Simulation of Sentinel-3 Data

Simulating Performance of ESA Future Satellites for Water Quality Monitoring of the Baltic Sea (LV1-27)

In late 2015 European Space Agency (ESA) is planning to launch Sentinel-3 ocean mission satellite. It will provide data continuity for the ERS, Envisat and SPOT satellites. The observations will be used to conjunction with other ocean-observing missions to contribute Copernicus – The European Earth Observation Programme’s Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) which aims to create a permanent system of ocean observation. As part of the mission, the observations of sea-surface and in-land waters will be carried out.

ESA’s satellite Sentinel-3 will be used for the observation of ocean and sea surface. Photo: ESA

ESA’s satellite Sentinel-3 will be used for the observation of ocean and sea surface. Photo: ESA

So far, remote sensing has proven to be an accurate and reliable tool in clear water environments like oceans or the Mediterranean Sea. However, the current algorithms usually fail on optically complex waters like coastal and inland waters. The whole Baltic Sea can be considered as optically complex coastal waters. Using airborne remote sensing IES is planning to simulate Sentinel-3 data to develop algorithms and methods suitable for the Baltic Sea conditions to characterise optical properties of water surface and water quality products. Using developed algorithm Latvia will be able to obtain objective information on the Baltic Sea surface and the quality of incoming waters, sources of pollutions, and other factors that impact marine ecology.

The Objectives

  1. To characterise the optical properties of coastal waters of the Baltic Sea;
  2. To test the performance of current and new processors in retrieving correct water reflectance spectra and water quality products;
  3. To develop new remote sensing algorithms if the processors do not provide reliable results;
  4. To estimate the theoretical accuracies of the remote sensing products that can be achieved in the case of different concentration ranges of optically active substances.

Our role

As there will be no satellite data available during 2015, the remote sensing data will be collected with IES’s Environmental Surveillance and Monitoring System ARSENAL.  The observation will be fulfilled by two hyperspectral airborne imaging sensors and high resolution RGB camera which are embedded in the ARSENAL.  The spectral band of the two hyperspectral sensors will be applied to simulate the Sentinel-3 bands and the maximum swath and required spatial resolution both for hyperspectral and RGB sensors will be reached by careful data collection planning. For verification of airborne remote sensing data, the in-situ sampling and laboratory analysis will be carried out.

As a result of the project, IES will develop an algorithm for the characterisation of optical properties and water quality factors of coastal waters of the Baltic Sea.

Project duration: May 2015 – April 2017

Project Manager: D.Phys. Dainis Jakovels

The Project is financed by: European Space Agency’s programme The Plan for European Co-operating States.

Project partner: Estonian Marine Institute

Project web page