About project

Project Category: ESA Express Procurement Plus – EXPRO+
Duration of the project: 1.04.2016 – 31.12.2018
Acronym of the project: LPVP
Reference: ESA-IPL-POE-SBo-sp-RFP-2015-708

Since early 2000’s the European Space Agency (ESA) develops the extensive programme of new-generation satellite missions. The most important part of the programme is devoted to development of constellation of satellites within Sentinel family. Each mission has been  focused on a different aspect of Earth observation: Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Land monitoring, and the data will be of use in many applications. The programme covers five Sentinel missions: Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, Sentinel-3, Sentinel-4 and Sentinel-5.

All Sentinel satellites are described in general,  to bring the importance of usage the data in the Project “Land Products Validation and Characterization in support to Proba-V, S-2 and S-3 missions”.

Sentinel-1 mission is composed of two polar-orbiting satellites (1A and 1B), which perform radar imaging with the use of C-SAR instrument operating at frequency 5.405 GHz (C-band) in dual polarisation (HH+HV, VV+VH), which is useful for land cover classification and sea-ice applications. The data are acquired in four acquisition modes: stripmap, interferometric wide swath, extra-wide swath and wave mode.

Sentinel-2 mission is composed from two polar-orbiting satellites (2A and 2B), providing high resolution optical imagery with the use of multispectral push-broom instrument (MSI) in 13 spectral bands covering visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared parts of the spectrum.  The satellite is primarily designed for land monitoring.

Sentinel-3 mission is composed of three satellites, with primary objective to observe marine environment, study sea-surface topography, sea and land surface temperature, ocean and land colour. Instrument payload includes SAR Radar Altimeter (SRAL), Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI), Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR), Microwave Radiometer (MWR), as well as Precise Orbit Determination package.

Sentinel-4 mission is dedicated to air quality monitoring, with the aim to provide continuous monitoring of the Earth’s atmosphere at the high temporal and spatial resolution, especially for supporting monitoring and forecasting system over Europe. The Sentinel-4/UVN instrument installed on-board satellite is a high-resolution spectrometer system operating in ultraviolet, visible and near infrared bands with 8 km spatial sampling and a fast repeat cycle over Europe and North Africa of 60 minutes.

Sentinel-5 mission is focused on monitoring of trace gas concentrations and aerosols in the atmosphere, providing wide-swath, global coverage data to monitor air quality around the world. The Sentinel5/UVNS instrument is a high-resolution spectrometer system operating in ultraviolet, visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared bands, with spatial resolution 8 to 50 km (depending on spectral range).

Beside constellation of Sentinels there are also the other satellite missions developed by the European Space Agency, in order to continue Earth Observation activities, performed by missions, which were recently completed. One of such missions which were already put in operation is Proba-V satellite, which was launched on May 6, 2013 with the aim to bridge the gap in spaceborne vegetation measurements between SPOT VEGETATION (March 1998 – May 2014) and the up-coming Sentinel-3 satellites. Proba-V is a miniaturised EA satellite with the mission to map land cover and vegetation growth across entire planet every two days.

The Project Land Products Validation and Characterization in support to Proba-V, S-2 and S-3 missions (LPVP) was launched with the main objective to support activities aimed at characterisation  and validation of land products generated from Proba-V, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 optical data. In order to perform these activities, thorough analysis of state-of-the-art in the field of deriving land products from new-generation satellite data must be done. The analysis will be preceded by a short description of new-generation ESA satellite sensors; it will be divided into 4 chapters:

  • Methods of pre-processing of Proba-V, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 data;
  • Methods of deriving land products from Proba-V, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 images;
  • Approaches for generating maps characterizing vegetation status based on multi-temporal data;
  • Methods of validating EO based land products with the use of ground collected information.

The objectives of the project are:

  • O.1. Develop and test a methodology for deriving biophysical variables from the synergetic exploitation of current and future ESA optical sensor missions (Proba-V, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3) additional EO and ancillary data;

  • O.2. Contribute to the definition of the land products validation approach for the current and future ESA optical missions;

  • O.3. Plan and carry out field campaigns measurements of: vegetation cover LAI, fAPAR, carbon balance, biomass wet and dry, soil moisture, vegetation phenology, vegetation hazards, crop yield, biomass growth. These measurements will be taken at wetland and agriculture areas in Poland and used for validation of derived EO remote sensing data;

  • O.4. Contribute to the assessment of products quality and calibration performances for the relevant ESA optical missions;

  • O.5. Support Proba-V, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 Cal/Val activities support activity of  ESA’s Sensor Performances, Products and Algorithm (SPPA) section, which is responsible for mission end-to-end performances assessment, algorithm evolution and Cal-Val activities;

  • O.6. Support the exploitation of the derived products for various land applications as wetlands and agriculture monitoring.

These requirements will be fulfilled through realisation of seven main tasks:

  • Task 1 – Scientific Review and Requirements Consolidation;
  • Task 2 – Algorithms and Methods Definition;
  • Task 3 – Validation Plan and Field Campaigns;
  • Task 4 – Algorithms and Methods Validation;
  • Task 5 – Support to Proba-V, S-2 and S-3 Cal/Val activity;
  • Task 6 – Land Monitoring Applications;
  • Task 7 – Project Outreach.