Remote Sensing Technologies

understanding the technologies needed to sense our world

Test Site Catalog

Site Location: Railroad Valley Playa


ETM+ Bands 321 Zoomed
ETM+ Bands 321

Location (City, State, Country): Ely, Nevada, USA, North America
Altitude above sea level (meters): 1435
Center Latitude,Longitude (Degrees): +38.5 , -115.69
Landsat WRS-2 Path/Row: 40 / 33
Size of Usable Area (km): 10 x 10
Owner: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Researcher: Dr. Kurtis J. Thome
Email Researcher
Purpose: Radiometric, vicarious calibration test site with large homogenous regions
Description: Dry-lake playa, spatially homogeneous, consisting of compacted clay-rich lacustrine deposits forming a relatively smooth surface compared to most land covers, although it has a lower spatial uniformity compared to the Ivanpah and Lunar Lake sites. The surface composition is comparable to those of Ivanpah and Lunar Lake; however, all three sites suffer from the presence of iron absorption (Fe3+) in the visible part of the spectrum, characteristic of playas in this region of the United States. Google Earth: Slightly patchy (in color and intensity) across the playa.
Support Data: Strong linear road features and oil drilling structures (no lat/long. available)
Suitability: Recommended for 15-m GSD and larger, VisbleUV to SWIR. Solar reflective and emissive, sub-meter to 2-km GSD
Limitations: Soft surface composition, spatial and spectral variation, possible hot spot effects, periodic snow and water, cloud cover increases in winter, remote location for ground-based studies

Additional Photos

ETM+ Bands 321 Site Parameters
Google Earth Zoomed
Google Earth Zoomed
Ground Picture 1
Ground Picture 2
Typical RVPN Surface Reflectance

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Page Last Modified: January 8, 2013