Geography Publications


Modelling Daytime Thermal Infrared Directional Anisotropy over Toulouse City Centre

Document Type


Publication Date



Remote Sensing of Environment





First Page


Last Page


URL with Digital Object Identifier


Measurements of thermal infrared (TIR) directional anisotropy (difference between off-nadir and nadir brightness temperatures) performed over the city of Toulouse using a method based on the use of 2 airborne TIR cameras are presented. Results from 3 flights at different times during a summer day (July 15th 2004) and from 1 flight in winter (February 25th 2005) all confirm important anisotropy (up to 10 °C) and hot spot effects as previously reported in literature. A simple simulation approach is then proposed. It is based on the aggregation in any viewing direction of 6 directional temperatures (sunlit/shaded walls/streets/roofs) weighted by their corresponding surface ratios within the scene viewed. The city is described by 18 canyon streets oriented in all directions by 10° steps and the 6 temperatures are determined by integrating simulations of the energy balance model SOLENE repeated for the 18 canyon streets. The surface ratios are computed from images of the studied area generated with the POV-Ray software (Persistence of Vison Raytracer, This method is described in detail. The modelled anisotropy compares favourably with the measurements on all dates, despite a systematic underestimation ranging between 15 and 30%. The possible sources of discrepancy including sensitivity to the aspect ratio and to the surface parameters and possible impact of microscale structures are briefly discussed and several improvements of the modelling system are suggested.