Success Stories - Sentinel Success Stories
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Sentinel Success Stories
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.
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.
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.
In Denmark, land areas and infrastructure are undergoing subsidence depending on soil type and stability, and changing ground water levels and foundation. As of 2014, data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites have been freely available—becoming a game changer for the growing needs for such measurements in Denmark, thus helping to develop a national monitoring program.
A rainfall deficit in Argentina generated a forecast of a decrease in the production of winter crops as well as forage production this year, affecting the yielding of livestock in its central regions—data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission are helping to create a monitoring system for such croplands.
Seasonal wetlands are common in Mediterranean climates. They flood during rainy seasons in autumn and winter and dry-up in summer. Precipitation changes in these areas have profound effects on the dynamics of wetlands, affecting plants and animals that inhabit them. These wetlands can suffer changes in their hydrology, becoming transformed into permanent lakes or completely drying-up—but Copernicus Sentinels are making a difference.
20 September 2019
Featuring ECOPOTENTIAL, a European funded project that focuses on a set of internationally recognised protected areas, this video describes how the unprecedented availability of satellite data allow scientists to understand large scale changes in our environment and how best to protect it.
05 September 2019
Tracking spatio-temporal variations in flooded areas of wetlands is not an easy task, especially when they are characterised by a dense cover of emergent vegetation. Researchers in France developed a tool to monitor water in seasonal wetlands using Copernicus Sentinel-2 data, which exceed the performance of existing water indices.
The Peneda-Gerês National Park in northeast Portugal has been home to wild ponies for around 2500 years. Today, it also provides a rich habitat for wolves, foxes, wild boars, ibex, and deer. It also hosts otters, fish, frogs, salamanders, 147 different bird species (many migratory) and 15 bat species. Data from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites are helping to safeguard this mountainous habitat.
One of the main threats for soil degradation is the decline of soil organic carbon—the Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellites are currently being exploited to monitor soil conditions in croplands, in turn supporting the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union.
The conservation and protection of biodiversity is a fundamental activity of protected areas, such as the Samaria National Park, in Greece. The use of data from the Copernicus Sentinels, combined with geodiversity variables, are proving to be fundamental in monitoring certain areas where the Podarcis cretensis endemic lizard is found.
28 February 2019
With two sensors now in orbit, the Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellites could monitor some parts of the world almost daily. This capability could be crucial in monitoring rapidly developing events such as biotic/abiotic stress on crops and provide accurate and timely information from farmers to policy-makers, to develop appropriate mitigation strategies.
Located in the western Alps, between the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions, the Gran Paradiso National Park is home to the original surviving Alpine ibex, chamois, mountain hares, weasels, marmots, foxes and many bird species, such as white ptarmigans and eagles—monitoring its grasslands with satellite data is helping to preserve them.
29 January 2019
During 2016, two Finnish friends, Joni Norppa and Lauri Häme founded the company Satellio Ltd and received funding from the Finnish government for a project to monitor forestry by utilising satellite images. Over the last few years, they became experts in handling satellite data very efficiently.
10 January 2019
Launched in late November 2018 by the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) and the Norwegian Space Centre (NSC), InSAR Norway is a service that aims to monitor and measure ground movements on a national scale, using Copernicus Sentinel-1 data.
15 November 2018
Beginning in June 2017 in Indonesia and Malaysia, where development of palm oil plantations is a strong driver of tropical deforestation, the Starling service aims to provide a reliable and near real-time monitoring tool, in order to help companies all across the food supply chain to achieve their 'no deforestation' commitment.