The Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing (DIRS) Laboratory was formed over 30 years ago at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to serve as a focal point for remote sensing research and education at RIT. The DIRS Laboratory is one of the research laboratories within RIT's Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, an academic unit within the College of Science. DIRS focuses on the development of tools to extract information about the earth from aerial and satellite imaging systems with an emphasis on the application of science and engineering to solving end-to-end remote sensing problems using a systems engineering approach. This includes design and development of imaging instruments, developing algorithms to extract information from remotely sensed systems and measurement and modeling of the physical phenomena associated with the formation of remotely sensed images. DIRS currently has about 40 graduate students conducting advanced remote sensing research who are supported by 9 faculty and 12 full time research and administrative staff. DIRS has on-going research partnerships with multiple federal agencies, large and small companies, and other academic institutions.


(Nov 2018) Anthony Vodacek, professor, and Tim Bauch, lab engineer and UAS pilot conducted a 5 day workshop on drone remote sensing at the University of Rwanda. The course used an end-to-end systems approach to examine how imaging from drones can be integrated into loT applications to measure and monitor a variety of built, agricultural and natural environments.

(Sept 2018) Anthony Vodacek, professor, CIS and College of Science Leader Faculty for Study Abroad and International Education was selected to serve a 3-year term on the roster of Fullbright Specialists. The Fullbright Specialist program allows US scientists and other professionals to serve as short-term experts for competitive projects proposed by the host country.

(June 2018) Please join us in congratulating MS candidate Margot Accettura! Margot won the "Autonomous Air and Ground Sensing Systems for Agricultural Optimization and Phenotyping III" Conference Best Paper Award for her paper "Hyperspectral Detection of Methane Stressed Vegetation" that she presented in April at SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging, in Orlando, Florida.

(April 2018) Congratulations to Ph.D student Sanghui Han, she was awarded the first K. Stuart Shea USGIF Endowed Scholarship at USGIF's GEOINT 2018 Symposium. Congratulations Sanghui! 

(January 2018) Congratulations to undergraduate student Ryan Connal, he is the 2018 ASPRS Scholars receipient of the Behrens Scholarship. ASPRS offers several scholarships to students studying geography, remote sensing, survey mapping and other related geospatial sciences disciplines. Congratulations Ryan!

(December 2017) Dr. Aaron Gerace was a guest editor and author for Journal of Applied Remote Sensing, special section on Improved Intercallibration of Earth Observation Data, which includes articles written by Dr.Charles Bachmann, Dr. Mathew Montanaro, and DIRS students Rehman Eon, Brittany Ambeau, Justin Harms, and Gregory Badura. https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/journals/journal-of-applied-remote-sensing/volume-12/issue-1

(October 2017) DIRS Professor Dr. Anthony Vodacek collaboration strengthens Rwanda through education. http://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=64218&source=athenaeum

(September 2017) DIRS Professor Dr. Carl Salvaggio interviewed for the Rochester D & C and discusses RIT's role in helping Hurricane Harvey victims using aerial imaging.  http://on.rocne.ws/2x3KjOj

(August 2017) We welcome Dr. Emmett Ientilucci as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) here in the Center for Imaging Science affiliated with the DIRS Lab. Dr. Ientilucci previously was an Assistant Research Professor in the Center and emerged as the best candidate in our recent tenure-track faculty search. Congratulations Dr. Ientilucci!

(July 2017) DIRS Staff Scientists' Scott Brown, Adam Goodenough and Rolando Raqueno were honored at the 2017 USGIF GEOINT Symposium for their work with DIRSIG. Watch Scott Brown receive the award on behalf of the DIRSIG Team here: https://vimeo.com/220544579

(November 2016) Software developed by Aaron Gerace and Matt Montanaro, senior scientists in DIRS, improves the accuracy of NASA’s Landsat 8 Earth-sensing satellite, which was giving inaccurate readings due to defective optics in the thermal infrared sensor. Read more at RIT's University News:  http://www.rit.edu/news/story.php?id=58199&source=enewsletter



Mission Statement:

To educate students and conduct research in the science, engineering and application of physics-based quantitative remote sensing and digital imaging systems (source-to-information) to aid in the solution of real-world problems.

Vision Statement:

Be known as the university laboratory of choice for education and research related to the physics-based phenomenology, modeling, collection, calibration, and analysis of remote sensing and digital imagery.

Values Statement:

Our core values include integrity, dedication, respect, and commitment to excellence in our educational, research and professional activities.

Check out our Resources page for a listing of our equipment for image and ground reference data.

2016-2017 DIRS Annual Report

2015-16 DIRS Annual Report

DIRS Group Meeting Schedule Fall 2018.  We meet on Wednesdays at 1pm in CAR 3215.


DATE         SPEAKER                  TITLE

9/5/18        Baabak Mamaghani    Baabak & the Beanstalk- A Brainstorming Session

9/19/18      Scott Brown                 Simulation and Modeling for Remote Sensing Systems              

9/26/18      Prasanna Pulakurthi    Shadow Detection Using Neural networks

10/3/18      Amir Hassanzadeh      Determining Cloud Heights From Parallax in Landsat 8 TIRS Images              

10/17/18    Chi Zhang                   Thesis Defense- *note 2 PM start-  Evolution of A Common Vector Space Approach to Computer Vision Problems

10/24/18    Emily Myers                Monitoring Vegetation Change Using UAS and Satellite Imagery

10/31/18    Dr. Lee Murray            Lighning, Methane and Climate Change

11/7/18     Jan van Aardt               See What's Cooking with DIRS Drones

11/14/18   Mohammed  Yousefhussien     Bare Earth Surface Extraction Using a Deep Nearest Neighbor Network                

11/28/18  Alex Fafard                   Automated Assesment of Error in Stereo Produced Digital Surface Models with Encoder Decoder Models

11/28/18 Ethan Hughes              Predicting Plant Phenology and Disease with Machine Learning

12/5/18   Jon Miller                     Radiometer Instrument for Landsat TIRS Calibration



DIRS Group Meeting Schedule Summer 2018. We meet in CAR-3215. All talks are open.

11 am
Cody Webber Detecting Enhanced Levels of Atmospheric Methane Using Thermal Infrared Imagery
10 am
Nilay MokashiEmpirical Satellite Characterization for Realistic Imagery Generation
11 am
ManyDIRS Storm and Sub Party
10 am
Prof. Stanley RottmanChallenges in Hyperspectral Point Target Detection

9 am

Michael McClellandMS Thesis Defense: An Assessment of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems in Support of Sustainable Forestry Management Initiatives


9 am

Margot AccetturaMS Thesis Defense: Methods for the Detection of Subterranean Methane Leakage



Keegan McCoy

Tyler Peery

Integration of Optomechanical System Models with DIRSIG

Modeling MSI and HSI Systems for Cultural Heritage


DIRS Group Meeting Schedule Spring 2018. We meet Monday's at 2 pm in CAR-3215.




Cody WebberAnalysis of Multi-Spectral Enhanced Atmospheric Methane



Kevin KhaStray Light Testing at Planet Labs



Emmett IentilucciReview of India Trip



Adam Goodenough

A Path Traced to Radiative Transfer in Natural Waters



Zhaoyu CuiRed-edge Spectral Band Study for Future Landsat Instrument for Canopy Biophysical Parameter Retrieval



Erich SeifertDrone Remote Sensing of Forests: Influence of Flight Altitude and Optical Sensor Resolution on Multi-View Reconstruction



Yihang SunImprovement of the Harris Corner Detector Using an Entrophy- Block-Based Strategy



John Kerekes

Jobin Mathew


Simulation Techniques for Image Utility Analysis

Multispectral Change Detection Methods: Evaluation on Simulated & Real World Imagery


Mike McClelland

Di Bai

Applications for sUAS for Sustainable Forest Management

Pigment Diversity Estimation for Hyperspectral Images of the Selden Map of China



Margot  Accettura

Baabak Mamaghani

Hyperspectral Detection of Methane Stressed Vegetation

An Exploration of Vicarious & In-scene Calibration Techniques for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems



 No meeting due to SPIE DSS



 No meeting.



 No meeting.


DIRS Group Meeting Schedule Fall 2017. We meet Wednesdays at 10 am in CAR-3215.

9/6/17Ethan HughesUSFS Mangrove Resilience Field Research Update
9/20/17Greg BaduraModeling the Impact of Surface Roughness on the BRDF of Clay Sediments

Mashad Mahdavi

Roof Damage Assesment Using Deep Learning




Catherine Dill

Remote Sensing for ​Nonproliferation Analysis
10/11/17Baabak MamaghaniAn Exploration of Vicarious and In-scene CalibrationTechniques for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Tim Bauch

MX1 Overview

11/1/17Ryan FordModeling Landsat'O Lakes for Harmful Algae Blooms
11/8/17Margo AcceturaHyperspectral Analysis of Methane Stressed Vegetation Using a Simulated Pipleline Leak
11/15/17Mohammed YousefhussienSemantic Segmentation of 3D Point Clouds
11/29/17 ​No Group Meeting

Runchen Zhao

Implementation of Cotangent Detection Algorithim in Earth Observing Statistical Performance Model