Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

LOTUS Report Summary

Project ID: 313238
Funded under: FP7-SPACE
Country: Denmark

Final Report Summary - LOTUS (Preparing Land and Ocean Take Up from Sentinel-3)

Executive Summary:
The objective of the LOTUS project was to support the development of COPERNICUS by developing applications of Sentinel-3 to complete the space observation infrastructure that are designed for land and ocean monitoring for COPERNICUS. Sentinel-3 is the COPERNICUS space component for monitoring the oceans. The SRAL instrument onboard Sentinel-3 is a radar altimeter that will provide observations of sea-surface and land-ice topography, in continuation of altimeter missions such as ENVISAT, Jason-1 and Jason-2. Furthermore, the SRAL instrument will operate in a SAR mode and provide along-track high-resolution heights of the sea surface in the open oceans, in the coastal seas, in-land water and sea ice areas. The SAR capability is a new feature and no data products based on this SAR mode data are provided or used operationally. New methodologies and new data processing chains need to be developed to prepare the take-up of the COPERNICUS Sentinel-3 data.

In the first phase, the LOTUS project was focusing on the development of new methodologies and data processing chains to utilize the SAR mode data for high resolution products for both marine and land applications. Data from the ESA CRYOSAT-2 satellite mission carrying a similar instrument was utilized in these activities. In both fields of applications, this was based on state-of-the-art reviews and scientific requirements consolidations. For the marine application the high-resolution sea surface heights, wave heights and wind speeds are developed for the open oceans, coastal seas as well as in sea ice covered regions. For the land applications of the SAR mode data in-land water levels in rivers and lakes, soil moisture, and snow depths were developed. Subsequently, LOTUS completed the development of demo data sets using CRYOSAT-2 data and assessed their quality to support the developments of the services.

In the last phase, The LOTUS project was focusing on the development of new and improved services by utilizing the data features emerging with Sentinel-3. The LOTUS project has developed new and improved coastal oceanographic services by utilizing the demo high-resolution sea surface height, wave height and wind speed data. On land, the new services were developed by integrating different sources of information such as in-situ data and hydrological modelling. Finally, the LOTUS project has disseminated the results on the use of SAR mode data and derived new products for COPERNICUS ocean and land services and European SMEs to facilitate the exploitation of the new products in value adding applications.

Project Context and Objectives:
The objective of the LOTUS project was to support the development of Copernicus by developing applications of Sentinel-3 to complete the space observation infrastructure that are designed for land and ocean monitoring for Copernicus (previously called Copernicus). Sentinel-3 is the space component for monitoring the oceans. The SRAL instrument on-board Sentinel-3 is a radar altimeter that provides observations of sea-surface and land-ice topography, in continuation of altimeter missions such as Envisat, Jason-1, and Jason-2. Furthermore, the SRAL instrument will operate in a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mode and provide along-track high-resolution heights globally. Up until the beginning of the LOTUS project the SAR capabilities were relatively unexplored and no data products based on SAR mode were provided or used operationally. Therefore, new methodologies as well as data processing chains needed to be developed to prepare the take-up of the Copernicus Sentinel-3 data. As Sentinel-3 has not yet been launched at the time of writing this final report of the LOTUS project, the primary dataset has been Cryosat-2, which is the first satellite mission to carry a SAR altimeter.
Within the LOTUS project, new methodologies, data processing chains, and applications for SAR mode data were developed, which will contribute to high-resolution sea surface heights, wave heights, and wind speeds in the open oceans, coastal seas, as well as in sea ice covered regions for operational marine services. In the same manner, the LOTUS project has contributed to operational land services with SAR mode data for inland water levels in river and lakes, soil moisture, and snow depth. With these data, the LOTUS project can support operational services for emergency response and security in the events of, e.g., storm surges and flooding. The new land products provide valuable information about the hydrological cycle and supports services on monitoring hydrological parameters for climate change. Through a strong involvement of innovative companies and SMEs the LOTUS project will stimulate new commercial activities in the value-adding sector.

The objectives of the LOTUS project in preparing the take-up of data from Sentinels 3 were:

Objective 1: Processing of SRAL SAR mode waveforms over ocean.
The objective of the LOTUS project was to develop processing scheme for extracting high-resolution sea surface heights, wave heights and wind speeds from SAR mode data. Furthermore, LOTUS should apply the RDSAR technique to convert SAR mode data into LRM data to complement the open ocean LRM data sets in the coastal areas and secure seamless transitions between converted SAR mode and open ocean LRM products.

Objective 2: Processing of SRAL SAR mode waveforms over land.
The objective of the LOTUS project was to develop processing scheme for extracting high-resolution river and lake heights, soil moisture, and snow depths.

Objective 3: Definition of new data products and processing chains.
Based on recent specification and development of Sentinel-3 processing chains, simplified, easy-to-use or higher-level products would be designed from the algorithms proposed in the LOTUS project. The processing chains should be specified in synergy with the Sentinel-3 ground segment and in close relationship with the COPERNICUS services and downstream applications likely to use these data products. Several kinds of data products and processing chains would be defined and designed, both new Level-2 data products complementing the ESA Sentinel-3 L2 data products and higher level data products. All these products should address the different surface targets of the Sentinel-3 topography measurements.

Objective 4: Production of demo data and assessment.
The objective of the LOTUS project was to prepare prototype Sentinel-3 data sets to support the development of new value-adding applications for ocean and land services, respectively. As Sentinel-3 was foreseen to be launched half way through the project the primary dataset will be Cryosat-2, however if Sentinel-3 data becomes available, adaption should be made so that these might be included where possible. Cryosat-2 SAR data and available Sentinel-3 data would be processed in specific targeted test areas to prepare prototype data sets of:
• Sea surface heights, wave heights and wind speeds,
• River and lake levels,
• Soil moisture, and
• Snow depths.
Subsequently, LOTUS should assess the prototype data.

Objective 5: Applications of new COPERNICUS data in value-adding ocean services.
The objective of the LOTUS project was to develop new and improved coastal oceanographic services by utilizing the data features emerging with Sentinel-3. The services should primarily utilize the increased resolution of the SRAL SAR and place emphasis on value adding integration with complementary data such as ocean modelling, in-situ data and multiple sensors. The services should be developed to have a global applicability.

Objective 6: Applications of new COPERNICUS data in value-adding land services.
The objective of the LOTUS project was to develop new and improved land services by utilizing the data features emerging with Sentinel-3. The services should be integrating different sources of information such as Earth Observation data (from different sensors and satellites), land in-situ data and also model data hydrological modelling. The services should be developed to have a global applicability and demonstrated in selected case study regions and targeting the following applications: Monitoring of River and lake levels, Monitoring Soil moisture, Monitoring of Snow depth, and Contributions to climate monitoring.

Objective 7: Dissemination and exploitation.
Finally, the LOTUS project should disseminate the results obtained in the project on the use of Sentinel-3 SRAL SAR mode data as well as derived new products for COPERNICUS land and marine services. Effective dissemination actions were to be directed towards European SMEs to facilitate the exploitation of the new products in value adding applications for both ocean and land.
Furthermore, the project should disseminate the results to European services and projects contributing to the climate and climate change monitoring as well as to COPERNICUS services for security and emergency management.

Project Results:
See the attached report chapter 3.

Potential Impact:
See the attached report chapter 4.

List of Websites:
See the attached report chapter 5.

Related information

Contact

Birte E Hede, (Financial controler)
Tel.: +45 4525 9730
Fax: +45 4525 9575
E-mail
Record Number: 189790 / Last updated on: 2016-10-06