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Downstream Service/Application Development for Monitoring of Environmental Indicators (Europe)

Point of contact
Sarah Asam
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Münchener Straße 20
82234 Weßling
Phone: +49-8153-281230

This action aims at identifying remote sensing based indicators to be used by environmental agencies for evaluating the state and changes of the environment or specific habitats.

In many national and sub-national environmental agencies monitoring and reporting is based on in-situ data. To some extent, experiences with remote sensing exist. However, the potential of EO data is not yet fully exploited, and often workflows and approaches are varying between states. By using the new Copernicus sentinel data, the opportunity is given to get new longterm cross-border indicators of the environmental state developed in an area-wide consistent and comparable manner. Thus the objective is to define parameters and indicators useful to environmental agencies and to identify to which extent these can be covered by existing Copernicus Services. It will be demonstrated how either Copernicus Services can be used directly or how existing approaches can be amended by new indicators derived from Sentinel data.

The application/service will focus on the exploitation of Copernicus Service products and/or Sentinel data in combination with in-situ data. Building on an active user dialogue, established through a user requirement workshop and survey, the service will be developed according to user requirements. In a first step, the action is oriented towards developing an environmental indicator for Bavaria in the field of grassland condition, landscape quality or biodiversity. But user requirement and uptake actions will involve stakeholders with similar needs from other German states and European countries, enabling networking, exchange of experience on the work level as well as an increased acceptance of new approaches. Other European stakeholders are going to be identified through the user requirement workshop and survey as well as through the FPCUP network. We expect these to be primarily government agencies that have to satisfy to the same reporting requirements.

Following a discussion of the requirements of the Bavarian environmental agency (Landesamt für Umwelt), the most promising EO-based indicators will be identified and a concept for a downstream application / service for monitoring this indicator will be developed. Particular focus will be given on an innovative and robust method to derive the indicator as well as on the user dialog to ensure a sustainable use and integration of the new data in the established workflows.

The methods required will be based on exploiting Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 or Sentinel-3. The application will be tested and demonstrated for Bavaria. Subsequently, the quality, thematic depth, and time/cost efforts of the developed application will be objectively compared to currently implemented procedures (e.g. in situ observation campaigns vs. Sentinel-based indicator maps). This action includes user requirement and user uptake workshops that will ensure a transferable application development, and will stimulate exchange between user communities.

Outputs and Results

  • User requirement workshop and survey
  • Downstream service /application concept and method development to support the monitoring of the environmental indicator
  • Demonstration of feasibility and benefit analysis
  • User uptake workshop