Landscape Remote Sensing Group

Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Land Use


Members of the Landscape Remote Sensing Group at the Department of Remote Sensing at Tartu Observatory, University of Tartu are internationally acknowledged for pioneering the theoretical basis of modelling reflectance based on the radiative transfer theory and applying the reflectance model inversion technology.

The primary objective of the team is to devise and apply novel methodologies exploiting new sensors to improve prediction and forecast horizons of vegetation dynamics globally.

The group has achieved fundamental progress in remote sensing of vegetation structure, namely quantifying the level of foliage grouping relative to a random distribution, leaf angle distribution, and mapping forest background across multiple platforms. The group is active in carbon cycle modelling and assessing the functional, ecological diversity using remote sensing data.

Team is led by Associate Professor Jan Pisek.

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The Tartu Observatory Group will be primarily responsible for:

  • Utilizing the spectral species and communities’ concept to enhance our understanding of biodiversity dynamics at various spatial and temporal scales using high resolution remote sensing data;
  • Introduction, evaluation of radiative transfer simulations as an effective approach to a universal parameterization of OPTRAM model for soil moisture retrieval with high resolution remote sensing data (Sentinel-2/Landsat-8 observations).

Research and development institution



Ministry of Education and Research

Ministry of Education and Research

Estonian Research Council

Estonian Research Council