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3D-Earth The goal of this project is establish a global 3D reference model model of the crust and upper mantle based on the analysis of satellite gravity and (electro-)magnetic missions in combination with seismological models and analyse the feedback [...]UNIVERSITY OF KIEL (DE)Sciencescience, solid earthThe goal of this project is establish a global 3D reference model model of the crust and upper mantle based on the analysis of satellite gravity and (electro-)magnetic missions in combination with seismological models and analyse the feedback between processes in Earth’s deep mantle and the lithosphere. Selected case examples will provide the possibility to test these approaches on a global and regional scale. This will result in a framework for consistent models that will be used to link the crust and upper mantle to the dynamic mantle. The prime objective is to integrate, for the first time, seismological models and satellite observation towards a consistent image of the crust and upper mantle in 3D. Satellite gravity and (electro-) magnetic data help to transfer velocity images towards composition and temperature that reflect the tectonic state and evolution of the Earth and offer a novel understanding of the processes that shape our planet. The limitations and sensitivity of the different geophysical methods in context of their imaging capability are analysed and combined with forward and inverse modelling to be able to evaluate the possibilities of these approaches to reveal the Earth’s structure. For the inverse modelling, we will explore the sensitivity of joint inversion to the individual data sets and compare these to inversions relying on only a single or a few data sets. To analyse the structure of the deep mantle, we will try to combine knowledge about mantle conductivity and mineral physics with the geophysical observations. We will assess the role of Earth’s internal layering and mantle convection on the evolution of the Earth’s surface (dynamic topography). The data and methods we propose to use in this study will significantly supersede previous attempts and will be a first step towards an understanding of the Earth in space and time, a necessary step towards the development of a 4D Earth model.We will analyse the limitations and sensitivities of the different geophysical methods in the context of their imaging capability and plan to combine forward and inverse modelling to be able to evaluate the possibilities of these approaches to reveal the Earth’s structure. For the inverse modelling, we will explore the sensitivity of joint inversion to the individual data sets and compare these to inversions relying on only a single or a few data sets. Selected case examples will provide the possibility to test these approaches on a global and regional scale. This will result in a framework for consistent models that will be used to link the crust and upper mantle to the dynamic mantle. To analyse the structure of the deep mantle, we will attempt to combine knowledge about mantle conductivity and mineral physics with the geophysical observations. We will assess the role of Earth’s internal layering and mantle convection on the evolution of the Earth’s surface (dynamic topography). The data and methods we propose to use in this study will significantly supersede previous attempts and will be a first step towards an understanding of the Earth in space and time, a necessary step towards the development of a 4D Earth model.
4DANTARCTICA Ice sheets are a key component of the Earth system, impacting on global sea level, ocean circulation and bio-geochemical processes. Significant quantities of liquid water are being produced and transported at the ice sheet surface, base, and [...]UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH (GB)ScienceCryoSat, cryosphere, polar science cluster, science, Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, SMOSIce sheets are a key component of the Earth system, impacting on global sea level, ocean circulation and bio-geochemical processes. Significant quantities of liquid water are being produced and transported at the ice sheet surface, base, and beneath its floating sections, and this water is in turn interacting with the ice sheet itself. Surface meltwater drives ice sheet mass imbalance; for example enhanced melt accounts for 60% of ice loss from Greenland, and while in Antarctica the impacts of meltwater are proportionally much lower, its volume is largely unknown and projected to rise. The presence of surface melt water is also a trigger for ice shelf calving and collapse, for example at the Antarctic Peninsula where rising air and ocean temperatures have preceded numerous major collapse events in recent decades. Meltwater is generated at the ice sheet base primarily by geothermal heating and friction associated with ice flow, and this feeds a vast network of lakes and rivers creating a unique bio-chemical environment. The presence of melt water between the ice sheet and bedrock also impacts on the flow of ice into the sea leading to regions of fast-flowing ice. Meltwater draining out of the subglacial system at the grounding line generates buoyant plumes that bring warm ocean bottom water into contact with the underside of floating ice shelves, causing them to melt.  Meltwater plumes also lead to high nutrient concentrations within the oceans, contributing to vast areas of enhance primary productivity along the Antarctic coast. Despite the key role that hydrology plays on the ice sheet environment, there is still no global hydrological budget for Antarctica. There is currently a lack of global data on supra- and sub-glacial hydrology, and no systems are in place for continuous monitoring of it or its impact on ice dynamics. The overall aim of 4DAntarctica is to advance our understanding of the Antarctic Ice Sheet’s supra and sub-glacial hydrology, its evolution, and its role within the broader ice sheet and ocean systems. We designed our programme of work to address the following specific objectives: Creating and consolidating an unprecedented dataset composed of ice-sheet wide hydrology and lithospheric products, Earth Observation datasets, and state of the art ice-sheet and hydrology models Improving our understanding of the physical interaction between electromagnetic radiation, the ice sheet, and liquid water Developing techniques and algorithms to detect surface and basal melting from satellite observations in conjunction with numerical modelling Applying these new techniques at local sites and across the continental ice sheet to monitor water dynamics and derive new hydrology datasets Performing a scientific assessment of Antarctic Ice Sheet hydrology and of its role in the current changes the continent is experiencing Proposing a future roadmap for enhanced observation of Antarctica’s hydrological cycle To do so, the project will use a large range of Earth Observation missions (e.g. Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, SMOS, CryoSat-2, GOCE, TanDEM-X, AMSR2, Landsat, Icesat-2) coupled with ice-sheet and hydrological models. By the end of this project, the programme of work presented here will lead to a dramatically improved quantification of meltwater in Antarctica, an improved understanding of fluxes across the continent and to the ocean, and an improved understanding of the impact of the hydrological cycle on ice sheet’s mass balance, its basal environment, and its vulnerability to climate change.
4DGreenland In 4DGreenland the overall aim is to advance the current state of knowledge on the hydrology of the Greenland Ice Sheet, by capitalising on the latest advances in Earth Observation data.

The high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere have [...]
Technical University of Denmark (DK)ScienceGlaciers and Ice Sheets, polar science cluster, scienceIn 4DGreenland the overall aim is to advance the current state of knowledge on the hydrology of the Greenland Ice Sheet, by capitalising on the latest advances in Earth Observation data. The high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere have experienced the largest warming over the last decades. The Greenland ice sheet is currently undergoing rapid changes in response to the increased temperatures. Understanding the Greenland ice sheet hydrologyis essential to understand these changes – and how the Greenland ice sheet will contribute to global sea level rise in a future warming climate. In 4DGreenland we will map and quantify both meltwater- , subglacial- and supra-glacial processes, as well as performing an integrated assessment of Greenland’s hydrology based on the results. We will focus our integrated assessment analysis on the time span 2010-present, and generate a Product Portfolio of novel datasets over the whole Greenland ice sheet to characterise the different components of the hydrological system. Thorough validation ofall derived products and scientific results will be carried out. Another outcome of the project will be a scientific roadmap providing recommendations to ESA to further advance the use of EO technology to address the main knowledge gaps and scientific challenges associated with the Greenland hydrology.
4DIONOSPHERE The project is also called Swarm Space Weather Variability of Ionospheric Plasma (Swarm-VIP). The Swarm-VIP project aims at advancing our understanding and characterisation of ionosphere processes in order to better model and potentially predict [...]UNIVERSITY OF OSLO (NO)Scienceionosphere and magnetosphere, scienceThe project is also called Swarm Space Weather Variability of Ionospheric Plasma (Swarm-VIP). The Swarm-VIP project aims at advancing our understanding and characterisation of ionosphere processes in order to better model and potentially predict the behaviour of the ionosphere. In particular, the project members work on the development of a semi-empiric model and improving the forecasting capabilities for extreme space weather events. Swarm-VIP project performs extensive and complex statistical analysis on Swarm electron density, electric and magnetic field data focusing on: 1) the ionospheric climate/weather during quiet geomagnetic conditions; 2) the extreme events such as geomagnetic storms / superstorms and 3) the physics of ionospheric perturbations and small-scale variability.
A Swarm, SuperDARN, and ICEBEAR Collaboration – Turbulent E-region Aurora Measurements (SSIC-TEAM) Living Planet Fellowship research project carried out by Devin Huyghebaert.

The Swarm SuperDARN ICEBEAR Collaboration – Turbulent E-region Aurora Measurements (SSIC-TEAM) project will focus on the Farley-Buneman Instability (FBI) and its [...]
UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN (CA)Scienceionosphere and magnetosphere, living planet fellows, scienceLiving Planet Fellowship research project carried out by Devin Huyghebaert. The Swarm SuperDARN ICEBEAR Collaboration – Turbulent E-region Aurora Measurements (SSIC-TEAM) project will focus on the Farley-Buneman Instability (FBI) and its effects on plasma density irregularity and turbulence generation in the E-region ionosphere.  A better understanding of the FBI is required due to its potential for turbulent heating of the ionospheric E-region plasma during active ionospheric events driven by magnetospheric and solar effects. Heating of the ionosphere affects plasma circulation patterns and neutral atmospheric dynamics.  Understanding the sources of ionospheric heating is essential to better model and predict space weather impacts on the terrestrial atmosphere. The FBI is a plasma density instability that has a positive growth rate when electrons in a plasma have a velocity that is greater than the ion velocity by at least the ion-acoustic speed. This instability is able to occur in the E-region of the ionosphere, primarily at altitudes of 90-120 km. The instability generates plasma density irregularities at a multitude of characteristic wavelengths, where the growth rate and phase speed of the irregularities are related to the electron motion direction.  Plasma density irregularities are a signature of plasma turbulence occurring in the ionosphere and can be measured using ground based ionospheric radars. Through the use of measurements from the Swarm satellite constellation and coherent scatter radars the physical phenomena associated with the FBI will be investigated.  The magnetometer and Electric Field Instrument (EFI) will be used from the Swarm Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie satellites to provide essential context for the coherent scatter radar measurements.  The Fast Auroral Imager (FAI) from the recently added Swarm Echo satellite will also be utilized to provide optical details of the region when available.  For coherent scatter radars both the Ionospheric Continuous-wave E-region Bistatic Experimental Auroral Radar (ICEBEAR) and Saskatoon Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN) radars will be used in the studies.  These radars are based out of the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and have a field of view located in the terrestrial auroral zone.  Due to the recent advances in radio hardware and techniques it is now possible to obtain measurements from these different instruments on similar spatial and temporal resolution scales.
AALM4INFRAM: ARCTIC ACTIVE LAYER MONITORING FOR INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT This project will use various InSAR based approaches to characterize changes in land subsidence rates due to permafrost melting in  Greenland and assess the impact such changes are having on critical infrastructure in the region.GAMMA REMOTE SENSING AG (CH)Digital Platform Servicesclimate, land, permanently open call, SAR, snow and iceThis project will use various InSAR based approaches to characterize changes in land subsidence rates due to permafrost melting in  Greenland and assess the impact such changes are having on critical infrastructure in the region.
Advanced Sentinel-1 analysis ready data for Africa Historically for land application, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite imagery has often been seen only as as complement to optical remote sensing in cloud covered areas.

There are several reasons for this:

1) the threshold of [...]
NORTHERN RESEARCH INSTITUTE (NORUT) (NO)Sustainable Developmentpermanently open call, SARHistorically for land application, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite imagery has often been seen only as as complement to optical remote sensing in cloud covered areas. There are several reasons for this: 1) the threshold of interpretation and understanding of SAR imagery is often perceived as very high to an untrained user, 2) the human capacity and technical capability in pre-processing SAR data has been out of reach without adequate, often expensive software, and technically-trained staff and 3) the availability of data has been too sparse and expensive for being used operationally for applications other than in (sub)-polar regions. This has especially been the case in developing countries. The Copernicus program, specifically the Sentinel-1A/B (S1) satellites, and recent international efforts opened for a new era of operational SAR application, data access and processing and overcome the challenges 2 and 3 above. Satellite open data cubes (ODC) are currently developed in several countries, including in Africa, with the aim to provide analysis ready data (ARD) from both optical and SAR sensors. The combination of both optical and SAR generally improves the application results. However, for SAR data these ARD efforts generally aim to provide only pre-processed, i.e. radiometric, terrain and slope corrected and georeferenced, single SAR scenes or, at the best, yearly mosaics with questionable consistency and reduce little the subjective reluctance of using SAR data operationally. The purely vast amount of single scenes therefore needs further processing in order to reduce the amount of data as well as to make the data more attractive and easier to interpret for untrained users. This project is intended to overcome user reluctance to integrate SAR data into their EO monitoring and assessment activities by making advanced SAR products available as Analysis Ready Data and demonstrate the possibilities of processing and integrating these data with conventional EO data in a cloud environment. The primary focus will be users in developing countries so the demonstration activities will explicitly take into account issues such as bandwidth constraints.
AEOLUS+ INNOVATION – IMPROVING DUST MONITORING AND FORECASTING THROUGH AEOLUS WIND DATA ASSIMILATION (NEWTON) Windblown dust plays a key role in the Earth system, affecting climate, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, anthropogenic activities as well as humans’ health. Winds, acting as the main driving force of dust emission determine also the [...]NATIONAL OBSERVATORY OF ATHENS (GR)ScienceAeolus, Aeolus+ Innovation, Aerosols, atmosphere, atmosphere science cluster, scienceWindblown dust plays a key role in the Earth system, affecting climate, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, anthropogenic activities as well as humans’ health. Winds, acting as the main driving force of dust emission determine also the spatiotemporal evolution of dust plumes during transport. The proposed study, entitled NEWTON, aims to demonstrate the potential improvement of short-term dust forecasts when the numerical simulations are initialized from meteorological fields in which Aeolus observations have been assimilated. To realize the overarching objective of NEWTON, regional dust simulations initialized with ECMWF numerical outputs, will be performed for specific regions of the planet, i.e. West Sahara-Tropical Atlantic Ocean and Eastern Mediterranean. The regional modelling approach will rely on the WRF model, in which critical developments have been implemented. These upgrades have been driven by recent studies, relying on advanced observations revealing that mineral particles are not appropriately treated in the current state-of-the-art atmospheric-dust models. In a nutshell, the NEWTON project aims to: Assess the potential improvements on short-term regional dust forecasts attributed to the assimilation of Aeolus wind profiles; Investigate the modifications of dust emission and transport mechanisms by contrasting numerical simulations initialized with and without Aeolus observations; Highlight the benefits and the necessity of Aeolus data on dust research, paving the way for future operational satellite missions.”
AEOLUS+ INNOVATION – OCEAN SUB-SURFACE PRODUCTS AND APPLICATIONS The Aeolus Ocean Color (AOC) project aims at assessing the potential of the Aeolus mission to monitor ocean sub-surface optical and biogeochemical properties based on the measurements from the wind lidar ALADIN (Atmospheric Laser Doppler [...]NOVELTIS SAS (FR)ScienceAeolus, Aeolus+ Innovation, Aerosols, Altitude, atmosphere, atmosphere science cluster, Ocean Indicators, ocean optics, ocean science cluster, scienceThe Aeolus Ocean Color (AOC) project aims at assessing the potential of the Aeolus mission to monitor ocean sub-surface optical and biogeochemical properties based on the measurements from the wind lidar ALADIN (Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument) at 355 nm. AOC is funded by ESA within the framework of the Aeolus + Innovation project. The retrieval scheme for the AOC products relies upon parametric relationships between the lidar signal and the parameters of interest in a stepwise approach: “lidar-derived optical” parameters that can be inferred from the two lidar profiles in the Mie and Rayleigh channels: the particulate attenuated backscatter βP and the attenuation coefficient KL; “ocean optical” parameters related to ocean optical properties: the diffuse attenuation coefficient (Kd(355)) and the particulate back-scattering parameter (bbp(355)) that can be derived from the lidar-derived parameters; “biogeochemical”parameters: the particulate organic carbon (POC), the phytoplankton carbon (Cphyto) and the coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) that can be derived from the optical parameters. The prototype AOC product will be generated over a set of regions of interest (English Channel, tropical gyres, Polar Ocean), and evaluated against available ground truth as well as other comparable remotely sensed products and biogeochemical model simulations.
AEOLUS+ INNOVATION – STUDIES ON WIND AND AEROSOL INFORMATION FROM LIDAR SURFACE RETURNS (SWAILS+) In the SWAILS+ project the Aeolus lidar surface returns are used in combination with collocated wind speed observations to retrieve the aerosol optical depth. The retrieval algorithm under development, LARISSA (Lidar Aerosol Retrieval based on [...]KNMI (NL)ScienceAeolus, Aeolus+ Innovation, Aerosols, Altitude, atmosphere, atmosphere science cluster, scienceIn the SWAILS+ project the Aeolus lidar surface returns are used in combination with collocated wind speed observations to retrieve the aerosol optical depth. The retrieval algorithm under development, LARISSA (Lidar Aerosol Retrieval based on Information from Surface Signal of Aeolus), will complement the standard Aeolus (L2) aerosol profile products. Not only as LARISSA provides an opportunity to evaluate the standard Aeolus aerosol products but also since the L2a profile approach lacks sensitivity in low aerosol loading regions where an integrated column approach may be more successful. In addition, for low aerosol optical depth conditions, it is investigated whether it is feasible to retrieve the: Near-surface winds Bidirectional reflectance distribution function over land, based on which aerosol optical depth over land can be also retrieved using LARISSA The LARISSA products are developed at the Royal Institute of Meteorological Sciences (KNMI) in the SWAILS (NSO) and SWAILS+ (ESA) projects. The resulting aerosol product from LARISSA will be beneficial for various scientific applications including Better understanding of the wind speed dependence in off-nadir ocean surface scattering in the ultraviolet. Evaluation of aerosol models, where the LARISSA-based (integrated) aerosol optical depth can be used as input for data assimilation. Studies of global aerosol optical properties as LARISSA will retrieve the average column lidar ratios. Support of future lidar missions with nadir and non-nadir viewing angles in the UV, i.e., the EarthCARE mission lidar ATLID.
AEOLUS+ INNOVATION – CDOM-PROXY RETRIEVAL FROM AEOLUS OBSERVATIONS (COLOR) The objective of the COLOR (CDOM-proxy retrieval from aeOLus ObseRvations) project is to assess the feasibility of deriving an in-water AEOLUS product from the analysis of the ocean sub-surface backscattered component of the 355 nm signal [...]CNR – INSTITUTE FOR ELECTROMAGNETIC SENSING OF THE ENVIRONMENT (IREA) (IT)ScienceAeolus, Aeolus+ Innovation, atmosphere, atmosphere science cluster, Ocean Indicators, ocean optics, ocean science cluster, scienceThe objective of the COLOR (CDOM-proxy retrieval from aeOLus ObseRvations) project is to assess the feasibility of deriving an in-water AEOLUS product from the analysis of the ocean sub-surface backscattered component of the 355 nm signal acquired by the ALADIN (Atmospheric LAser Doppler INstrument). The project will focus on the potential retrieval of the ocean particle optical properties at 355 nm: diffuse attenuation coefficient for downwelling irradiance, Kd [m-1], and sub-surface hemispheric particulate backscatter coefficient, bbp [m-1]. COLOR activities are organized in three different but interacting phases: 1) Consolidation of the scientific requirements; 2) Implementation and assessment of AEOLUS COLOR prototype product; 3) Scientific roadmap. Furthermore, data collection activity will feed phase 1 and 2, encompassing both AEOLUS dataset and the ancillary reference/validation datasets. The overall proposed approach is based on the transfer of the lidar consolidated know-how from atmospheric to oceanic applications through AEOLUS observation data analysis and ocean radiative transfer numerical modelling.  
AEOLUS+ INNOVATION – LIDAR MEASUREMENTS TO IDENTIFY STREAMERS AND ANALYZE ATMOSPHERIC WAVES (LISA) For a better comprehension of climate change it is fundamentally important how well we understand the general condition (dynamics and chemistry) in the atmosphere. Aeolus wind measurements enable for the first time the derivation of atmospheric [...]DLR – GERMAN AEROSPACE CENTER (DE)ScienceAeolus, Aeolus+ Innovation, atmosphere, atmosphere science cluster, atmospheric winds, gravity and gravitational fields, scienceFor a better comprehension of climate change it is fundamentally important how well we understand the general condition (dynamics and chemistry) in the atmosphere. Aeolus wind measurements enable for the first time the derivation of atmospheric wave structures on different temporal and spatial scales and wind gradients in particular above the oceans, where wind measurements from ground-based instruments are sparse. These measurements will help us to better understand the atmospheric dynamics. Planetary waves (PWs) are global scale waves, which are well-known as main drivers of the large-scale weather patterns in mid-latitudes on time scales from several days up to weeks in the troposphere. When PWs break, they often cut pressure cells off the jet stream. A specific example are so-called streamer events, which occur predominantly in the mid- and high-latitudes of the lower stratosphere. During a streamer event the wind field changes rather strong over a comparatively small horizontal distance. It is found that streamer mainly occur at the transition zone from the Northern Atlantic to Europe. Strong wind gradients can excite gravity waves (GWs). GWs have typical vertical wavelengths from a few 100 m to some kilometers. GWs are the main drivers of the mean meridional circulation of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Their propagation is strongly dependent on the zonal wind in the stratosphere. The question of how much energy from the field of planetary waves is finally transferred into the generation of gravity waves is still an open question. Objectives Three data products will be derived by Aeolus measurements: global maps of horizontal wind shear, PW activity and GW activity. Supplementary measurements are used to further study acoustic GW activity at the ground and at large heights (Doppler sounding or microbarograph measurements). This allows a cross-check of the temporal evolution of the kinetic wave energy density and also provides additional information about the dynamic conditions in the stratosphere. The data products will be demonstrated within a case study of a selected streamer event. The Aeolus data will be compared with ERA-5 reanalysis data. The data products will be made available on a project web-site. The findings and recommendations of this project will be delivered through a scientific roadmap in order to further develop the methods and their application.
AEOLUS+ INNOVATION – OCEAN SURFACE WIND FROM AEOLUS SEA SURFACE RETURNS (SEA-FLECT) Welcome to the SEA-FLECT project page. The winds from Aeolus lidar SEA surface reFLECTance (SEA-FLECT) aims to demonstrate the potential of the Aeolus observations for monitoring of sea surface winds. This project is funded by ESA under the [...]Verisk Analytics GmbH (DE)ScienceAeolus, Aeolus+ Innovation, atmosphere, atmosphere science cluster, Ocean Indicators, scienceWelcome to the SEA-FLECT project page. The winds from Aeolus lidar SEA surface reFLECTance (SEA-FLECT) aims to demonstrate the potential of the Aeolus observations for monitoring of sea surface winds. This project is funded by ESA under the Aeolus + Innovation project. Objective The objectives of the Aeolus Ocean Surface Wind project are to Demonstrate if the Aeolus observations can be used to derive ocean surface winds, and Understand which meteorological and oceanic conditions are favourable to derive this product from the observations Method To meet the objectives, we will perform a detailed analysis of the Aeolus surface returns over selected regions, under different surface wind conditions. The surface wind information will be derived from scatterometer data, while the surface conditions will be determined from traditional imagery data as provided by e.g. Modis or Sentinel2. In addition detailed radiative transfer calculations will be performed to support the analysis.
AI and EO as Innovative Methods for Monitoring West Nile Virus Spread (AIDEO) AI and EO as Innovative Methods for Monitoring West Nile Virus Spread (AIDEO) is being developed by the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale”, a veterinary public health institution that has an established [...]Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale” (IT)Digital Platform Servicesartificial intelligence, enterprise, health, permanently open callAI and EO as Innovative Methods for Monitoring West Nile Virus Spread (AIDEO) is being developed by the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale”, a veterinary public health institution that has an established international track record in the surveillance, diagnosis, epidemiology, modelling, molecular epidemiology of Vector Borne Diseases (VBDs), AImageLab, that is a research laboratory of the Dipartimento di Ingegneria “Enzo Ferrari” at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia with extensive experience in Computer Vision, Pattern Recognition, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Progressive Systems, that delivers solutions to simplify Earth Observation data exploitation and brings significant expertise and experience to the consortium based on years of collaboration with ESA and on-site presence at ESRIN, and REMEDIA Italia, that has relevant experience in designing and realising printed, web, multimedia and technology enhanced scientific communication projects, systems and tools developed inside the Earth Observation Department of ESA (ESRIN). Aim of the project is to develop an innovative, scalable and accurate process to produce West Nile Disease (WND) risk maps, using EO data and specific AI algorithms. Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are an important threat with an increasing impact on public health due to wider geographic range of occurrence and higher incidences. West Nile virus (WNV) is one of the most spread zoonotic VBD in Italy and Europe. Identifying suitable environmental conditions across large areas containing multiple species of potential hosts and vectors can be difficult. The recent and massive availability of Earth Observation (EO) data and the continuous development of innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods can be of great help to automatically identify patterns in big datasets and to make highly accurate predictions. Our project aims to develop an innovative, scalable and accurate process to produce West Nile Disease (WND) risk maps, using EO data and specific AI algorithms. Using historical ground truth data of WND cases and EO data derived from different sources (e.g. Sentinel-2, Sentinel-3, PROBA-V, etc.), a learning architecture, based on Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) and Graph Theory, will be applied on ground truth WND cases and satellite images and tested. This process will produce AI based risk maps that will be then compared with classical statistical methods to evaluate the degree of improvement in forecasting the disease occurrence and spread. Knowledge acquired with this project can be potentially used to define intervention priorities within national diseases surveillance plans. Moreover, the definition and development of algorithms working on available and frequent satellite images could be applied in early warning systems not developed so far, and could be integrated into the Information Systems of the Italian Ministry of Health and made available to other interested stakeholders. This work will therefore lay the basis for a future early warning system that could alert public authorities when climatic and environmental conditions become favourable to the onset and spread of the disease. This will be achieved in three key phases: Phase 1: Definition of requirements Information regarding EO data to be used, criteria to select ground truth data, temporal interval to be analysed and different Deep Neural Network models will be evaluated and defined. Selection criteria and preparation of remotely sensed products will then be investigated, considering data from multiple sources, various sensors, spectral bands, spatial resolutions and revisit times. WND and EO data will be selected to guarantee a correct spatial and temporal representation of the last ten-years epidemics. Phase 2: Data retrieval and processing WND cases will be extracted from the official repository of the Italian Ministry of Health (National Information System of Animal Disease Notification – SIMAN), integrated with laboratory data coming from the national veterinary laboratories, validated and selected, in space and time, according to the requirements defined in phase 1. WND ground truth outbreaks will be split in different datasets that will be used to train and test the DNN model, then fine-tune the model and hence make predictions and evaluate the overall accuracy. Selected EO data will be collected from different sources and stored in a centralised system where they will be organised and pre-processed according to the requirements defined in phase 1. Classical statistical models for WND spread (suitability analysis, logistic regression, etc.) will be developed to be compared with AI model performance. Phase 3: Train, fine-tuning and validation of the AI model AI models/algorithms for the analysis and prediction of WND “behaviour” will be developed and parameters estimated. Graph-based DNN models will be explored for merging geo-referenced local sites information with satellite images, the latter being processed through Convolutional Neural Networks (pre-trained or trained from scratch). Temporal deep models (e.g. RNN – Recurrent Neural Networks, LSTM – Long-short term memory) will then be employed for an effective forecasting of the behaviour based on EO data. The accuracy of the chosen model will then be evaluated together with the need to include additional data or to change the train model hyper-parameters. We will hence produce the final model that will be compared with the classical statistical models developed in phase 2. Dissemination of information and project results will last for the entire duration of the project and will be made available to stakeholders, relevant institutions, organisations and individuals through workshop and congress presentations, publications in peer reviewed journals, websites.
AI4ARCTIC The AI for the Arctic (AI4ARCTIC) project applies deep learning, in particular deep convolutional neural networks, for Earth observation applications within the cryosphere, focusing on sea ice and snow. The project trains deep-learning systems [...]NORWEGIAN COMPUTING CENTER NORSK REGNESENTRAL (NO)ScienceAI4Science, Arctic, polar science cluster, snow and iceThe AI for the Arctic (AI4ARCTIC) project applies deep learning, in particular deep convolutional neural networks, for Earth observation applications within the cryosphere, focusing on sea ice and snow. The project trains deep-learning systems from relevant training data, and tests and demonstrates the capability of deep learning by applying it to large-scale inference of cryosphere-related variables.The project focuses on two use cases, one on snow mapping in Scandinavia and the other on sea ice charting in the waters around Greenland.
AIREO – AI ready EO training datasets Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms have great potential to advance processing & analysis of Earth Observation (EO) data. Training datasets (TDS) are crucial for ML and AI applications but they are becoming a [...]NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND (NIU GALWAY) (IE)Enterpriseapplications, artificial intelligence, enterpriseArtificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms have great potential to advance processing & analysis of Earth Observation (EO) data. Training datasets (TDS) are crucial for ML and AI applications but they are becoming a major bottleneck in more widespread and systematic application of AI/ML in EO. The issues include: General lack and inaccessibility of high-quality TDS Absence of standards resulting in inconsistent and heterogeneous TDS (data structures, file formats, quality control, meta data, repositories, licenses, etc.) Limited discoverability and interoperability of TDS Lack of best-practices & guidelines for generating, structuring, describing and curating TDS Another obstacle to the use of AI/ML in EO applications for non-EO experts is a lack of domain specific knowledge such as map projections, file formats, calibration and quality assurance. As such, AI-Ready EO Training Datasets (AIREO) should be self-explanatory, follow FAIR principles and be directly ingestible for AI/ML applications. AIREO approach: Review current initiatives, activities, techniques,tools, practices and requirements for preparing, using and sharing AI-Ready EO Training Datasets Setup AIREO network of stakeholders and practitioners in the AI/ML, EO, data science in communities and from other relevant science disciplines. Capture community requirements and develop: Specifications for AIREO datasets by leveraging existing formats and standards; Best-practices guidelines for preparing, using and sharing AIREO TDS; Pilot and benchmark AIREO datasets for selected use-case applications ; A Python library, compatible with OGC web; interface standards and RESTful APIs, for ingesting AIREO TDS into workflows; Jupyter notebooks showing the use of AIREO pilot datasets & Python library. AIREO specifications, best practices and datasets will: Meet FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principles; Involve and build on top of relevant community initiatives
AKROSS: Altimetric Ku-Band Radar Observations Simulated with SMRT Accurate estimates of sea ice thickness are essential for numerical weather prediction, ice extent forecasts for navigability and to demonstrate the impacts of climate change on sea ice. The main source of uncertainty in sea ice thickness [...]CORES SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING LIMIT (GB)Sciencealtimeter, CryoSat, permanently open call, polar science cluster, science, snow and iceAccurate estimates of sea ice thickness are essential for numerical weather prediction, ice extent forecasts for navigability and to demonstrate the impacts of climate change on sea ice. The main source of uncertainty in sea ice thickness measurements from radar altimetry is due to snow. Scattering of the radar signal as it travels through snow changes the return received by the altimeter. AKROSS will determine how snow properties affect the radar return and therefore the accuracy of sea ice thickness estimates. AKROSS has three main objectives: Collection of a suite of field observations of the properties of snow on sea ice suitable for evaluation of electromagnetic models across a range of different satellites, with a focus on radar altimetry. Evaluation and consolidation of the Snow Microwave Radiative Transfer Model in altimeter mode. Investigate origin of signal returns through analysis of the dependence of the altimeter waveform to snowpack structure. The field campaign will take place in Eureka, Canada, timed to coincide with CryoSat2 and ICESat2 satellite overpasses. Snow measurements will include specific surface area, density, layer boundary roughness and casted samples for x-ray tomography imaging. AKROSS will complement and co-ordinate with other activities including studies for the Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) candidate mission.
ALBATROSS – ALtimetry for BAthymetry and TideRetrievals for the Southern Ocean, Sea ice and ice Shelves The ALBATROSS Project (ALtimetry for BAthymetry and Tide Retrievals for the Southern Ocean, Sea ice and ice Shelves) , led by NOVELTIS in collaboration with DTU, NPI and UCL, is one of the activities funded by ESA in the frame of the Polar [...]NOVELTIS SAS (FR)Sciencealtimeter, Antarctica, bathymetry and seafloor topography, CryoSat, cryosphere, Glaciers and Ice Sheets, ocean, oceans, polar science cluster, science, tidesThe ALBATROSS Project (ALtimetry for BAthymetry and Tide Retrievals for the Southern Ocean, Sea ice and ice Shelves) , led by NOVELTIS in collaboration with DTU, NPI and UCL, is one of the activities funded by ESA in the frame of the Polar Science Cluster, with the objective to foster collaborative research and interdisciplinary networking actions. In this framework, the ALBATROSS ESA Project aims to improve knowledge about bathymetry and ocean tides in the Southern Ocean.The knowledge about ocean tides is at the crossroads of many scientific fields, especially in the Polar regions, as it has significant impact on ocean circulation modelling and the understanding of the coupled dynamical response of the ocean, sea ice and ice shelves system, the quality and accuracy of sea surface height and sea ice parameter estimates from satellite altimetry, or the understanding of ice-shelf dynamics, for example.Today, this knowledge is still limited by several aspects, such as the quality of bathymetry information, hydrodynamic model resolution and in situ and satellite observations availability for data assimilation and model validation. The objectives of the project are the following: Improve the knowledge on bathymetry around Antarctica, considering decade-long most recently reprocessed CryoSat datasets, innovative information on bathymetry gradient location through the analysis of sea ice surface roughness characteristics, and the compilation of the best available datasets in ice-shelf regions. Improve the knowledge on ocean tides in the Southern Ocean through the implementation of a high-resolution hydrodynamic model based on the most advanced developments in terms of ocean tide modelling, and data assimilation of observations, including satellite-altimetry derived tidal retrievals from the most recent and relevant satellite altimetry products. Improve satellite altimetry retrievals of sea surface heights and sea ice information thanks to the new tidal model solution. Improve the retrievals of ice shelves parameters thanks to the new tidal model solution. Share information and knowledge with other Polar science initiatives and projects. The ALBATROSS Project was launched in May 2021 and will span over two years.
ALBIOM (ALtimetry for BIOMass) The ALBIOM project (ALtimetry for BIOMass) proposes to derive forest biomass using SAR Altimetry Data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 (S3) Mission.

Biomass is at present monitored globally using optical satellites, SAR and LiDAR technology, [...]
DEIMOS SPACE UK LTD (GB)Sciencealtimeter, biosphere, carbon cycle, carbon science cluster, forestry, land, Sentinel-3The ALBIOM project (ALtimetry for BIOMass) proposes to derive forest biomass using SAR Altimetry Data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 (S3) Mission. Biomass is at present monitored globally using optical satellites, SAR and LiDAR technology, but it is still poorly quantified in most parts of the world, and the satellite data currently exploited for this purpose are not enough to achieve the goal of global biomass mapping and monitoring with sufficient accuracy. In this context, data from existing satellites but unexploited so far, capable of providing additional independent biomass information, have the potential for a very important role in global observation of biomass, advancing our understanding of the carbon cycle and management of forests, biodiversity and ecosystems. The ALBIOM project combines: A modelling component, through the development of a Sentinel-3 altimeter backscattering simulator over vegetated areas, based on the existing state of the art modelling of the backscattering of Ku and C-band signals from vegetation, to establish the physical relationships between the backscattered signal from S3 altimeter and the different levels of biomass; An algorithm component, through the development of a suitable inversion algorithm for biomass estimation from S3 altimeter data, investigating both a simple method based on error minimization (i.e. derivation of analytical or empirical model function) and a more empirical Artificial Neural-Network (ANN) approach trained on the model outputs, or on a combination of model outputs and data; A prototype biomass product is generated as final project output over specific sites of boreal and tropical forests and shared with a number of users to assess its validity. ALBIOM is an innovative project, since both the use of Sentinel-3 SAR altimeter data to retrieve biomass and the generation of a Sentinel-3 SAR altimeter backscatter simulator over vegetated areas have not been accomplished before. The outcome of such project will have an important scientific impact, as it can provide a new global biomass dataset derived from S3 altimetry, which could be integrated into existing high-resolution biomass products derived from data fusion methods. The project would also open up new perspectives on the use of all the historical data from the past altimetry missions for biomass mapping. Users potentially interested in the results of ALBIOM include environmental agencies, space agencies, private companies, and all the entities interested in bioenergy, deforestation and forest degradation, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable management of biomass resources. This 12 month activity is led by Deimos Space UK with the participation of University of La Sapienza (IT) and Tor Vergata University (IT).
AlpGlacier The Glacier Science in the Alps project is part of the Alps Regional Initiative and is aimed at maximising the scientific return of European investments in EO specifically from Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 specifically to provide first enhanced [...]UNIVERSITY OF ZURICH (CH)Regional InitiativesAlps, cryosphere, Glaciers and Ice Sheets, polar science cluster, science, Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, snow and ice, water resourcesThe Glacier Science in the Alps project is part of the Alps Regional Initiative and is aimed at maximising the scientific return of European investments in EO specifically from Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 specifically to provide first enhanced observation capacity for glaciers in the Alps beyond area to glacier velocity and end of season snow cover on a weekly-annual basis and second to provide a scientifically sound assessment of hazard state as a direct function of glacier change, specifically, lake size and slope movement around glaciers. This project attempts to provide a wall-to-wall coverage of glaciers in the Alps for the full Sentinel era and will analyse changes taking place in this time period and in contrast with earlier data from the EO archives.
Alpsnow The AlpSnow project will develop improved products for a number of snow parameters (area extent, albedo, grain size, depth, snow water equivalent, snow melt area and wetness). A dataset covering the entire Alps for 4 years will be produced, and [...]ENVEO – ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH OBSERVATION GMBH (AT)ScienceAlps, polar science cluster, science, snow and ice, water cycle and hydrologyThe AlpSnow project will develop improved products for a number of snow parameters (area extent, albedo, grain size, depth, snow water equivalent, snow melt area and wetness). A dataset covering the entire Alps for 4 years will be produced, and its usefulness will be demonstrated through three science cases and three demonstration cases related to land surface modelling, hydrology, numerical weather forecasting and water management. 
AnREO: Retrieval of Total Ozone using OLCI-S-3 over Antarctica The main part of the project is to develop a total ozone product for Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) on board Sentinel 3 A,B. The product will be derived using the Sentinel-3A, B OLCI Level 1 Full Resolution data. The cloud mask, snow [...]VITROCISET BELGIUM SPRL (BE)Scienceatmosphere science cluster, atmospheric chemistry, OLCI, permanently open call, science, Sentinel-3The main part of the project is to develop a total ozone product for Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) on board Sentinel 3 A,B. The product will be derived using the Sentinel-3A, B OLCI Level 1 Full Resolution data. The cloud mask, snow mask, and atmospheric correction procedures will be also developed. OLCI measurements make it possible to understand the intra-pixel variability of the total ozone and observe rapid changes on the total ozone with a high spatial detail. The accuracy of the retrievals will be assessed using ground and collocated satellite (e.g., OMI) measurements of total ozone.
Arctic + Salinity Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) is a key indicator of the freshwater fluxes and an important variable to understand the changes the Arctic is facing. However, salinity in-situ measurements are very sparse in the Arctic region. For this reason, remote [...]ARGANS LIMITED (GB)Scienceocean science cluster, oceans, polar science cluster, scienceSea Surface Salinity (SSS) is a key indicator of the freshwater fluxes and an important variable to understand the changes the Arctic is facing. However, salinity in-situ measurements are very sparse in the Arctic region. For this reason, remote sensing salinity measurements (currently provided by L-band radiometry satellites, SMOS and SMAP) are of special relevance for this region. The retrieval of SSS in the Arctic represents a challenge, because brightness temperatures measured by L-band satellites are less sensitive to salinity in cold waters. An additional drawback consists in the presence of sea ice, that contaminates the brightness temperature and must be adequately processed. The ESA Arctic+ Salinity project (Dec 2018 – June 2020) will contribute to reduce the knowledge gap in the characterization of the freshwater flux changes in the Arctic region. The objectives of this project are the following: 1. Develop a new algorithm and novel approaches with the aim of producing the best quality validated SMOS SSS product in the Arctic region with its corresponding accuracy. Additionally, SMOS and SMAP data will be combined with the aim to improve the radiometric accuracy and the characterization of the product biases and stability. 2. Generate a long-term salinity dataset from 2011 up to date to be publicly offered to the scientific community. The products will be daily distributed with a temporal resolution of 9 days and a spatial resolution of 25Km (EASE Grid 2.0). 3. Assess the relation between the dynamics of SMOS salinity with respect to land freshwater fluxes (Greenland and glacier flows) and ocean freshwater fluxes (rivers and E-P balance) using model outputs. This has the objective to quantify the freshwater fluxes through SSS products. 4. Assess the impact of the new SSS satellite data in a data assimilation system (the TOPAZ4 system, both in forecast and reanalysis mode) with the idea that, if an improvement is demonstrated, the assimilation of SMOS & SMAP products in TOPAZ will be part of the new Arctic reanalysis and forecast products on the CMEMS portal. 5. Define a roadmap describing the future work to better characterize the freshwater fluxes for the Arctic regions. The output of this project will be of great benefit for the on-going ESA Sea Surface Salinity Climate Change Initiative (CCI) project, which started in February 2018. The outputs of the project will be: 1. The distribution to the scientific community of the best-up-to-date sea surface salinity maps from SMOS and from the combination of SMOS and SMAP with their corresponding uncertainties. 2. Explore the feasibility and utility of assimilating the surface salinity maps product in the TOPAZ4 model. The potential problem the project face is the sparse in-situ data availability in the area which is needed for a complete validation assessment. Other potential problems are the sea ice edge that has a direct effect in the brightness temperature and the RFI contamination. But several solutions have already been identified.
Arctic Crowdsourcing This project will develop enhanced Earth Observations (EO) services for Arctic applications planned for C-CORE’s Coresight Platform to include community/crowd sourced very high resolution drone data and other forms of field data that support [...]C-CORE CENTRE FOR COLD OCEAN RESOURCES ENGINEERING (CA)Digital Platform Servicespermanently open call, platformsThis project will develop enhanced Earth Observations (EO) services for Arctic applications planned for C-CORE’s Coresight Platform to include community/crowd sourced very high resolution drone data and other forms of field data that support Arctic stakeholder needs
ARCTIC+ SEA ICE MASS The Arctic is a complex region encompassing different physical and biogeochemical processes and interactions among several components of the Earth system (e.g., sea ice, ocean, glaciers, ice caps, the Greenland Ice Sheet, snow, lakes and river [...]ISARDSAT SP. Z O.O. (PL)Sciencescience, snow and iceThe Arctic is a complex region encompassing different physical and biogeochemical processes and interactions among several components of the Earth system (e.g., sea ice, ocean, glaciers, ice caps, the Greenland Ice Sheet, snow, lakes and river ice, permafrost, vegetation, complex interactions with the atmosphere, people, etc.). Changes in the Arctic have a strong impact on the Earth’s climatesystem , the global energy budget, the ocean circulation, the water cycle, gas exchanges, sea level, and biodiversity. Considering that all of Earth’s inter-connected components respond to changes in temperature, the Arctic is a sensitive indicator of climate variability and change.Despite considerable research progress in understanding the Arctic region over the last decade, many gaps remainin observational capabilities and scientific knowledge. These gaps limit present ability to understand and interpret on-going processes, prediction capabilities and forecasting in the Arctic region, thereby hampering evidence-based decision making. Addressing these gaps represents a key priority in order to establish a solid scientific basis for the development of future information servicesfor the Arctic.In this context, the 20th January 2015, ESA and the Cryosphere project of the World Climate Research programme (CliC-WCRP) organised a scientific consultation meeting in Tromso with the main objective of gathering recommendations from the scientificcommunity on the most pressing priorities for Arctic research, where EO may contribute in the coming decade. The workshop resulted ina report listing a number of different priority areas that will contribute to establish an strong focus on Arctic research in thenext components of ESA EO programmes for the period 2017-2021.In order to put words in actions, this ITT aims at addressing someofthepriorities identified in Tromso as an starting point for future activities. In particular, with this ITT, a number of priority areas will be addressed at feasibility and demonstration level with the ultimate target of establishing a solid scientific basis to initiate larger research actions from 2017.To this end, with this ITT ESA plans to place 4 parallel contracts adressing different priority areas as identified by the scientific community.In this context, Arctic+ aims at advancing towards the achievement ofsome of the most pressing priorities in Arctic science, where EO may contribute. In particular, the main overarching project objectiveis threefold: 1) Supporting the development of novel products and enhanced data sets responding to the needs of the Arctic science community;2) Fostering new scientific results addressing the main priority areas of Arctic research;3) Preparing a solid scientific basis for larger activities addressing the priorities of the Arctic science community; This shall involve the collaborationamong the different scientific communities involved in Arctic process studies, modellers and EO experts;In the medium and long-term the objectives of the project include:• To foster the scientific exploitation of EO-based geo-information products (maximising the use of ESA data) to respond directly to the needs of the Arctic scientific community in the context of selected thematic areas;• To support existing international efforts to improve the observation, understanding and prediction of ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere processes at different spatial and time scales demonstrating the capability of EO and ESA data to respond to the needs of the Arctic research community;• To foster the integration of EO data, in-situ observations and models in support of Arctic science;• To develop aScientific Roadmap as a basis for further ESA activities in support of the Arctic research.
ARCTIC+ SNOW ON SEA ICE The Arctic is a complex region encompassing different physical and biogeochemical processes and interactions among several components of the Earth system (e.g., sea ice, ocean, glaciers, ice caps, the Greenland Ice Sheet, snow, lakes and river [...]ISARDSAT SP. Z O.O. (PL)Sciencescience, snow and iceThe Arctic is a complex region encompassing different physical and biogeochemical processes and interactions among several components of the Earth system (e.g., sea ice, ocean, glaciers, ice caps, the Greenland Ice Sheet, snow, lakes and river ice, permafrost, vegetation, complex interactions with the atmosphere, people, etc.). Changes in the Arctic have a strong impact on the Earth’s climatesystem , the global energy budget, the ocean circulation, the water cycle, gas exchanges, sea level, and biodiversity. Considering that all of Earth’s inter-connected components respond to changes in temperature, the Arctic is a sensitive indicator of climate variability and change.Despite considerable research progress in understanding the Arctic region over the last decade, many gaps remainin observational capabilities and scientific knowledge. These gaps limit present ability to understand and interpret on-going processes, prediction capabilities and forecasting in the Arctic region, thereby hampering evidence-based decision making. Addressing these gaps represents a key priority in order to establish a solid scientific basis for the development of future information servicesfor the Arctic.In this context, the 20th January 2015, ESA and the Cryosphere project of the World Climate Research programme (CliC-WCRP) organised a scientific consultation meeting in Tromso with the main objective of gathering recommendations from the scientificcommunity on the most pressing priorities for Arctic research, where EO may contribute in the coming decade. The workshop resulted ina report listing a number of different priority areas that will contribute to establish an strong focus on Arctic research in thenext components of ESA EO programmes for the period 2017-2021.In order to put words in actions, this ITT aims at addressing someofthepriorities identified in Tromso as an starting point for future activities. In particular, with this ITT, a number of priority areas will be addressed at feasibility and demonstration level with the ultimate target of establishing a solid scientific basis to initiate larger research actions from 2017.To this end, with this ITT ESA plans to place 4 parallel contracts adressing different priority areas as identified by the scientific community.In this context, Arctic+ aims at advancing towards the achievement ofsome of the most pressing priorities in Arctic science, where EO may contribute. In particular, the main overarching project objectiveis threefold: 1) Supporting the development of novel products and enhanced data sets responding to the needs of the Arctic science community;2) Fostering new scientific results addressing the main priority areas of Arctic research;3) Preparing a solid scientific basis for larger activities addressing the priorities of the Arctic science community; This shall involve the collaborationamong the different scientific communities involved in Arctic process studies, modellers and EO experts;In the medium and long-term the objectives of the project include:• To foster the scientific exploitation of EO-based geo-information products (maximising the use of ESA data) to respond directly to the needs of the Arctic scientific community in the context of selected thematic areas;• To support existing international efforts to improve the observation, understanding and prediction of ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere processes at different spatial and time scales demonstrating the capability of EO and ESA data to respond to the needs of the Arctic research community;• To foster the integration of EO data, in-situ observations and models in support of Arctic science;• To develop aScientific Roadmap as a basis for further ESA activities in support of the Arctic research.
ARCTIC+ THEME 3 – FRESH WATER FLUXES (ArcFlux) The Arctic is a complex region encompassing different physical and biogeochemical processes and interactions among several components of the Earth system (e.g., sea ice, ocean, glaciers, ice caps, the Greenland Ice Sheet, snow, lakes and river [...]Technical University of Denmark (DK)Sciencescience, water cycle and hydrology, water resourcesThe Arctic is a complex region encompassing different physical and biogeochemical processes and interactions among several components of the Earth system (e.g., sea ice, ocean, glaciers, ice caps, the Greenland Ice Sheet, snow, lakes and river ice, permafrost, vegetation, complex interactions with the atmosphere, people, etc.). Changes in the Arctic have a strong impact on the Earth’s climatesystem , the global energy budget, the ocean circulation, the water cycle, gas exchanges, sea level, and biodiversity. Considering that all of Earth’s inter-connected components respond to changes in temperature, the Arctic is a sensitive indicator of climate variability and change.Despite considerable research progress in understanding the Arctic region over the last decade, many gaps remainin observational capabilities and scientific knowledge. These gaps limit present ability to understand and interpret on-going processes, prediction capabilities and forecasting in the Arctic region, thereby hampering evidence-based decision making. Addressing these gaps represents a key priority in order to establish a solid scientific basis for the development of future information servicesfor the Arctic.In this context, the 20th January 2015, ESA and the Cryosphere project of the World Climate Research programme (CliC-WCRP) organised a scientific consultation meeting in Tromso with the main objective of gathering recommendations from the scientificcommunity on the most pressing priorities for Arctic research, where EO may contribute in the coming decade. The workshop resulted ina report listing a number of different priority areas that will contribute to establish an strong focus on Arctic research in thenext components of ESA EO programmes for the period 2017-2021.In order to put words in actions, this ITT aims at addressing someofthepriorities identified in Tromso as an starting point for future activities. In particular, with this ITT, a number of priority areas will be addressed at feasibility and demonstration level with the ultimate target of establishing a solid scientific basis to initiate larger research actions from 2017.To this end, with this ITT ESA plans to place 4 parallel contracts adressing different priority areas as identified by the scientific community.In this context, Arctic+ aims at advancing towards the achievement ofsome of the most pressing priorities in Arctic science, where EO may contribute. In particular, the main overarching project objectiveis threefold: 1) Supporting the development of novel products and enhanced data sets responding to the needs of the Arctic science community;2) Fostering new scientific results addressing the main priority areas of Arctic research;3) Preparing a solid scientific basis for larger activities addressing the priorities of the Arctic science community; This shall involve the collaborationamong the different scientific communities involved in Arctic process studies, modellers and EO experts;In the medium and long-term the objectives of the project include:• To foster the scientific exploitation of EO-based geo-information products (maximising the use of ESA data) to respond directly to the needs of the Arctic scientific community in the context of selected thematic areas;• To support existing international efforts to improve the observation, understanding and prediction of ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere processes at different spatial and time scales demonstrating the capability of EO and ESA data to respond to the needs of the Arctic research community;• To foster the integration of EO data, in-situ observations and models in support of Arctic science;• To develop aScientific Roadmap as a basis for further ESA activities in support of the Arctic research.
ArcticSummIT: Arctic Summer Ice Thickness Living Planet Fellowship research project carried out by Jack Landy.

Arctic-SummIT will deliver, for the first time, a sea ice thickness product during summer months from the ESA Cryosat-2 satellite. As the extent of Arctic sea ice has [...]
UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL (GB)ScienceCryoSat, cryosphere, living planet fellows, polar science cluster, scienceLiving Planet Fellowship research project carried out by Jack Landy. Arctic-SummIT will deliver, for the first time, a sea ice thickness product during summer months from the ESA Cryosat-2 satellite. As the extent of Arctic sea ice has declined at unprecedented speed over the past few decades, we have been able to view only limited snapshots of the ice cover’s thickness. Pan-Arctic observations of sea ice thickness have been obtained in recent years by satellite altimeters such as ICESat and Cryosat-2, but conventionally these data are only available during winter months. Our current understanding of basin-scale sea ice melting patterns during summer are limited to poorly-constrained ice-ocean model simulations, at a time when the ice cover is most dynamic, not to mention biological productivity and ice-ocean geochemical fluxes are most active. Moreover, advanced knowledge of ice conditions – thickness in particular – are critical for managing sustainable commercial enterprises, such as shipping and oil & gas extraction, in the northern polar seas. This project will develop a novel algorithm for obtaining sea ice thickness from satellite altimetry, even as the ice is melting. The conventional technique for separating sea ice from water (i.e. leads within the ice pack) relies on classifying altimeter waveforms through the shape of echoes, but breaks down when meltwater ponds forming at the ice surface appear the same as leads. However, pilot research alongside partners from the Canadian Ice Service (CIS) has demonstrated that other characteristics of the Cryosat-2 echoes, particularly the calibrated backscatter coefficient of the radar, can separate ice from ocean regardless of the surface melting state. Arctic-SummIT will develop this exciting discovery into a rigorous method for measuring sea ice thickness during summer months. By the end of the project, a unique, pan-Arctic sea ice thickness product will be produced for July-September over the full Cryosat-2 data record: 2011-2018+, filling the summer ‘gap’ we have presently. Exchange of sea ice between the central Arctic Ocean and, for instance, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) or Fram Strait will then be determined from the product of ice volume from Cryosat-2, and high-resolution ice drift speed obtained from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery including the ESA Sentinel-1 constellation and the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) RADARSAT-2. Seasonal ice volume fluxes will be made available to the academic community, alongside the new summer sea ice thickness product, through an online portal hosted via ESA at the University of Bristol.
ARKTALAS HOAVVA PROJECT The multi-disciplinary, long-term, satellite-based Earth Observations (EO) form a tremendous synergy of data and information products that should to be more systematically and consistently explored, from the short synoptic time scales to the [...]NANSEN ENVIRONMENTAL AND REMOTE SENSING CENTER (NO)Sciencecryosphere, ocean science cluster, oceans, polar science cluster, scienceThe multi-disciplinary, long-term, satellite-based Earth Observations (EO) form a tremendous synergy of data and information products that should to be more systematically and consistently explored, from the short synoptic time scales to the longer decadal time scales. This lays the rationale for the ESA funded Arktalas Hoavva study project. A stepwise multi-modal analyses framework approach benefitting from native resolution satellite observations together with complementary in-situ data, model fields, analyses and visualization system and data assimilation tools will be applied.  Following this approach, the overall goal is to remove knowledge gaps and advance the insight and quantitative understanding of sea ice, ocean and atmosphere interactive processes and their mutual feedback across a broad range of temporal and spatial scales. In turn, four major existing interlinked Arctic Scientific research Challenges (ASC) will be investigated, including: ASC-1: Characterize Arctic Amplification and its impact (ASC-1) Central elements (not exclusive) are: – reduction in sea ice extent and concentration; – changes in albedo; – changes in the radiation balance; – increased air temperature; – delayed onset of sea ice freezing; – early onset of sea ice melting; – increasing area of melt ponds and polynias; – increased lead fraction; – changes in snow cover and SWE; – changes in ocean-atmosphere momentum, heat exchange and gas exchanges; – reduction in fast ice area; – thinning of sea ice thickness; – changes in optical conditions in the upper ocean with influence on the biology and marine ecosystem; – more favourable conditions for sea ice drift; – more meltwater; – larger fetch; – enhanced wave-sea ice interaction; – more wave induced sea ice break-up; – modifications to atmospheric boundary layer and changes in weather pattern; – influence on Arctic vortex and hence teleconnection to mid-latitudes. ASC-2: Characterize the impact of more persistent and larger area open water on sea ice dynamics  Building on ASC-1,  this is associated with: – increasing momentum transfer to the upper ocean leading to more turbulent mixing and possibly entrainment of warm Atlantic Water below the halocline; – increasing Ekman effects; – changes in sea ice growth, salt rejection and halocline formation; – larger fetch and lower frequency waves penetrating further into the ice covered regions leading to more floe-break-up; – increasing lead fraction and more sea ice melting; – reduction in sea ice flow size, age,  thicknesses and extent and subsequent change in sea ice mechanical behaviour; – possibly more abundance of internal waves and mesoscale and sub-mesoscale eddies generated in the open ocean with subsequent abilities to propagate into the ice covered regions leading to changes in sea ice deformation and dynamics. ASC-3: Understand, characterize and predict the impact of extreme event storms in sea-ice formation Growing areas of open water within the Arctic Ocean and the neighbouring seas will be more effectively exposed to extreme events. Cold air outbreak and polar lows, for instance, are known to have strong impact in the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ), including; – enhanced momentum transfer and vertical mixing; – enhanced sea ice formation; – enhanced formation of unstable stratification in the atmospheric boundary layer; – more low cloud formations changing the radiation balance; – set up abnormal wave field to strengthen wave induced sea ice break-up; – abnormal impact on the pycnocline and subsequent entrainment of heat into the upper mixed. A central question is eventually whether the Arctic amplification will trigger increasing frequency of occurrences and strength of extremes. ASC-4: Understand, characterize and predict the Arctic ocean spin-up The ongoing Arctic amplification and subsequent changes, mutual interactions and feedback mechanisms are also expected to influence the basin scale atmospheric and ocean circulation within the Arctic Ocean.  In particular, this will address: – freshwater distribution and transport; – importance of Ekman pumping; – changes in water mass properties; – changes in upper ocean stratification and mixing; – changes in sub-surface heat exchange; – possibly more abundance of mesoscale and sub-mesoscale eddies and internal waves generated in the open ocean with subsequent abilities to propagate into the sea ice covered regions. The Arktalas Hoavva project kicked-off 9 July 2019 and will be executed over a 24 months period through the following seven interconnected tasks with mutual input-output feeds as schematically illustrated in the figure below. One of the major outcomes of the project is six dedicated research papers emerging from Task 3 that are specifically addressing the Arctic Scientific Challenges. These papers will be published in peer review journals. Moreover, the project will develop a visualization portal in polar-stereographic configuration that will be connected to the Arktalas data archive and allow users to access and make use of the Arktalas satellite-based, in-situ and model-based dataset during the project.
Asian Development Bank Resident Support Through this activity ESA is deploying an EO information expert (Technical Secondment) to the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines, during 2017–2021. This activity is implemented in conjunction with ESA's EO4SD [...]Collaborative Space (IE)Sustainable Developmentsustainable developmentThrough this activity ESA is deploying an EO information expert (Technical Secondment) to the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila, Philippines, during 2017–2021. This activity is implemented in conjunction with ESA’s EO4SD initiative, and to further strengthen the collaboration with ADB (in particular, as an integral part of the ESA–ADB Memorandum of Intent). The primary objective of the secondment is to promote increased awareness use of EO information products and services within ADB operational activities. Europe has a world-leading EO capability, therefore priority is given to promoting European EO assets and skills. The longer-term objective is to achieve widespread acceptance and sustainability of EO-based products and services within international development operations.
Assesscarbon The Assesscarbon project (Feb 2020 – Feb 2021) developed and demonstrated at a pre-operational level an approach for large area forest biomass and carbon modelling, combining ground reference data, Sentinel-2 imagery and primary production [...]VTT TECHNICAL RESEARCH CENTRE OF FINLAND LTD (FI)Applicationsapplications, Biomass, carbon cycle, forestry, permanently open call, Sentinel-2The Assesscarbon project (Feb 2020 – Feb 2021) developed and demonstrated at a pre-operational level an approach for large area forest biomass and carbon modelling, combining ground reference data, Sentinel-2 imagery and primary production modelling. The overall goal of the project was to develop a foundation for a novel approach to derive large area biomass and carbon pool and flux estimates and forecasting in a scalable fashion on an online platform. The project was coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and funded by ESA under the EO Science for Society Permanently Open Call funding mechanism. The main input data for the project were Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite data, forest plot measurements and climatic datasets. The Sentinel-2 mosaics was created by Terramonitor (Satellio Oy) using their novel image mosaicking approach. This image composite was used together with field sample plots provided by the Finnish Forest Centre to create forest variable estimation models. Finally, dynamic forest primary production variables were modelled using the forest structure variables and climatic data. The forest structural variable models were based on the Probability software package developed by VTT. It contains three different parts, which together form a comprehensive package of classification/estimation tools combining field data with satellite imagery. The primary production modelling is based on the PREBAS models developed by the University of Helsinki. The models were further developed utilizing multi-temporal observations. The practical processing of the primary production estimates for the area of interest was carried out by Simosol Oy. The demonstration was conducted on the Forestry TEP. Forest structural variable and primary production information were produced for a test area covering the entire Finland and the Russian boreal forests until the Ural mountains. All components of the project were implemented in a manner that enables scalable execution of the models in Forestry TEP environment. The chosen approach utilized the Sentinel-2 tiling structure as the building blocks. All software components were redeveloped to enable processing of a given number of Sentinel-2 tiles in a coordinated manner, in order to produce consistent results over large interest areas.
Atlantic cities: smart, sustainable and secure ports and protecting the ocean The project aims at developing and delivering to the end user communities a number of customized EO-based information services to support decision making processes in the Atlantic Region:

Climate Resilience
Atlantic Cities and Ports
[...]
DEIMOS SPACE UK LTD (GB)Regional InitiativesAtlantic, oceans, ports, regional initiatives, sustainable development, urbanThe project aims at developing and delivering to the end user communities a number of customized EO-based information services to support decision making processes in the Atlantic Region: Climate Resilience Atlantic Cities and Ports Protecting the Ocean The Climate Resilience Service will be focused on providing information and know-how for assessing the risks and potential socio-economic impacts of coastal processes such as erosion and flooding, to: Critical infrastructures Business activities Coastal protection elements The main service users are: environmental agencies municipalities coastal business activities The Cities and Ports Service will focus on addressing the needs identified by coastal cities with ports, supporting the social cohesion and inclusiveness while ensuring the harmonious co-existence of many economic activities and the well-being of its inhabitants and tourists. This service therefore aims to support ports, cities and related entities in: Assessing the activities in and around ports Monitoring of maritime transport Detecting port-related pollution Identifying security/safety issues for assets. The Protecting the Ocean Service will focus on: detecting emerging pollutants such as marine litter monitoring the environmental status of ocean areas, including MPAs and other marine ecosystem relevant areas. This service addresses users from national and international authorities and other entities responsible for reporting marine status and indicators.
Atlantic Meridional Transect Ocean Flux from satellite campaign (AMT4OceanSatFlux) This project estimates of the air-sea flux of CO2 calculated from a suite of satellite products over a range of Atlantic Ocean provinces. It deploys state-of-the-art eddy co-variance methods to provide independent verification of satellite [...]PLYMOUTH MARINE LABORATORY (GB)Scienceocean science cluster, oceans, scienceThis project estimates of the air-sea flux of CO2 calculated from a suite of satellite products over a range of Atlantic Ocean provinces. It deploys state-of-the-art eddy co-variance methods to provide independent verification of satellite estimates of CO2 gas exchange over the Atlantic Ocean. The project provides Fiducial Reference Measurements from the AMT28 (from 23rd September to 29th October 2018) and AMT 29 (from 13th October to 25th November 2019) field campaigns to enable independent verification and validation of the satellite CO2 air-sea flux estimates both at point scales and on scales that relate to satellite data over a range of oceanographic conditions. Global algorithms that are being used to study ocean acidification from using satellite data are also being evaluated and refined within the project, using high spatio-temporal resolution underway measurements made on AMT28 and AMT29 field campaigns.
Atlantic Regional Initiative – Applications: Offshore Wind Energy Services based on Earth Observation (EO) can provide valuable information during the design stage by providing a long time series of wind data that allows a better assessment and characterization of the wind resource energy production potential [...]Deimos Engenharia (PT)Regional InitiativesAtlantic, energy and natural resources, oceans, regional initiatives, renewable energyServices based on Earth Observation (EO) can provide valuable information during the design stage by providing a long time series of wind data that allows a better assessment and characterization of the wind resource energy production potential of different possible wind farm (WF) sites, helping to select the most advantageous ones. These typical site wind characteristics can also assist in the determination of the optimal location of each individual wind turbine (WT) inside the specified site boundaries, minimizing combined WT wake influence and therefore minimizing energy production losses. Once the WF is operational, the EO based services can help establish optimal site maintenance weather windows and help foresee or determine/monitor possible rain erosion effects on the WT blades. Long time series of wind and wave data will help determine possible overall weather windows for those operations, while short term weather forecast can provide valuable information to guide the planned maintenance activities (e.g. adjust time window for the activity based on weather forecast inputs). This 2-year project focuses on the development of an integrated application covering: A planning dashboard for wind farm design and operations, including weather windows for offshore operations planning. The dashboard aims to provide a single access point to the different EO services to be developed with advanced data visualisation and download capabilities so that the user is able to trigger service runs, access easily all service outputs, compare different site locations, configurations and maintenance scenarios, and get support from a team of specialised personnel for each one of the services. The EO-based services will cover different activity areas of wind farm design and operations from wind resource and wake effect assessment to the definition of maintenance operations weather windows, provided by dedicated expert teams coming from different partners. The users will interact with those EO experts to better understand the capabilities, optimal conditions of use and possible limitations of the different presented services, therefore easing their learning curve on the usage and uptake on these products. Hopefully this process, that will be upscaled to other users in the final workshop of the project, will improve significantly the uptake of these types of products by the wind energy sector. The dashboard should integrate these new EO based services with wind industry sector standard metrics for energy production, operational costs and total cost of energy to provide more recognisable and actionable information to the end users and therefore ease the uptake of these types of services by these non-EO expert user communities. Winds for resource assessment. The main focus will be on making EO data and derived products easily accessible for end users and on the development of new applications, which can integrate the EO data seamlessly into the applications already in use by the wind energy community and in particular the wind energy industry. The aim is to fully integrate satellite wind based products with well established industry standard wind farm planning and operations software solutions (SOWFA) and indicators (AEP and LCOE), addressing the full information value chain to provide meaningful and familiar information to infrastructure managers and other interested stakeholders. Assessment of wind turbine wake effects. The work will provide access to the higher resolution SAR based EO datasets, produced by DTU, to downstream industry standard applications developed by Wavec. Those applications will use those wind satellite products as ground truth to run the required simulations to assess and minimise wake effects. As in the previous service, standard energy production and cost indicators such as AEP and LCOE will be estimated in these simulations to provide actionable and familiar information to the different stakeholders. Assessment of rain erosion of wind turbine blades. The work will use rain data from the GPM mission to characterise rain events, which, combined with wind data from satellite EO, will produce novel rain-wind data series for selected sites with operating wind farms. The work will be the first of its kind, thus in a prototype level data for initial evaluation by end users, namely, wind farm owners, wind farm operators and wind farm planners. The main partner to demonstrate the services will be EDP, through the Windfloat Atlantic wind farm project installed 20 km off the Portuguese coast at Viana do Castelo. During the user engagement the consortium team will be in contact with a series of stakeholders working in the Atlantic Region to help consolidate the technical requirements. As a result, additional service exercises for different users might be prepared. This activity corresponds to Theme 2 of the original Invitation to Tender.
ATMOSPHERE VIRTUAL LAB The Atmosphere Virtual Lab is based on three main pillars. It adopts the concept of Exploitation Platforms and Cloud Based services. There is a strong focus on making sure that users can work with the vast amounts of satellite data without [...]Science [&] Technology Netherlands (NL)Scienceatmosphere, atmosphere science cluster, scienceThe Atmosphere Virtual Lab is based on three main pillars. It adopts the concept of Exploitation Platforms and Cloud Based services. There is a strong focus on making sure that users can work with the vast amounts of satellite data without having to download all data locally. Providing analysis environments inside cloud-based environments close to the data is an essential part in making this work. The project will further develop tools that have been historically developed for users to handle and process atmospheric data (cf. https://atmospherictoolbox.org/). Use cases of a wide selection of atmospheric science scenarios will demonstrate the capability of the Atmosphere Virtual Lab and allow users to explore datasets in an interactive manner.
BALTIC+ Geodetic SAR for Baltic Height System Unification (SAR-HSU) Height systems and related sea level observations are based on a number of measurement systems, which all have their own characteristics and deliver different type of observations. Traditionally, sea level is observed at tide gauge stations, [...]TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH (DE)ScienceBaltic, GOCE, SAR, scienceHeight systems and related sea level observations are based on a number of measurement systems, which all have their own characteristics and deliver different type of observations. Traditionally, sea level is observed at tide gauge stations, which usually also serve as height reference stations for national levelling networks and therefore define a height system of a country. Thus sea level research across countries is closely linked to height system unification and needs to be regarded jointly. In order to analyse all observations they need to be available in a common reference frame. Within this project three major objectives are addressed. Connection of tide gauge markers with the GNSS network geometrically by the geodetic SAR technique in order to determine the relative vertical motion and to correct the tide gauge readings. Determine a GOCE based high resolution geoid at tide gauge stations in order to deliver absolute heights of tide gauges with respect to a global equipotential surface as reference. Joint analysis of geometrical and physical reference frames to make them compatible, and to determine corrections to be applied for combined analysis of geometric and physical heights. These objectives are addressed by the project team with complementary expertise. The Baltic Sea serves as test area with very good geodetic infrastructure in order to identify the capabilities of the geodetic SAR technique for height system unification and determination of the absolute sea level at tide gauges.
BALTIC+ Salinity Dynamics This project aims to study the potential benefit of incorporating satellite-derived Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) measurements into oceanographic and environmental applications within the Baltic Sea. For such purpose, a team led by ARGANS Ltd (UK) [...]ARGANS FRANCE (FR)ScienceBaltic, ocean science cluster, scienceThis project aims to study the potential benefit of incorporating satellite-derived Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) measurements into oceanographic and environmental applications within the Baltic Sea. For such purpose, a team led by ARGANS Ltd (UK) with participation of Barcelona Expert Centre (BEC / ICM-CSIC, Spain) and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI, Finland) will develop an innovative SSS product from the measurements obtained by the Earth Explorer SMOS. It incorporates advanced techniques for noise and bias correction to deal with the specific difficulties that the retrieval of salinity has in the region: land/sea contamination, sea/ice contamination, manmade radio-frequency interferences, and limitations in the current dielectric constant. The project will generate data by modifying substantially the existing production chain from L0 data to L4 maps, aiming to obtain meaningful information for applications. The characteristics of the final products will be enhanced both spatially and temporally thanks to data fusion, in order to meet the end-user requirements. SSS accuracy will be also improved to meet the needs of the scientific community operating in this basin. In the first half of the project, the focus will be in improving the brightness temperatures and adequate the image reconstruction process specifically for the Baltic Sea. In the second half of the project, the emphasis will be in the removal of remaining biases and generation of the fused L4 products, as well as assessing the performance and impact it has in the various case studies. Specific attention will be drawn to investigate the added-value of this new product to address the scientific challenges associated to salinity, as identified by Baltic Earth community: salinity annual trends and budgets; insights of the coupling mechanisms involved in the interfaces atmosphere-ice-sea; climatological projections. In addition, it is expected to estimate how other types of studies would benefit of incorporating SSS, like regional biochemical models, or any other in which frontal areas identification could be of relevance. For instance, river run-offs, sea ice formation/melting and, marginally, North Sea water intrusions. The project benefits of the existence of a long time series of observations provided by SMOS, which allows the team to explore longer time scales. The expected higher time and spatial coverage will be key factors in the outcome of this project, in a region in which in situ observations of salinity are scarce or concentrated in the coastal areas. It is expected that the results of this activity will lead towards an increase in the presence of SSS data.
BALTIC+ Sea-Land biogeochemical linkages (SeaLaBio) The overall goal of the ESA funded project Baltic+ SeaLaBio (Sea-Land Biogeochemical linkages) running from Dec 2018 to May 2020 is to develop methods for assessing carbon dynamics and eutrophication in the Baltic Sea through integrated use of [...]FINNISH ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTE (SYKE) (FI)ScienceBaltic, carbon cycle, carbon science cluster, land, ocean science cluster, oceans, Sentinel-2, Sentinel-3The overall goal of the ESA funded project Baltic+ SeaLaBio (Sea-Land Biogeochemical linkages) running from Dec 2018 to May 2020 is to develop methods for assessing carbon dynamics and eutrophication in the Baltic Sea through integrated use of EO, models, and ground-based data The poor state of the Baltic Sea again became apparent during summer 2018 in form of massive and long-lasting cyanobacteria blooms. Warm and sunny weather, combined with good availability of nutrients led to the worst algae situation in a decade. Climate change is expected to cause further warming in this region making these events more and more common in the future. The decades of dumping untreated waste water into the Baltic Sea and the use of fertilizers in agriculture have resulted in strong internal loading. While the water treatment situation has improved and fertilizers are being used more responsibly, the flux of carbon and nutrients from land to sea is still great and in many areas largely unknown. The Sentinel satellites of the Copernicus programme offer an excellent opportunity for characterizing and monitoring the fluxes and processes occurring in coastal zones. This in turn will lead to improved process understanding. With this in mind, the Baltic+ SeaLaBio research project aims to find an answer to the question: • Can we quantify the carbon flux from land to sea with Sentinel-3 (S3) OLCI and Sentinel-2 (S2) MSI data in the Baltic Sea region? And if not, what are the main obstacles and potential solutions to be addressed in the future? In addition to frequent cyanobacteria blooms, the high absorption by colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) causes problems to the utilization of EO for monitoring the state of the Baltic Sea. The available processors for S3 and S2 often provide overestimated values for Chlorophyll a and underestimate CDOM. The main source of these problems is the failure of the atmospheric correction to provide reasonable marine reflectances. Thus, the project focuses especially on improving the atmospheric correction and in-water inversion algorithms for S3 and S2 images. The developed methods will be validated with in situ data collected from different parts of the Baltic Sea. We will also improve the spatial resolution of a biogeochemical (BGC) model (Ecological ReGional Ocean Model, ERGOM) and compare its output against the EO results. S3 OLCI has a better band combination for water quality estimation than S2 but its spatial resolution limits its use in river estuaries and archipelagos common in the coastal areas of the Baltic Sea. Hence, the synergistic use of these two data sources can lead to improved coverage in coastal regions without compromising the thematic quality of the data. The project will actively disseminate its progress and results in various Baltic Sea and EO events.
BALTIC+ SEAL – Sea Level The current knowledge of the water circulation in the Baltic Sea comes essentially from in situ observations and models. The Baltic+ SEAL (Sea Level) Project aims at providing a consistent description of the sea level variability in the Baltic [...]TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH (DE)Sciencealtimeter, applications, Baltic, marine environment, ocean science cluster, scienceThe current knowledge of the water circulation in the Baltic Sea comes essentially from in situ observations and models. The Baltic+ SEAL (Sea Level) Project aims at providing a consistent description of the sea level variability in the Baltic Sea area in terms of seasonal and inter-annual variation and put the results in relationship with the forcing associated with this variability, using a developed dedicated coastal altimetry product. The objective is to create and validate a novel multi-mission sea level product in order to improve the performances of the current state-of-the-art of the ESA efforts in this topic: the Sea Level Climate Change Initiative (SL_cci). In this sense, this project can actually be considered as a laboratory in which advanced solutions in the pre-processing and post-processing of satellite altimetry can be tested before being transferred to global initiatives, such as the future phases of SL_cci. The Baltic Sea includes the two main areas in which the use of satellite altimetry has been severely limited since the start of the “altimetry era”: the presence of sea ice and the proximity of the coast. During the winter season and the sea ice maximum in end of February, 40% of the Baltic Sea is covered by sea ice. The Team aims to apply an unsupervised classification approach to all possible altimetry satellite missions treated in this project (TOPEX-Poseidon, ERS-1/2, Envisat, Jason-1/2/3, SARAL/AltiKa, CryoSat-2, Sentinel-3A/B) to get reliable open water observations and adapt the classification approach to the sea-ice/open-water conditions and different satellite altimetry mission characteristics (e.g. pulse-limited, SAR). The Baltic Sea area is also strongly impacted by Vertical Land Motion and in particular by the glacial isostatic adjustment. As it has the advantage of being an area very well sampled by tide gauges, which measure relative sea level, the Project aims at constituting a more reliable source to compare the absolute sea level from altimetry with the absolute sea level obtained by subtracting the Vertical Land Motion from the trends at the tide gauge and could even be the data source for experiments of differentiation between TG and altimetry trends in the absence of GPS measurements.
BathySent – An Innovative Method to Retrieve Global Coastal Bathymetry from Sentinel-2 The BathySent project aims at the development of an automated method for mapping coastal bathymetry (water depths) on the basis of Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. The interest of using Sentinel-2 data lies on the capacity to cover large areas [...]BUREAU DE RECHERCHES GEOLOGIQUES ET MINIERES (BRGM) (FR)Sciencecoastal zone, ocean science cluster, permanently open call, scienceThe BathySent project aims at the development of an automated method for mapping coastal bathymetry (water depths) on the basis of Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. The interest of using Sentinel-2 data lies on the capacity to cover large areas (National and European scale targeted), while benefiting from the high repeat cycle (5 days) of the mission. The systematic acquisition plan of Sentinel-2 is of major interest for studying and monitoring coastal morphodynamics. The proposed methodology avoids limitation of exiting techniques in terms of dependency on water turbidity and requirement for calibration. The main objective of the project is to propose a method for deriving coastal bathymetry on wide areas (National/European scale) based on Sentinel-2 data and assess its performances. Today knowledge of near-shore bathymetry is essential for multiple applications such as for the study of submarine morphodynamics. These data are vital for planning sustainable coastal development, coastal risks assessments (including tsunamis) and conservation of submarines ecosystems. Moreover, they represent a crucial input for near-shore navigation and submarine resources exploration. The reasons why space-borne remote-sensing techniques must play an essential role in retrieving near-shore bathymetry are threefold. First, space-borne imagery makes it possible to access remote areas with wide spatial coverage at high spatial resolution. Second, because space-borne imagery is acquired on a regular basis, a historical data archive is accessible for most sensors, which enables scientists to access information from the past. Third, the cost of the data is relatively affordable compared to airborne or ground missions. In the BathySent project, we propose to extract bathymetry from a single Sentinel-2 dataset, exploiting the time lag that exists between two bands on the focal plane of the Sentinel 2 sensor. To tackle the issue of estimating bathymetry using two Sentinel 2 images acquired quasi simultaneously, we plan to develop a method based on cross-correlation and wavelet analysis that exploits the spatial and temporal characteristics of the Sentinel 2 dataset to jointly extract both ocean swell celerity (c) and wavelengths (λ). Our team has already started to develop this method based on the French Space Agency’s (CNES) SPOT 5 dataset (Système Probatoire pour l’Observation de La Terre) with promising results (Pourpardin et al., 2015). We called it the CWB method, which stands for Correlation, Wavelets and Bathymetry. Our method combines the direct measurement of c presented in (de Michele et al., 2012) with an original wavelet-based adaptive λ estimate (that we published in Poupardin et al., 2014) to retrieve a spatially dense cloud of (λ, c) couples that are then used to estimate water depth (h) via the dispersion relation presented in equation (1). The method preferably applies to the zone between the coast and an area of depth less than or equal to half the wavelength of the waves (typically up to a hundred meters deep), with the exception of the wave breaking zone.   Bibliography Poupardin, A., D. Idier M. de Michele D. Raucoules “Water depth inversion from a single SPOT-5 dataset”  IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens. vol. 54 no. 4 pp. 2329-2342 Apr. 2016. de Michele M.,  Leprince S., Thiébot J., Raucoules D., Binet R., 2012, “Direct Measurement of Ocean Waves Velocity Field from a Single SPOT-5 Dataset”, Remote Sensing of Environment, vol 119, pp 266–271.  
BICEP – Biological Pump and Carbon Exchange Processes The ocean carbon cycle is a vital part of the global carbon cycle. It has been estimated that around a quarter of anthropogenically-produced emissions of CO2, caused from the burning of fossil fuels and land use change, have been absorbed by the [...]PLYMOUTH MARINE LABORATORY (GB)Sciencecarbon cycle, carbon science cluster, ocean science cluster, oceans, permanently open call, scienceThe ocean carbon cycle is a vital part of the global carbon cycle. It has been estimated that around a quarter of anthropogenically-produced emissions of CO2, caused from the burning of fossil fuels and land use change, have been absorbed by the ocean. On the other hand, significant advances have been made recently to expand and enhance the quality of a wide range of Remote Sensing based products capturing different aspects of the ocean carbon cycle. Building on recommendations made in a series of recent meetings and reports, on ESA lead initiatives and projects and on other relevant international programmes, the objective of the BICEP project is to bring these developments together into an holistic exercise to further advance our capacity to better characterise from a synergetic use of space data, in-situ measurements and model outputs, the different components of the ocean biological carbon pump, its pools and fluxes, its variability in space and time and the understanding of its processes and interactions with the earth system. To achieve this goal, the BICEP project will first synthesise the current state of knowledge in the field and produce a consolidated set of scientific requirements that define the products to be generated, as well as how these products will be evaluated and used to produce an enhanced BICEP dataset. Major emphasis will be placed on developing unified products to ensure that the carbon budgets made are in balance. Uncertainties in the derived products will also be quantified. A large in situ dataset of ocean carbon pools and fluxes will be created, to be used to evaluate and select the algorithms, with a focus on five key test sites, representative of the range of conditions in the global ocean. Using these selected algorithms, a 20-year time series of data will be generated, built through application of the selected algorithms to the ESA OC-CCI time series, a merged, bias-corrected ocean-colour data record explicitly designed for long-term analysis. The dataset will be used as input to a novel, satellite-based characterisation of the ocean biological carbon pump, quantifying the pools and fluxes, how they vary in time and space, and how they compare with ocean model estimates. The satellite-based Ocean Biological Cabon Pump analysis will then be placed in the context of carbon cycling in other domains of the Earth System, through engagement with Earth System modellers and climate scientists. Finally, a workshop will be organized, to be used as a vehicle to engage the international community in a discussion on how the BICEP work could be pushed forward, and integrated with results from other components of the ocean carbon cycle (e.g. CO2 air-flux and ocean acidification) not covered in the project, and how the representation of satellite-based ocean carbon work could be further improved in the context of large international Earth System analysis, such as the Global Carbon Project and assessments made within the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC). The proposed work will be delivered by a consortium of twelve international Institutes, led by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML, Plymouth, UK) and composed of top-level scientists, with collective expertise on Remote Sensing, statistical modelling, ocean carbon cycling, theoretical ecology and Earth System science.
BIOMASCAT: Assessing vegetation carbon dynamics from multi-decadal spaceborne observations Characterization of forest biogeochemical cycles is of paramount importance in Earth system science to understand contemporaneous dynamics and for expanding global land models in order to predict future trends of vegetation and climate. Thanks [...]GAMMA REMOTE SENSING AG (CH)Sciencebiosphere, carbon cycle, carbon science cluster, forestry, land, permanently open call, SAR, scienceCharacterization of forest biogeochemical cycles is of paramount importance in Earth system science to understand contemporaneous dynamics and for expanding global land models in order to predict future trends of vegetation and climate. Thanks to the increasing amount of spaceborne observations of land and ocean surfaces, data-driven models are revealing intriguing trends and mechanisms and model evaluation exercises are reaching global insights into temporal dynamics, which would not be achievable otherwise. The global characterization and the accurate knowledge of terrestrial carbon pools have been acknowledged as a fundamental variable for driving research in the terrestrial component of Earth system models. Traditionally, carbon pools are best estimated from measurements of forest inventories. However, these estimates are sparse in time and sometimes only locally relevant. There is therefore a strong requirement for data collection approaches that expand these spatial-temporal representativeness limits. However to date, despite the long term records of observations from space, only one dataset of biomass extended over multiple years so far – a 10 year passive microwave data. This project is developing a more comprenensive approach to the inforamtion gap by combining SAR and scatterometer data collected since the early 1990s to estiamte biomass properties. As the spatial resolution of both sensors is consistent with the range of length scales typcially used within ecosystem models it is expected that this development will provide a unique contribution to improving ecosystem modelling and assessment.
Black Sea and Danube Regional Initiative – Applications: Environmental Risk Management in the Danube Catchment The Environmental Risk Management in the Danube Catchment (The Danube Environmental Risk Assessment Platform, DEAP) project aims to create a platform of applications based on Earth Observation (EO) to support Environmental Risk Management within [...]The Icon Group (IE)ApplicationsThe Environmental Risk Management in the Danube Catchment (The Danube Environmental Risk Assessment Platform, DEAP) project aims to create a platform of applications based on Earth Observation (EO) to support Environmental Risk Management within the Danube catchment.  The purpose of the project is to provide regional stakeholders, who currently do not regularly use EO data, with access to dynamic environmental assessments using such datasets. The service will comprise a suite of cloud-based applications which will detect, monitor, analyse and characterise the sources of environmental problems using available EO data in conjunction with in-situ inputs and other reference data.  Service applications will be developed for deployment in the cloud and shall employ advanced dispersion modelling techniques in conjunction with EO Data to deliver meaningful (actionable) maps, statistics and other data across 20 countries. The project includes engagement with regional stakeholders, the definition of the service portfolio and data processing chains, and the provision of the operational service to stakeholders. The service will benefit from existing ESA/EC DIAS infrastructures to support the delivery of environmental risk assessments in a fully automated way. At an operational level, the service will identify industrial waste discharge, transport waste discharge, agricultural run-off, and ecosystem degradation in near real time, and shall represent a unique tool to regional agencies.  Stakeholders include environmental protection agencies, port authorities, fisheries management agencies, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube, various development agencies, etc. This activity corresponds to Priority Application Domain C of the original Invitation to Tender.
Black Sea and Danube RI – Applications This activity is part of the EO (Earth Observation) Exploitation Platforms element of ESA’s Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP-5) aiming to establish regional information services for Black Sea Region in the agriculture and forestry [...]GISAT S.R.O. (CZ)Enterpriseapplications, enterprise, regional initiativesThis activity is part of the EO (Earth Observation) Exploitation Platforms element of ESA’s Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP-5) aiming to establish regional information services for Black Sea Region in the agriculture and forestry domains. It is intended to develop a suite of service cases demonstrating the monitoring services to CAP paying agencies, precision agriculture, monitoring of agriculture production and forest resource management (forest area, type and deforestation mapping) with users in Czech Republic, Georgia, Romania and Hungary.
Blue economy: innovation clusters, Atlantic natural resources management and maritime spatial planning The 2-years Blue Economy project aims at developing and demonstrating EO driven data solutions, which deliver actionable information to key coastal stakeholders. Applications will focus on the areas of coastal monitoring, ocean renewable energy, [...]GMVIS SKYSOFT S.A. (PT)Regional InitiativesAtlantic, blue economy, coastal zone, marine environment, maritime spatial planning, oceans, regional initiatives, renewable energyThe 2-years Blue Economy project aims at developing and demonstrating EO driven data solutions, which deliver actionable information to key coastal stakeholders. Applications will focus on the areas of coastal monitoring, ocean renewable energy, and marine litter. It is being implemented through the European Space Agency’s Atlantic Regional Initiative. In parallel, a range of Atlantic-focused recommendations will be developed from engaged stakeholder inputs, and community development activities. These perspectives will (i) inform and enhance the roadmap being developed by the European Space Agency for the Atlantic Region, and (ii) found a seed Community of Practice of maritime-EO technology innovators for the Atlantic, focused on developing EO solutions to address Marine Strategy Framework, and Marine Spatial Planning ambitions. Rationale: As the Maritime Spatial Planning (MSPD) and Marine Strategy Framework (MSFD) directives are implemented across Europe, EU member states and aligning nations need innovative information gathering tools to monitor progress towards the goals of these two directives. Information from satellites can satisfy a number of these monitoring needs. The EO sector needs to demonstrate technological viability, and while doing so engage with policy makers and legislators to ensure information products are acceptable for monitoring and legal purposes. The Blue Economy project is a demonstration of this potential for Atlantic coastal states.
Building trust in digital economy This ITT is aimed at analysing and resolving the outstanding challenges related to IPRs protection in cloud-based EO data exploitation architectures and involves both legal and technical analysis including exploration of innovative concepts on [...]ARGANS LIMITED (GB)Digital Platform Servicesblockchain, platformsThis ITT is aimed at analysing and resolving the outstanding challenges related to IPRs protection in cloud-based EO data exploitation architectures and involves both legal and technical analysis including exploration of innovative concepts on the intersection of copyrights protection and blockchain technology.
Business Model Validation for Exploitation Platforms This activity shall validate the specific business model of the EODC initiative for its possible reuse in the context of the Exploitation Platform programmatic activities.EODC EARTH OBSERVATION DATA CENTRE FOR WATER RESOURCES MONITORING (AT)Digital Platform ServicesplatformsThis activity shall validate the specific business model of the EODC initiative for its possible reuse in the context of the Exploitation Platform programmatic activities.
CadasterENV Austria, Multi-Scale and Multi-Purpose Land Cover Monitoring System in Austria In order to meet the reporting obligations from international conventions, European directives and national legislations, countries are required to produce up to date, detailed and harmonised information on their land cover and its use, at [...]GeoVille (AT)Applicationsapplications, land coverIn order to meet the reporting obligations from international conventions, European directives and national legislations, countries are required to produce up to date, detailed and harmonised information on their land cover and its use, at different scales, and for different domains of applications. Austria initiated its Land Information System Austria (LISA) in 2010 with the objective to achieve a national consensus on how to perform a continuous mapping of the national land cover and monitor its use. The CadasteENV Austria project aimed at developing a national multi-scale and multi-purpose Land Cover mapping and monitoring system in Austria according to the national specifications defined by the LISA project. The principal objectives of CadasterENV Austria was – the Integration of Pléiades satellite data in the LISA production chain – the production of VHR land cover in Austrian urban agglomerations (10,000 km2) – the development of methods to detect areas with frequent changes (hot spots) based on high resolution satellite images (SPOT 4/5 in preparation to the Sentinel 2 exploitation) – the production of a hot spot change maps (Land Cover Change Alerts) for the whole of Austria. The project was extended with the GSE CadasterENV project to integrate Sentinel-2 into the existing Land Information System Austria (LISA), and to operationalize a national Land Monitoring System, which is multi-temporal (bringing the annual seasonality/variability of land cover / land use to LISA), multi-scale (integrating Sentinel 2 observations with VHR imagery from Pleiades and national airborne campaigns) and multi-purpose (responding to user needs from different land sectorial communities). Five S2-based innovative products were developed (HR Land Cover Mapping, Enriched VHR Land Cover Mapping, Land Cover Change Alert, Land Use Monitoring and Ecosystem Monitoring) and validated over a number of representative pilot areas.
CadasterENV Sweden, Multi-Scale and Multi-Purpose Land Cover Monitoring System in Sweden In order to meet the reporting obligations from international conventions, European directives and national legislations , countries are required to produce up to date, detailed and harmonised information on their land cover and its use, at [...]METRIA MILJOEANALYS (SE)Applicationsapplications, land coverIn order to meet the reporting obligations from international conventions, European directives and national legislations , countries are required to produce up to date, detailed and harmonised information on their land cover and its use, at different scales, and for different domains of applications. All Swedish stakeholders involved in land cover monitoring have emphasized the need for a homogenous and nationwide Land Cover database, which can be updated, on a regular basis and in a cost-effective manner. The objective of the CadasteENV Sweden project was to develop a national multi-scale and multi-purpose Land Cover mapping and monitoring system in Sweden, according to national user specifications. The system is comprised of two components: – a Land Cover mapping component based on a stratified approach which makes use of HR (SPOT-5 in prepararation of Sentinel 2) and VHR (Pleiades) data, combined with airborne data (orthophotos and LIDAR data) and existing land information databases in Sweden. – a Land Cover Change Alert component to detect areas with fast land cover changes (hot spots). The project was extended to support methodological adaptations to Sentinel 2, and facilitate a national roll-out by the Swedish Environmental and Protection Agency (SEPA). The Swedish National Land Cover Mapping (called NMD) which will be released in January 2019 is based on the Land Cover data model and methods developed by CadasterEnv Sweden.
CITYSATAIR More than half of the world’s population is living in cities. According to the WHO air quality database 80% of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. Narrowing down to [...]KNMI (NL)Scienceair quality, atmosphere science cluster, atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric indicators, health, permanently open call, public health, scienceMore than half of the world’s population is living in cities. According to the WHO air quality database 80% of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. Narrowing down to cities in low and middle income countries with more than 100 000 inhabitants, this number increases to 98%. To resolve urban air pollution problems a clear understanding of the local situation is essential. Low-income cities, which are most impacted by unhealthy air, usually have less resources available for a good reference network. It is here where a combination of low-cost sensors and satellite data can make a difference. So far, only very few studies aim at joining heterogeneous data sources of urban air quality, and to our knowledge no previous work has provided practical solutions which can be implemented in cities everywhere. We therefore propose to develop and demonstrate a methodology that is capable of exploiting the various available data sources, to combine them in a mathematically objective and scientifically meaningful manner, and to provide value-added maps of urban air quality at high spatial resolution.
CLIMATE DATA RECORD OF STRATOSPHERIC AEROSOLS (CREST) Stratospheric aerosols play an important role in the Earth system and in the climate. Through the scattering of solar radiation back to space and by heating the stratosphere through the absorption of thermal infrared radiation upwelling from the [...]FINNISH METEOROLOGICAL INSTITUTE (FI)ScienceAerosols, atmosphere, atmosphere science cluster, atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric indicators, climate, permanently open callStratospheric aerosols play an important role in the Earth system and in the climate. Through the scattering of solar radiation back to space and by heating the stratosphere through the absorption of thermal infrared radiation upwelling from the troposphere, stratospheric aerosols impact the radiative forcing and thus the energy balance of the Earth’s atmosphere. By providing a surface for heterogeneous reactions, which release halogens, stratospheric aerosols contribute to the catalytic depletion of ozone. Since there is a strong coupling between the stratospheric aerosols, the stratospheric ozone amount, the thermal balance and the dynamics of the atmosphere, it is essential to consider realistic aerosol information in modelling studies and interpretation of the measurements related to the stratosphere. The information about stratospheric aerosols and their influence on climate is also of high importance for analyses related to geoengineering. One of the characteristics widely used to describe the amount of stratospheric aerosol is its extinction coefficient. At a first approximation the aerosol extinction coefficient can be used to estimate the radiative forcing and thus quantify the implication for ozone and climate change. While several data sets of the stratospheric aerosol extinction coefficient exist there are only a few studies jointly analyzing aerosol records from multiple instruments. The purpose of this project is to elaborate methods to merge aerosol extinction coefficient records from solar/lunar/stellar occultation and limb-scatter instruments and create a merged longterm multi-mission aerosol record. The objective is to increase the reliability of the data set by including multiple instruments measuring similar atmospheric quantities in the post-SAGE II period.
Cloudfree Mosaic Platform Pathfinder This activity shall demonstrate platform efficiency in generatong a worldwide cloudfree Sentinel-2 mosaic at full resolutionEOX IT SERVICES GMBH (AT)Digital Platform ServicesplatformsThis activity shall demonstrate platform efficiency in generatong a worldwide cloudfree Sentinel-2 mosaic at full resolution
Coastal erosion 1 The Coastal Erosion project shall be conceived as EO application project that aim at developing innovative EO products and methods in response to authoritative end-user requirements. The Coastal Erosion project shall prepare the ground for a [...]I-SEA (FR)Applicationsapplications, Atlantic, coastal zone, ocean science clusterThe Coastal Erosion project shall be conceived as EO application project that aim at developing innovative EO products and methods in response to authoritative end-user requirements. The Coastal Erosion project shall prepare the ground for a long-term exploitation by large user communities, and is expected to provide substantial and concrete benefits to the targeted user communities. The source of EO data used, the novelty of the EO derived products, the innovating algorithmic approaches but also from the awareness and readiness of the user community involved. The innovative aspects of the Coastal Erosion project shall comply with the above prerequisite of the most innovative aspects of the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions of the European Copernicus initiative combined with the ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat and SPOT archives to provide the best products suited to end user requirements over the past 25 year. The scope of the Coastal Erosion project is the development and demonstration of innovative EO products that will be used by users communities responsible to monitor and control this process. Together with the champion user organizations, a set of innovative products and services shall be developed, including a scientifically sound validation, a comprehensive user assessment and a representative service roll-out analysis. While maintaining the openness of the scope and domains of innovation, the Coastal Erosion project shall develop innovative approaches that best exploit the novel observational capabilities of the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 constellations. The Sentinel missions of the European Copernicus initiative brings new observational capabilities that were not available beforehand and, as a consequence, offers unprecedented opportunities to address these R&D priority issues. In particular the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions, used individually or jointly, significantly improve the quality and adequacy of High Resolution (HR) satellite observations in both radar and optical domains. In order to fully exploit these new capabilities, additional R&D efforts are needed. The Coastal Erosion project is expected to provide the ideal platform to undertake these R&D activities in close partnership with key user organizations that best represent their respective communities.
Coastal erosion 2 The Coastal Erosion project shall be conceived as EO application project that aim at developing innovative EO products and methods in response to authoritative end-user requirements. The Coastal Erosion project shall prepare the ground for a [...]ARGANS LIMITED (GB)ApplicationsAtlantic, coastal zone, ocean science clusterThe Coastal Erosion project shall be conceived as EO application project that aim at developing innovative EO products and methods in response to authoritative end-user requirements. The Coastal Erosion project shall prepare the ground for a long-term exploitation by large user communities, and is expected to provide substantial and concrete benefits to the targeted user communities. The source of EO data used, the novelty of the EO derived products, the innovating algorithmic approaches but also from the awareness and readiness of the user community involved. The innovative aspects of the Coastal Erosion project shall comply with the above prerequisite of the most innovative aspects of the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions of the European Copernicus initiative combined with the ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat and SPOT archives to provide the best products suited to end user requirements over the past 25 year. The scope of the Coastal Erosion project is the development and demonstration of innovative EO products that will be used by users communities responsible to monitor and control this process. Together with the champion user organizations, a set of innovative products and services shall be developed, including a scientifically sound validation, a comprehensive user assessment and a representative service roll-out analysis. While maintaining the openness of the scope and domains of innovation, the Coastal Erosion project shall develop innovative approaches that best exploit the novel observational capabilities of the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 constellations. The Sentinel missions of the European Copernicus initiative brings new observational capabilities that were not available beforehand and, as a consequence, offers unprecedented opportunities to address these R&D priority issues. In particular the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions, used individually or jointly, significantly improve the quality and adequacy of High Resolution (HR) satellite observations in both radar and optical domains. In order to fully exploit these new capabilities, additional R&D efforts are needed. The Coastal Erosion project is expected to provide the ideal platform to undertake these R&D activities in close partnership with key user organizations that best represent their respective communities.
Coastal Thematic Exploitation Platform Through the provision of access to large volumes of EO and in-situ data, computing resources, algorithm development space and the fundamental processing software required to extract temporal and spatial information from Big Data, C-TEP shall [...]ACRI-ST S.A.S. (FR)Digital Platform Servicesapplications, coastal zone, platformsThrough the provision of access to large volumes of EO and in-situ data, computing resources, algorithm development space and the fundamental processing software required to extract temporal and spatial information from Big Data, C-TEP shall provide a dedicated service for the observation and monitoring of our coastal environment and society. Integration of satellite EO data, in-situ sensor data and model predictions shall provide an effective means of analysing and understanding the many linked coastal processes across a wide range of space and time scales.
Commercial Operator Identity Hub (COIH): Identity as a Service for the Network of EO Resources In the context of Space 4.0 and its “EO Innovation Europe” concept, the European Space Agency (ESA) is forming a new ecosystem for exploitation of EO data under the name “Network of EO Resources”. The main goal is to bring the numerous and [...]DEIMOS SPACE S.L.U (ES)Digital Platform ServicesplatformsIn the context of Space 4.0 and its “EO Innovation Europe” concept, the European Space Agency (ESA) is forming a new ecosystem for exploitation of EO data under the name “Network of EO Resources”. The main goal is to bring the numerous and largely disparate EO datasets into a federated layer of exploitation platforms and enable the End-Users to perform research directly where the data is stored. Thus, the current paradigm “bring the data to the user” (users having to download enormous datasets to their premises and own massive infrastructures to process that data) will be replaced with the “bring the user to the data” paradigm, as the exploitation platforms will not only provide the raw data, but also a computing framework with specific tools and algorithms relevant to Earth Sciences. Federated Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure (AAI) is one of the key building blocks of this new ecosystem, aimed at providing a Single Sign On (SSO) experience for the users of the Network of EO Resources. In this context, the Agency has run several Pathfinder activities with the aim to align the Federation approaches among the various players in the Earth Observation domain and ensure these approaches are in-line with the AARC Blueprint Architecture and the technical practises in EduGain. To ensure the most cohesive operation of the Network of EO Resources, a centralised “IDaaS” (Identity as a Service) has been identified as the most suitable Identity and Access Management model, which is the subject of this service contract. The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) has been chosen by ESA to act as the Data Controller and Statutory Body for governing the IDaaS services resulting from this contract. The operational context of these services is a pure Business to Business (B2B) environment with no general public involved. The actors of this B2B environment are EARSC and the COIH service provider on one side, and commercial companies involved in the Earth Observation business on the other side.
COMMUNITY EARTH OBSERVATION INTELLIGENCE SERVICE: PROTOTYPING FOR SCALE At present NGOs/CSOs have limited expertise in accessing and utilizing EO data. This project is working with NGOs adressinghuman rights concerns and will develop methodologies for integrating in-situ (citizen data collection), drone and EO data [...]OMANOS ANALYTICS (GB)Digital Platform Servicespermanently open call, platforms, sustainable developmentAt present NGOs/CSOs have limited expertise in accessing and utilizing EO data. This project is working with NGOs adressinghuman rights concerns and will develop methodologies for integrating in-situ (citizen data collection), drone and EO data to enhance the collection of information and evidence on activities affecting human rights in developing countries
ConsIstent Retrieval of Cloud Aerosol Surface CIRCAS aims at providing a set of atmospheric (cloud and aerosol) and surface (albedo) products derived from S3A/SLSTR observations retrieved using the same radiative transfer physics and assumptions.The retrieval is based on the CISAR (Combined [...]RAYFERENCE SPRL (BE)Scienceatmosphere, scienceCIRCAS aims at providing a set of atmospheric (cloud and aerosol) and surface (albedo) products derived from S3A/SLSTR observations retrieved using the same radiative transfer physics and assumptions.The retrieval is based on the CISAR (Combined Inversion of Surface and Atmosphere pRoperties) algorithm. CISAR is an advanced mathematical method developed by Rayference for the joint retrieval of surface reflectance and atmospheric (cloud and aerosols) properties from observations acquired by space-based imagers.The CISAR algorithm relies on the FASTRE radiative transfer model that describes surface reflectance and atmospheric absorption/scattering processes. The lowest level represents the surface. The lower layer hosts the aerosols. Molecular scattering and absorption are also taking place in that layer which is radiatively coupled with the surface for both the single and the multiple scattering. The upper layer is only subject to molecular absorption.The inversion of the FASTRE model within the CISAR algorithm against satellite observations provides accurate estimates of the surface reflectance field, aerosol or cloud optical thickness and single scattering properties in each processed spectral band. An estimate of the retrieval uncertainty is also provided.As the proposed method retrieved both cloud and aerosol properties with the same retrieval algorithm, no cloud mask is needed to perform the retrieval. Additionally, the same algorithm can be applied over any type of surfaces, including dark or bright surfaces or water bodies. Contributions: The CIRCAS project has been presented in the following conferences and workshops: Marta Luffarelli, Yves Govaerts, Carsten Brockmann, Grit Kirches, Thomas Storm, Simon Pinnock,Towards a consistent retrieval of cloud/aerosol single scattering properties and surface reflectance, The Fifth Sentinel-3 Validation Team Meeting 2019, 7-9 May 2019 – ESA/ESRIN, Frascati, Italy Luffarelli M. , Govaerts Y., Pinat E., Kirches G., Storm T., Pinnock S., Towards a consistent retrieval of cloud/aerosol single scattering properties and surface reflectance, Living Planet Symposium 2019, A1.05: Aerosols and Clouds, 13-17 May 2019, Milan, Italy, April 2019 Marta Luffarelli, Yves Govaerts and Sotiris Sotiriadis,Towards a consistent retrieval of cloud/aerosol single scattering properties and surface reflectance , 7th AeroSAT workshop September 23 – 28, 2019, BSC, Barcelona, Spain Marta Luffarelli, Yves Govaerts, Sotiris Sotiriadis, Carsten Brockmann, Grit Kirches, Thomas Storm, Simon Pinnock, Towards a consistent retrieval of cloud/aerosol single scattering properties and surface reflectance, EGU General Assembly 2020, 6 May 2020 Marta Luffarelli, Yves Govaerts, Carsten Brockmann, Grit Kirches, Thomas Storm, Towards a consistent retrieval of cloud/aerosol single scattering properties and surface reflectance, The 6th Sentinel-3 Validation Team Meeting, 15 December 2020 
CONSTRACK – Remote construction site monitoring Usually, construction projects are structured through different phases: analysis, planning, design, construction, closing and post monitoring.

The project execution phase (Phase 2 – Construction) is usually the longest phase in the project [...]
STARLAB BARCELONA SL (ES)Enterprisepermanently open call, urbanUsually, construction projects are structured through different phases: analysis, planning, design, construction, closing and post monitoring. The project execution phase (Phase 2 – Construction) is usually the longest phase in the project life cycle and it typically consumes the most energy and the most resources. Global construction companies cannot be physically present all along the execution phase to control the implementation of the construction on-site. Then, they are used to control advancement only from local contact reporting that may differ from the exact reality of the project status, and usually have high expenses in travelling around the different project sites to get frequent updates. So, monitoring this phase is crucial to prevent from financial, timing and quality risks. Construction companies are then actively looking after monitoring remotely those construction sites to limit their presence on site and frequently get an unbiased vision of the project status. The difficulty in applying automated techniques based on EO data to this market is the high degree of variability of features and processes to be detected and monitored. This project addresses this issue by concentrating on automated detection of anomalies and involving the construction companies to translate the anomalies into actual engineering information. The project is operating as a series of test cases to determine the viability of an eventual commercial market.
Contribution of Swarm data to the prompt detection of Tsunamis and other natural hazards (COSTO) The main objective of COSTO (Contribution of Swarm data to the prompt detection of Tsunamis and other natural hazards) project is to better characterize, understand and discover coupling processes and interactions between the [...]UNIVERSITY OF WARMIA AND MAZURY IN (PL)Scienceionosphere and magnetosphere, science, solid earthThe main objective of COSTO (Contribution of Swarm data to the prompt detection of Tsunamis and other natural hazards) project is to better characterize, understand and discover coupling processes and interactions between the ionosphere/magnetosphere, the lower atmosphere and the Earth’s surface and sea level vertical displacements. Natural Hazards induced by tsunamis, earthquakes and volcano eruptions occurring mostly around the areas with large human population have caused tragedies resulting in death of many people during and after these violent events, as well as inevitable environmental devastation. The proposed research effort targets to tsunamis that are the result of earthquakes, volcano eruptions or landslides. An early warning for tsunami occurrence, and especially an estimation of the amplitude of a tsunami is still a challenge. In the range approximately between 5 and 15 minutes, the waves generated at the sea surface associated with tsunami can reach ionospheric altitudes, creating measurable fluctuations in the ionospheric plasma and consequently in Total Electron Content (TEC). At an altitude of about 300 km, the neutral atmosphere is strongly coupled with the ionospheric plasma producing perturbations in the electron density (ED). These perturbations are visible in the TEC parameter calculated from the data acquired from dual-frequency GNSS receivers, as well as in the ionograms and resulting ED profiles. The COSTO project team will exploit existing modelling techniques for the identification and tracking of Travelling Ionospheric Disturbances (TIDs). Our methods are based on data assimilation methods using empirical models as background. These models based primarily on GNSS and ionosonde networks observations provide maps either of the TEC or of the ED at various altitudes. The less dense is the observing network, the highest is the uncertainty, which is the case over the oceans. The ionospheric-based tsunami detection method is much more accurate when based on the availability of dense networks of GNSS receivers and/or ionospheric sounders. These networks are sufficiently dense in the land, but there is a sparsity of observation points over the oceans. We believe that the use of Swarm data can shall improve the detection capability, especially over the oceans where the tsunami occurrence is expected. Therefore, TEC and ED models will be upgraded with the ingestion of dual-frequency onboard GNSS and Langmuir probe (LP) data from Swarm satellites, and advanced value-added products for tsunami early detection will be proposed. In the COSTO project, we will attempt to assimilate Swarm in situ LP ED data and TEC data into ED maps calculated from the 3D-TaD model at various heights. Ingesting in situ ED data from Swarm in the grids of TEC and ED, as well as taking into account the topside slant electron content observations from the POD GNSS antenna, will provide significant improvement in the temporal and spatial resolution of the ionospheric maps. Therefore, we expect to be able to specify more accurately the characteristics of TIDs triggered by the tsunamis. This is one of the main targets of the project: to ingest the Swarm ionospheric measurements in an evolved version of different algorithms developed by authors of this proposal to detect Medium-Scale TIDs (MSTIDs) related with tsunamis. We will also try to identify the typology of tsunamis that give rise of effects on the ionosphere, and those that do not and focus on different coupling processes and interactions between the ionosphere/magnetosphere and the lower atmosphere.
CORRIDOR AND ASSET MONITORING USING EARTH OBSERVATION – CAMEO CAMEO aims to boost the understanding and integration of satellite Earth Observation (EO) services by companies and agencies managing pipeline and energy transmission corridors, including underground electricity cables. This will be achieved by [...]Science [&] Technology Norway (NO)Enterpriseenergy and natural resources, enterprise, environmental impacts, generic platform service, infrastructure, securityCAMEO aims to boost the understanding and integration of satellite Earth Observation (EO) services by companies and agencies managing pipeline and energy transmission corridors, including underground electricity cables. This will be achieved by demonstrating the benefits of the EO based services in collaboration with asset managers and in-sector providers that do not traditionally use EO services. CAMEO will complete demonstrations where EO data is combined with traditional on-ground data and cutting-edge data processing and analytics techniques enabling improved monitoring insights. The two-year project is part of ESA’s “Expand Demand” initiatives with a focus on the Security sector. Natural gas pipeline network in Europe (Source: European Parliament)   CAMEO OBJECTIVES Show the added value of EO data to stakeholders in the corridor & asset monitoring domain. This will be addressed by gaining a deep understanding of the information needed by the end users and their working processes, and subsequently showcasing information services to The demonstration services will cover a diversity of environments in which the stakeholders operate, with three broad categories of services: Structural integrity (e.g. surface deformation, leak occurrence) Environmental and geo-hazards (e.g. flooding, wildfire, landslides, vegetation change) Threat assessment (e.g. third-party interference, encroachment) Implement the services using a “virtual platform” concept, where distributed sources of EO and non-EO data are integrated regardless of where geospatial data is hosted. EO service providers implement services in scalable cloud computing environments with information products combined with other data sources to deliver information to users. In-sector providers or end-users may process the information provided using their own algorithms thus turning the data into information with operational value. The In-sector providers play a crucial role in the solution as they can translate the end-user priorities and requirements and utilize the EO-based services.                 CO-DESIGN APPROACH WITH STAKEHOLDERS Successful implementation of CAMEO requires participation of stakeholders and end users in the corridor & asset monitoring domain in all stages of the project.   Stakeholders : Gasunie Pembina Innogy Enbridge Full details in the CAMEO project flyer.
CRITE: Coffee Rehabilitation in Timor-Leste This activity is a follow-up to a successful activation of the ESA EO Clinic offering support to to ADB’s Timor-Leste Resident Mission (ADB project “Preparation of a National Coffee Sector Development Plan for Timor-Leste”). Following the [...]Planetek Italia (IT)Sustainable Developmentagriculture, forestry, sustainable developmentThis activity is a follow-up to a successful activation of the ESA EO Clinic offering support to to ADB’s Timor-Leste Resident Mission (ADB project “Preparation of a National Coffee Sector Development Plan for Timor-Leste”). Following the promising first results of the feasibility study in using EO to characterise past and current coffee-growing practices, the main project activities include the definition, implementation and application at large scale of innovative methods to optical and SAR remote sensing data for coffee crop mapping and monitoring in Timor-Leste where most of the coffee plantations grow under a shade tree system. Planetek Italia continues the work with local stakeholders, including a more detailed assessment of the methodology. A dedicated mission to Timor-Leste took place for collection of in-situ validation data and capacity building. A prototype coffee plantation map is ready, based Sentinel-1/2 and an updated classification methodology which combines Machine Learning and Deep Learning Classifiers, integrating the information available about the shadow tree species, obtained in the field. First qualitative validation shows a higher performance of this methodology with respect to the first mapping done in the EO Clinic project. ADB contributes to this activity with logistics support to the validation exercise and capacity building support.
CROWDVAL: Using Crowdsourcing and Innovative Approaches to Evaluate and Validate ESA’s Land Cover Products The CrowdVal project had five main objectives:

Develop new innovative sampling schemes that allow a stratification and bias removal via road networks and that take other constraints into account for in-situ data collection;
Enhance [...]
INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED (AT)Applicationsland cover, permanently open callThe CrowdVal project had five main objectives: Develop new innovative sampling schemes that allow a stratification and bias removal via road networks and that take other constraints into account for in-situ data collection; Enhance LACO-Wiki and LACO-Wiki Mobile with the new sampling strategies, functionality for opportunistic map evaluation on the ground, and the addition of auxiliary data sets including Flickr geo-tagged pictures and time series of NDVI; Create an open source version of LACO-Wiki Mobile; Demonstrate the enhanced tools through crowdsourcing data collection campaigns (online and in-situ) to validate the first land cover map of Africa at a 20m spatial resolution; and Investigate the possibility of developing a business model around an open source version of LACO-Wiki Mobile with a payment model around access to enhanced features, e.g. additional data sources, commercial satellite imagery, increased sample size, etc.
CryoSat Plus For Oceans (CP4O) The “CryoSat Plus for Oceans” (CP4O) project, supported by the ESA Support to Science Element (STSE) Programme and by CNES, was dedicated to the exploitation of CryoSat-2 data over the open and coastal ocean. The general objectives of the CP4O [...]SATELLITE OCEANOGRAPHIC CONSULTANTS LTD. (GB)Sciencealtimeter, coastal zone, oceans, polar science cluster, SAR, SARin, scienceThe “CryoSat Plus for Oceans” (CP4O) project, supported by the ESA Support to Science Element (STSE) Programme and by CNES, was dedicated to the exploitation of CryoSat-2 data over the open and coastal ocean. The general objectives of the CP4O project were: To build a sound scientific basis for new oceanographic applications of CryoSat­-2 data; to generate and evaluate new methods and products that will enable the full exploitation of the capabilities of the CryoSat-2 SIRAL altimeter, and to ensure that the scientific return of the CryoSat-­2 mission is maximised. However, whilst the results from CP4O were highly promising and confirmed the potential of SAR altimetry to support new scientific and operational oceanographic applications, it was also apparent that further work was needed in some key areas to fully realise the original project objectives. Thus, after the end of the Project in 2015,  additional work in four areas has been supported by ESA under a first Contract Change Notice (CCN): Developments in SARin data processing for Coastal Altimetry. Implementation of a Regional Tidal Atlas for the Arctic Ocean. Improvements to the SAMOSA retracker: Implementation and Evaluation & Optimised Thermal Noise Estimation. Extended evaluation of CryoSat­-2 SAR data for Coastal Applications. This CCN ended in 2016 and was followed by a second Contract Change Notice, currently on-going, on the improvement of the arctic ocean bathymetry and regional tidal atlas. A detailed description of the specific objectives under each of the four sub-themes (Open Ocean Altimetry, Polar Ocean Altimetry, Coastal Zone Altimetry & Sea-Floor Altimetry) can be found at http://www.satoc.eu/projects/CP4O/
CryoSat-2 for enhanced sea-ice thickness and ocean observations in Antarctica: “CryoSat+ Antarctic Ocean” Why has Antarctic sea ice experienced a small increase in extent over the past decades in stark contrast to the rapid decline observed in the Arctic? What role are the Southern Ocean and sea ice playing in controlling the Deep Water formation [...]MULLARD SPACE SCIENCE LABORATORY-UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON (GB)ScienceAntarctica, oceans, polar science cluster, science, snow and iceWhy has Antarctic sea ice experienced a small increase in extent over the past decades in st