You are here

Sentinel-2: SPECTRA

Spectral-spatial scaling from leaf to canopy level using spectrodirectional approaches in support of the GMES Sentinel-2

Preparation experiment for Sentinel-2 mission

Project duration: 2005 to 2009

Project manager: Michal Marek

One of the planned ESA’s mission Sentinel-2 polar-orbiting satellites will provide systematic global acquisitions of high-resolution multispectral imagery with a high revisit frequency. As part of the mission’s preparatory activities, scientists have been conducting experiments in a mountainous region of the Czech Republic to help design a new procedure for retrieving precise data on the health of spruce forests. Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology was focusing on research aimed at designing a physically-based algorithm to scale spectral and spatial data on vegetation, which is relevant to the development of the Sentinel-2 mission.

The main objective of ISBE’s project was to design and test the operational algorithm for quantitative estimation of the green foliar pigments (chlorophyl a+b) in canopies of Norway Spruce stands from spectral image data of satellite instrument CHRIS and future Sentinel-2 missions. Three remotely sensed data sets were available during the final stage of project: hyperspectral airborne AISA Eagle images, hyperspectral satellite CHRIS/PROBA imagery and simulated superspectral images of future Sentinel-2 satellite. On one hand, the accuracy of methods proposed for AISA Eagle and CHRIS image data was found to be acceptable. On the other hand, the algorithm for Sentinel-2 would definitely benefit from a further methodical improvement, increasing quantitative and also spatial fidelity of resulting chlorophyll map.

One of the most important and also time demanding tasks for a correct physical retrieval of foliar chlorophyll a+b contents of spruce stands was appropriate parameterization of the Discrete Anisotropic Radiative Transfer (DART) model, producing the reference database of virtual remote sensing images with canopies of known contents of green foliar pigments. The DART simulated scenes of known chlorophyll content were produced for two categories of terrain slope, three basic geographic expositions and several values of the leaf area index as well as canopy closure classes.

Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

The institute focuses on emergent dynamic properties of biological and ecological systems at various hierarchical levels, from molecules to landscape. The emergent properties occur as a result of non-linear dynamics of systems that are kept far from equilibrium by flux of energy, mass and information. The primary activity of the Institute is scientific research and graduate education. Spin-off as well as collaboration with industry and public sector are other essential features. The Institute supports both domestic and international science.

What would you name as main benefits of the project to your and your company?

“Project Sentinel-2: SPECTRA enabled our institute the development of algorithms for estimation of biochemical parameters of vegetation from imaging spectroscopy and super-spectral Earth observation data. The investigation during this project was very beneficial for the improvement of quantitative remote sensing capabilities at our institute and strengthened the personal relations with the chief scientists of Sentinel-2 in ESA.”