Course Title: Earth Observation Science

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Earth Observation Science

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2022,
Sem 2 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Deepak Gautam

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 0351

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.12.30

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge

You are expected to have completed the majority of first year courses in the surveying program BH116 or geospatial science program BH117.

Course Description

This course will introduce you to the basic principles of Earth Observation Science. The course is taught in the second year of the program and draws on the general surveying and mapping knowledge you have acquired in the first year of your program. The course includes the development of the technologies and covers fundamental concepts of Earth Observation. The Course will incorporate the theory and practices of using remotely sensed data for Earth Observation. You will learn about the basic principles of Earth Observation, image enhancement and interpretation, satellite systems, classifications, and active remote sensing. You will also perform several contemporary practical exercises for application for example to bushfire, agriculture, and environment. By the end of this Course, you will develop a solid foundation in the theory and practical skills for Earth Observation through remotely sensed data. The course provides you with the foundation knowledge necessary for you to undertake GEOM2086 Advanced Imaging Technologies.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes in BH116 Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying)(Honours) and BH117 (Bachelor of Science (Geospatial Science)(Honours):

1.2 Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the spatial models and mathematical methods used in contemporary practice.

1.3 Understand specialist bodies of knowledge in geospatial science.

2.1 Apply standard and advanced techniques to solve a range of measurement and data management problems.

2.2 Proficiently perform computations in two and three dimensions.

3.2 Interpret and critically analyse results and make informed judgements on the appropriateness of solutions.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial features
  2. Describe the types of sensors that are used to detect and record the electromagnetic spectrum from space- and air-borne platforms
    3. Critically examine the trade-offs between spatial, spectral, radiometric and temporal resolution of remotely sensed data
    4. Define and critically analyse spectral signatures and feature space plots
    5. Perform basic operations associated with digital image processing of satellite and aerial images.
    6. Describe the range of applications of remotely sensed data for monitoring and managing marine and terrestrial environment.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectorials, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both.

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Online Quizzes
Weighting 20% 
This assessment supports CLOs 1 – 6 

Assessment Task 2: In-class test
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1 - 6

Assessment Task 3: Practical Exercises
Weighting 30 %
This assessment task supports CLOs 3, 4, 5, & 6

Assessment Task 4: Assignments 
Weighting 30% 
This assessment supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.