Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European airborne campaign simulates Sentinel imagery over land

25.07.2006
Designing a new satellite mission is always a challenging prospect. Not only is there the huge technical issue of building a spacecraft, but ensuring the eventual data is exactly what users require is also critical to the success of the mission. To this end, a new airborne campaign is being carried out as part of the development procedure for two of ESA's Sentinel missions.

The Sentinel satellite series, which are being developed by ESA in support of the European Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme (GMES), will meet the needs of the user in a variety of application areas by providing real-time services relating to the land, sea, atmosphere and ice fields. It is imperative that these, as with other Earth Observation missions, yield data with the quality and timeliness that users truly need for their applications.

It is not surprising then, that along with the task of designing and building the satellites, airborne campaigns can play an important role in helping with the development of the mission as they allow satellite data to be simulated long before the actual launch of the mission.

The ESA AgriSAR campaign, which finishes on 25 July, represents an ambitious large-scale attempt to assess the performance of the Sentinel-1 (C-band SAR) and Sentinel-2 (Optical Multi-spectral) for land applications. The campaign was unique in scope and scale. AgriSAR represents one of the few, perhaps the only, land-oriented campaign of its type including frequent airborne SAR coverage during the entire crop-growing season -from sowing to harvest.

The main test site was Demmin, an agricultural site located in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in North-East Germany, approximately 150 km north of Berlin. The German Aerospace Centre's (DLR) E-SAR system was flown over the Demmin test site more than 14 times between the months of April and July. Weekly in-situ measurements were taken on the ground in selected fields throughout the same period.

In addition to SAR coverage, optical data using the Canadian CASI from ITRES Research and the Spanish AHS from the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) were acquired during critical phases of the growing season in June and July. The June acquisitions were extended to include a forest and grassland site in central Netherlands, used by the EU EAGLE project.

In total, over 15 research institutes from Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Britain, Canada and Denmark participated in the campaign.

"Because the AgriSAR campaign extended through the growing season we will now be able to see how the information from the radar and optical data changes with time as the crops grow and mature - we’ve never been able to do this before," says Irena Hajnsek from DLR, one of the coordinators of the campaign.

"Ultimately, I am convinced that AgriSAR will lead to a better understanding of how to best interpret and retrieve information over land using SAR and optical data, helping ESA with the design and implementation of future SAR and optical Earth Observation missions."

Following the success of the AgriSAR activities, the researchers participating in campaign now face the daunting task of organising and analysing the large quantities of data collected in the air and on the ground over the past few months.

One of the key tasks will be to take the airborne data and use it simulate the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 imagery. This will allow ESA to assess the suitability of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 sensor and mission characteristics for land applications and will be useful for the end-user community to visualise what the future products will look like.

In addition, there will undoubtedly be strong scientific use of the data in developing new methods for retrieving information on soil and vegetation characteristics from SAR and optical images.

A total of 60 people from 15 different institutes in eight different countries were involved in the AgriSAR activity, with around 40 people participating during the intense measurements periods.

Participants included German teams from DLR-HR, DLR-FB, DLR-DFD, ZALF, IG-Demmin and Universities in Munich, Kiel and Jena along with Spanish teams from University of Valencia and INTA, Italian teams from University of Naples and the National Research Council (ISSIA), teams from Canadian ITRES, from Technical University of Denmark, from University of Ghent in Belgium, from University of Canfield in UK and from the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) in the Netherlands, along with participants from ESA.

Malcolm Davidson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaLP/SEMQ4LBUQPE_LPcampaigns_0.html

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Smart Manual Workstations Deliver More Flexible Production
04.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>