2023-2024 / OCEA0087-1

Satellite oceanography


15h Th, 15h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in oceanography (120 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Master in space sciences (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Aida Alvera Azcarate

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The main objective of this course is to provide a basic training on Earth Observation, and more specifically, on the remote sensing of the ocean. The theoretical contents of this course are as follows:
Electromagnetic Spectrum
Types of satellite sensors
Orbits, geolocation
Atmospheric effects, atmospheric transmission of the signal
Visible waveband radiometers - Ocean Colour
Infrared waveband radiometers - Sea Surface Temperature (SST)
Microwave waveband radiometers - SST, salinity, wind, sea ice, rain
Satellite data processing
Applications of ocean remote sensing data

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The students will know, at the end of the course: the basic concepts, the most relevant sensors and satellites, the treatment of the signal, the complementarity between different satellite data and between satellite and other sources of oceanographic data. The students will be able to work with satellite data, interpreting them and using them in some study cases.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic concepts of mathematics, statistics and physics

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Theoretical courses will lead the students through the basic concepts. Exercises aimed at applying some of the theoretical concepts will be performed, using SNAP and Acolyte, two softwares installed in the computers used for the exercices but also openly available for download.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)


Recommended or required readings

A comprehensive list of relevant books and articles will be provided during te course. The books most used for the development of the theoretical concepts are:
- Measuring the Oceans from Space: The principles and methods of satellite oceanography, Ian Robinson, 2004
- Discovering the Ocean from Space: The Unique Applications of Satellite Oceanography, Ian Robinson, 2010.
- An Introduction to Ocean Remote Sensing. Seelye Martin. (2nd edition, 2014). Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139094368.

A theoretical exam plus a practical exercise. Details will be iven during teh course.
> Online oral examination (update 10/12/2020)

Work placement(s)


Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

no content


Aida Alvera-Azcárate AGO-GHER Université de Liège Allée du 6 Août, 17, Bât. B5 4000 Liège, Belgium
Tel.: +32 (0)4 366 3664
Mail : a.alvera@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Introduction to satellite oceanography
Introduction to satellite oceanography