David A. Landgrebe

GRSS President 1986-1987

David A. Landgrebe was a Professor (Emeritus) of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. His area of specialty in research has been communication science and signal processing, especially as applied to Earth observational remote sensing. He received the BSEE (1956), MSEE (1958), and PhD (1962) from Purdue. He has held positions with Bell Telephone Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey; Interstate Electronics Corporation, Anaheim, California; and Douglas Aircraft Company, Newport Beach, California.

Dr. Landgrebe joined the faculty of Purdue University in 1962. He was a founding member of Purdue’s Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing (LARS) and served as its Director from 1969 until 1981. From 1981 to 1984 he was Associate Dean of Engineering and Director of the Engineering Experiment Station at Purdue. From 1986 through 1989 he served as the Coordinator of Graduate Programs for Purdue’s School of Electrical Engineering. He served as Acting Head of the School of Electrical & Computer Engineering from July 1, 1995 to July 29, 1996.

He was President of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society in 1986 and 1987 and a member of its Administrative Committee from 1979 to 1990. He received the Society’s Outstanding Service Award in 1988. He was a co-author of the textbook, Remote Sensing: The Quantitative Approach (1978), and a contributor to the ASP Manual of Remote Sensing (1st edition, 1974), and the books, Remote Sensing of Environment, (1976), Information Processing for Remote Sensing (1999), and Introduction to Modern Photogrammetry (2001). He was the author of the textbook Signal Theory Methods in Multispectral Remote Sensing (2003). He was a member of the editorial board of the journal, Remote Sensing of Environment, since its inception in 1970. Beginning in 1967, he served on numerous NASA and National Academy advisory committees.

Dr. Landgrebe was a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Fellow of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Life Member of the American Society for Engineering Education, as well as Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Xi honor societies. He received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 1973 for his work in the field of machine analysis methods for remotely sensed Earth observational data.

In 1976, on behalf of Purdue’s Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing, which he directed, he accepted the William T. Pecora Award, presented by NASA and the U.S. Department of Interior. He was the 1990 individual recipient of the William T. Pecora Award for contributions to the field of remote sensing. He was the 1992 recipient of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society’s Distinguished Achievement Award and the 2003 recipient of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society’s Education Award. In 2003, the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society held a workshop in his honor entitled “Advances in Techniques for Analysis of Remotely Sensed Data.”  Dr. Landgrebe was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2005.

Our colleague and friend, David A. Landgrebe, passed away on November 21, 2020, at the age of 86. Landgrebe was a pioneer of digital remote sensing and data processing. He will always be greatly remembered. (Date: Nov. 2020)

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