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An investigation of Arctic Albedo Processing and Delivery to Users via a Data and Information Access Service

Point of contact
Martin Nissen
Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency
Rentemestervej 8
2400 Copenhagen NV


The broad objective of this action is to assess the capabilities of the Data and Information Access Service (DIAS) through a use case, providing feedback to the DIAS on how to improve the quality of their services.

The action brings algorithms to a vast catalogue of satellite data in order to avoid an unnecessary expense (time, computer hardware) by bringing the algorithms to the data rather than bringing data to the algorithms.

The main goals of the use case are to:

  1. Deliver an automated open source processing chain using Sentinel-3 OLCI and SLSTR sensors to determine a dry/wet snow and clean/polluted bare ice spectral and broadband optical albedo. The service will deliver daily updates at 1 km spatial resolution for land ice (glaciers, ice caps, ice sheet).
  2. Test a pre-operational near-real time (under 6 hours latency) capability for Sentinel-3A and Sentinel-3B.
  3. Assess the capabilities of DIAS as a means for smoother and more efficient transnational collaboration and for better user uptake through better products and more user friendly access to the information.

Lack of sufficient computing and storage facilities can be a limiting factor in increasing the use of space data. To boost user uptake, the European Commission (EC) Copernicus Data and Information Access Services (DIAS) is to facilitate access to Copernicus data. The Agency for Data Supply and efficiency (SDFE) will lead a project also comprising the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), to test a selected DIAS service in collaboration with European partners. Our test case involves processing and delivery of Copernicus Sentinel-3 daily snow and ice albedo products for the Arctic. We plan to use either CreoDIAS or WEkEO. The selection will be done based on considerations regarding portability of the processing chain and sustainability of the electricity supply used to power the DIAS.

This use case can further contribute to European cross border user uptake of space data by: 1.) sharing experiences with DIAS with the space community through ESA-associated meetings and reporting to this action and 2.) increasing uptake of albedo products by end users through improved products and access. 

Why this action is valuable: the processed satellite data provide “albedo” (snow and ice darkness) direct observations, i.e. not model estimates, used to: a.) constrain hydrological models, b.) extend the climate record of cryosphere climate change, c.) inform the public via climate monitoring web portals and media uptake.

Outputs and Results

  • A report will be made describing the use case in more detail, and the process and experiences with DIAS in the context of the above workflow
  • We will compare and contrast the DIAS workflow with an estimate of the same workflow through traditional data access and computing resources, with quantitative estimates of time differences in data access (for inputs to the process) and delivery to end user (outputs)
  • Outreach/impact usage data will be provided from visitor logs
  • Daily gridded satellite derived surface reflectance of ice and snow on Greenland, Iceland and potentially other land ice regions, for example Arctic Canada