Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ESA’s microsatellite playing major role in scientific studies

25.09.2006
ESA's smallest Earth Observation satellite, Proba, is making big contributions to science with applications ranging from environmental monitoring, agriculture, forest , land use, crop forecasting, marine and coastal science as well as biological soil crusts and solid waste landfill monitoring.

Launched on 22 October 2001, Proba orbits 600 kilometres above the Earth and acquires around 450 scientific image datasets of more than 100 separate sites each year. Its main payload, the Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (CHRIS), is a highly configurable hyperspectral imager that sees down to a resolution of 17 metres and can acquire up to five images of a desired target at a time, each at a different angle with respect to Earth's surface, because Proba is manoeuvrable enough to perform controlled pitch and roll.

This unique instrument was highlighted at the 4th Proba/CHRIS workshop held at ESRIN, ESA's Earth Observation Centre in Frascati, Italy, from 19 to 21 September 2006, where some 60 researchers from around the world met to share current results and future plans, and have an input into future CHRIS acquisition planning.

The workshop heard how CHRIS images are being used to assess the effects of different land use strategies on vegetation types in the savannahs in Central Nambia, to evaluate aerosol retrieval in Hong Kong, to identify ancient Roman buildings, to help map and measure alpine snow cover in the Swiss National Park, to monitor waste landfill operations, and to study the role of woodland as both sinks and sources of carbon dioxide, among many others.

The themes of the workshop included CHRIS image processing and validation, land-surface processes and the atmosphere, and inland and coastal waters. In addition to hearing encouraging results presented on diverse sets of scientific and application studies, the workshop highlighted the need to continue the Proba mission until new hyperspectral missions become available.

CHRIS, which is roughly the size of a large television set, is especially useful because of its combined ability to retrieve hyperspectral and multi-angular data. The imager's combination of high spatial resolution and wide spectral range means that a large amount of important biophysical and biochemical properties can be gathered, including chlorophyll and water content, leaf area index and overall biomass and vegetation health. It is also useful for studying the atmosphere and bodies of water.

Mike Barnsley of the University Swansea in the UK said that although upcoming missions will offer hyperspectral capabilities, "the multi-angle acquisition capacity of Proba/CHRIS remains unsurpassed by any other equivalent mission. What the scientific community requires now is a CHRIS-2 instrument, perhaps with extended spectral on a future Proba satellite to build upon the stunning successes of the original mission."

Participants also focused on the CHRIS/Proba mission helping to develop a new scientific community exploring applications of hyperspectral and multi-angle image data and on the growing knowledge base stemming from the mission, which is leading to a more coherent terrestrial science community that could provide informed advice on future satellite missions.

The need to better promote the advantages of the mission to a still wider scientific audience, since the CHRIS/Proba community is relatively small and select, was also highlighted at the workshop. To this end, Proba Scientific Investigators are invited to submit their contributions to the 2007 Envisat Symposium being held from 23 to 27 April 2007 in Montreux, Switzerland, where dedicated sessions will be organised.

In closing comments, the Proba community expressed hope that the spacecraft would last well beyond its 5-year anniversary next month in order to keep the science going until new missions with similar capabilities arrive.

Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Proba_web_site/SEMVJAVHESE_0.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Making Oceans Plastic Free - Project tackles the problem of plastic pollution in the oceans
31.05.2017 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

nachricht Nitrogen Oxides Emissions: Traffic Dramatically Underestimated as Major Polluter
31.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>