The humid and moist tropical climate of Gabon yields immense forests that cover over 85% of the land, making them the number-two driver of the national economy – and deforestation a subject of concern.
Sentinel-2 will provide systematic global acquisitions of high-resolution multispectral imagery for Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme.
Credits: Astrium GmbH
The GMES project on Forest Monitoring Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation mapped deforestation in Gabon from 1990 to 2010 using NASA’s Landsat satellite.
But the Equatorial African country’s heavy cloud cover means that imagery is often difficult to acquire over some areas.
While it takes Landsat 1.5–3.5 years to obtain imagery of the entire country, the future Sentinel-2 mission would require less than a year because of its more frequent coverage.The future monitoring of land cover by Sentinel-2 was just one of the many topics covered at the Sentinel-2 Preparatory Symposium, hosted this week at ESA’s ESRIN centre for Earth observation in Frascati, Italy.
“Sentinel-2 will fill the gap from both a research and operations perspective,” said Chris Steenmans, Head of Programme at the European Environment Agency’s Shared Environmental Information System.
“We are currently struggling with fragmented satellite data, so the timely information that Sentinel-2 will provide is important. The mission will also complement other Earth observation investments on a global level.”
Sentinel-2, planned for launch next year, is one of five Sentinel missions that ESA is developing for Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme.
Through GMES, decision-makers will have access to reliable, timely and accurate information services to manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.At the recent symposium, Medhavy Thankappan, Director of Science and Strategy at Geoscience Australia’s National Earth Observation Group, presented a national land cover dataset based on analysis of satellite data acquired over an eight-year period.
“The next step is to update the land cover information with new data from a consistent source – to move from mapping to monitoring,” said Mr Thankappan.
“We would also like to move to a higher spatial resolution – that’s where Sentinel-2 comes in.”
Owing to its high resolution of 10 m per pixel, and wide swath of 290 km, global products from Sentinel-2 will be able to be applied locally.
The mission will adhere to the Sentinel Data Policy, which establishes full and open access to data acquired by all five of the upcoming Sentinels.
Participants at the symposium, however, expressed concern over the data delivery arrangement.
“Sentinel-2 is like a dream come true for the forest remote sensing community,” said Tuomas Häme, Research Professor at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
“It is of utmost importance that the mission can be fully utilised by organising data delivery to the users as smoothly as it is organised for the similar missions with a free and open data policy.”
Robert Meisner | EurekAlert!
Stable magnetic bit of three atoms
21.09.2017 | Sonderforschungsbereich 668
Drones can almost see in the dark
20.09.2017 | Universität Zürich
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy