Radiometrically accurate simulated imagery provides a practical alternative to field measurements for designing remote sensing systems and validating the algorithms that generate data products. MCScene, SSI's first-principles, high-fidelity spectral image simulation model, uses a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) approach for modeling 3D radiative transport for wavelengths ranging from the ultraviolet to the thermal infrared.
MCScene incorporates general land and ocean surfaces with a choice of BRDF descriptions, arbitrary cloud fields, and inserted gas plumes. 3-D surfaces are specified via digital elevation maps and inserted objects. Cloud fields can be imported from data retrievals or models such as the Cloud Scene Simulation Model (CSSM) developed by TASC.
MCScene synthetic scene data can be a valuable resource for development of retrieval algorithms. Not only is "ground truth" known, because it is built into the simulations, but "atmosphere truth" is known as well. If you are interested in assessing the utility of MCScene simulations, we have assembled a small collection of hyperspectral and multispectral data sets that are available for download from the MCScene downloads page. All data sets include not only the synthetic hypercubes, but also corresponding data cubes for source reflectance and path optical depth for all sensor pixel lines-of-sight.
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MCScene true color image simulations using its new curved earth capability. Sun zenith angle is 30 deg, visibility is 40 km, and sensor is at 6.5 km altitude. The relative azimuth angle between the sun and observer is being changed from frame to frame.