Welcome to the ARTMO website!


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Plant Radiative Transfer models (RTMs) have become important tools for the analysis of optical Earth observation data, providing meaningful links between radiometry and environmental applications, such as Earth system, ecological processes and precision agriculture. However, for the broader community these models are still often perceived as excessively complicated tools and are not always easily accessible.

The in-house developed Automated Radiative Transfer Models Operator (ARTMO) Graphic User Interface (GUI) is a software package that provides essential tools for running and inverting a suite of plant RTMs, both at the leaf and at the canopy level. ARTMO facilitates consistent and intuitive user interaction, thereby streamlining model setup, running, storing and spectra output plotting for any kind of optical sensor operating in the visible, near-infrared and shortwave infrared range (400-2500 nm). 


ARTMO's main window.

Principally, ARTMO allows:

  1. To configure and run leaf and canopy RTMs, independently or combined, in an intuitive way through various GUIs with input options to insert single values, value ranges, or imported external datasets.
  2. To simulate and store a massive quantity of spectral output based on a look-up table (LUT) approach in a relational database.
  3. To plot groups of simulated spectra in the same plotting window with color gradients as a function of input parameters.
  4. To export simulated spectra and associated meta-data to a text file for further processing.
  5. To analyze and apply retrieval techniques in order generate maps of biophysical parameters from optical remote sensing imagery.



ARTMO’s v.3.21 hierarchical design with all its modules as of February 2017.



* License agreement for ARTMO, its models, tools and toolboxes.

The programs contained in this package are granted free of charge for research and education purposes only. This thus excludes commercial activities, including its use for acquiring or executing National or International projects (e.g. EU, ESA, US). For commercial users a license file with purpose ´Commercial´ can be requested.  Scientific results produced using the software provided shall acknowledge the use of this implementation provided by us (see Publications).

If you plan to use it for non-scientific purposes, don't hesitate to contact us. Because the programs are licensed free of charge, there is no warranty for the program, to the extent permitted by applicable law. except when otherwise stated in writing the copyright holders and/or other parties provide the program "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk as to the quality and  performance of the program is with you. Should the program prove defective, you assume the cost of all necessary servicing, repair or correction. In no event unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing will any copyright holder, or any other party who may modify and/or redistribute the program, be liable to you for damages, including any general, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use or inability to use the program (including but not limited to loss of data or data being rendered inaccurate or losses sustained by you or third parties or a failure of the program to operate with any other programs), even if such holder or other party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.




This table provides an overivew of ARTMO's novelties starting from 23 July 2014.



  • ARTMO essentials has been updated to 3.04 in order to be compatible with the implementation of new models: the leaf model LIBERTY and the combined model SCOPE. Also a bug when functioning without Sensor module has been corrected.
  • The leaf model LIBERTY has been implemented. A Matlab version of LIBERTY (v1.0) has been developed by Yang Xi-guang.
  • SCOPE v1.53 has been integrated into ARTMO (also referred to as A-SCOPE). SCOPE has been expanded with various biochemical models during the course of ESA's 'FLEX/Sentinel 3 Mission Photosynthesis Study'. 
  • ARTMO essentials has been updated to v. 3.10. Several new features have been implemented. Most importantly, it is now possible to generate fully random LUTs. Further, some bugs have been resolved.
  • The forest canopy model INFORM (Atzberger & Schlerf) has been implemented (v. 1.00). INFORM can be coupled with leaf optical models.
  • The SI and MLRA retrieval toolboxes have been updated to v. 1.10. A cross-validation sub-sampling module has been added to these toolboxes.
  • The processing and storing of maps in the the MLRA toolbox has been synchronized with that of the SI toolbox.
  • Regarding the SI toolbox, it is now also possible to evaluate the performance of single bands. An option to plot a triangular correlation matrix has been added.
  • A bug has been corrected in the MLRA toolbox. No new version number is given. 
  • A bug has been identified when adding a new Sensor. We have resolved this in ARTMO essentials. It has been upgraded to v. 3.11.
  • A bug was identified and resolved regarding the visualization of LUT boundaries and number of samples. It led to ARTMO essentials v. 3.12.
  • The SI toolbox has been updated to v. 1.11. Several small utilities have been corrected: 1:1-plotting, statistics, loading of User data and displaying correlation matrix as a triangle. 
  • The LUT-based Inversion toolbox has been updated to v. 101. Several bugs have been corrected; using derivative, 1:1-spectral plotting, displaying correlation matrix. 
  • The MLRA toolbox has been updated to v. 1.11.Several small bugs  have been identied and corrected: 1:1-plotting, R2-adj error handling.
  • An option has been added to control the generation of random numbers (Seed). ARTMO essentials has been upgraded to v. 3.13.
  • ARTMO essential has been updated to v. 3.14. A bug with Sensor and coupled RTMs for PROSPECT-5 and LIBERTY has been corrected.
  • The MLRA and Sprectral Indices toolbox has been updated to v.12. Now more flexibility is allowed when reading text files with User data. 
  • A spectral resampling module has been added (v. 1.00).
  • ARTMO essential has been updated to v. 3.15. It is now possible to export large LUTs to a text file.
  • Some minor bugs in Sensor (v. 1.03) and Spectral resample (v. 1.01) tools have been resolved.
  • The three retrieval toolboxes have been upgraded (SI: v. 1.13, MLRA: v. 1.13 and LUT-inversion: v. 1.03) with various new functions. Most importantly, it is now possible to process TIFF files and out-of-memory problems in case of big images have been resolved. Also the option to optimize and process retrieval strategies per land cover class has been revised and improved. 
  • A Global Sensitivity Analysis (GSA) toolbox has been added (v. 1.00). 
  • An Emulator toolbox has ben added (v1.02). 
  • ARTMO has been updated to v. 3.16 with minor updates.
  • The three retrieval toolboxes have been upgraded (SI: v. 1.14, MLRA: v. 1.14 and LUT-inversion: v. 1.04) with improved functions. Most importantly, the work flow has been made more logic and some bugs were corrected.  


  • ARTMO essential has been updated to v. 3.17. Most importanly, it is now possible to store simulations directly into NetCDF files.
  • The Sensor module has been updated with new default sensor settings, e.g. Landsat-8 (v. 1.04).
  • The three Retrieval toolboxes have been updated with new functions and a log window (SI: v. 1.15, MLRA: v. 1.15 and LUT-inversion: v. 1.05). For instance, now not only images but also .txt files (e.g. coming from field spectrometers) can be processed.
  • The Emulator toolbox has been updated with a few more pseudo MO-MLRAs and a log window (v. 1.03).
  • The GSA toolbox underwent some cosmetic changes (v. 1.01).
  • ARTMO essential has been updated to v. 3.18 with minor updates. For instance, a Latin Hypercube Sampling has been added.
  • The Emulator toolbox has been updated with various new options to inspect emulation accuracies (v. 1.04). 
  • The three Retrieval toolboxes have been updated with small post-processing tools (SI: v. 1.16, MLRA: v. 1.16 and LUT-inversion: v. 1.06). For instance,for the SI and MLRA toolboxes the portability of developed models can be inspected by validating against external data. The LUT-inversion toolbox can now also invert an external LUT.
  • The GSA toolbox can now also analyze models as developed by the Emulator toolbox.  (v. 1.02).
  • ARTMO is in a process to become Linux-proof. However, there may still some MySQL issues to be resolved. 
  • A small bug was encountered in the Emulator toolbox.  This has been fixed. No new version number is given. 
  • A lost 'keyboard' (breakpoint) remained in the GSA tool. This has been fixed. No new version number is given. 
  • There was a bug encountered in the previous version in case of systematically combining PROSPECT with SAIL simulations. This has been resolved (ARTMO v. 3.19).
  • The SI toolbox has been significantly improved (v. 1.17). Results are now much faster stored into a MySQL DB. Also, an option is added to inspect results for a selected band combination. 
  • A bug was encountered in the GSA toolbox. This has been corrected now (v. 1.03).  However, parallel computing leads to an error in newer Matlab versions (v. 2014 onwards). This can be resolved by setting # cores to 1 (see manual). 
  • A few minor bugs were corrected in the GSA toolbox (v. 1.04). 
  • ARTMO essential has been updated to v. 3.20 with a few new RTMs: the leaf model Fluspect-B (Vilfan et al., 2016), and to PROSPECT-4 a COSINE extension (Jay et al., 2016). 
  • The Emulator toolbox has been updated with a new option to inspect emulation accuracies per wavelength (v. 1.05). Also some bugs have been corrected.
  • The three Retrieval toolboxes have been updated with small post-processing tools and some bugs were corrected (SI: v. 1.18, MLRA: v. 1.17 and LUT-inversion: v. 1.07). For instance, to the MLRA toolbox an active learning (AL) module has been added.
  • The GSA toolbox has been made compatible with Fluspect-B and COSINE to PROSPECT-4.  (v. 1.05).
  • ARTMO essential has been updated to v. 3.21. In this version various bugs are fixed and a license is introduced so that commercial users can also try ARTMO. 
  • The three Retrieval toolboxes have been updated (SI: v. 1.19, MLRA: v. 1.18 and LUT-inversion: v. 1.08). Some bugs have been corrected and the processing of images has been made more user-friendly.  
  • The Emulator toolbox has been updated with some more machine learning algorithms and made more user-friendly (v. 1.06).


  • We have  updated ARTMO essentials with some fixes related to the generation of the license file. No new version number is given. 


  • We have  updated ARTMO essentials with some fixes related to the generation of the license file and also fixed some bugs in LUT-inversion. No new version number is given. 
  • We have  updated ARTMO essentials with some fixes related to the generation of the license file. No new version number is given (v. 3.21.3). 
  • We have  updated ARTMO essentials (v. 3.21.4) and the LUT-inversion toolbox (v.108.2) with some fixes regarding inversion of .txt file.