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Sentinel Success Stories
Remote sensing scientists are using data from several Copernicus Sentinel missions to probe the behaviour of a transient Namibian river that serves as a crucial lifeline to those who live in the arid landscape through which it flows.
They hope this will deliver insight to help improve water security in regions that are experiencing increasing periods of drought due to rising global temperatures.
As the world’s population continues to grow at a breakneck speed and the climate crisis increases the likelihood of droughts, the demand for water for irrigation is growing. New research shows how Earth observation data help map the extent water is used for agricultural irrigation, guiding strategies that aim to protect freshwater resources.
An expansion of a global data series that enables scientists to explore the impact of climate change on the world’s lakes has been released. The variables that make up the dataset were generated using data delivered by numerous Earth observation missions, including Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 of the European Union’s Copernicus Programme.
For a decade, International Day of Forests on 21 March, has marked an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of forests. About 30% of Earth's surface is covered by forests, but their area is declining annually through small scale disturbances such as illegal logging, or conversion of forestland for agriculture, clearing to pastures for livestock and urban landscapes.
Forests play a critical role in Earth's climate by providing a carbon sink. They sequester large quantities of the carbon dioxide, including that released by human activities. However, an estimated 20% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are then released back into the atmosphere through deforestation.
As we work towards net zero carbon solutions, it is vital to know how much carbon is being held in forest biomass and monitor change in biomass carbon stock. In this regard, the consistent temporal radar observations from Copernicus Sentinel-1 are adding precious value to scientific efforts to track the state and dynamics of forest biomass globally.
An international team of scientists has mapped the global footprint of giant methane leaks from oil and gas operations for the first time, thanks to high-resolution data delivered by Copernicus Sentinel-5P. This analysis of the potent planet-warming gas – which revealed thousands of large plumes that spilled out from major oil and gas pipelines – could have a key role in the revitalised international drive to tackle the climate crisis.
11 March 2022
A team of European remote sensing scientists has introduced a marine benchmark dataset for the detection of marine litter using Copernicus Sentinel-2 multispectral data. This open-access database enables the research community to develop marine debris detection solutions based on artificial intelligence.
It is a benchmark for developing and evaluating machine learning algorithms and the first dataset based on multispectral Copernicus Sentinel-2 data, which distinguish marine litter from co-existing marine features by exploring the spectral behaviour of certain floating materials, sea state features and water types.
25 February 2022
A pioneering open-access environmental monitoring system that helps to fuel the sustainable management of the natural world has launched.
The Landscape Evolution and Forecasting Toolbox, or LEAF, transforms data delivered by the Sentinel-2 mission of the European Union’s Copernicus Programme into global maps that reveal different aspects of vegetation cover, including canopy water content, leaf area index and many more.
Researcher, Sai Kiran Kuntla, recently authored a review article that emphasises the potential of three of the Earth observation satellites of the European Union’s Copernicus programme - Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, and Sentinel-3 - at various phases of flood management and the overall transformation this fleet of satellites has brought to the field of flood research and applications.
Europe’s flagship Earth observation programme is supporting the rapid international response to a violent series of tsunamis that was provoked by a powerful underwater volcano eruption in the southern Pacific Ocean.
Earth Observation data offer a powerful approach for accurate and cost-effective monitoring of hydrological regimes and seasonal inundated transition zones. Leveraging the capacity provided by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions, the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) has developed automatic services for the creation of inundation maps.
11 November 2021
Researchers at the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), in Greece, have been studying how a Copernicus Sentinel-2 image could be used to estimate pixel values of canopy height—thus improving sustainable ecosystem management.
In the frame of ESA’s Sentinel-1 Project, scientists at TU Wien processed and subsequently aggregated 500,000 individual Copernicus Sentinel-1 SAR scenes to a set of global mosaics, describing our planet as perceived by a radar—as such, the obtained radar signals depict an additional source of information, measuring ground variables from another physical perspective, revealing new properties.
30 September 2021
Synthetic Aperture Radar systems, such as those on the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, are a powerful tool for observing the sea surface at high spatial resolution over large areas—thus providing wind speed and direction measurements in the ocean, especially in marine coastal areas.
04 August 2021
Within the framework of the showcase myECOSYSTEM of the H2020 e-shape project, improved Sentinel-2 snow cover data products could help support the management and the environmental assessment of selected Protected Areas.
Near-real time mapping of water bodies from satellite imagery plays a critical role in water management. Continuous monitoring of environmental change over time, like the estimation of water availability or prediction of floods and droughts, is essential to human activities such as agriculture, hydrology and water management—and Copernicus Sentinel-2 data are lending a hand.
While Canada recently underwent scorching temperatures resulting in deadly fires, data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission helped track essential information.
24 June 2021
At the end of April, an iceberg with its longest axis of about 7.3 nm had been observed by Copernicus Sentinel-1 as it approached eastwards through the Scotia Sea, towards Saunders Island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean.
The drift of the iceberg was tracked since then, showing a rather surprising course. Both SAR and optical sensor images have presented interesting oceanographic and atmospheric phenomena, offering synchronous information over such large areas, which would not have been achieved by normal spot observations/measurements.
An unnamed tabular iceberg drifting eastward towards the uninhabited Saunders Island was caught by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite—making its monitoring a near-real-time event.