Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Satellite monitoring of vegetation cover

A project has been set up to provide timely information on vegetation cover status to decision makers at both qualitative and quantitative levels. The information allows agricultural surveillance at the level of the European Union and contains indications on eventual agricultural alarm situations which might occur due to extraordinary agrometerological conditions. The primary sources of information are data acquired by the advanced very high resolution radiometer on board a series of meteorological satellites. A regional up to continental synoptic view is provided. The data acquisition rate is high and the data are cheap in comparison to high resolution remote sensing products. The information extracted covers 3 types of thematic fields of application:
qualitative status of the vegetation cover, where emphasis is placed on the detection of abnormal vegetation cover, mapping of land cover units;
plant physiological characteristics data which can be used to attempt derivation and monitoring of quantitative yield estimates. A prototype data preprocessing software system has been finalized and an archive of three years of daily mosaic images covering the territory of the European Union generated. Automatic procedures have been implemented to extract from this image archive time series of geophysical parameters which can be elaborated further in a geographical information system environment. Problems have been addressed by the processing system where state of the art geometric, calibration and atmospheric correction algorithms have been implemented. The product generated by the processing system consists of a daily mosaic of radiometrically and geometrically corrected 5 band images. The availability of a historical archive of data allows comparison of the prevailing vegetation state with any previous monitoring period. The cartographic products of these geophysical indices can be linked with other statistical or geographical information. This type of information is then used by the agronomist to compile the timely vegetation status bulletins.

Reported by

Joint Research Centre, Ispra
21020 Ispra
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