Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Microwave satellite remote-sensing data for rapid area estimation of agricultural crops

The European Commission, DG VI, has published an invitation to tender for a pilot project on the use of active microwave satellite remote-sensing data for rapid area estimation of agricultural crops during winter and spring.

DG VI receives timely monthly estimates on the area variations of some economically important crops from April to November. The area variation estimates are obtained by analysing satellite remote-sensing data collected over 60 sites in the European Union. The satellite remote-sensing data used are acquired by passive radiometers on board the Spot and Landsat satellites in the optical and infra-red parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

To complement and improve the information obtained on area variations with the optical/IR sensors, DG VI is calling for proposals to implement a pilot project on the use of active microwave satellite remote-sensing data acquired by the synthetic aperture radar instruments which are part of the payload of the European remote-sensing satellites ERS-1, and ERS-2.

During an eight-month period, from October to May, the pilot project will twice produce a crop classification of the 60 sites on the basis of multi-temporal ERS-1/2 SAR data. The classification results will follow the standardized nomenclature currently used in the MARS (monitoring agriculture with remote sensing) activity B on "Rapid estimates of annual crop area changes". They will be delivered, on a per site basis, to DG VI for further statistical analysis and integration in two timely crop area reports.

The project is not considered an operational activity, although the data acquisition, processing and interpretation task will be performed following a realistic operational schedule, in order to evaluate a potential future implementation.
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