Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World-spanning Envisat Summer School concludes in Italy

31.08.2004


How can we best use observations and models to quantify the state of the Earth System and better understand the coupled interactions between the ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere and biosphere? This complex but vital question was at the heart of the second ESA Summer School on Earth System Monitoring & Modelling.



This summer, 68 young scientists coming from 21 countries across the world (e.g. Europe, Canada, Australia, Argentine, Brazil, China, India) converged on ESA’s European Space Research Institute (ESRIN) in Frascati (Italy) for a two-week training course on Earth Observation, modelling and data assimilation.

The participants attended keynote lectures about state-of-the-art data assimilation techniques across a range of applications, given by 14 top European scientists. The lectures had a particular focus on utilising data from Envisat, which with its 10 instruments measuring the electromagnetic spectrum is the only truly ‘Earth System’ satellite able to simultaneously monitor the land, ocean, ice and atmosphere. The theory was also considerably reinforced by a set of computing practicals to give students hands-on experience of processing Earth Observation data and real application of assimilation techniques in simplified models.


"When it comes to modelling global processes of whatever type, Earth Observation is an effective control of the model behaviour," commented lecturer Prof. Chris Schmullius of Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany. "For example, I am interested in land cover mapping, and using models to see how vegetation changes with climate. Only Earth Observation gives us a regularly updated map of land use changes, including factors such as fire, agriculture, logging and other human interactions that have to be taken account of in models."

Cathy Trudinger had come from Melbourne, Australia to attend the Summer School. She is currently working on the mathematical modelling of greenhouse gases at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO): "It’s been a very good overview of the various satellite instruments available, how they work and how the data can be used". She will be carrying out biosphere modelling in the course of her research.

"ESA has a very good data set from its missions, but up until now I have not known enough about it to make use of it," explained Manik Bali, originally from India, now working on his Ph.D. thesis at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. "I now plan to assimilate land cover data within a model aimed at improving monsoon prediction, letting affected countries know whether a good or a bad monsoon is coming and making the appropriate preparations."

All those attending produced posters explaining the subject of their research. The Summer School participants voted among themselves for the best one, and the winner was Christian Beer of Friedrich-Schiller University, dealing with the assimilation of remote sensing data into land models.

"I’ve been working in the field of land studies for two years," Beer said, "so it has been very educational to come here and meet with different scientists working in other areas and learn first-hand about how they’ve been using satellite data."

Prof. Alan O’Neill of the Data Assimilation Research Centre at Reading University explained why he thought the summer school had been very successful. "We have kept the focus on Envisat data, but while the first school concentrated on assimilating data from its atmospheric instruments, this time we have covered the full range of its instruments, including land, ocean and ice data. We have also made other changes, including a greater linking of the lectures with practical tutorials.

"Participants came from a diversity of disciplines as well as countries, and half of them were women, which is a positive sign. The span of applications is wide, but everyone here is concerned with similar points: how to turn what are basically measurements of electromagnetic radiation into useful geophysical parameters, what to do about observational errors and how to correct for them in models.

"There’s a commonality of techniques and issues in Earth Observation that makes it a discipline in its own right, and I think the experience of the School shows this very well."

Mariangela D’Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int
http://www.esa.int/export/esaEO/SEMZ150XDYD_index_0.html

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Science Education >>>

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

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>