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EO Research and Beyond


How can I get resources for my EO research from RSS?

Can you get resources for your EO research from RSS? Yes, you can! RSS slogan is indeed "Resources for your EO research, application or service". How can you obtain access to such resources? It's only access to data, processing capacity and knowledgeable, user oriented support team or you could get resources for validating your algorithms, funding, an e-collaboration environment, new contacts, opportunities for your students, as well? The answer is yes, you could obtain all these things under certain conditions. What else? You could use the RSS Join&Share area for promoting your ideas, finding potential partners, starting, leading or simply participating in scientific discussions (for example on the scientific potential of ESA Sentinels). As a first step to access RSS resources you need to get in touch with us, by sending an email to rss_team@esa,int, for example, or by clicking on "Contact Us" (top of left menu in this page) and filling in the request form. Just briefly explain the context of your project, your needs and your goals. We will take care of gathering all the necessary information and come back to you with a concrete usable answer in a short time.

Could you provide some examples, please?

Last year a professor from the University of British Columbia (a PI in Forest Sciences) was looking for composite MERIS MGVI at 1.2 km resolution over Canada, for his research in the field of Remote Sensing of Forest Vegetation. It was mid-July when he contacted us asking if an MGVI global dataset was available at that resolution. We informed the PI that an MGVI Regional service was available - at that time - over Europe at the desired resolution via the SSE, but could be set-up over any other region. In fact, the MGVI level-3 aggregation processor, developed and maintained by the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), was (and is) routinely operated on the ESA Grid Processing on Demand (G-POD) at ESRIN.
A few emails were exchanged to understand the user requirements. Then the production chain involving the interoperation of various RSS systems (GPOD, SSE, WMS) was set-up and the processing on MERIS data from 2002 was started according to the user requirements. By the end of July the complete dataset over Ontario was made available via SSE and since then new data related to this region are systematically ingested in the catalogue. The scientist commented enthusiastically: he defined the service "absolutely wonderful"!.
At the moment the MGVI Catalogue Search and Download service allows access to MGVI for the entire ENVISAT mission over three regions: Europe, Ontario and Horn of Africa. Of course, we can add other regions of interest upon PI's request.

Another RSS user, a PI from the UK involved in the marine carbon cycle monitoring, at the end of August 2009 contacted us (via GPOD Cat-1 initiative) because was planning Radar Altimeter 2 data processing by BRAT (Basic Radar Altimeter Toolbox). We immediately started RA2 data ingestion into GPOD while waiting for user requirements. Around mid-November the scientist defined his requirements for the BRAT Service to be integrated into GPOD. In four weeks a GPOD BRAT Service prototype was made available to the user for testing. The PI was very busy for a few months, but as soon as he was able to validate the service he gave us his positive feedback and requested to process RA2 data for the entire year 2004. After a few of days the results of this processing were available.
A few months ago, the scientist required us to update the GPOD BRAT Service to the newly available BRAT version 2.1.1 and to re-process RA2 data for the years 2006 to 2009. Consequently, the service was updated and the production started right away. The entire re-processing campaign for the four years took only four days!
Of course the service is now available on GPOD to PIs interested in processing Radar Altimeter data.

Does the same approach apply to my EO service?

Yes, the same approach applies to EO Service Providers as well. I will tell you more about this in another post. For now, if you see potential benefits for your EO data based business that you can obtain by resorting to RSS support, just contact us specifying your needs and goals.