fields by differencing repeat lidar scans; however, the overall methodology has not received sufficient attention, and optimal methods of estimating 3D displacement from airborne laser scanning were needed. In Xiao's dissertation, a new solution, the Anisotropic Iterative Closest Point (A-ICP) algorithm, and a new partition scheme known as a “moving window,” with the innovate use of anthropogenic features, were proposed to handle the large spatial scale point cloud coverage and to deliver local, varying surface deformation near the fault, while overcoming the difficulties associated with sparse legacy pre-event datasets.

Preston has accepted a position as a Research Assistant Professor in the GSES program, at the University of Houston, where he will be continuing his work in sensor fusion and error modeling. Xiao will be working for the Shell Exploration and Production Company, in Houston, TX, as a Geomatics Specialist. Dr. Craig Glennie was advisor to both students.

Congratulations, Preston and Xiao!  

Postdoctoral Researcher Joins NCALM/GSES Team
April 6, 2016
Dr. Jennifer Telling recently joined the NCALM/GSES team as a postdoctoral researcher. She graduated in 2013, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, with a Ph.D. in Earth &...
Postdoctoral Researcher Joins NCALM/GSES Team

Dr. Jennifer Telling recently joined the NCALM/GSES team as a postdoctoral researcher. She graduated in 2013, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, with a Ph.D. in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences. At Georgia Tech, her concentration was in geophysics and volcanology, with a minor in atmospheric science. Jennifer’s areas of interest in research include geophysics, volcanology, hazard modeling, planetary science, and image analysis. She is interested in “any work that allows me to combine techniques from different fields” of study. Previously, she completed a two-year postdoc in volcano remote sensing at Michigan Technological University.

We would like to welcome Jennifer to our team of researchers and students!

NCALM Announces 2015 Seed Proposal Winners
March 23, 2016
The 2015 winners of NCALM's seed proposal program have been selected. Seven students will have their projects mapped by NCALM. Congratulations to the winners and their advisors! Read the...
NCALM Announces 2015 Seed Proposal Winners

The 2015 winners of NCALM's seed proposal program have been selected. Seven students will have their projects mapped by NCALM. Congratulations to the winners and their advisors! Read the full announcement here.

UH Engineer Helps Pakistan Officials Manage Water Resources with NASA’s Satellite Data
February 29, 2016
Using data collected from twin NASA satellites, a UH engineering professor is helping officials from the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) to manage the country’s...

Using data collected from twin NASA satellites, a UH engineering professor is helping officials from the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) to manage the country’s groundwater resources from approximately 300 miles above Earth.

NCALM Researchers Publish Article on Airborne Archaeology
December 18, 2015
There have been several print and online articles written in the last few months focused on discovering "lost" cities in Central America, airborne archaeological lidar mapping, and ground...
NCALM Researchers Publish Article on Airborne Archaeology

There have been several print and online articles written in the last few months focused on discovering "lost" cities in Central America, airborne archaeological lidar mapping, and ground exploration at archaeology sites. Many of these papers discuss projects which NCALM has been involved in during the past six years. In the current issue of American Scientist, three NCALM researchers published an article about "Archaeology from the Air." The essay offers the unique perspective of the mapping engineer/scientist and covers the history and technological advances of lidar for use in archaeology.

The feature about "the most significant new technology to be introduced to archaeology since radiocarbon dating" can be read here.

First Ph.D. Candidate from GSES Program Successfully Defends Dissertation
December 10, 2015
The Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) program had its first Ph.D. candidate successfully defend his dissertation. Arpan Kusari defended on, “Precise Registration of Laser...
First Ph.D. Candidate from GSES Program Successfully Defends Dissertation

The Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) program had its first Ph.D. candidate successfully defend his dissertation. Arpan Kusari defended on, “Precise Registration of Laser Mapping Data by Planar Feature Extraction for Deformation Mapping.” Determination of near-field displacements for earthquakes has not been possible, until now, using existing remote sensing techniques and methods. In this thesis, the determination of realistic near-field displacement estimates was investigated using Airborne Laser Scanning and terrestrial-based Mobile Laser Scanning point clouds gathered in a repeated manner. The extraction of sub-centimeter complex estimates in an automated fashion showed that this could provide a reliable and robust technique for determining earthquake displacements for use in fault mechanics, therefore enhancing the general understanding of earthquakes.

Arpan has accepted a position in the Product Development department at the Ford Motor Company. He will be working on automated driving technologies. Arpan’s advisor was Dr. Craig Glennie.

Congratulations, Arpan!

Ph.D. Student Opportunities in Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences at the University of Houston
November 12, 2015
The Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) Graduate Program in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, in conjunction with the NSF National Center for...
Ph.D. Student Opportunities in Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences at the University of Houston

The Geosensing Systems Engineering & Sciences (GSES) Graduate Program in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, in conjunction with the NSF National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM), is seeking qualified applicants (with backgrounds in engineering, geomatics, geosciences, physics, astronomy, computer sciences, or geography) interested in: Design, development, and testing of lidar, digital image, and hyperspectral sensors; Research applications of lidar observations, including when combined with digital imagery or hyperspectral measurements; Study of satellite altimetry for applications in hydrology, glaciology, geodynamics, and sea levels; Applications of terrestrial laser scanning, airborne lidar, and GPS in natural hazards studies and mitigation; and Applications of airborne remote sensing techniques in geomorphology, climate/weather studies, hydrology, and tectonics. Please visit: ncalm.cive.uh.edu/gses/geosensing, for more information.

The application process and forms can be found on the Civil & Environmental Engineering website. Interested students can contact Dr. Craig Glennie at: clglennie [at] uh [dot] edu (subject: GSES%20Graduate%20Program%20Information) .

Deadline: February 1st, 2016

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