When I calculate Net primary production (NPP) for a local scale, what kind of software should I use? I always use ENVI, ERDAS, ARCGIS and IDRISI. Is it possible to use these programs for NPP calculation?
Calculating NPP from EO data is an open research question. I will assume we talk of the land surface here, by the way. A simple and widely used way of calculating NPP is to use what is called a Production Efficiency Model, that converts incoming radiation into gross primary productivity and then subtracts respiration costs to arrive at NPP. There are many papers on this topic. One with lots of reference is to be found at this site
For this recipe, you will need:
There are many datasets available. You may also have ground measurements, and if your area is small enough, you'll be fine using points measurements.
You can use one of the many widely available fAPAR products (MODIS MxD15 products, JRCenter link description here, and I guess there are others). These are moderate resolution datasets. You can also try to convert NDVI to fAPAR (there's a linear scaling relationship).
Carbon assimilation is constrained by water deficit, temperature and nutrients (and other stuff, such disease, but let's ignore that). There are ready made relationships for these stresses.
Plants lose energy through respiration. You need to subtract those losses.
GPP = IRAD * (a*NDVI + b ) * epsilon *f
Here, IRAD is the incoming radiation. You scale NDVI linearly using two parameters (a and b, for example a=1.24, b=-0.168), or you can substitute that for an fAPAR product (you should). \epsilon is the Light Use Efficiency and f is the stress factor
I'm not sure I understood your question.
If you're asking if these programs have the technical ability, then, YES, ENVI, ERDAS and ArcGIS are good for calculations of AREA with a specific spectrum (given that you have as input a good aerial photo or sattelite image, with the correct bands). However, the conversion from AREA to MASS is something that (as far as I know) they cannot do without outside information (the NPP is different between annuals and trees, and even within trees).
If you're asking if these programs have a built-in function to calculate NPP then the answer is NO (unless ENVI\ERDAS have new functions in the last version which I haven't used).However, you can build yourself customized models that will calculate it for you based on the specific equations.