W08: The DART model (Discrete Anisotropic Radiative Transfer)


Instructor: Salghuna Nair


DART is a 3D radiative transfer model allowing simulation of complex and heterogeneous landscapes acquired by different sensors, including imaging spectrometers and LiDAR. It is a useful tool to understand radiometric mechanisms involved when using remotely sensed information. The objective of this tutorial is to introduce recent developments dedicated to the utilization of DART in the case of simulation of imaging spectroscopy data, and it will be illustrated by study cases corresponding to forest ecosystems. Sensitivity studies will be explored through graphical user interface as well as dedicated python scripts.

DART models radiative transfer in the system “Earth – Atmosphere”, from visible to thermal infrared. It simulates measurements (images, waveforms,) of passive and active (lidar) satellite/plane sensors, as well as the radiative budget, for urban and natural landscapes.

These simulations are computed in any experimental (atmosphere, terrain, forest, crop, date, …) and instrumental (spatial and spectral resolutions, viewing direction …) configuration.

It is very useful for the study and monitoring of land surfaces from remote sensing measurements.


Overview of DART scientific related questions, including major radiometric terms used in optical remote sensing. Interactive presentation of DART major functionalities and Graphic User Interface. From this stage, participants work with their laptops. DART is installed if needed. Exercises about reflectance in the optical domain for 2D landscapes.

Creation of 3D mock-up.


In order to make the tutorial more efficient, participants are advised:

  • to get a free DART license before the training.
  • to get an overview of the DART User Manual
  • to make a few exercises of work packages 1 and 2 of DART User Manual.

Maximum number of Participants: 20


The software, manual and materials will be provided to the selected participants only.