PcSENSAT Overview

PcSenSat was developed for remote sensing applications of passive sensors in the .2-28 um spectral region. PcSenSat is a PC implementation of SENSAT which includes user-friendly input, database features, and screen and hard copy graphics.

Typical remote sensing applications of PcSenSat include:
  • design tool for sensor development

  • mission analysis of sensors under different scenarios and on different platforms, e.g. satellite, airplane, and ground-based comparison with measurements

  • radiometric correction of measurements with respect to atmospheric effects

  • sensitivity analysis of atmospheric and object parameters

Simulation results include radiance, brightness temperature, signal to noise ratio, and target/background contrast as a function of target range, visibility, solar zenith angle, etc. These simulations predict sensor performance over a variety of operating conditions and mission scenarios.

In addition, SenSAT performs spectral region optimizing, 'maximizing' for instance, the gray level difference between a target and its background.

The model allows the computation of the IR signature of up to 3 homogeneous objects in the instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of the sensor. The model accounts for:

  • Optics: transmittance of optics, spectral filters, clear aperture, focal length

  • Detector: size, IFOV, quantum efficiency, spectral detectivity residual noise electrons, detector saturation electrons, responsivity

  • Electronics: noise equivalent electrical bandwidth, integration time, number of TDI detectors, scan efficiency, electrical efficiency, amplifier/ADC noise, modulation transfer function, detector signal amplification number of quantization levels

LOWTRAN 7 is used for atmospheric transmittance and radiance calculations. Some extensions have been made concerning the ground reflecting surface:

  • surface albedo may depend on wavelength and observation angle

  • diffuse and specular (bidirectional reflectance distribution function) reflection of direct solar radiance

  • surface orientations not necessarily horizontal
This version of LOWTRAN, called PcSenTran, retains all the calculation, input, and output functions of Ontar's LOWTRAN7.


PcSenSat allows up to 3 homogeneous targets in the sensor field of view. The objects are characterized by their area, surface temperature, reflectivity, and emissivity. The emissivity may vary as a function of wavelength and aspect angle. In addition, PcSenSat accepts an emitting radiation source (e.g. a plume) to be entered externally as a target. In this way, special target models can be used.

Additional features of PcSenSat
  • Wind dependent sea surface model (Cox-Munk) for solar reflection IR clutter model

  • Library of 24 sensors is included, with the ability for user-defined sensors

  • Library of background/target spectrally varying emissivities is included, with the ability for user defined backgrounds and targets

  • All features and ease of LOWTRAN7 retained

  • Compatible with LOWTRAN7 input databases
Hardware/Software Requirements
  • IBM PC 80386 or 80486 compatible computer

  • Math coprocessor chip (80387 or 80486)

  • Minimum of 2.5 MB memory

  • One disk drive and one hard disk (about 4 Mbytes available)

  • Disk Operating System (DOS 2.0 or higher)

  • IBM compatible color board (CGA, EGA, or VGA) and monitor for screen graphics

  • Most graphics dot matrix printers, laser printers, or HP pen plotter for hard copy output

PcSenSat for DOS is available for $500. This price is for the software only; there is no customer or technical support available for this particular product.

Click here for pricing information.

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