A new approach to identify on-ground lamp types from night-time iss images

Natalia Rybnikova, Alejandro Sánchez de Miguel, Sviatoslav Rybnikov, Anna Brook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Artificial night-time light (NTL), emitted by various on-ground human activities, has become intensive in many regions worldwide. Its adverse effects on human and ecosystem health crucially depend on the light spectrum, making the remote discrimination between different lamp types a highly important task. However, such studies remain extremely limited, and none of them exploit freely available satellite imagery. In the present analysis, the possibility to remotely assess the relative contribution of different lamp types into outdoor lighting is tested. For this sake, we match two data sources: (i) the radiometrically calibrated RGB image provided by the ISS (coarse spectral resolution data), and (ii) a set of in situ measurements with detailed spectral signatures conducted by ourselves (fine spectral resolution data). First, we analyze the fine spectral resolution data: using spectral signatures of standard lamp types from the LICA UCM library as endmembers, we perform an unmixing analysis upon NTL in situ measurements; by this, we obtain the estimates for relative contributions of the standard lamp types in each examined in situ measurement. Afterward, we focus on the coarse spectral resolution data: by using various types of statistical models, we predict the estimated relative contributions of each lamp type via RGB characteristics of spatially corresponding pixels of the ISS image. The built models predict sufficiently well (with R2 reaching ~0.87) the contributions of two standard lamp types: high-pressure sodium (HPS) and metal-halide (MH) lamps, the most widespread lamp types in the study area (Haifa, Israel). The restored map for HPS allocation demonstrates high concordance with the network of municipal roads, while that for MH shows notable coincidence with the industrial facilities and the airport.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4413
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Fine and coarse spectral signature
  • ISS
  • In situ measurement
  • Lamp types
  • RGB
  • Radiometric calibration
  • Statistical models
  • Unmixing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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