SpectralEmissivity & Emittance

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Thermal infrared remote sensing of crude oil slicks

In: Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 45, Issue 2, August 1993, Pages 225-231.

by John W. Salisbury a, Dana M. D’Aria a and Floyd F. Sabins Jr.b
aDepartment of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore U.S.A.
bChevron Oil Field Research Company, La Habra, California U.S.A.

(Abstract Online)
With all the interest on the Gulf Oil spill and recent accounts of the use by British Petroleum and others of Infrared Thermal Imaging to search for surface oil slicks, it seemed very timely to be sure we had included some links and summaries of articles dealing with the thermal Infrared optical properties of crude oil on seawater.

Article AbstractRead More

Table of Emissivities in Three Popular Spectral Regions

The Table of Emissivity on the INFRAPOINT Messtechnik GmbH website, posted in 2009 (No longer available online) had summary data for a wide variety of materials broken down into three distinct spectral regions for the wavelength regions where the majority of infrared radiation thermometers and Infrared Thermal Imaging cameras operate.

First and second are tables that deal with the narrow spectral bands about 0.9 µm and 1.6 µm, the regions where many Silicon (Si) photovoltaic detectors (peak wavelength response: (0.9 µm) and both Germanium (Ge) and Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) (nominal wavelength region (0.7 – 1.6 µm) are used.

The third table cover the 8 – 14 µm waveband where most “low” (near ambient) temperature IR thermometers and thermal imaging sensors operate.

It has been reproduced here below in the spirit of Internet openness from our archives. We hope there is no problem in doing so and if any heir or assigns of INFRAPOINT Messtechnik GmbH wishes to keep this information secret, obviously against the original intent of INFRAPOINT, please contact us according to our webpage contact information.

   Table of emissivity        
  The emissivity ? (radiant emittance factor) is the relationship of the radiated intensity of a body to the intensity of a blackbody of the same temperature.
It is the most important factor, in order to determine of an item exactly.

If you want to measure the surface temperature with an infrared thermometer the emissivity must be known and correct adjusted
on the instrument.

   Material  Emissivity     Material  Emissivity  
  Metals Wavelength
0.9 µm 
1.6 µm 
  Non metals Wavelength
8 – 14 µm  
  Aluminium, bright 0.05 – 0.25  0.05 – 0.25    Asphalt  0.95   
  Aluminium, anodized 0.2 – 0.4  0.1 – 0.4    Concrete 0.95  
  Chrom, bright 0.28 – 0.32  0.25 – 0.3    Gypsum 0.85 – 0.95   
  Iron, oxidised 0.4 – 0.8 0.5 – 0.9    Graphite  0.75 – 0.92   
  Iron, not oxidised 0.35 0.1 – 0.3    Glass*, pane  0.80   
  Gold, bright 0.02 0.02    Rubber 0.85 – 0.95   
  Copper, bright 0.06 – 0.20 0.06 – 0.20    Wood, natural 0.8 – 0.95   
  Copper, oxidised  0.5 – 0.8  0.7 – 0.85    Chalk 0.98   
  Magnesium 0.03 – 0.8  0.05 – 0.3    Ceramics 0.85 – 0.95   
  Brass, bright  0.8 – 0.95  0.01 – 0.05    Plastics 0.85 – 0.95   
  Brass, oxidised  0.65 – 0.75  0.65 – 0.75    Masonry 0.85 – 0.95   
  Nickel, oxidised  0.8 – 0.9  0.4 – 0.7    Human skin 0.98   
  Platinum, black  –  0,95    Oil paints 0.85 – 0.95   
  Silver  0.02  0.02    Paper  0.85 – 0.95   
  Steel, melted 0.30  0.20 – 0.25    Porcelain 0.85 – 0.95   
  Steel, oxidised  0.8 – 0.9  0.8 – 0.9    Quartz  0.8   
  Steel, bright 0.40 – 0.45  0.30 – 0.4    Carbon black 0.95   
  Titanium, bright 0.5 – 0.75  0.3 – 0.5    Chamotte  0.85 – 0.95   
  Titanium, oxidised  –  0.6 – 0.8    Textile, Drapery 0.85 – 0.95   
  Zinc, bright 0.6  0.4 – 0.6    Tone 0.95   
  Zinc, oxidised  0.5  0.05    Water 0.95  
  Tin 0.25  0.1 – 0.3    Cement  0.9   
* The emissivity of glass (0.95 – 0.97 µm) is in the range of 4.5 – 7 µm particularly high.
Glass has there an absorption band (spectral range, where materials absorb radiation).
To measure glass surface temperatures, the best wavelength is at 5.14 µm, because
the measurement at this range is not affected by absorption bands such as carbon or hydrogen.

Temporal variations in the apparent emissivity of various materials

Temporal variations in the apparent emissivity of various materials

Author: Salvaggio, C.; Miller, D.P.

Author URL: www.cis.rit.edu/~cnspci/publications/5425-29.pdf

Year: 2004

Spectral emissivity measurements gathered in the longwave infrared region of the spectrum during a recent airborne hyperspectral data collection experiment indicated that the spectral emissivity of certain organic polymers changed by as much as 10% throughout the day. Inorganic and many other organic materials that were measured at the same time during this experiment showed no change. As this was an unexpected event, a subsequent experiment was designed to make emissivity measurements of several organic and inorganic materials over a 24-hour period/diurnal cycle. The results from this experiment confirmed that certain materials showed a significant spectral emissivity variation over this period. This paper will discuss some possible explanations for this variation and emphasize the significance and implications of this fact on the integrity of spectral emissivity measurements and spectral libraries being constructed in this wavelength region.

Citation Data:
Sensor Data Exploitation and Target Recognition, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery X, Proceedings of the SPIE, Vol. 5425, Orlando, FL, April 2004

Portable Fourier transform infrared spectroradiometer for field measurements of radiance & emissivity

By Andrew R. Korb, Peter Dybwad, Winthrop Wadsworth, and John W. Salisbury

A hand-held, battery-powered Fourier transform infrared spectroradiometer weighing 12.5 kg has been developed for the field measurement of spectral radiance from the Earth’s surface and atmosphere in the 3–5-µm and 8–14-µm atmospheric windows, with a 6-cm21 spectral resolution. Other versions of this instrument measure spectral radiance between 0.4 and 20 µm, using different optical materials and detectors, with maximum spectral resolutions of 1 cm21. The instrument tested here has a measured noise-equivalent delta T of 0.01 °C, and it measures surface emissivities, in the ?eld, with an accuracy of 0.02 or better in the 8–14-µm window 1depending on atmospheric conditions2, and within 0.04 in accessible regions of the 3–5-µm window. The unique, patented design of the interferometer has permitted operation in weather ranging from 0 to 45 °C and 0 to 100% relative humidity, and in vibration-intensive environments such as moving helicopters. The instrument has made field measurements of radiance and emissivity for 3 yr without loss of optical alignment. We describe the design of the instrument and discuss methods used to calibrate spectral radiance and calculate spectral emissivity from radiance measurements. Examples of emissivity spectra are shown for both the 3–5-µm and 8–14-µm atmospheric windows.

Key words: Fourier transform infrared spectroradiometer, portable spectrometer, infrared radiance
measurement, radiometric calibration, spectral emissivity calculation.
Reference: Korb, A.R., P. Dybwad, W. Wadsworth, and J.W. Salisbury, 1996, Portable Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer for Field Measurements of Radiance and Emissivity, Applied Optics, v.35, p.1679-1692. http://www.dpinstruments.com/papers/applied_optics_update.pdf

Copyright 1996 Optical Society of America

A Temperature and Emissivity Separation Algorithm…

A Temperature and Emissivity Separation Algorithm for Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Images

by: Alan Gillespie, Shuichi Rokugawa, Tsuneo Matsunaga, J. Steven Cothern, Simon Hook, and Anne Kahle
Click Here to view or save

Manuscript received October 31, 1997. This work was a collaborative effort of the U.S. and Japanese EOS/ASTER instrument teams, sponsored by the NASA EOS Project and ERSDAC.

A. Gillespie and J.S. Cothern are with the Department of Geological Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-1310, USA.

S. Rokugawa is with The University of Tokyo, Faculty of Engineering, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, JAPAN.

T. Matsunaga is with the Geological Survey of Japan, 1-1-3 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, JAPAN.

S. Hook and A. Kahle are with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory 183-501, Pasadena, California 91109, USA


The ASTER scanner on NASA’s EOS-AM1 satellite (launch: June, 1998) will collect five channels of TIR data with an NE DT of <0.3 K to estimate surface temperatures and emissivity spectra, especially over land, where emissivities are not known in advance. Temperature/emissivity separation (TES) is difficult because there are five measurements but six unknowns. Various approaches have been used to constrain the extra degree of freedom. ASTER’s TES algorithm hybridizes three established algorithms, first estimating the normalized emissivities, and then calculating emissivity band ratios. An empirical relationship predicts the minimum emissivity from the spectral contrast of the ratioed values, permitting recovery of the emissivity spectrum. TES uses an iterative approach to remove reflected sky irradiance. Based on numerical simulation, TES should be able to recover temperatures within about 1.5K, and emissivities within about 0.015. Validation using airborne simulator images taken over playas and ponds in central Nevada demonstrates that, with proper atmospheric compensation, it is possible to meet the theoretical expectations. The main sources of uncertainty in the output temperature and emissivity images are the empirical relationship between emissivity values and spectral contrast, compensation for reflected sky irradiance, and ASTER’s precision, calibration, and atmospheric correction.