Session Descriptions

Understand Earth Systems

A.1 Atmosphere

A1.01 Trace Gases in the Stratosphere and Mesosphere

Open Session
Description:
ESA (e.g. GOME, Sentinel5-P, SCIAMACHY, MIPAS, GOMOS) and ESA Third Party Mission (e.g. OSIRIS, ACE) atmospheric satellite data have been used to investigate the middle atmosphere (stratosphere and mesosphere). This session will present latest results on how middle atmosphere measurements can be used to monitor climate change. Furthermore changes in this part of the atmosphere (like circulation & transport of trace gases, chemical composition, aerosol information, temperature, coupling of the stratosphere and mesosphere, metal atoms in the mesosphere) will be discussed.

Convenors: Claus Zehner (ESA), Didier Fussen (BIRA/IASB),  Kaley Walker (University Toronto),  Dough Degenstein (University Saskatchewan), Viktoria Sofieva (FMI)

A1.02 Sentinel-5P Mission - latest Calibration/Validation Results

Open Session
Description:
The Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor mission, launched on Oct. 13 2017, is the first atmospheric Sentinel and supports Copernicus services providing measurements for atmospheric applications, such as air quality, ozone and climate monitoring. This session will present the status of the Sentinel-5P mission and latest results on the calibration and validation of the Sentinel-5P operational products that are freely available to the public.

Convenors: Claus Zehner (ESA), Angelika Dehn (ESA), Pepijn Veefkind (KNMI), Diego Loyola (DLR)

A1.03 Troposphere and Air Quality

Open Session
Description:
The growing availability of tropospheric composition data from air quality satellite missions (e.g. Sentinel-5P/TROPOMI) provides measurements at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolutions. Improvements in trace gas remote sensing and models are enabling advances in numerous applications in air quality analysis and prediction. We invite presentations on data product improvements, validation aspects as well as studies using satellite data for applications in tropospheric chemistry and air quality from current and future missions.

Convenors: Christian Retscher (ESA), Claus Zehner (ESA), Michel van Roozendael (BIRA/IASB), Andreas Richter (University Bremen)

A1.04 Greenhouse Gases

Open Session
Description:
Remote sensing observations of methane and carbon dioxide provide a significant potential for improving the understanding of the natural carbon cycle and specifically the monitoring of anthropogenic emissions. While spaceborne, airborne and groundbased remote sensing technologies for measuring greenhouse gases have made great advances, there still exist uncertainties in the understanding of the global and regional cycles of CH4 and CO2. We invite presentations on data product improvements, validation aspects, the development of future sensors and technologies, as well as studies using satellite data for applications in greenhouse gas remote sensing from current and future missions.

Convenors: Christian Retscher (ESA), Claus Zehner (ESA), Ilse Aben (SRON), Michael Buchwitz (University Bremen), Hartmut Boesch (University Leicester)

A1.05 The Joint Aeolus Tropical Atlantic Campaign 2021 - Dynamics and Composition in the Tropical Atlantic

Open Session
Description:
ESA’s Aeolus satellite observations are expected to have the biggest impact for the improvement of numerical weather prediction in the Tropics. An especially important case relating to the evolution, dynamics, and predictability of tropical weather systems is the outflow of Saharan dust, its interaction with cloud microphysics and impact on the development of tropical storms over the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa and the eastern Caribbean uniquely allows the study of the Saharan Aerosol layer, African Easterly Waves and Jet, Tropical Easterly Jet, as well as the deep convection in the Intertropical Convergence Zone and their relation to the formation of convective systems, and the long-range transport of dust and its impact on air quality.
The ESA-NASA Joint Aeolus Tropical Atlantic Campaign (JATAC) deployed on Cabo Verde and the US Virgin Islands in summer 2021 is addressing the validation and preparation of the ESA missions Aeolus, EarthCARE and WIVERN, as well as supporting the related science objectives raised above. The campaign combines wind, aerosol and cloud observations by active and passive instruments deployed on four aircraft (NASA DC-8, DLR Falcon-20, Safire Falcon-20, Aerovizija Advantic WT-10) and ground based instruments located at the Ocean Science Center Mindelo. During the course of the campaign more than 35 flights were performed covering 17 Aeolus orbits, many with collocated aircraft and ground based observations. Several flights by the NASA DC-8 and the Safire Falcon-20 have been dedicated to cloud microphysics and dust events. The JATAC was supported by numerical weather and dust simulations supporting the forecasting, as well as dedicated radiosonde launches.
The session invites contributions related to the Joint Aeolus Tropical Atlantic Campaign, as well as remote sensing observations of dynamics and composition in the Tropical Atlantic, including satellite observation, on-ground and in-flight remote sensing and in-situ observations, as well as numerical modelling.

Convenors: Thorsten Fehr (ESA)

A1.06 Fourier Transform Spectroscopy for Atmospheric Measurements

Open Session
Description:
Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (FTS) is a powerful technique for atmospheric observations allowing the Earth' and atmosphere's thermal radiation to be sampled with high spectral resolution. This spectral range carries profile information of many atmospheric gases (water vapour, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ammonia, nitric acid,...), but also information on cloud (e.g. phase or liquid/ice water path) and aerosol (e.g. dust optical depth). Measurements have been performed from satellite (nadir and limb), from ground, or with airborne platforms for several decades and have recently come into the foreground in ESA's Earth Explorer (EE) programme with the EE9 FORUM mission and the EE11 candidates CAIRT and NITROSAT. In addition, new airborne and ground-based instruments became available with performance and versatility that allow for innovative research applications. This session invites presentations on: - retrieval algorithms and methods for uncertainty quantification including calibration/validation techniques for existing and future missions, - new spectrometer developments for field work and satellite applications.

Convenors: Hilke Oetjen (ESA)

A1.07 Aerosols and Their Uptake in Models and Assimilation

Open Session
Description:
There is a growing number of satellite missions with unique aerosol observation capabilities (imager, spectrometer, polarimeter, lidar, ..). The session brings together scientists from the satellite retrieval and the modelling communities. Both are essential to enhance the uptake of satellite observations for improving aerosol process understanding and monitoring. The session focuses on key challenges including aerosol speciation, aerosol vertical distribution, forward operators used in data assimilation, and synergetic use of satellite products.

Convenors: Ben Veihelmann (ESA)

A1.08 Aeolus Mission: Scientific Highlights and Data Exploitation

Open Session
Description:
With the launch of the novel Aeolus wind profiling mission in 2018, a wealth of direct wind and atmospheric backscatter profile observations have become available across the globe, revealing new information on atmospheric dynamics and cloud and aerosol optical properties to the benefit of various applications. This includes improvements in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP), General Circulation Models (GCMs) and their included parameterized processes, such as land and ocean drag, convection, stratosphere-troposphere interaction and atmospheric waves, air quality and air pollution transport etc. In its initial 3.5 years lifetime, the mission data has been used by increasing number of NWP centres, improve their forecasts while more scientific research have started to emerge. In this session, we aim at discussing results using the Aeolus data for application in meteorology, atmospheric and Earth science process studies, air quality and climate studies, along with updates about the data products, their validation and reprocessing. Topics may vary from observation interpretation, atmospheric model diagnostics, model parameterizations, and data assimilation experiments. We welcome all presentations on scientific analysis of Aeolus mission data, including inter-comparisons to independent measurements or atmospheric models, as well as on other data exploitation activities.

Convenors: Tommaso Parrinello (ESA)

A1.09 EarthCARE: Preparing for the Scientific Mission Exploitation to Quantify the Impact of Clouds and Aerosols on Radiation

Open Session
Description:
The EarthCARE mission, prepared in cooperation with JAXA for launch in 2023, will provide unprecedented high-quality data set of global aerosol profiles, profiles of ice water and liquid water clouds, cloud particle vertical velocities and precipitation information together with broad-band radiation measurements and derived atmospheric heating profiles. These data will allow a broad range of scientific research of quantifying the role clouds and aerosols in radiation and atmospheric heating and cooling, cloud processes and cloud-aerosol interaction. The near-real time availability will enable the exploitation of the data for numerical weather prediction. This session will present the preparation of research which EarthCARE will bring to the next level, which is presently being performed with, for example, A-Train data, ground- and airborne systems and models.

Convenors: Tobias Wehr (ESA), Anthony J. Illingworth (University of Reading), Ulla Wandinger (TROPOS), Nicolas Clerbaux (RMIB), Jürgen Fischer (Free University of Berlin), Dave Donovan (KNMI)

A1.10 Cloud and Precipitation Optical Properties and Microphysics

Open Session
Description:
Remote sensing of clouds and retrieval of their ice and liquid water content requires a good knowledge of cloud microphysics and corresponding optical properties. With new space-borne sensors and synergistic retrieval approaches using cloud observations at very different wavelengths comes the need for improved knowledge of cloud microphysics and the related optical properties of ice and liquid particles, including precipitation, at wavelengths reaching from the UV over the visible and infrared into the microwave. Within the retrieval process of cloud properties from remote sensing data, a forward model must use suitable (bulk) microphysical assumptions and scattering assumptions at each wavelength. For multi-wavelength retrievals these assumptions must be consistent in order to allow correct convergence of the minimization procedure. A key additional challenge for retrievals is how to interpret observations of atmospheric profiles containing more than one cloud/precipitation type. Examples include mixed-phase layer clouds, and deep precipitating clouds containing snow, melting ice and rain. Progress in this area could require the synergy of different instruments, and/or improved prior constraints and insights based on field campaigns. This session addresses cloud (bulk) microphysics and optical properties over the UV to MW spectrum, their application and required inputs from in-situ and laboratory observations.

Convenors: Tobias Wehr (ESA), Anthony Baran (Met Office), Patrick Eriksson (Chalmers University), Tiziano Maestri (University of Bologna), Jan Fokke Meirink (KNMI)

A1.11 Atmospheric Dynamics and Vertical Coupling

Open Session
Description:
The vertical coupling of the atmosphere, both in upward and downward direction, has a strong impact on seasonal and interannual weather prediction and long-term climate projection. A multitude of atmospheric waves transport energy and momentum from the troposphere to the stratosphere and mesosphere, where they impact and change large scale circulations and wind patterns (e.g. the stratospheric polar vortex and the mesospheric general circulation). The changes in the middle atmosphere then couple back to the troposphere and influence our surface weather and climate. These vertical upward and downward coupling processes are not yet fully understood and are a topic of many current research projects. For example, the SPARC project explicitly mentions the stratosphere-troposphere coupling as scientific questions of interest.
To get a better picture of these vertical coupling processes, vertically resolved measurements of wind, temperature and trace gas distribution are necessary. Many current (e.g. ESA’s Aeolus, NASA’s Saber) and future (e.g. ESA’s Altius, Cairt, and Wivern) satellite missions provide such vertically resolved measurements. Usually, these satellite missions measure either temperature and trace gas distribution, or wind. It is expected that the combination of wind data with temperature and trace gas distribution measurements would greatly enhance the understanding of vertical coupling in the atmosphere.
We invite contributions on dynamical coupling between troposphere and middle atmosphere. A special focus shall be on new missions and new methods exploiting remote sensing data for atmospheric waves. Studies exploring synergies between the different satellite missions to improve the understanding of vertical coupling in the atmosphere are particularly welcome.

Convenors: Isabell Krisch (DLR), Peter Preusse (Forschungszentrum Jülich)
A.2 Biodiversity and Ecosystems

A2.01 Biodiversity

Open Session
Description:
Despite increasing awareness that sustainable development cannot be achieved without adequate attention to the safeguard of the environment, the world is still undergoing a massive degradation of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Taking note that this decline is projected to continue or worsen under business-as-usual scenarios the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is currently defining the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework as an ambitious transformative plan to stabilise biodiversity loss by 2030, ensuring that by 2050 “all of the world’s ecosystems are restored, resilient, and adequately protected”. The European Union is reacting to this global challenge, calling its Member States to actively contribute to the global efforts to halt biodiversity loss as a key priority of the new European Green Deal. As the biodiversity cornerstone of the European Green Deal, the recently adopted EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 aims to put Europe’s biodiversity on the path to recovery.
Regular assessment of the status of and change to biodiversity at a global scale requires scientific cooperation for the collection, production, analysis and dissemination of biodiversity data. A framework for such a global and integrated biodiversity monitoring system is currently being developed by the Group on Earth Observation Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) under the general concept of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs). The EBVs represent the key variables that are fundamental to be collected globally and regularly for understanding, studying, reporting, and managing changes to biodiversity, and for monitoring progress towards the Biodiversity Targets.
The emergence of government-funded satellite missions with open and free data policies and long term continuity of observations, such as the Sentinel missions of the European Copernicus Program, offer an unprecedented ensemble of satellite observations, which together with very high resolutions sensors from commercial vendors enable the development of satellite-based biodiversity monitoring systems. The combined use of different sensors opens pathways for a more effective and comprehensive use of Earth Observations in the functional and structural characterisation of ecosystems and their components.
In this series of biodiversity sessions, we will present the recent scientific advances in the development of EO applications for the monitoring of the status of and changes to marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, and their relevance for biodiversity and conservation. The development of RS-enabled EBVs for standardized global assessment will also be addressed, with the road ahead.
Topics of interest mainly include (not limited to):
  • Characterisation of the change patterns in biodiversity (e.g., in ecosystem composition, structure and function) and ecosystem services (e.g., regulating and provisioning services),
  • Assessment of the impacts of the main drivers of changes (i.e., land and sea use changes, pollutions, climate change, invasive alien species and exploitation of natural resources) on ecosystem extent, conditions and services,
  • characterisation of ecosystem integrity, resilience and vulnerability to climate changes,
  • Understanding of the evolutionary changes of biodiversity and better predictive capabilities on biodiversity trajectories,
  • Understanding of the ecological processes of ecosystem degradation and restoration,
  • EO integration into biodiversity policy design, implementation and evaluation, and in particular biodiversity policy indicators,
  • Multi-sensor approaches to biodiversity monitoring (e.g. multi-sensor analysis of ecosystem structural and functional traits),
  • Validation of biodiversity-relevant EO products (with uncertainties estimation),
  • Algorithm development for RS-enabled EBVs on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems,
  • Linking EO with crowdsourcing information for biodiversity monitoring,


Convenors: Marc Paganini (ESA), Marie-Helene Rio (ESA), Andrew Skidmore (ITC), Julien Radoux (Université Catholique de Louvain), Gary Geller (NASA/JPL)

A2.02 Ecosystem Accounting

Open Session
Description:
In March 2021 the United Nations Statistical Commission adopted the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) Ecosystem Accounting as a new international statistical standard to integrate ecosystems and their services into national accounting, and account for biodiversity and ecosystems in national economic planning and policy decision-making. This new international statistical framework brings a new paradigm shift in the appreciation and valuation of natural resources, allowing countries worldwide to use a common set of rules and methods to track changes in ecosystem assets (e.g. ecosystem extent and conditions) and related flow of services (i.e. ecosystem services), and to link ecosystem information to economic and development activities. The EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 recognises the value of ecosystem accounting, and has plans to include natural capital accounting into European legislations. The concept of Ecosystem Accounting provides also a new policy framework underpinning the development of ecosystem-related indicators from other international agreements including the CBD post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Earth Observations is widely recognized as a major source of information to monitor the extent, condition and services of their ecosystems. The advent of dense EO data streams at appropriate scales combined with the emergence of digital technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for countries to efficiently monitor the extent and conditions of their ecosystems. The EO community has joined effort under the GEO EO4EA initiative to leverage the power of Earth Observations in ecosystem accounting. In Europe, EUROSTAT just extended their Knowledge Innovation Project on an Integrated System of Natural Capital (KIP-INCA) to advance the implementation of ecosystem accounts in the European Union.
The LPS 2020 session on ecosystem accounting will first introduce the new SEEA Ecosystem Accounting framework and present the GEO EO4EA efforts to showcase the relevance of EO in ecosystem accounting. The session will then present, through an open scientific session, the recent advances in the development of EO applications for ecosystem Accounting.
Topics of interest mainly include (not limited to):
  • EO methods for mapping ecosystem extent;
  • EO methods for mapping ecosystem condition;
  • EO methods for mapping ecosystem services;
  • EO infrastructures as enablers for countries adoption in natural capital account (e.g., on-line platforms, data cubes, open source software).
  • how to deal with uncertainties in ecosystem accounts;
  • Practical examples of EO integration in national systems on ecosystem accounting;


Convenors: Marc Paganini (ESA), Bruno Smets (VITO), Alessandra Alfieri (UNSD), Timothy (Max) Wright (Conservation International)

A2.03 Ecosystem Resilience

Open Session
Description:
Maintaining the integrity of natural ecosystems is essential for their functioning and for their resilience to environmental changes such as climate change, natural disasters, pests and pathogens or anthropogenic disturbances (e.g. ecosystem fragmentation). The use of Earth Observations in Earth System Science approaches plays an increasingly prominent role in the scientific understanding of the ecological and biogeochemical processes in ecosystems, and can foster a quantum leap in the collective capacity to observe, understand and predict the complex processes of natural ecosystems and their ability to maintain critical functions such as nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration or pest regulation. The session will explore the latest scientific advances in the use of Earth Observation for the characterisation of ecosystem integrity and resilience, and their vulnerability to the main drivers of changes, including climate changes.

Convenors: Marc Paganini (ESA)

A2.04 Ecosystem Restoration

Open Session
Description:
The UN has called for the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which represents a call for the protection and restoration of ecosystems around the world for the benefit of people and nature. The unprecedented observations collected by the Sentinel satellite family and other sensors allow new ways to monitor protected ecosystems, identify degraded ecosystems and assist the management in the restoration process. This session will address innovative tools and geospatial modules for monitoring and planning restoration activities for different ecosystems and showcase some of the more recent key achievements including methods/algorithms, science and applications.

Convenors: Frank Martin Seifert (ESA)

A2.05 Polar Biodiversity Informatics from Space

Open Session
Description:
Polar wildlife are some of the most threatened species as a result of climate change. Because the Arctic and the Antarctic experience the most drastic rates of warming due to human activity, it is crucial that robust conservation pipelines are in place in these regions to maintain and strengthen biodiversity. Earth observation data in combination with statistical and machine learning techniques have emerged as key assets in analyzing and preserving polar biodiversity. Biodiversity informatics refers to the collection, organization, and analysis of biological and environmental data. In this context, this includes everything from the cataloging of population-level data to developing deep learning-based remote sensing algorithms for the tracking of interspecies relationships from satellite imagery. In this session, we seek to highlight areas of interdisciplinary work, with a keen interest (but certainly not exclusively) in the nexus between machine learning / computer vision and polar biodiversity from space. From polar bears to bowhead whales, computer scientists, cryospheric researchers, and conservation biologists can all do their part to aid in the climate adaptation of Arctic and Antarctic wildlife.

Convenors: Thomas Chen (Academy for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering)
A.3 Biosphere

A3.01 Towards global rangeland monitoring using Sentinel-1/2/3

Open Session
Description:
Rangeland and grassland ecosystems are widespread globally and important as a key source of livelihoods for their ecological functions.
Effective monitoring approaches for global rangeland are rather scarce especially at high spatial resolution.
This session showcases new approaches to rangeland monitoring, innovative products and ongoing initiatives.

Convenors: Patrick Griffiths (ESA)

A3.02 Towards a space-based Earth Observation Soil Monitoring System

Open Session
Description:
Soils, the upper layer of the Earth, is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids and organisms, and a key for life. Including peat and litter, they represent the largest carbon pool on land. It is the substrate allowing plants to grow, a means to water storage and purification, a modifier of the Earth’s atmosphere and a habitat for organisms. Soil processes are impacting ecosystems functioning and food, fibre and timber production. It regulates climate, the hydrological and nutrient cycle and provide resilience against floods and droughts. Several targets of Sustainable Development Goals depend on healthy and functional soils. Pressure on soils such as climate change, industrialization and urbanization, intensive agriculture and livestock farming, etc. lead to soil degradation (erosion, sealing, contamination, loss of organic matter, ….). Careful monitoring of this finite, non-renewable resource is therefore mandatory as stressed by many national and international treaties and policies, e.g. the Sustainable Development Goals, the UNCCD Land Degradation Neutrality, the RAMSAR Convention, the EU Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection and the Common Agricultural Policy, etc.
Space-based EO systems provide a means to support the monitoring of some soil chemical and physical properties, directly or indirectly, through the interaction of radiance fields with the (mainly upper) soil layer (topsoil) as shown by many research projects. However, space-based EO data together with in-situ measurements and modelling are hardly been used today in an operational manner by national and international organizations with the mandate to map, monitor and report on soils. This may be related to the lack of adequate, available space-borne EO data (spectral and temporal coverage, restricted data access) as well as the lack of available processing capabilities. With the advent of operational EO systems such as the European Union Copernicus Program (including the high priority Copernicus expansion missions), the free and open EO data policies as well as cloud-based access and processing capabilities an EO based Soil Monitoring System appears feasible now.
Consequently, ESA organised a workshop bringing together stakeholders from the policy and user domain with remote sensing experts to discuss the necessary steps to develop a EO based soil monitoring system. Recommendation provided during the workshop led to a dedicated study (WorldSoils) focussed on the monitoring of soil organic carbon.
This session aims at bringing together EO experts presenting latest results from various soil related activities and to discuss with the broader community next steps for improving and potentially expanding to other soil properties of the prototype soil monitoring system currently under development.

Convenors: Zoltan Szantoi (ESA)

A3.03 Wetland - - Methods and Algorithms, Science, Applications and Policy

Open Session
Description:
Wetlands are are an essential part of our natural environment. They are scattered across the world in all bio-geographic regions, providing a range of critically important ecosystem services and supporting the livelihoods and well-being of many people. For much of the 20th century, wetlands have been drained and degraded. The Ramsar Convention on wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national actions and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands, as a means to achieving sustainable development. The 171 countries signatory to the convention commit, through their national governments, to ensure the conservation and restoration of their designated wetlands and to include the wise use of all their wetlands in national environmental planning. Wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring constitute essential instruments for countries to ensure the conservation and wise use of their wetlands. Earth Observation has revolutionized wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring. In the recent years, the advent of continuous data streams of high quality and free of charge satellite observations, in combination with the emergence of digital technologies and the democratisation of computing costs, have offered unprecedented opportunities to improve the collective capacities to efficiently monitor the changes and trends in wetlands globally. The importance of EO for wetland monitoring has been stressed by Ramsar in a recently published report on the use of Earth Observation for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring. The SDG monitoring guidelines on water related ecosystems (SDG target 6.6) also largely emphasise the role of EO, while the EO community is getting organised around the GEO Wetlands initiative to provide support to wetlands practioners on the use of EO technology. The Wetland session will review the latest scientific advances on the use of Earth observations for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring and discuss way forward for mainstreaming EO into sustainable management of wetland ecosystems.

Convenors: Marc Paganini (ESA)

A3.04 Agriculture - Methods and Algorithms, Science, Applications and Policy

Open Session
Description:
The advent of the unprecedented observations collected by the Sentinel satellite family allow for monitoring of the full agricultural dynamics at national scale down to the single fields. In particular, the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 missions can provide dynamic information on crop area estimates, crop type and agricultural practices in a timely fashion at field scale. Such observations combined with other missions such as Landsat and new commercial satellite constellations sparked new research and application developments ranging from precision agriculture to food security early warning systems. Relevant topics for this range of sessions include innovative algorithms and applications addressing challenges related to water productivity, monitoring of agricultural practices, irrigation management, fertilizer and crop protection optimization, impact assessment of crop diseases and natural hazards, crop yield estimations and forecasts and agricultural statistics. A particular focus will be to provide the status of EO-based application developments addressing Agriculture-related policies. EO products/services can be linked to many different agri-policies (e.g. EC Farm-to-Fork related and the new CAP) and support numerous processes such as water management, ecoscheme monitoring, carbon uptake, grass mowing practices, regenerative agriculture policies and biodiversity, no-tillage and crop rotation.

Convenors: Benjamin Koetz (ESA)

A3.05 Recent advances in mapping crop commodities leading to deforestation

Open Session
Description:
The production of commodity crops is a major cause of land use change and a driver of forest loss in the tropics. Existing maps of forest loss accurately captures tree cover disturbances and the temporal dimension of those maps holds information on whether disturbances are temporary (management related or fire) or permanent (deforestation). However, such maps do not inform about the conversion of the forested land. In the case of permanent land use change, a more precise information about the commodity driving the change in a specific area is needed by scientists and decision makers to improve the traceability of the supply chain. Satellite imagery is crucial to depict the spatial distribution of commodities as in case of large-scale investments for industrial production (e.g. oil palm, rubber, sugarcane), the location of the concessions is not always publicly available and in case of smallholders' production (e.g. coffee or cocoa) the origin of the product is usually not traced back to the field. In recent years, progress have been made to map and monitor two key commodities, namely oil palm and soybean. With the increase temporal and spatial resolution of satellite data, the scientific communities aims at improving the knowledge of extent and dynamics of deforestation driven by all major commodities. This session aims at bringing together EO experts presenting latest results on commodities mapping in the tropics and to discuss with the community next steps for improving the traceability of the supply chain.

Convenors: Astrid Verhegghen European Commission - Joint Research Centre (JRC)

A3.06 Biomass monitoring

Open Session
Description:
Achieving international goals and national commitments related to forest conservation and management, climate change, sustainable development and recovery of biodiversity requires credible, accurate, and reliable monitoring of forest biomass/carbon stocks and changes. In recent years, the opportunities for providing forest biomass data have been substantively increased by a series of recent and upcoming space-based missions and targeted projects (e.g., NASA’s GEDI, ESA’s CCI Biomass, Global Mangrove Watch) that are providing capacity for biomass assessment and monitoring through provision of open data at better spatial resolutions and temporal frequencies. The aim of the session is to create a forum for different actors to present, discuss and exchange on progress in this dynamic and exciting field of forest biomass remote sensing; including evolving policy requirements, advancing sensors and processing capabilities, producing, calibrating and validating new biomass products and associated issues, and different ways of using and interpreting new biomass and biomass change products in different applications; in particular for the integration with national forest inventory and monitoring systems.

Convenors: Martin Herold (GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences)

A3.07 Land Cover - Methods and Algorithms, Science, Applications and Policy

Open Session
Description:
This session should consider papers related to Methods and Algorithms, Science and Applications related to Land Cover at whatever resolution or location from local, regional, country, continental or global scale.

Convenors: Olivier Arino (ESA)

A3.08 Peatland - Methods and Algorithms, Science, Applications

Open Session
Description:
Peatlands cover only 3 per cent of the world’s land, but they store nearly 30% of terrestrial carbon, which is twice the carbon stored in forests. When drained and damaged they exacerbate climate change, emitting two Gt of CO2 every year, which accounts for almost 6% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. The unprecedented observations collected by the Sentinel satellite family and other sensors allow new ways to monitor and manage peatlands. Emphasis will be put on advances in improved mapping and monitoring of intact, degraded and cultivated peatlands for conservation, management and restoration. This session will showcase some of the more recent key achievements including methods/algorithms, science and applications.

Convenors: Frank Martin Seifert (ESA)

A3.09 Phenology from Earth Observation - Methods, Science & Applications

Open Session
Description:
Land surface and vegetation phenology is a cross cutting element for the Earth's biosphere. Phenology is closely linked to weather and climate, biogeochemical cycles especially carbon and can also provide a proxy for human alteration of ecosystems. Earth Observation based characterisation of phenology has a long tradition, and became more systematic and operationalised over the last two decades. Today unprecedented observational capabilities of the Copernicus Sentinels provide new opportunities for advancing EO based characterisation of phenology. This session will showcase some of the more recent key achievements including methods/algorithms, science and applications.

Convenors: Patrick Griffiths (ESA)

03.10 Novel in-situ collection approaches for agricultural EO application

Open Session
Description:
The increasingly detailed and available field level information from the Copernicus Sentinel satellites opens up novel possibilities for efficient near-real time and wall-to-wall agricultural monitoring. However, high-quality and timely in-situ data are still a prerequisite to build robust operational crop monitoring systems for both training and validation purposes. Traditional in-situ ground truth collected datasets lack the scale and the automation of big data, and are prone to sampling errors. So far, integrated in-situ data collections meaningful for EO applications are still limited. This session aims to discuss novel methodologies to collect in-situ data for agricultural EO applications including: crowdsourcing (Geo-Wiki, Social networks,... ), street-level imagery collection (Google Street View, Mapillary,..), and their relevance for official statistics (e.g. LUCAS, CAP related information). Furthermore, highly detailed reference data sets are now released as open access data (e.g OpenStreetMap, EU governmental data under the INSPIRE directive), enabling sophisticated cross-checks and statistical designs. Taking advantage of recent advances in machine learning, computer vision, and social networks’ developments, suitable novel in-situ data collection methodologies could help to make sense of the EO data deluge.

Convenors: Raphaël d'Andrimont European Commission - Joint Research Centre (JRC)

A3.11 Land Surface Temperature and Emissivity Data for Research and Applications

Open Session
Description:
This session invites presentations on the use of land surface temperature and emissivity data for research and applications. In particular we welcome studies using high spatial resolution multispectral thermal infrared data such as those from the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) and airborne instruments such as the Hyperspectral Thermal Emission Spectrometer (HyTES). The session would also provide an opportunity to discuss upcoming missions such as the ESA - LSTM mission, French-Indian TRISHNA mission and NASA SBG mission.

Convenors: Simon Hook (NASA/JPL)

A3.12 Forest Monitoring

Open Session
Description:
Forests cover nearly one-third of the land globally. They are valuable and essential ecosystems, which play an important role from an ecological, social and economic perspective. Global and national forest monitoring requirements related to sustainable forest management, climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, and as a part of wider land monitoring for Green House Gas (GHG) assessments are evolving rapidly. Regarding GHG assessments, monitoring and reporting is carried out according to the performance scheme under which it is being implemented, for example the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), Green Climate Fund (GCF), or under other voluntary standards.
With these evolving needs and requirements in mind we have seen great improvements for forest monitoring, as new satellites are launched and more data becomes available. Novel methods and tools are continuously being developed to process and understand data e.g. AI, with new cloud computing and other infrastructures being used for the analysis of large data volumes. Copernicus data in particular has a wide and growing ecosystem of EO data supply, product and service providers. Thus, the aim of the session is to present and discuss the latest progress in tropical forest monitoring in the context of growing user needs, novel data streams and approaches, and evolving science and EO-services. We invite technical presentations that address the user needs in these technical areas:
1. New satellite data streams and analysis ready image mosaics
2. Forest cover, type and land cover/use (change) monitoring
3. Forest disturbances and health monitoring
4. Causes and drivers of deforestation and forest disturbances in the tropics
5. Near-real time forest change assessments
6. Incorporation and integration with ground data
7. Uncertainty analysis
8. Linking new forest data and products to various policy and management applications

Convenors: Martin Herold (GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences), Frank Martin Seifert (ESA), Sarah Carter (Wageningen University)
A.4 Carbon cycle

A4.01 Terrestrial Carbon Cycle from Global to National

Open Session
Description:
This open science session is related to issues associated with the understanding of, and closure of, the carbon cycle budget at multiple scales (both temporal and spatial). This includes the need for information for multiple purposes, for example those associated with the scientific understanding of the carbon cycle and those where there is a legal/policy requirement to report e.g. Global Stocktake, AFOLU. Currently, budget calculations on the science side are generated independently for global and regional scales using different methods, assumptions and data sources. Reconciling these for scientific purposes requires consideration of the consistency or otherwise of the assumptions made to close the budgets and the quality and applicability of models and data used. At the same time the needs for policy reporting for e.g. the AFOLU, Global Stocktake are at a completely different order of scale and detail. Ultimately the different approaches need to have some effort dedicated to understanding on why the budgets are different, if and why consistency is needed and how then to approach this.
Satellite products relevant to carbon, especially on land, are used across all these scales, yet their consistency is not assessed. In addition, products that are generated come with scale/resolution constraints imposed by the measurement process and generally do not have a fully characterisation of the variability and uncertainty associated to them. Often the products are taken and used within model frameworks without consideration of the implications of the support scale (in time or space) or with consideration of the assumptions made in product generation or bias in the measurement process. Talks are thus be encouraged from teams looking at the impacts and importance of differences in scale from in situ, aircraft and satellite observations, to model perspectives.
The session is also geared to improved understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle focused on improved and/or new observations (e.g. Fluorescence, Vegetation Optical Depth, Biomass, LiDAR height/canopy structure) and their impacts on carbon cycle process understanding or characterisation of components of the budget (e.g land use, wetland, fossil fuel emissions). This includes specific investigations of processes in regional carbon hotspots (wetlands, permafrost, blue carbon and the ocean-land interface, forest degradation, disturbance).
Four components are envisaged:
A) Methodological approaches to understanding the carbon cycle in time and space and the role of Earth Observation as an integrator.
B) New Earth observations and improved process understanding of the carbon cycle
C) Implementation and Monitoring of Policy (AFOLU, Stocktake etc) including understanding the role of land use on emissions
D) Regional hotspots in the carbon cycle – wetlands, permafrost, blue carbon and the ocean-land interface, the dynamics of disturbance.

Convenors: Stephen Plummer (ESA)

A4.02 Earth Observations for AFOLU estimation and reporting

Open Session
Description:
Land-related CO2 fluxes are increasingly at the center of the climate debate. The Paris Climate Agreement, EU climate policies, and national climate legislations encourage countries and other actors to reduce carbon emissions and enhance sinks in the land use sector. However, uncertainties over these GHG fluxes and their nature (natural or anthropogenic?) may hamper the potential of nature-based solutions in the transition to net-zero emissions and in the assessment of collective climate progress. Through leading experts, this sessions presents the state of the use of Earth Observation data around global and national-scale estimation of Agriculture, Forest and other Land Use (AFOLU) land CO2 fluxes, identifying areas of consensus and uncertainties with the aim to strengthen the basis of understanding for the forthcoming Global Stocktake and support countries and their national GHG inventories.
The session will invite presentations on the improvements in Earth Observation-based information on forest/land cover/use change, biomass change, fire, soil etc. that can be used and combined to provide more data-driven AFOLU assessments based on the IPCC Good Practice Guidelines of GHG inventories. Particular focus will be on the estimation of natural or anthropogenic processes and considerations of the “managed” land proxy, and on comparing EO-based approaches with other related modeling efforts.
Anticipated abstracts for such a session are coming from WRI/GFW, LSCE, GFZ, IPCC lead authors/experts etc.

Convenors: Martin Herold (GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences)
A.5 Climate

A5.01 Exploring the interface of observations and modelling

Open Session
Description:
In support of the Paris agreement and its transparency framework, anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases need to be monitored. Estimating these emissions require various data sources and will largely rely on the usage of Earth Observation can be data. Emissions can be monitored at various spatial (local, city, national, regional, global) and temporal (single overpass, weekly, monthly, annual, global stocktake) scales. This session aims to show the results of such activities in the frame of on-going and planned satellite missions.

Convenors: Claire MacIntosh (ESA), Director of CMIP IPO

A5.02 The role of Earth Observation in climate services

Open Session
Description:
This session seeks to explore the role of earth observation in climate services, in the context of the Paris Agreement.
In Article 7.7c, Parties to the UNFCCC are called on for “Strengtheningscientific knowledge on climate, including research, systematic observation of the climate system and early warning systems, in a manner that informs climate services and supports decision-making
In the context of earth observation, decision-scale science brings multiple challenges. Namely
•Operationalization of research-mode data, and Essentail Climate variables, including timeliness, common data standards, metadata and uncertainty frameworks, anddata access portals, toolboxes and APIs
•Tailoring of data and derived products to the bespoke needs of services and decision makers. The development of “Globally local” approaches to apply systemic knowledgeto individual problems and needs, and
•Cross disciplinary collaboration and research, and an agreed upon frameworkwithin which such collaboration can take place. For example, combining EO information with the health sector to produce early warning systems for disease outbreaks.
We welcome submissions related to all aspects of the climate services and data operationalization pipeline.

Convenors: Claire MacIntosh (ESA), Carlo Buontempo (ECMWF)

A5.03 Next generation cloud climatology

Open Session
Description:
Our ability to image Earth spectrally every few minutes at km scales has dramatically improved with the current generation of imagers on geostationary satellites (such as the Advanced Baseline Imager). We are, or soon will be, able to acquire full-disk scans from geostationary imaging instruments encircling the entire earth every 10-15 minutes with roughly 12 common channels and with spatial resolutions of around 2km for thermal channels and finer spatial resolutions for selected solar channels. Compared to previous generations, currently operational new generation spectral imagers have shown tremendous improvements in cloud characterization, enabled new cloud products including (but not limited to) cloud particle size and cloud phase, and high scan rate imagery has revealed a new perspective of fast convective processes including tornado and hail-producing severe convection. Thus an obvious application of this capability, and one that offers a framework for yet wider use, is in developing a new and more advanced cloud climatology under the auspices of the Next Generation of the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP-NG) that will exploit many of these new capabilities. It is in this context that this session is proposed. This session solicits presentations that utilize these spectral data for deriving cloud information. Part of this effort includes leveraging other international activities (GSICS, IO-GEO) aimed at improving the consistency of the radiometric calibration of new and old geostationary imagers. We also expect ISCCP-NG to produce an intermediate product of all geostationary Level-1 observations mapped to a common global grid (L1g) which should offer many benefits to applications beyond cloud remote sensing. Once established on the new geostationary imager data, activities will commence to expand these concepts back in time on previous generations of geostationary data. Currently, prototype ISCCP-NG data exists from the current set of geostationary imagers and the public are welcome to comment on issues of resolution, format and content.

Convenors: Peter van Oevelen (International GEWEX Project Office/George Mason University)

A5.04 Water Vapour and its Role in Climate

Open Session
Description:
The importance of water vapour for the Earth's radiative balance, climate feedbacks, atmospheric circulation, the Earth's water cycle, latent heat transport, and stratospheric processes is undisputed, and yet significant observational uncertainties remain in documenting its distribution and its response to climate change. This session shall review the latest progress in both tropospheric and stratospheric water vapour retrieval from satellite data, the potential contribution of new satellite missions to the understanding of water vapour's role in the Earth system, and efforts to develop and utilise long-term water vapour ECVs for climate research. We invite contributions from the broader water vapour community, including those interested in the generation of water vapour climate data records and data users (such as climate modellers and NWP researchers) in order to discuss the most recent scientific applications and challenges in processing and using water vapour observations.

Convenors: Michaela Hegglin (University of Reading)

A5.05 Monitoring Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Space

Open Session
Description:
In support of the Paris agreement and its transparency framework, anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases need to be monitored. Estimating these emissions require various data sources and will largely rely on the usage of Earth Observation can be data. Emissions can be monitored at various spatial (local, city, national, regional, global) and temporal (single overpass, weekly, monthly, annual, global stocktake) scales. This session aims to show the results of such activities in the frame of on-going and planned satellite missions.

Convenors: Yasjka Meijer (RHEA), Richard Engelen (ECMWF), Dominik Brunner (Empa), Michael Buchwitz (IUP-Bremen), Ilse Aben (SRON)
A.6 Geospace (upper atmosphere, ionosphere, space weather)

A6.01 Geospace System Science: Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Magnetosphere and Their Coupling

Open Session
Description:
This session deals with geospace science on all temporal and spatial scales. It includes new results based on ESA (such as but not limited to Swarm and GOCE), Third-Party and other missions. We also welcome input from affiliated observing systems, including ground based and also novel physics-based modelling approaches for improved understanding of geospace and space weather. Specifically, we solicit contributions on the first-order questions in thermosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere science, with particular emphasis on coupling between the various elements. Elements linked to ESA's ambitious 4D Ionosphere activities and upper atmosphere climate and their link with world-wide R&D activities are particularly welcome.

Convenors: Ilias Daras (ESA), Anja Stromme (ESA), Matt Taylor (ESA)

A6.02 Upper/Lower Atmosphere Processes, Coupling and Ion-Neutral Interactions

Open Session
Description:
This session invites contributions dealing with the coupling within and between the lower and the upper parts of the Earth's atmosphere. Nowadays, many phenomena occurring in the troposphere and stratosphere are regularly observed in-situ by satellites equipped with suitable sensors measuring key parameters of the charged and neutral particle environment. Whistlers, TLEs, gravity waves, planetary waves, atmospheric tides and observations of high-risk extreme events such as earthquakes and tropical cyclones are steadily reported in the literature. In view of for example ESA's Swarm mission a number of such findings have been reported. In the lowermost thermosphere-ionososphere (LTI) system, roughly between 100 and 200 km of altitude, interactions between neutral and charged particles are at their strongest. Neutral gas and ionized plasma is governed by different physical laws, making this interplay inherently complex but scientifically intriguing. The LTI is host to a broad range of energetic, chemical and dynamic processes that govern the coupling with the middle atmosphere below and the magnetosphere and heliosphere, including the solar wind, above. few meetings offer a platform to discuss these findings with an adequate view to defining research priorities and objectives to arrive at a better physical understanding of this type of coupling phenomena and how it can be used to better understand our home planet and its interaction with the geospace environment.

Convenors: Ilias Daras (ESA), Anja Stromme (ESA), Elisabetta Iorfida (ESA), Alex Hoffmann (ESA)
A.7 Hydrology and Water Cycle

A7.01 Inland Water Storage and Runoff: Modeling, In Situ Data and Remote Sensing

Open Session
Description:
This session is focused on continental water monitoring using satellite techniques (altimetry, radar, and optical sensors at different resolutions) and hydrologic models. While research is ongoing regarding processing algorithm development, products such as water level in lakes, reservoirs and rivers, flood extent and volume, river discharge, floodplain deltas, and estuaries 3D water dynamics are now delivered in an operational mode. Others still need further developments, and others are just emerging as new products.
To meet science, application and societal benefit objectives, the next challenges are to significantly improve modelling and forecasting skills through assimilation of observations, as well as the operational processes. Additionally, The new generation of instruments allows higher resolutions that will require new and improved processing algorithms, designing new products, training a new generation of scientists and eventually augmenting the user base for societal benefits.
This session will cover algorithms development, novel and merged products and applications including assimilation of satellite and in situ data in models. There should be a session on Coastal Altimetry and another on Coastal Hazards so studies on river discharge to the ocean and interaction with the coastal regime can be either submitted in either of those sessions or in this session.

Convenors: Jérôme Benveniste (ESA)

A7.02 EO advances in water and energy cycles

Open Session
Description:
The focus of this session is reviewing the progress and latest results in water cycle research with major focus on EO- advances in the domain of water and energy cycle, water cycle in climate, hydrology, hydro-climatic extremes and water resources and climate adaptation, water-energy-food nexus.

Convenors: Clément Albergel (ESA)

A7.03 Towards and integrated high resolution reconstruction of the water cycle: advances in observations and hyper-resolution modelling

Open Session
Description:
The increasing observation potential offered by the unique and unprecedented set of new space missions that will be available in the coming few years open an unique opportunity to better observe and characterise the water cycle from space and unprecedented resolution sin space and time. The Sentinel missions, complemented by the novel Earth Explorers, the next generation of meteorological missions and an increasing et of different national and commercial satellites open a new panorama in terms of synergistic capabilities to characterise the different components of the water cycles from scape at resolutions in space and time compatible with decision making needs at basin and even local scales. At the same time an emerging set of novel models (convection permitting models) and hyper-resolution hydrological modelling approaches are evolving towards an enhanced potential to model the hydrological cycle with unprecedented resolutions and accuracies. This session aims at connecting this two worlds bringing together EO experts and modellers to assess the latest developments in high and very high resolution hydrology and discuss opportunities for the future.

Convenors: Diego Fernandez Prieto (ESA)

A7.04 Irrigation estimates and management from EO data

Open Session
Description:
Agriculture is the largest water user with about 70% of total freshwater consumption, which is projected to further increase due to climate change, population growth but also more demanding lifestyles and diets. Indeed, the average irrigation for a crop season in some regions can be at least twice the amount of rainfall. Irrigated areas, although being about 2% of the global land area (17% of cultivated area), alter (1) the land water cycle, by locally increasing evapotranspiration and soil moisture, and (2) the atmosphere dynamic, by a local increase in the latent heat flux as well as of atmospheric water vapor that in turn modulates the cloud coverage and precipitation. Notwithstanding its relevance, the real amount of water used for irrigation from household farmers to irrigation district areas globally is almost completely unknown.
Irrigation is one of the sectors where there is one of the hugest differences between modern technology and the largely diffused ancient traditional practices. Improving irrigation water use efficiency and irrigation management is an immediate requirement of human society for sustaining the global food security, to preserve quality and quantity of water resources. This session will focus on: (1) the use of remote sensing data to estimate irrigation volumes and timing, (2) irrigation water needs estimates from ground and satellite data, (3) improving irrigation water use efficiency based on remote sensing vegetation indices, hydrological modeling, satellite soil moisture and/or land surface temperature data, (4) precision farming with high resolution satellite data or drones, and (5) farm and irrigation district irrigation management.

Convenors: Chiara Corbari (Politecnico di Milano)

A7.05 InSAR for the groundwater management

Open Session
Description:
Sustainable groundwater management is one of the most important challenges in groundwater field, especially in arid regions. The lack of relevant information on groundwater (e.g. piezometric levels) represents a critical drawback for an integrated and sustainable water resources management to understand the current status of the water resources, identify the impacts of climate change in water availability, and set up adaptation and mitigation measurements coping with future potential threats. Earth Observation (EO) technology, and particularly InSAR, can help us to fill this information gap by assessing and monitoring environmental variables related to water resources stored in the subsurface at adequate temporal and spatial scales. InSAR techniques have evolved rapidly in the last few years and are fostered by the increasing availability of SAR datasets and the development of processing algorithms and software tools. Particularly, the Sentinel-1 satellites are the first globally acquiring SAR systems optimized for InSAR ground displacement measurement. They are designed with a high repeat pass frequency and spatial resolution for production of accurate ground deformation maps (e.g. due to groundwater extraction) and, consequently, to derive groundwater depletion at regional/basin scale.
In the recent years, InSAR has brought new perspective in groundwater management. Satellite interferometric data may support the measurement of land subsidence and can be used together with sparse piezometric head records to improve the calibration of hydrogeologic parameters, i.e., aquifer characterization.
This session is aimed to collect contributions on state of the art and perspectives of the use of InSAR products (displacement maps, velocities and time series) in the framework of groundwater management. Studies concerning the value and limits of InSAR techniques for groundwater management purpose are welcome.
Topics of interest mainly include (not limited to):
• Use of InSAR data for mapping and monitoring ground deformation due to groundwater extraction;
• Use of ground displacement measurements through InSAR to characterize aquifer properties and their changes along time (e.g. groundwater storage changes);
• Exploit InSAR data to quantify aquifer storage and pumping rates, where in situ data are insufficient or to fill gaps in monitoring data;
• Aquifer-system and deformation modelling taking advantage of InSAR data;
• Use of InSAR movement information to simulate future scenarios of land subsidence for regulating groundwater extraction;
• Past and present practical experiences of integration of InSAR deformation information into management plans of aquifer systems;
• Analysis of non-groundwater signals across InSAR displacement maps (e.g. surficial clay layers, cropping activity, load changes due to presence of engineered structures) interferring with the detection of aquifer deformation signals.


Convenors: Claudia Meisina (University of Pavia); Carolina Guardiola-Albert (Instituto Geológico y Minero de España IGME); Roberto Tomás Jover (Universidad de Alicante); Pietro Teatini (Università di Padova)

A7.06 EO for monitoring water quality and ecological status in inland waters

Open Session
Description:
Inland waters are important and vulnerable ecosystems that, despite covering a relatively small area of the Earth’s surface, support a disproportionate amount of biodiversity and ecosystem services, providing numerous benefits to humans such as food provisioning, transportation, and recreation. Moreover, inland waters are increasingly threatened by anthropogenic pressures including climate change, land use intensification and eutrophication. Satellite remote sensing can contribute to monitoring and understanding changes in water quality parameters (turbidity, chlorophyll etc.), ecological status (e.g., trophic status, toxic algal blooms) and ecological processes (e.g., primary production) in inland waters, providing valuable data for investigating the drivers and impacts of these changes, and supporting water resources management and decision-making. In recent years, there has been a shift from remote sensing studies focused on individual waterbodies to the development of products that can be applied at a regional or global scale, including efforts to generate global products that combine information from several satellite sensors to produce multi-decadal records of lake parameters. However, there is still much to be done to generate Earth Observation algorithms and data products, that are robust across the wide concentrations ranges of optically active water constituents present in inland waters. This session aims to showcase the development and application of new methods for monitoring water quality and ecological status of inland waters using satellite Earth Observation technologies. Contributions are particularly welcomed that describe novel approaches (e.g., using machine learning, ensemble classifiers, cloud computing and new satellite sensors) that are applicable across multiple waterbodies and that allow investigation of long-term temporal dynamics and spatial patterns within and between inland waters. We seek presentations which demonstrate a holistic approach to characterizing inland water ecosystems, integrating remote sensing, in situ data and modelling. Of particular interest would be projects which leverage technology or unique capacity development techniques to get the water quality information into the hands of decision-makers to improve water resource management.

Convenors: Emma Tebbs (King's College London)

A7.07 Global and regional water cycle in the integrated human-Earth system

Open Session
Description:
Water in all three phases and its cycling through the Earth system are essential to weather, climate and climate change, and to life itself. The water cycle is closely coupled with energy cycle and carbon cycle. Over continents, water cycle includes precipitation (related to clouds, aerosols, and atmospheric dynamics), water vapor divergence and change of column water vapor in the atmosphere, and land surface evapotranspiration, terrestrial water storage change (related to snowpack, surface and ground water, and soil moisture change), and river and groundwater discharge (which is linked to ocean salinity near the river mouth). Furthermore, the terrestrial water cycle is directly affected by human activities: land cover and land use change, agricultural, industrial, and municipal consumption of water, and construction of reservoirs, canals, and dams. This session invites presentations on the global and regional water cycle and its coupling with the energy and carbon cycles in the integrated human-Earth system based on satellite remote sensing, supplemented by ground-based and airborne measurements as well as global and regional modeling.

Convenors: Peter van Oevelen (International GEWEX Project Office/George Mason University)
A.8 Ocean

A8.01 EO for Hurricane Force Sea Winds: Current Achievements and Future Developments

Open Session
Description:
Session is focused on state of the art technique to retrieve sever sea wind condition with satellite based active and passive sensors as well as impact of such observation into automatic tropical cyclone forecast systems and medium range meteorological forecast. systems.

Convenors: Raffaele Crapolicchio (Serco Italia for ESA)

A8.02 Upper-Layer Ocean Circulation from Space

Open Session
Description:
The upper-layer ocean circulation is characterized by numerous processes which superimpose and interact with each other and which cover a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. In the highest resolution part of the spectra, complicated patterns develop through local and non-local interactions, inducing sub-mesoscale structures with horizontal scales of 1-10 km, vertical scales of 50-200m and time scales shorter than a day. Owing to their lateral scale and rapid evolving nature (hours to days), these features and underlying processes are not easily accessible from traditional in situ ocean sampling, nor is there today a satellite mission providing direct measurements of ocean surface currents. On the other hand, the oceanographic community can count on a large variety of active and passive instruments that have been put into orbit over the last few decades as altimeters, gradiometers, scatterometers, synthetic aperture radars, imaging radiometers operating at different wavelengths (microwave, infrared), and spectrometers, whose measurements are more or less directly providing information about the upper-ocean currents. In this context, this session will explore how multi-variable satellite observations, together with in-situ data and/or numerical modelling can be consistently and systematically used in synergy to better observe and understand upper ocean horizontal and vertical dynamics. The session also invites contributions demonstrating how innovative EO-based products can be used in support of the many different applications depending on an accurate knowledge of the upper-ocean circulation, as Pollution monitoring, Maritime Safety, Renewable Marine Energy, Fisheries and Aquaculture,…

Convenors: Marie-Helene Rio (ESA), Craig Donlon (ESA), Bertrand Chapron (IFRMER), Jordi Isern-Fontanet (CSIC), Bruno Buongiorno Nardelli (CNR), Christine Gommenginger (NOCS), Clement Ubelmann (OceanNext), Erik Van Sebille (Univ. Utrecht), Lucile Gaultier (Oceandatalab)

A8.03 Ocean Carbon From Space

Open Session
Description:
By absorbing 25% of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide, Oceans are a major sink of carbon and a key component of the Global Carbon Cycle. Absolute value, variations and trends of the Ocean Carbon sink strongly depend on the ocean solubility, carbonate and biological pumps, defined as a suite of biological, physical and chemical processes that control the transfer of organic carbon from the surface layer of the ocean to the deep ocean. This session welcomes any contribution demonstrating how remote sensing, together with in-situ data and numerical modelling, can improve our observation and understanding of the different pools of carbon in the ocean (Dissolved Inorganic Carbon - DIC, Dissolved Organic Carbon - DOC, Particulate Organic Carbon - POC, Particulate Inorganic Carbon PIC), together with the key processes that determine the fluxes of carbon between these pools, including Primary production, Export production, Air-Sea gas exchange, Land-Sea exchange, … This session is also opened to studies aiming at investigating how EO-derived ocean carbon products can support management actions toward an effective enhancement of ocean carbon sequestration as a key element of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Convenors: Marie-Helene Rio (ESA), Shubha Sathyendranath (PML), Marco Bellacicco (CNR), Jamie Shutler (University of Exeter), Sampsa Koponen (SYKE), Nicolas Gruber (ETHZ), Astrid Bracher (AWI)

A8.04 Ocean Health

Open Session
Description:
Ocean Health, defined as the Ocean’s condition allowing to continuously provide services for Humans in a sustainable way, while preserving its intrinsic well-being and its biodiversity, is under considerable threat. Decades of pollution (including contaminants from industrial sewage and nutrients and pesticides run-off from agricultural exploitations, leading to eutrophication, plastic pollution), overexploitation of resources (overall one-third of fish stocks are overfished and another 60 percent are fished at their maximum sustainable levels) and damaging coastal environment use (including urban development along coastlines, offshore aquaculture, bottom trawling, oil and gas extraction) have severely degraded the condition of both coastal and offshore marine ecosystems. This degradation is being further exacerbated by Climate Change whose effects on Oceans are numerous (global ocean warming, sea level rise, increasing surface acidification, loss of oxygen from the surface to 1000m, enhanced frequency of Extreme events,…). In this context, this session welcomes any contribution demonstrating how satellite data can be used to better monitor the many different stressors impacting Ocean Health, and further understand the complex mechanisms triggering the ocean response to those. The many sensors on-board currently operating satellites (Altimeters, Radiometers, Scatterometers, Synthetic Aperture Radars, Spectrometers) have indeed high relevance for Ocean Health studies, providing continuous, global and repetitive measurements of many key parameters of the physical (temperature, salinity, sea level, currents, wind, waves) and biogeochemical (Ocean Colour related variables) marine environment, including also high resolution mapping of key marine habitats (coral reefs, kelp forests, seagrass,…). Single sensors capability is even more amplified when used in synergy with other space and in-situ measurements, or together with numerical modelling of the physical, biogeochemical, ecological ocean state, so that the session is encouraging multi sensors and multi-disciplinary studies. The session is also open to contributions demonstrating how EO derived products can be used to support management actions to restore and preserve Ocean Health.

Convenors: Marie-Helene Rio (ESA), Roberto Sabia (ESA), Nicolas Segebarth (EC), Victor Martinez Vicente (PML)

A8.05 Coastal Altimetry Algorithms, Products and Applications

Open Session
Description:
This session will feature Coastal Altimetry studies using the latest altimetry missions (including CryoSat-2, HY-2, AltiKa, Jason-3, Sentinel-3, ICEsat-2, Sentinel-6, used in synergy) and the preparation for Sentinel-3 Next Generation Topography mission as well as CRISTAL and the preparation for the exploitation of the future SWOT data. Reports on Coastal Currents, Wind and Wave, Coastal Sea Level and Sea State monitoring, including extreme events are most welcome. This session will cover algorithms development, novel and merged products and applications including assimilation of altimetry and in situ data in coastal models. There should be another session on Inland Water but studies on river discharge to the ocean and interaction with the coastal regime can also be submitted in this session. Exploitation of other sensors observing the Coastal Zone are welcome.

Convenors: Jérôme Benveniste (ESA)

A8.06 Ocean Extremes

Open Session
Description:
Since the beginning of the industrial era, oceans have absorbed 90% of the heat in excess in the atmosphere and 30% of the anthropogenic carbon. This buffering capacity has led to global ocean warming, sea level rise, increasing surface acidification, and loss of oxygen from the surface to 1000m. One of the most visible effect of the on-going climate crisis is the increase of the frequency and severity of Extreme Climate Events, including increases in tropical cyclone winds and rainfall, increases in extreme waves, and increasing in the frequency and intensity of marine heatwaves. This degradation of the marine environment has a tremendous impact on the many organisms living in the Ocean, in particular, impact of Extreme Climate Events on marine life is expected to be very high as they provide little opportunity for organisms to adapt. This session welcomes contribution demonstrating the role of Remote Sensing data, in synergy with other Earth Observations measurements (in-situ, airplane,…) and models, to better observe, monitor and predict Extreme events over the Oceans (extreme winds, marine heatwaves, extreme acidification events, …) and further understand how they impact the marine physical and biogeochemical environment and the marine ecosystems. Studies investigating the occurrence and impact of compound events are also welcome. The session is also open to contributions demonstrating how EO derived products can be used to support management actions aiming at mitigating the impact of extreme events on the marine environment.

Convenors: Marie-Helene Rio (ESA), Craig Donlon (ESA), Alexis Mouche (IFREMER), Nicolas Reul (IFREMER), Bertrand Chapron (IFREMER), Romain Husson (CLS), Salvatore Marullo (ENEA), Nathalie Verbrugge (CLS), Luke Gregor (ETHZ)

A8.07 Oceanographic Change of the Arctic Ocean From Space

Open Session
Description:
The Arctic ocean is an extremely dynamic environment undergoing dramatic change. In a warming climate enhanced nutrient and sedimant inputs are evident form increased river flow with impacts on the ocean bio-geo-chemistry.  Sea ice, salinity and surface temperature are intimately linked with substantial changes over the last decade.  More open water is now evident in summer months providing longer fetch conditions leading to enhanced ocean wind and wave conditions that have a direct impact on the growth and retreat of sea ice, upper ocean dynamics and air sea interaction. In the coming decades further chages are expected that may lead to a fundamentally different Arctic Ocean regime than that observed today. This session is dedicated to reviewing our undertsnading of Arctic Ocean changes using satellite measurments supported by in situ observations and ocean models.

Convenors: Craig Donlon (ESA), Johnny Johannesen (NERSC), Betrand Chapron (IFREMER), Thomas Lavergene (Met.No), Lars Kaleschke (AWI), Fabrice Collard (OceanDataLab), Paolo Cipollini (ESA), Sarah Fleury (CNRS/LEGOS), Jacob Hoeyer (DMI), Ad Stoffelen (KNMI), Nicolas Reul (IFREMER), Diego Fenandez (ESA)

A8.08 EO applications for Monitoring Marine Litter and Debris

Open Session
Description:
Marine Litter is a global environmental problem causing socioeconomic and health issues to humankind. It can be found in all the seas, from the equator to the poles, but also in freshwater systems, such as rivers and lakes. About $1.5 trillion of yearly financial damage within the blue economic activities is estimated due to marine plastic litter only. Marine animals can get injured or be killed by the hundreds of thousands every year, as they become entangled in items such as derelict fishing nets or ingest plastic that has been mistaken by food. The issue is also becoming a concern for human health due to contamination of seafood with plastic particles and associated pollutants, some of which are known to be harmful to humans. Existing ground-based data collection systems for marine litter are limited and are not able to answer fundamental questions, for instance related to marine litter concentrations and spatial and temporal dynamics, due partly to the vastness of the problem, diversity of the types of litter and its general sparseness. Remote sensing represents a complementary monitoring strategy with the potential to provide information at a large/global scale and more frequently, enabling the generation of specific EO applications for supporting the resolution or mitigation of this environmental issue. This session will present some of the most significant studies exploring potential EO applications for monitoring marine litter and debris, with emphasis on the feasibility of potential services and business applications.

Convenors: Paolo Corradi (ESA), Anna Bezborodova (ESA)

A8.09 Observing small-scale ocean dynamics at the interfaces of the Earth System

Open Session
Description:
High-resolution satellite images of the ocean reveal an abundance of ocean fronts, swirls, vortices and filaments at horizontal scales below 10 km that permeate the global ocean, especially near current jets and eddies, in coastal seas and close to sea ice margins. These small-scale ocean dynamic features are the fingerprints of intense atmosphere-ocean interactions and ocean vertical processes that mediate exchanges across all the fundamental interfaces of the Earth System – between the atmosphere, the ocean surface, the ocean interior, the cryosphere and land – and impact major aspects of the global climate system.
This session will showcase how satellite remote sensing can contribute new observations and insights about these small-scale, elusive but essential dynamical processes with examples from across the scientific community.
The session welcomes a broad range of contributions, from measuring ocean surface currents with ATI and SAR Doppler signals, to detecting submesoscale variability and internal waves in high-resolution altimetry, infrared and optical imagery, to understanding wind-wave-current interactions with satellite data and global, coastal and sea-ice models.
Contributors are invited to reflect on what can - and what cannot - be done today with satellites, and what new capabilities are needed from future satellites like the Earth Explorer 11 SEASTAR candidate mission to promote scientific advances on this topic.

Convenors: Christine Gommenginger (National Oceanography Centre)

A8.10 Ocean Doppler: Challenges and Opportunities for Future Missions of Global Ocean Surface Currents

Open Session
Description:
Ocean surface winds, waves and currents form the dynamic riddles in the meso- and sub-meso-scale involving surface wind stress, wave growth rate, perturbations of the shear flow on different scales, which determine the interaction and exchange of momentum, mass and energy in multi-scale processes, between the ocean and atmosphere. Capturing these processes is vital for numeric models of weather, waves, as well as tracking of carbon-dioxide and biology in the ocean. In the polar regions, winds, waves and currents play determining roles in the motion of sea ice and fresh water released by melting ice sheets. Even though currents on scales of tens of kilometers and larger have been derived from altimetry, based on geostrophic balance theory, today’s satellite sensors are still not capable of measuring global ocean currents directly, such that the meso- to submeso-scale currents, associated with ocean eddies, are still not available with current techniques. Recently, new concepts for direct Doppler frequency shift measurement of ocean surface current have been proposed, such as the HARMONY, SeaSTAR, Winds and Currents Mission (WaCM), Ocean Surface Currents Observation Mission (OSCOM), based on the promising results demonstrated from airborne campaigns and SAR for instruments with Doppler measurements. Even though the concept for Doppler frequency measurement is simple and straightforward, the retrieval of the ocean surface currents from the coupled processes of winds, waves and currents, still remains challenging.
This session will be focused on the observation of meso- to submeso-scale surface currents for global oceans. The topics to be discussed include but are not limited to,
1)Error inducing factors and their contributions to Doppler measurements;
2)Joint parameter inversion methods for wind, wave and surface current;
3)State-of-the-art description of ocean surface motion;
4)Wind-wave interaction and their Doppler signatures.
This session will host the assembled discussion on the above topics and the recent progresses of the missions in this innovative field.

Convenors: Xiaolong Dong (National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

A8.11 Colour and Light in the Ocean from Earth Observation

Open Session
Description:
This session will deal with aspects of ocean-colour science, including: sensor development and evaluation; atmospheric correction; in-water algorithms; product validation; and applications. Contributions dealing with the Copernicus Sentinel 2 MSI and 3 OLCI sensors and other new and emerging sensors (EnMap, Prisma, others), and the ESA Climate Change Initiative are encouraged. Model and satellite data comparisons, and assimilation of ocean-colour data into ecosystem models, especially in the context of climate studies, are welcome. Development of novel products, synergies between sensors for product improvement, multi-sensor time series generation, climate data records and synergies with related work on inland water bodies are within the scope of this session. Depending on the response of the session contributors, the potential for a special issue on the session topic in an international journal will be explored.

Convenors: Steve Groom (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)

A8.12 Synergies between Earth Observation and BGC-Argo autonomous profilers

Open Session
Description:
This session will open to studies that foster the synergy between space-based observations of the ocean and in situ autonomous Biogeochemical-Argo profilers. The BGC-Argo network is rapidly expanding and an array of 1000 floats will be reached and sustained in the future to monitor our oceans. Indeed, the implementation of BGC-Argo is listed as a key mission of the G7’s “Future of the Seas and Oceans” Initiative, and proved to be useful to enhance the European Copernicus services with new and advanced products. BGC-Argo floats are equipped with a variety of sensors able to provide information on the physics, chemistry and biology of our oceans from the surface down to 2000 m. While BGC-Argo floats are profiling everywhere in the world’s ocean, only constellations of satellites provide a synoptic view of the ocean surface. The two observations networks thus yield complementary information and, when merged, can power the observation of marine ecosystems, and contribute to build the digital twin of the ocean. Here, we are calling for synergies looking at, but not limited to: Case studies (both at the global and regional scales) showing the power of such a synergy in monitoring and understanding ocean health and marine ecosystems (e.g., primary production, carbon fluxes, biodiversity, ocean acidification, marine heat waves) and climate nexus; Management of marine living resources; Combined use of satellites and BGC-Argo to build a 3D view of ocean chemistry and biology (through artificial intelligence); Integration of satellite and BGC-Argo observations with biogeochemical/ecosystem modelling; Evolution of the Copernicus services and of the digital twin of the ocean. Studies dealing with the use of BGC-Argo for CAL/VAL of satellites, and satellite products development and validation are also welcome. Multi-disciplinary and multi-sensors approaches are encouraged.

Convenors: Emanuele Organelli CNR (National Research Council of Italy)

A8.13 Remote-sensing of Ocean Winds and Stress

Open Session
Description:
Ocean surface winds (OSW) are a prime indicator of the pulse of our living planet. In Earth System science, the coupling of the ocean and the atmosphere has always played an important role in climate dynamics and weather forecasting. Surface winds helpmediate the momentum, gas and energy fluxes between atmosphere and ocean, driving major climate modes, such as El Nino and the Madden-Julian Oscillation. The quantification and understanding of air-sea exchanges are moreover very relevant to project the heatand carbon storage of the ocean in the changing climate. Extreme winds in hurricanes can cause considerable damage and loss of life, so improved measurement and modelling of such systems will have major societal benefit.
Multi-decade records of high-accuracy, spatially detailed wind speed and wind stress are available from spaceborne microwave scatterometers, altimeters and microwave radiometers, With each new instrument comes the need for accurate calibration and validation,so that multi-instrument datasets can be collated to investigate long-term climate changes in the wind field and their impact on the ocean. This is the case for each succeeding altimeter or scatterometer, but will raise new challenges with the drive to assessnovel missions producing higher resolution wind fields, such as ESA's Earth Explorer missions Harmony and SeaStar.
Methods are being developed to better assimilate data from these various sensors, differing in physical property, resolution and accuracy, into NWP models. The contribution of ocean surface winds observed from space to hurricane forecasting will furtherincrease their ability to provide timely warnings. More generally, wind stress data sets will be very valuable in understanding the exchange processes at the air-sea interface and their representation in Earth System models. Furthermore, as observing techniquesand data information analysis improve, in particular through Artificial Intelligence (AI), higher resolution and coastal region products are under development to meet the requirements of monitoring for, inter alia, prevention of disasters, planning for betteruse of green energy derived from winds, and optimisation of sea transport.
All contributions related to OSW and the above broad topics, from sensors, including scatterometers, altimeters, synthetic aperture radars, radiometers and global navigation satellite systems, to calibration, retrieval, services and applications, are welcome.

Convenors: Ad Stoffelen (KNMI), Graham Quartly (PML), Saleh Abdalla (ECMWF), Lotfi Aouf (Meteo France), Nicolas Reul (Ifremer)

A8.14 Remote-sensing of Ocean Waves and their Applications

Open Session
Description:
The ocean surface is characterised by highly dynamic surface waves. Ocean waves touch on a variety of different applications including air-sea interaction, storm surges and maritime operations. Large scale waves affect the design and operations of freighters, pleasure boats, offshore structures and harbour defences. They are an important indicator of climate change since they provide an integrated measure of the momentum imparted by winds, and the turbulence and mixing caused by waves mediates the transfer of gases between atmosphere and ocean.
Many satellite-borne sensors give a measure of wave activity, from nadir-pointing altimeters to oblique-viewing synthetic aperture radars and optical instruments imaging white-capping and sun-glitter. These records need accurate calibration and validation to produce homogeneous datasets that can be combined with in situ measurements and wave models to enable studies of climate on seasonal to decadal scales. This session is dedicated to the progress in measuring ocean surface wave expressions from space, their assimilation into models, and their translation into products that support applications in science and society.

Convenors: Craig Donlon (ESA), Marie Helene Rio (ESA), Marcus Engdahl (ESA), Graham Quartly, (PML) Saleh Abdalla (ECMWF), Fabrice Ardhuin (LOPS), Lotfi Aouf (Meteo France), Christine Gommenginger (NOCS), Bertrand Chapron (IFERMER), Andrew Sualter (MetOffice), Johanna Stanever (HZG)
A.9 Polar Science and Cryosphere

A9.01 Continuity in Cryosphere observation: from Cryosat to CRISTAL

Open Session
Description:
ESA’s CryoVEx (CryoSat Calibration and Validation Experiments) campaigns began in 2002 in the Arctic with the overall objective to capture temporal changes in snow and ice characteristics in the polar regions in support of the validation of Cryosat products. Throughout the years, CryoVEx evolved into larger sea-ice and land-ice campaigns that consisted of collocated ground, aircraft and satellite experiments in both polar regions. These campaigns have taken place at least once every two years since the launch of CS-2, in 2010. With eleven years into the CS-2 mission and several TBs of data collected and not fully analysed yet, this session invites presentations on the CryoVEx results obtained so far and suggestions for a new campaign concept called "CryoBridge", which has the scope to minimise the gap in data acquisition before the end of life of CS-2 and the launch of CRISTAL, including ideas to inter-calibrate the two missions. Such systematic and repetitive observations would be instrumental in paving the way for Polar Fiducial Reference measurements (FRM), properly characterized and traceable to standards and/or community best practices on which future altimetry data processing technics and cal/val results can be anchored. This session welcomes as well, contributions on future campaigns requirements for CRYO2ICE to maximise the scientific outcome of CS-2/Icesat-2 joint observations.

Convenors: Tania Casal (ESA), Jerome Bouffard (ESA), Tommaso Parrinello (ESA), Paolo Cipollini (ESA)

A9.02 CRYO2ICE: a multi-sensor approach to Earth science

Open Session
Description:
In summer 2020, the orbit of CryoSat-2 was changed to periodically align it with NASA's ICESat-2 to allow collocated radar and lidar measurements of the same ice, at nearly the same time. The new data resulting from this new orbit configuration, called CRYO2ICE, allows scientists to measure snow depth from space on both sea and land, improving the accuracy of sea-ice thickness measurements and ice-sheet elevation time series. The measurements will also help to map snow over the poles and advance our understanding of currents in polar oceans, with further applications expected in the study of inland waters and the atmosphere. In this session, we aim at discussing results using CRYO2ICE data. This objective of the session will focus on assessing the benefits of multi-frequency altimetry for glaciology and promote the importance of future mission like CRISTAL. Therefore, we welcome contributions covering the entire range of scientific analyses, applications and data exploitation, including inter-comparisons and integrations with other satellite datasets.

Convenors: Tommaso Parrinello (ESA)

A9.03 The NASA-ESA Arctic Methane and Permafrost Challenge (AMPAC) Initiative

Open Session
Description:
In a warming Arctic, longer and warmer growing seasons may accelerate the microbial breakdown of organic carbon stored beneath and within permafrost increasing the magnitude and timing of CO2 and CH4 release to the atmosphere. In addition, rapid permafrost thaw may occur throughout the Arctic, altering surface hydrology, which may contribute to further thawing. Due to these localized feedbacks, permafrost degradation may occur at a much faster rate than would be predicted from changes in air temperature alone. This may lead to a potentially irreversible acceleration in the Methane emissions that may have a significant impact on the climate system.
What are the current methane emissions in the Arctic and what are the sources and sinks? Will the fraction of the carbon permafrost feedback increase in the future? Why we see rapid changes in permafrost not followed by a commensurate net rise in methane emissions? What can we learn from the increasing number of satellite observations over the Arctic high latitudes? These are only some of the critical questions that several scientific communities around the world are facing today using a variety of techniques, data and models.
Addressing those questions requires to overcome major scientific and technical difficulties associated to the scarcity of observations, the complexity of satellite retrievals, the discrepancies between bottom-up and top-down approaches, the understanding of complex processes and its transfer to advanced models, the disentanglement of anthropogenic vs. natural emissions and many others…
In order to further support existing efforts NASA and ESA are launching a transatlantic initiative to help solving the Arctic Methane and Permafrost Challenge to build upon existing and planned capabilities and promote interdisciplinary and collaborative research across communities bringing together different data, results and expertise across the Atlantic to ensure that the final result is bigger than the sum of the parts.
The initiative is articulated across the following Working Group:
•WG1 - Enhanced retrievals, observations and data sets:  Enhances satellite retrievals over land and atmosphere, enhanced collection of data and in situ observations, validation, inter comparisons, building a pan-Arctic constant data set.
•WG2 - Reconciling observation strategies and modelling approaches:  Advance in the effective integration and reconciliation of data and modelling approaches, reconciling bottom up and top down approaches, promoting synthesis analysis of models and data driven results and integrated process studies at different scales, from local scale to pan-Arctic scale studies.
•WG3 - Future observations and next generation of missions: Preparing for future missions, future observations, future campaigns, exploiting advanced technologies.
This session will review the status of the initiative and will foster a discussion with the community on the next steps.

Convenors: Diego Fernandez Prieto (ESA)

A9.04 Mass Balance of the Cryosphere - Session on Results

Open Session
Description:
TThis session is proposed as part of the Mass Balance of the Cryosphere block of sessions.This scientific session reports on the results of studies looking at the mass-balance of all, or some aspects of the cryosphere (ice sheets, mountain glaciers and ice caps, ice shelves, sea ice, permafrost and snow), both regionally and globally. Approaches using data from European and specifically ESA satellites are particularly welcome.

Convenors: Marcus Engdahl (ESA)

A9.05 Measuring mountain glacier changes from space

Open Session
Description:
This session is proposed as part of the Mass Balance of the Cryosphere block of sessions.Glaciers outside the large ice sheets show considerable contributions to sea level rise. In a more local to regional context, they can play an important role for fresh water supply for irrigation, drinking water or power generation during dry periods. Glacier changes foster glacier-related risks and natural hazards.
This session seeks for contributions on Earth observation approaches to measure and monitor changes of mountain glaciers and ice caps in various regions. In accordance with the aims of the RAGMAC (Regional Assessment of Glacier Mass Change) working group of the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences, we anticipate papers that introduce new methods to derive physical quantities, perform regional to global-scale measurements or provide intercomparison experiments using different approaches. Studies that incorporate measurements of different variables from Earth observation data are particularly welcome.

Convenors: Matthias H. Braun (Friedrich - Alexander - Universität Erlangen - Nürnberg)

A9.06 Sea Ice Remote Sensing

Open Session
Description:
The decline in Arctic sea ice extent over the morethan 40-year time series of space-based observations is evidentand one of the strongest observed signals of climate change. Inaddition to sea ice concentration, more sea ice parameters likeice drift, sea ice thickness, albedo, melt ponds, ice age andtype, and snow depth on top of sea ice can be retrieved fromsingle or multiple sensors including microwave radiometers,altimeters, optical sensors, SAR and scatterometers.
New methods are needed to combine satellite datafrom multiple sources, focusing on appropriate synergies toextract the information contained in the differentobservations. This includes identifying data gaps and limitations in existing satellite missions and evaluatingthe benefits of new sensors and future missions such as CIMR,ROSE-L, and CRISTAL, and its integration into sea ice parameterretrieval algorithms. Fully automated and data-driven approachesare required to exploit the enormous amount of available data.
This session will address all aspects of satelliteremote sensing of sea ice, including methodologies for parameterretrieval as well as their application in Numerical WeatherPrediction models and climate science. Submissions ondata-driven modeling and advanced data processing techniques,capable of providing appropriate metrics for evaluating thejoint effect of combining data sets, are encouraged.

Convenors: Christoph Herbert (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), Raffaele Crapolicchio (SERCO), Gunnar Spreen (University of Bremen), Suman Singha (DLR)
A.10 Solid Earth

A10.01 Our Solid Earth: From Core to Surface

Open Session
Description:
This session solicits contributions ranging from the deepest layers of the Earth, the geodynamo and core dynamics, the mantle, the lithosphere and the surface. It is currently placed as an umbrella session that quite likely will be split in a range of better focused sessions (the outer core, the lower mantle, induction studies, lithospheric modelling and surface response etc.) once we know the full list of contributions. The session shall address all aspects linked to the subsurface and surface including oceans, using a multitude of observational techniques (e.g. gravimetry, magnetometry, seismology, surface deformation) as well as physics-based models.

Convenors: Ilias Daras (ESA), Anja Stromme (ESA)

A10.02 Geodetic Satellite Missions and Their Applications

Open Session
Description:
Space-based geodetic techniques provide extreme-accuracy observations of a vast range of Earth system parameters, such as the gravitational field, the shape of the Earth, the reference frame, as well as navigation and positioning. The past 15 years have seen a rapid development in the field, including highly successful endeavours such as ESA's GOCE mission, and the GRACE and GRACE-FO Third-Party Missions. As a direct consequence, the research and application community has developed a vast range of ideas building on the achievements of this golden age of space geodesy. This session deals with state-of-the-art results from the current set of geodetic satellite missions (e.g. GOCE, Swarm, GRACE, GRACE-FO), as well as plans and ideas for new initiatives in the field. Applications from geodetic satellite observations include among others, gravimetry, altimetry, GNSS/VLBI, radio occultation, InSAR and GNSS reflectometry techniques. We also invite contributions to geodesy based on data from the explorer and operational missions, such as the Sentinels.

Convenors: Ilias Daras (ESA), Luca Massotti (ESA)

A10.03 Extraction of land surface heights with Sentinel-1 - Current status, applications, and future objectives

Open Session
Description:
While the interferometric capabilities of Sentinel-1 radar data are being widely exploited for the monitoring of surface deformations due to earthquakes, volcanoes and ground subsidence), its potential to derive surface heights is still widely neglected. This is mainly because of the fact that the Sentinel-1 mission was designed with a narrow orbital tube, thus focusing differential interferometry with short perpendicular baselines. Yet, a couple of studies exist which use its information for the interferometric extraction of digital elevation models (DEMs) or object heights. Their success largely depends on the identification of suitable image pairs based on their temporal and perpendicular baseline, but also on the look and flight direction and the atmospheric conditions at the time of image acquisition. This session will bring together these researchers to present the current status of DEM extraction from Sentinel-1 data, its methods, applications and benefits towards the openly available DEM datasets, such as SRTM, ALOS World 3D30 or the Copernicus DEM, as well as to discuss potentials and to identify needs for future studies, satellites (e.g. Sentinel-1 C and D) and missions.

Convenors: Andreas Braun (University of Tuebingen); Zahra Dabiri (Paris Lodron University of Salzburg)

Advance Future Technology for Earth Observation Missions

B.1 Calibration, validation and data quality, frm

B1.01 SI-Traceable Satellites - a Gold Standard for Climate and Intercalibration

Open Session
Description:
Space-based SI traceable instruments will provide highly accurate data to detect signals of climate change in the shortest possible time, establish multi-year climate benchmarks to improve our understanding of climate processes and models, and enable consistent referencing of satellite sensors to common standards improving the quality of Essential Climate Variables’ data records. SI-Traceable satellites (SITSAT) must evidence their traceability to SI in orbit through documented robust assessment of any source of uncertainty and how that might change (ground to orbit to end of life) compared to its calibration against a primary reference standard. In some cases this extends to the direct use of space adapted primary SI-standards for their in-orbit calibration mimicking methods typical of ground-based metrology laboratories. This ensures that they are robustly linked to the International System of Units (SI) and are trusted “Gold Standard” references for the inter-calibration with the global satellite observing system. Space agencies are currently developing or investigating the first generation SITSATS, including ESA’s TRUTHS and NASA’s CLARREO-Pathfinder mission. The session welcomes contributions addressing SITSAT mission and instrument concepts, as well as science and operational applications, including climate assessment, modelling, ECVs, and satellite intercalibration.

Convenors: Thorsten Fehr (ESA)

B1.02 Advances in calibration of optical passive imaging sensors

Open Session
Description:
Accurate calibration lies at the heart of any optical satellite measurement sensor system and it is of paramount importance for delivering high quality satellite products used in an exponentially growing way for operational environmental monitoring as well as for long-term climate research applications. Calibration may be achieved by dedicated on-board systems or by independent vicarious calibration targets and the need for sensor intercalibration and collaboration of satellite operators has become essential to provide such products to the optical satellite user community. In this context the need for common reference sources and protocols has been recognized as well as mission scenarios such as dedicated tandem campaigns to achieve sensor intercalibration and bias assessments. ESA, alongside other partners and Space Agencies are strongly involved in such activities (RadCalNet, TRUTHS mission, Moon Calibration, Sentinel-3 Tandem Study, etc.) with the objective of establishing globally agreed SI traceable references and protocols to fully characterise sensor calibration and related uncertainty budgets for a long term monitoring of instrument stability vital for integrating data into global observing systems and obtaining accurate climate data records.

Convenors: Steffen Dransfeld (ESA), Fabrizio Niro (SERCO)

B1.03 Present and future of Validation for Optical Imaging Sensor Products

Open Session
Description:
Usage of geophysical parameters retrieved from space has been greatly increasing on a global scale, for a growing number of different applications and needs. The Copernicus Space Component is now one of the major providers of geophysical products acquired from space. Its dedicated Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 satellite constellations are now fully deployed and more data are made available by the Copernicus Contributing Missions, ESA Third Party Missions, and other Commercial and New Space missions as well. On top of this, the ESA Proba-V mission is continuing to provide globally-used data even beyond its nominal lifetime, the ESA FLEX Earth Explorer mission will be in orbit in a few years, and the Copernicus Expansion Missions (i.e. CHIME and LSTM) will follow. In this context, ensuring high quality of the disseminated Earth Observation data has become crucial. Practices and approaches used for data quality control have now to face the needs of a growing and more demanding pool of users. Validation activities need to improve consequently in order to meet the diverse challenges we face nowadays. Worldwide agreed protocols, methodologies and standards need to be put in place. In this framework, ESA has initiated several activities, like the so-called Fiducial Reference Measurements (e.g. FRM4Veg, FRM4STS, FRM4SOC, etc.), aimed at supporting the above-mentioned needs by providing SI traceability and inter-operability among missions.

Convenors: Valentina Boccia (ESA)

B1.04 FLEX validation status and plans

Open Session
Description:
In 2024 the European Space Agency (ESA) will launch its new Earth Explorer Mission FLEX, which is a dedicated space mission to globally quantify solar-induced fluorescence on high spatial and temporal resolution. FLEX flying in tandem with Sentinel-3 will open the possibility to understand the dynamic stress response and functional acclimation of vegetation in times of global change. There is a clear need to assess the inherent uncertainties in the relevant satellite data products. Different approaches are in place or under development to address these validation aspects of the FLEX mission. With this proposed session we will provide an overview on the different validation preparation activities that have started and which include ground based measurements, novel UAV based approaches as well as airborne and satellite measurements of SIF. We will exploit and discuss synergies and links between the different approaches with the goal to develop a better understanding on how to perform validation throughout the mission lifetime of FLEX.

Convenors: Dirk Schuettemeyer (ESA), Marin Tudoroiu (ESA), Matthias Drusch (ESA)

B1.05 VHR Data Quality

Open Session
Description:
This session provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of current status and future developments of commercial players related to the calibration and validation of space-borne Very High-Resolution Optical and SAR sensors and data products. This is the opportunity for commercial EO data providers to present on on-going and future Cal/Val activities, their data quality and the approaches implemented. Usage of standards and best practices for data quality and traceability should be emphasized, and potential synergies between Optical and SAR approaches explored.

Convenors: Valentina Boccia (ESA)

B1.06 Sentinel-1 mission performance and product evolution

Open Session
Description:
The Sentinel-1 mission is a joint initiative of the European Commission (EC) and the European Space Agency (ESA) comprises a constellation of two polar-orbiting satellites, operating day and night performing C-band synthetic aperture radar imaging, enabling them to acquire imagery regardless of the weather. The C-band SAR instrument can operate in four exclusive imaging modes with different resolution (down to 5 m) and coverage (up to 400 km). It provides dual polarisation capability, short revisit times and rapid product delivery. Since the launch of Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B, respectively in 2014 and 2016, many improvements were brought to the mission performances and to the products evolved on many points. This session will present the recent improvements related to a) the upgrade of the products characteristics, performance and accuracy, b) the better characterization of the instrument with the aim to detect anomalies or degradation that may impact the data performance, c) the anticipation of the performance degradation by developing and implementing mitigation actions and d) the explorative activities aiming at improving the product characteristics or expanding the product family to stay on top of the Copernicus Services evolving expectations.

Convenors: Clément Albinet (ESA)

B1.07 Analysis Ready Data: are we there yet?

Open Session
Description:
The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) defines Analysis Ready Data (ARD) as, satellite data that have been processed to a minimum set of requirements and organized into a form that allows immediate analysis with a minimum of additional user effort and interoperability both through time and with other datasets. The need for Analysis Ready Data within the EO community is being driven by user requirements to reduce the burden on resources and expertise to effectively use huge volumes of data being generated continually by multiple satellite missions, and producer objectives to increase use and uptake of the data. As the EO community seeks to generate value from the rapidly increasing volume and variety of EO data, both data users and producers need to understand opportunities and issues around the use and production of Analysis Ready Data, in order to maximise the return on investments. This session on Analysis Ready Data aims to consolidate the current state of knowledge, uptake and benefits of global efforts towards producing Analysis Ready Data for Earth observations across the optical, thermal and microwave domains. Potential topics for this session would include: status updates on ARD products and frameworks; ARD methods; availability of ARD products from government and commercial sources; comparison of multi-sensor ARD products; validation of ARD products; and user-uptake of ARD.

Convenors: Clément Albinet (ESA)

B1.08 Multi-temporal close-range sensing to support vegetation structure characterisation

Open Session
Description:
An increasing number of EO missions in orbit allow the characterisation of dynamic land vegetation. This makes it possible to quantify vegetation phenology, but also the impact of stressors such as drought and pests on canopy structure. However, linking spectral observations at 10-100 m spatial scales to phenomena at the plant level is not straight-forward and best supported by observations at much more detailed spatial scales.
This session aims to highlight trends and developments in multi-temporal close-range sensing of vegetation structure (LAI, AGB, forest stand structure, etc.) that permit to connect vegetation behaviour and spectral signals collected from satellites. The close-range sensing platforms include autonomous sensors on top of towers, from below the canopy and from UAVs with observation frequencies that capture the relevant processes, and can support current and future EO missions.

Convenors: Benjamin Brede (Wageningen University)
B.2 Earth Explorer missions

B2.01 The Earth Explorer 11 Candidate Missions - Science for the Next Decade*

Invited Session
Description:
ESA's Earth Explorer missions consists of a series of satellites addressing critical Earth science issues. Nine Earth Explorer missions have been selected for implementation in the past - GOCE, Aeolus, CryoSat, SMOS, Swarm, EarthCARE, Biomass, FLEX, FORUM, with Harmony as candidate Earth Explorer 10 mission in Phase A. In 2020, ESA invited the science community to propose new mission ideas in response to the Call for Earth Explorer 11 Mission Ideas, to be launched in the early 2030s. Following a scientific, technical and programmatic review, four missions ideas have been selected for further studies by ESA in Phase 0: CAIRT (The Changing-Atmosphere Infra-Red Tomography Explorer), Nitrosat (Mapping reactive nitrogen at the landscape scale), SEASTAR (A mission to study ocean submesoscale dynamics and small-scale atmosphere-ocean processes in coastal, shelf and polar seas) and WIVERN (A ‘WInd VElocity Radar Nephoscope’ to observe global in-cloud winds, clouds and precipitation). Following a downselection process at the completion of Phase 0 and Phase A, respectively, the successful, selected Earth Explorer 11 mission will continue ESA’s commitment to the Earth science community in the next decade. The session will provide an overview of the Earth Explorer 11 programme with invited presentations on the four candidate missions, and the status of accompanying preparatory campaign and study activities.

Convenors: Thorsten Fehr (ESA)

B2.02 FLEX - ESA's Photosynthesis Mission*

Invited Session
Description:
The status of the implementation of the FLEX mission will be presented. Presentations will focus on the space component including the instrument, the algorithm developments, validation activities and selected results demonstrating the expected impact of the measurements.

Convenors: Matthias Drusch (ESA)

B2.03 CryoSat: 12 years in space of ESA’s ice mission*

Invited Session
Description:
CryoSat-2 was launched 12 years ago on 8th April 2010. It was the first European ice mission dedicated to monitoring precise changes in the thickness of polar ice sheets and floating sea ice. CryoSat has been revolutionary in many ways. It was not a conventional launch from a surface launch pad but from a DNEPR rocket, which emerged from an underground silo. The orbit is different from any other Earth Observation satellites, flying in a non-synchronous orbit and reaching 88 latitude with drifting ground tracks and very long repeat cycle. The payload was also revolutionary: not a conventional pulse-limited altimeter but a SAR altimeter with interferometer capability, whose technology and the scientific results have paved the way and set the standards of future missions After more than 60,000 revolutions around Earth, CryoSat has been on top of its design and scientific drive, achieving its primary and secondary objectives and contributing to the long term data record over the cryosphere, linking the first results of the polar heritage missions (e.g. ERS and Envisat) to new and more sophisticated missions like Sentinel, ICESat-2 and hopefully CRISTAL. Thanks to innovative methods like SWATH, CryoSat has been able to measure with great accuracy the contribution to sea-level rise of complex areas like glaciers, extending is mission capability by transforming a one dimensional altimeter measurement along a ground track into a 2-dimensional imaging mode altimeter. The CryoSat mission has in fact evolved from a dedicated ice mission to a multi-discipline mission contributing to different science-spheres. even beyond what one would expect from a typical altimetry mission. In this session, we aim at discussing the status of the space and ground segment including the evolution of products and data quality, highlighting the main technological and scientific challenges, with an outlook to the future. Both oral and poster contributions to this session will be invited.

Convenors: Tommaso Parrinello (ESA)

B2.04 ESA/NASA Cooperation Towards MAss change and Geosciences International Constellation (MAGIC) Mission

Open Session
Description:
ESA and NASA have been discussing for over a decade now on cooperating to arrive at satellite gravimetry constellation concepts in the frame of the Joint Program Planning Group (JPPG). The intention is to respond to the increasing demand of the user community for sustained mass change observations at higher spatial and temporal resolution. ESA and NASA are at the moment coordinating their activities in ESA’s Phase A and NASA’s Pre-Phase A and are harmonizing their cooperation scenarios. The implementation framework of MAGIC for ESA is the Next Generation Gravity Mission (NGGM) as a Mission of Opportunity and for NASA the Mass Change Designated Observable (MCDO). Several interagency groups have been formed over the years with different terms of reference (e.g. investigation of cooperation scenarios, MRD consolidation, Phase A / Pre-Phase A technical and scientific support). This session will focus on scientific studies related to MAGIC mission, which span topics of mission performance, products and benefits for science and society. Subjects covering contributions to related applications of operational programmes such as Copernicus, as well as potential synergies with other missions.

Convenors: Ilias Daras (ESA), Pierluigi Silvestrin (ESA), Sandra Cauffman (NASA)

B2.05 Swarm - ESA's Extremely Versatile Magnetic Field and Geospace Explorer

Open Session
Description:
This session invites contributions dealing specifically with the Swarm mission: mission products, calibration, validation and instrument-related discussions and observational synergies. Swarm in this context is seen as a four-satellite constellation, with the Third-Party e-POP mission being Swarm Echo. It is also the session in which the future and evolution of the mission will be discussed. We also welcome contributions highlighting the needs and opportunities for future follow-on magnetic missions around our planet.

Convenors: Ilias Daras (ESA), Anja Stromme (ESA)

B2.06 EarthCARE Ready For Launch*

Invited Session
Description:
The Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) is being prepared in cooperation with JAXA as part of the Earth Explorer Programme, to measure global profiles of ice and liquid clouds, precipitation and aerosols, collocated with top-of-atmosphere broadband solar and thermal flux, in order to quantify the impact of clouds and aerosols on atmospheric radiation. A high-spectral resolution lidar operating at 355 nm wavelength and a 94-GHz cloud Doppler radar will provide vertical profile information, an imager across-track context and a broad-band radiometer solar and thermal flux estimates. The satellite has now been fully integrated and is presently undergoing final system testing activities. A comprehensive set of science data products and their synergistic retrieval algorithms has been prepared using the complementary satellite payload to provide accurate measurements of aerosol and cloud profiles, precipitation and collocated solar and thermal radiation and atmospheric heating profiles. The in-orbit validation program is under development and will include a wide range of ground-based and airborne activities, supplemented by satellite-to-satellite and model inter-comparisons. This session will present the status of the satellite and its expected performance, the in-orbit validation preparations and science data products.

Convenors: Tobias Wehr (ESA), Rob Koopman (ESA)

B2.07 FORUM - ESA's 9th Earth Explorer*

Invited Session
Description:
The FORUM mission will improve the understanding of our climate system by supplying, for the first time, most of the spectral features of the far-infrared contribution to the Earth’s outgoing longwave radiation, particularly focusing on water vapour, cirrus cloud properties, and ice/snow surface emissivity. FORUM’s main payload is a Fourier transform spectrometer designed to provide a benchmark top-of-atmosphere emission spectrum in the 100 to 1600 cm-¹ (i.e. 6.25 to 100 µm) spectral region filling the observational gap in the far-infrared (100 to 667 cm-¹ i.e. from 15 to 100 µm), which has never been observed from space, spectrally resolved, and in its entirety. The focus of this session is on the science status of Phase B1 and the outlook into the future.

Convenors: Hilke Oetjen (ESA)

B2.08 ESA’s Biomass mission: Latest Developments*

Invited Session
Description:
BIOMASS is the 7th ESA Earth Explorer mission. Earth Explorers are the backbone of the science and research element of ESA’s Living Planet Programme, providing an important contribution to the global endeavor of understanding the Earth system. The overall primary objective of the Biomass mission is to reduce the uncertainty in the worldwide spatial distribution and dynamics of forest biomass in order to improve current assessments and future projections of the global carbon cycle. For enabling this, the Biomass mission data products will provide consistent global estimates of forest biomass, forest height, forest disturbance and re-growth parameters. The mission's secondary objectives include imaging of sub-surface geology in deserts, mapping the topography under dense vegetation and measurements of glacier and ice sheet velocities The Biomass Satellite industrial Prime contractor is Airbus Defence and Space, Stevenage (UK). The radar payload is built by Airbus Defence and Space, Friedrichshafen (Germany). The Biomass payload consists of a fully-polarimetric left-looking P-band SAR which is the first of its kind in this frequency band for Earth observation purposes. The BIOMASS mission is designed to last 5 years, and consists of two phases, i.e. a tomographic and an interferometric phase. The Biomass project Critical Design Review is foreseen for early 2021. The satellite is due for launch in 2023. Biomass will provide global maps of the amount of carbon stored in the world's forests and how this changes over time. Biomass will also provide essential support to UN treaties on the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Forest type and forest cover worldwide can be detected by today's satellites, but the mission’s unique capabilities will allow to get access to global forest structural parametrisation obtained with a homogeneous quality and sampling – allowing a multitude of global maps of these main forest parameters over its mission lifetime. The five-year mission will witness at least eight growth cycles in the world's forests. Apart from the above, the session will also cover the wider context of how carbon science has moved on and how Biomass, GEDI and many other elements provide the bigger picture. Latest developments covering overall mission development status (including latest instrument test campaign results, calibration strategy, mission science and foreseen exploitation, higher-level products (implementation and algorithmic content) and ground segment activities will be presented.

Convenors: Bjorn Rommen (ESA)

B2.09 SMOS L-band radiometry and follow on mission concepts

Invited Session
Description:
SMOS pioneered L-band radiometry from space and being in space since twelve years SMOS provides the benchmark dataset for current and future L-band radiometer missions. Initially foreseen to provide information on ocean salinity and terrestrial soil moisture today they mission contributes to various Earth System domains. Observation are used to derive information on terrestrial freeze/thaw cycles, sea ice thickness and extreme ocean winds. All these applications evolved to operational services in the recent years and are used in various domains with a direct societal benefit. Despite the matureness of the mission research evolves on novel applications. For example SMOS measurements recently gained a lot of interest in the carbon community to observe vegetation dynamics of the space weather community to observe the solar flux.
This session will take stock of the achievements and lessons learned from SMOS. We will present the twelve years SMOS data record and highlight recent improvements and its future evolution. Finally we will present future mission concepts to continue the L-band data record in future.

Convenors: Klaus Scipal (ESA)

B2.10 Harmony: ESA's EE10 Candidate Mission*

Invited Session
Description:
Harmony is the EE10 Candidate Mission, currently in Phase A deliberations. The Harmony mission is dedicated to the observation and quantification of small scale motion and deformation (velocity gradient) fields, primarily, at the air-sea interface (winds, waves, and surface currents, including measurements over extreme events), of the solid Earth (tectonic strain), and in the cryosphere (glacier flows and surface height changes).
Harmony aims to provide an integrated view of the dynamic processes that shape the Earth’s surface.
The Harmony space segment consists of a pair of satellites that will fly in convoy with one of the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites. These tandem receive-only satellites will passively pick up the same radar signals from Sentinel-1 from different vantage points. The signals will be Doppler processed, so that surface velocity vector components are obtained along different lines of sight. This will offer a capability to observe – for the first time - velocity vectors directly from space. In addition, both tandem satellites will include an optical TIR instrument with multi-view capability for SST and cloud motion measurements that are colocated and contemporaneous with the SAR observations.
The Earth System cannot be understood or modelled without adequately accounting for small-scale processes. Indeed, the parameterisation of the unresolved, sub-grid physical processes in global or regional models remains one of the main sources of uncertainty in climate projections, in particular with respect to air-sea coupling, cryosphere and clouds. Hence, it remains essential to rely on high-quality observations to sample and identify small-scale processes, to help emulate and calibrate advanced parameterisations of the small unresolved scales. High-resolution observations of the Earth System will thus play an increasingly central role in next generations of fully coupled Earth System Models (or Digital Twins of Earth).

Convenors: Bjorn Rommen (ESA)

B2.11 Aeolus Mission Status after 3+ years in space*

Invited Session
Description:
With the launch of the novel Aeolus wind profiling mission in August 2018, a wealth of direct wind and atmospheric backscatter profile observations have become available across the globe, revealing new information on atmospheric dynamics and cloud and aerosol optical properties to the benefit of various applications. In its initial 3.5 years lifetime, the mission data has been used by increasing number of NWP centres, improve their forecasts while more scientific research have started to emerge. In this session, we aim at discussing the status of the space and ground segment including the evolution of products and data quality, highlighting the main technological and scientific challenges, with an outlook to the future. Both oral and poster contributions to this session will be invited.

Convenors: Tommaso Parrinello (ESA)
B.3 Earth Watch

B3.01 ALTIUS*

Invited Session
Description:
ALTIUS will monitor the distribution and evolution of stratospheric ozone at high vertical resolution in support of operational services and long term trend monitoring.

Convenors: Daniel Navarro-Reyes (ESA)

B3.02 Arctic Weather Satellite

Open Session
Description:
Accurate weather forecasts are an essential part of everyday life and nowadays a larger number of satellites, both those in geostationary orbit and in polar orbit, provide a wealth of information for numerical weather prediction (NWP). However, while Europe’s Meteosat geostationary satellites return images every 15 minutes, they have no visibility of higher latitudes, closer to the poles, so cannot be used for Arctic weather forecasting. The MetOp satellites do return data over the poles but it can take up to 24 hours to achieve global coverage. Therefore there is an urgent need for more frequent weather data over the Arctic, but also globally, – particularly data on water vapour, which can change rapidly. By providing global measurements of atmospheric temperature and humidity with frequent revisit times, the polar-orbiting Arctic Weather Satellite mission would complement MetOp and its counterpart US NOAA Joint Polar Satellite System. The Arctic Weather Satellite mission would supply an almost constant stream of temperature and humidity data from every location on Earth – allowing, for the first time, for very short-range weather forecasting, or ‘nowcasting’, in the Arctic. Meteorologists will also use the mission to improve weather forecasts around the world. This enhanced sounding will capture short fluctuations in humidity that can be used to better infer wind information for tracking storms and extreme weather. This session addresses recent advances related to the development of the AWS mission as well as future applications related to global and regional forecasting as well as nowcasting.

Convenors: Dirk Schuettemeyer (ESA), Ville Kangas (ESA), Joerg Ackermann (EUMETSAT)

B3.03 PROBA-V and PV-CC

Open Session
Description:
Proba-V mission will end in October 2021 after 8 years of successful operations. For the time of the symposium the full data reprocessing, making also use of AI shall be completed. The goal of the mission was to make the bridge between Spot VGT and Sentinel-3 missions providing full globe daily revisit for vegetation monitoring. The second goal was to demonstrate the feaibility to perform the same measures provided by a much bigger satellite with a 1-cubic meter satellite. The data collected during the 8 years had largerly supreseeded the expectations providing not only the continuity data with Spot-VGT but also increasing the resolution by 3 times. During last period, due to the not optimal SZA (the satellite doesn't have trusters) several experiments had been carried out, including regular moon sensing. The PV-CC mission is planned to be launched in the Q2 2022, so around the symphosium, with the purpose to extend the Proba-V mission. The goal is to demonstrate the possibility to carry on-board the same vegetation instrument of Proba-V but is a 12U microsat and obtain the same/similar performance results. In the future 2 other microsat are planned, one hyperspectral and one thermal, to complement the data collected by PV-CC.

Convenors: Roberto Biasutti (ESA), Henri Laur (ESA)

B3.04 TRUTHS: a new ESA Earth Watch mission for climatology and radiometric calibration from Space*

Invited Session
Description:
TRUTHS (Traceable Radiometric Underpinning Terrestrial and Helio Studies) is an ESA mission initiated as a new element of the Earth Watch program. The mission aims at enhancing our ability to estimate the Earth radiation budget through direct measurements of solar and earth radiation traceable to SI-units and to foster interoperability and performance of the global earth observing system through cross-calibration with other satellites. TRUTHS has the ambition to implement a metrology laboratory in-orbit, contributing to worldwide initiatives in the domain of the so-called SITSATS (SI-Traceable Satellites). The system is based on a single satellite, plus associated ground segment, flying in polar non-sun-synchronous orbit at about 600 km altitude. The satellite hosts a Hyperspectral Imager, capable to provide an accurately and continuously calibrated dataset of solar (including total) and lunar irradiance and Top of Atmosphere reflected radiance in a continuous spectral range from near-UV to SWIR. The radiation measurements are traced to Si-units by means of an On-Board Calibration System transferring the absolute solar irradiance (the “golden standard”) acquired by a Cryogenic Solar Radiometer to the calibrate the Earth and Moon spectral radiance samples, with an accuracy aiming at less than 1%. This session will provide an overview of the program framework, the mission objectives and the system concepts, including the results the industrial TRUTHS Phase A.B1 study, supporting technology pre-developments and the accompanying science activities.

Convenors: Andrea Marini (ESA)
B.4 Heritage missions

B4.01 Heritage Missions and Long Time Data Series

Open Session
Description:
The content of EO data archives is extending from a few years to decades and their value as a scientific time-series is continuously increasing. Information extracted from long time series of observations is used to observe and characterise the current climate, to detect climate change and to determine the rate of change. Hence there is a strong need to secure state-of-art preservation of a growing volume of heritage data and associated information holdings, to allow their discoverability/accessibility through state of art technologies, and to ensure continuous improvement and valorisation to maximise usability and impact with current and future missions.The session focuses on activities and projects dealing with the preservatioon and valorization of earth observation data including new datasets generation, algorythms improvements, reprocessing and long time series generation through harmonization and combination of data from multiple sensors. Expected size 10-12 oral presentations

Convenors: Mirko Albani (ESA), Roberto Biasutti (ESA), Susanne Mecklenburg (ESA), Joost Van Bemmelen (ESA)

B4.02 Data Archival and More in the EO Data Lifecyle

Open Session
Description:
Far from being a "data cemetery" the Archive is increasingly at the centre of value-adding services, which are both enabled by the archive and increase its value as a repository of data. ESA is moving away from the silo-approach where services such as processing and dissemination have their separate repositories of data, detached from the controlled repository, holding uncontrolled versions of the data and consuming large amounts of low-value-adding IT resources just to ensure data storage and transport. Instead the archive supports user-facing, high-value services by making the right data available at the right time and managing the necessary working copies as well as the vault in a way which is fast, optimised for resources and transparent to the client services. One such service in particular is data configuration and change management, which recognises the rank of data as a major asset by ensuring that its evolution in response to improvement opportunities is a- possible and b-controlled.
Complementarily, these services contribute to the value of the archive by keeping data quality at the best possible level (data maintenance), enhancing discoverability (catalogue), promoting utilisation (dissemination), enriching the data offering (processing). Importantly, the Data Information System supports all the phases of Data Configuration and Change Management and offers a management-oriented, service-independent view of the data managed and its valorisation by the Organisation.
ESA has already come a long way down this improvement path. Current operational progress includes the end-to-end configuration management of the data by the Data Librarian, dozens of Data Change Requests implemented each year, and an optimised exchange of data between the archive and some of the main services including processing. The obvious next step is to include the dissemination, which will be added to the eco-system of data and services as part of the natural evolution. The resulting proximity of data and services provides an ideal basis for concepts already implemented in specialised contexts (data hubs, data cubes, exploitation platforms...) which have much to gain from scaling up, cross-fertilising and synergising.

Convenors: Michel Douzal (ESA)
B.5 Meteorology missions

B5.01 Future Meteorological Missions*

Invited Session
Description:
ESA has a long heritage in the development of meteorological satellites dating back to the development of the first Meteosat satellite, which was launched in 1977, and includes the Meteosat Second and Third Generation series, as well as the MetOp First and Second Generation series, and the Aeolus Earth Explorer.
This day long series of sessions will showcase ESA's on-going activities regarding:
  • Meteosat Third Generation (MTG), which consists of two series of satellites: an Imager satellite, MTG-I, and a Sounder satellite, MTG-S, with the first MTG-I satellite planned to be launched at the end of 2022;
  • MetOp Second Generation (MetOp-SG), consisting of two series of satellites: Satellite-A (which embarks visible/infrared imagers and sounders and a microwave sounder) and Satellite-B (embarks microwave imagers and an active scatterometer), with a first launch in 2024;
  • the Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS), which is a small, "new space" satellite embarking a passive microwave radiometer, and is intended as a prototype for a possible future AWS Constellation;
  • Aeolus-2 as an operational follow-on to the successful Aeolus mission, which is planned to be submitted as a new Programme Proposal to the next ESA Council meeting at Ministerial level in 2022.
Presentations are expected to highlight the objectives and development status of the respective satellites and provide details of the challenging instruments embarked on these various satellites.

Convenors: Graeme Mason (ESA)
B.6 National missions TPM

B6.01 National EO satellite missions

Open Session
Description:
This session will provide a forum for presentations of current and upcoming national missions, e.g. Prisma in Europe and for non-European missions (e.g. SAOCOM, RCM, NISAR for SAR, Landsat-9, ALOS for optical). The presentations will cover data offer, mission capabilities, scientific applications, international collaboration and more.

Convenors: Peggy Fisher (ESA), Roberto Biasutti (ESA), Henri Laur (ESA)

B6.02 Third Party Missions (VHR)

Open Session
Description: This session will give the floor to presentations from satellite owners with special focus on VHR EO SAR/Optical data providers within the existing ESA Third Party Mission portfolio. The presentations will illustrate the data offer, imaging capabilities and scientific applications. ESA, through the Earthnet Programme offers free-of-charge VHR data to international Principal Investigators from a variety of EO satellite missions developed and operated by space agencies and by commercial data providers. The data can be used for research and development of applications for pre-operational use.

Convenors: Peggy Fisher (ESA), Roberto Biasutti (ESA), Henri Laur (ESA)

B6.03 EnMAP – The German Spaceborne Imaging Spectroscopy Mission

Open Session
Description: The Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) is the spaceborne German hyperspectral satellite mission that aims at monitoring and characterizing environmental changes, ecosystem responses to human activities, and management of natural resources. In 2021 the sensor underwent major advances with the environmental characterisation campaign and transport to launch. The launch window starts March 2022. This session provides an overview on the EnMAP mission status with sensor, ground segment, data products, calibration/validation, science program, observational synergies and collaborations.

Convenors: Sabine Chabrillat (GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany and Leibnitz University Hannover, Hannover, Germany)

B6.04 PRISMA Hyperspectral mission: characteristics, achievements and data exploitation

Open Session
Description: Aim of this session is to show the characteristics and main goals achieved by the Italian Hyperspectral mission PRISMA (launched in2019) and the results gained after three years in orbit, in many scientific and applicative domains like calibration, validation, simulation, exploitation as well as just the user experiences with the mission. In terms of data exploitation, aim of the Prismamission is to allow the development of new competences in the hyperspectral image processing and consequently permit to develop new added-value products and services based, even with the integration with other EO data. This activity fits with the ASI InnovationFor Downstream Preparation programme (I4DP) to foster the use of the Italian space assets in a space or non-space environment through the development of product services or applications that may have a positive impact in the Italian Institutional, scientificand commercial communities. In this framework, the PRISMA SCIENZA is the first initiative intended to support R&D projects aiming at the development of algorithms and methods as well as products and services based on Prisma data. This session is intended on one hand to show the state-of-the-art and future challenges of the PRISMA mission and on the other handto allow the participants to the Prisma Scienza initiative to present their proposed solutions and their involvement with the Commercial/Institutional/Scientific communities and show their preliminary results.

Convenors: Giorgio Licciardi (ASI), Ettore Lopinto (ASI)
B.7 NewSpace missions

B7.01 Scout: ESA NewSpace Science missions*

Invited Session
Description:
The speakers are invited to present scientific objectives and possible scientific achievements of the Scout missions. Also, Scientist and investigator are encouraged to present and propose additional L2, L3 and higher products retrievable by Scout mission measurements,

Convenors: Massimiliano Pastena (ESA)

B7.02 European New Space and CCM Activity

Open Session
Description: This session will offer a forum to NewSpace data providers owning / developing satellite constellations, with focus on European entities, to present their existing and upcoming imaging capabilities. EO data from New Space entities can complement the Sentinel missions as part of the Copernicus Programme to fulfil the needs of the Copernicus Services and other eligible user groups. The session will also include a presentation by EC/ESA on the approach to sustain European New Space as part of the Copernicus Contributing Mission (CCM) Activity evolution. The CCM activity is managed by ESA on behalf of the European Commission.

Convenors: Peggy Fisher (ESA), Henri Laur (ESA), Catharina Bamps (EC), Antonio Ciccolella (ESA)

B7.03 New Space missions in InCubed

Open Session
Description:
InCubed stands for ‘Investing in Industrial Innovation’ and is a Public Private Partnership type co-funding programme run by the ESA φ-Lab. InCubed aims to develop and support the European commercial Earth Observation sector. The programme focuses on developing innovative and commercially viable products and services that exploit the value of Earth observation imagery and datasets. InCubed co-funds and helps to de-risk commercial developments. It has a very wide scope and can be used to co-fund anything from building satellites to ground applications and everything between including the development of new EO business models. In this session new space missions being developed within InCubed shall be presented and discussed.

Convenors: Amanda Regan (ESA)

B7.04 AI@edge and Emerging Computing Paradigms for the Future of Earth Observation

Open Session
Description:
Given the emerging high potential of AI@edge, ESA is now exploring the value of deploying AI at the ultimate edge - the space. In this context, ESA has already launched (September 3, 2020) a CubeSat mission called FSSCat including a suite of sensors but also an experiment dedicated to AI on-board. The idea of the so-called Φ-sat-1 mission is to run AI on the Intel Myriad-2 chip to identify the relevant data (meaning, without cloud cover) of the Hyperscout-2 sensor to download. This experiment has opened new avenues for innovative use of AI for and in space, whereby the sensors become ‘smarter’ as they capture the ‘meaning’ of the acquired data. It could also explore new ways to upgrade the sensor capabilities or even performances by reprogramming the `brain’ of the satellite for versatile applications. We are only scratching the surface of what AI can do for space and how it can shape it in the next decade.
Meanwhile, some new emerging technologies in computer sciences such as quantum and neuromorphic computing may provide disruptive avenues for the entire EO sector in the longer term. Quantum computing exploits the properties of quantum states: superposition and entanglement, in order to facilitate super-efficient computation. The neuromorphic computing, on the other hand, takes the inspiration from the biological systems: the processing units are designed like the human brain, the algorithms – spiking neural networks, perform the computation like the biological neurons: asynchronously and in parallel, and the vision sensors (dynamic vision sensors) capture the visual information like retinas. And like biological beings, the neuromorphic systems can operate on very restrictive energy budgets.
This Scientific session aims to gather and bridge the communities (EO with AI and computer science). The following topics and open questions will be covered:
1. What is the reasoning behind AI at the edge for EO satellites? Embedding and running the ML processing directly onboard the satellite, i.e. bringing the computation as close as possible to the EO payload, seem to offer several advantages: 1) high responsiveness 2) lower data volumes and operation costs 3) enhanced payload performance 4) enhanced security and 5) versatility 6) lower power consumption
2. What are the programmatic elements within national space agencies and private companies? What are the current initiatives in Europe and worldwide bringing AI at the edge and new computing paradigms together with EO payloads?
3. What are the challenges for deploying an AI model at the edge? What are the required steps to anticipate the EO data generated by the payload to be launched? What are the specific AI-related activities to be carried out?
4. How do new emerging paradigms in computer sciences may help? What is the current status of quantum computing for Earth Observation? Is neuromorphic computing of interest?
5. What are the upcoming challenges? And finally, which benefits can we expect for our Living Planet?
The overall objectives of this open scientific session are to 1) foster the interest by the EO communities for AI onboard processing and new computing paradigms, 2) gather EO and AI experts in the field and 3) provide a large overview of current trends and prospects including quantum and neuromorphic computing.

Convenors: Andrzej KUCIK (ESA), Nicolas LONGEPE (ESA), Roberto CAMARERO (ESA), David STEENARI (ESA), Massimiliano PASTENA (ESA)

B7.05 Remote Sensing Technology Validation on CubeSats at NASA

Open Session
Description:
With the increasing deployments of CubeSat and SmallSats by both Government and Commercial entities, there is a need for innovative sensors, techniques and applications. These solutions have to be compact, low power, and with improved efficiencies. Rapid progress has been made in innovative methods and sensors for detection of UV/Visible/Infrared radiation for applications in Earth Remote Sensing and other commercial areas.
Since the community has graduated from amateur experiments in the universities to building highly capable CubeSats, it’s time to look into possible science applications of these platforms. There is always a question of calibration traceability of large amount of data acquired from these CubeSat and SmallSat missions. Few of the missions are able to carry calibration hardware on board and produce calibrated data. However, some of these platforms are really compact with no space for any calibration hardware. One of the examples is the use of other large missions as transfer radiometer for earth imaging CubeSat constellations. We also have to look at other options like vicarious methods and other innovative techniques to acquire scientifically meaningful data.
The session is a high-level forum bringing together scientists and technologists involved in the research, design, and development of CubeSats for Earth Remote Sensing applications. This session comprises invited presentations by scientists presenting the data from past and present missions and show science traceability by comparing them with data from large missions. For example data from TEMPEST-D, HARP, TROPICS will be presented with their approach to calibration and validation.
In total there will be total of five presentations, including the overview and four missions presenting their latest data with their calibration approach.

Convenors: Sachidananda Babu (NASA)

B7.06 GNSS Radio Occultation and Reflectometry in the NewSpace context

Open Session
Description:
IGNSS-Reflectometry (GNSS-R) is an innovative and rapidly developing Earth Observation technique that exploits reflected signals from Global Navigation Satellite Systems to observe Earth surface properties such as near-surface ocean winds. Modestly-sized hardware, low-power demands and cost-effectiveness make GNSS-R an attractive remote-sensing technique to potentially deliver improved global coverage at high temporal resolution, for example with a constellation of GNSS-R instruments or by flying as passenger payloads on larger platforms of opportunity. Recent global spaceborne data acquired onboard the UK TechDemoSat-1 satellite, the NASA CYGNSS mission and more recently the Spire GNSS-R constellation have demonstrated the wide range of Earth Observation applications that can benefit from this ground-breaking approach. This session will review recent scientific discoveries and technical advances with spaceborne GNSS-Reflectometry and ask how this technology could be taken forward to address outstanding user data needs ahead of the forthcoming ESA HydroGNSS mission.

Convenors: Giuseppe Foti National Oceanography Centre (NOC)
B.8 Sentinel missions

B8.01 The Copernicus Operations and the Future Data Architecture*

Invited Session
Description:
This session is dedicated to the Sentinel operations status update and presentation of the Copernicus Ground Segment evolution and future strategy.

Convenors: Henri Laur (ESA)

B8.02 Copernicus Sentinel Next Generation – Innovation in Copernicus evolution*

Invited Session
Description:
This will be the session dedicated to the in depth presentation of the Sentinel Next Generation missions studies, status and progress including the Mission Concepts and Scientific Objectives which aim at data continuity and at building up from the experience gathered from the first generation, while introducing technology and observation innovations.

Convenors: Josep Rosello (ESA), Anna Burzykowska (ESA), Craig Donlon (ESA)

B8.03 Synergistic exploitation of Copernicus Sentinels: examples of applications

Open Session
Description: This session will cover the synergistic exploitation of Copernicus Sentinel missions focusing on a set of applications in different domains. The goal being to illustrate the benefits of combining Earth Observation measurements from different nature in order to fetch a more complete panorama of a given terrestrial phenomena or domain. Presentations can cover domains such as agriculture, methane emissions monitoring, air quality, glaciers flow monitoring, ground motion or volcanoes monitoring.

Convenors: Ferran Gascon (ESA)

B8.04 The Copernicus Sentinel Missions Status*

Invited Session
Description:
This session will provide an update on the Copernicus Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-5P mission operations status, including as well outlooks on the foreseen evolutions for the products and services provided.

Convenors: Ferran Gascon (ESA)

B8.05 Copernicus Contributions Missions (VHR)

Open Session
Description:
This session provides a forum for presentations from commercial Very High Resolution (VHR) data providers. The presentations will show-case current and upcoming capabilities, e.g. in terms of end-to end data delivery performance, and describe the VHR data portfolio available in the frame of the Copernicus Contributing Mission Activity operated by ESA on behalf of the European Commission. The presentations will illustrate how commercial VHR SAR and optical data successfully complement Sentinel missions data in the fulfilment of stringent user needs from the Copernicus Services.

Convenors: Peggy Fisher (ESA), Henri Laur (ESA), Veronique Amans (ESA), Catharina Bamps (EC)

B8.06 Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich*

Invited Session
Description:
Sea-level rise is a key indicator of climate change so accurately monitoring the changing height of the sea surface over decades is essential for climate science, for policy-making and, ultimately, for protecting the lives of those in low-lying regions at risk. The Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich mission is the most advanced satellite mission dedicated to sea level rise measurements from space. Sentinel-6 is one of the European Union’s family of Copernicus missions but its implementation is the result of an exceptional cooperation between the European Commission ESA, Eumetsat, NASA and NOAA, with contribution from the CNES French space agency. The mission comprises two identical satellites launched five years apart: Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich launched on 21 November 2020 and Copernicus Sentinel-6B, which will be launched in 2025. Sentinel-6 brings Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technologies into the altimetry reference mission series for the first time. Using an innovative open burst chronogram, the Poseidon-4 altimeter is able to deliver, simultaneously, both SAR and conventional low-resolution mode (LRM) data. A 12-month tandem flight together with the Jason-3 mission has been completed to fully characterise new high resolution SAR measurements against the long-term LRM data record to ensure that the sea level rise time series remains stable. Together with the Advanced Microwave Radiometer for Climate (AMR-C) instrument, the Sentinel-6 Mission is now the reference altimeter mission serving Copernicus users across the world in a variety of applications.
This session will review the latest scientific findings from the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich mission via a solicited presentation form each of the five participating Space Agencies.

Convenors: Craig Donlon (ESA), Remko Scharroo (EUM), Joshua K. Willis (NASA), Eric Leuliette (NOAA)

B8.07 Copernicus Sentinel-2 and NASA/USGS Landsat – Continuity and Synergies.

Open Session
Description:
Continuity with the 40+ year Landsat record was a key consideration for the development of Sentinel-2.

Convenors: Patrick Griffiths (ESA)

B8.08 Copernicus Sentinel Expansion Missions - New capabilities for the Copernicus 2.0 (I)*

Invited Session
Description:
Copernicus Expansion missions are new flagship satellite missions designed to address fundamental measurement gaps within the European Copernicus system. The evolving needs of Copernicus services and emerging EU policies remain the key driver for the evolution of Copernicus and are prioritised by the European Commission. Each expansion mission implements innovative and challenging satellite and payload design to ensure that new high-quality measurements will be available for Copernicus users to address societal needs. Six missions are now being implemented by European consortia which are:
  • Anthropogenic CO2 Monitoring Mission (CO2M)
  • Polar Ice and Snow Topography Mission (CRISTAL)
  • Polar Ice and Ocean Imaging Microwave Radiometer Mission (CIMR)
  • L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging Mission (ROSE-L)
  • Land Surface Temperature Monitoring Mission (LSTM)
  • Hyperspectral Land Imaging Mission (CHIME)
Expansion missions form part of the Copernicus ambition increase the support to vital European policies and services while broadening the European user base for large-scale operational and sustainable public EO data service in Europe. In addition, and as part of the Copernicus vision, each expansion mission extends European Earth Observation technology on the international stage. The first expansion missions are set to launch in 2026.
This session will showcase each of the Copernicus Expansion missions highlighting how they will address EC and international user needs and their synergy in the overall Copernicus space constellation that will enable unprecedented measurements of our planet Earth.

Convenors: Craig  Donlon (ESA), Guido Levrini (ESA) , Mark Drinkwater (ESA), Benjamin Koetz (ESA), Paulo Cipollini (ESA), Malcolm Davidson (ESA), Yasjka Meijer (ESA), Marco Celesti (ESA)

B8.09 Copernicus Sentinel Expansion Missions - New capabilities for the Copernicus 2.0 (II)*

Invited Session
Description:
Copernicus is the largest operational Earth Observation system in the world today operating a fleet of complementary satellite missions serving over 250Tb data per day to Copernicus services and over 250,000 users in support of support European policy. The Sentinel Missions provide a fundamental near real time input data to operational Copernicus Marine, Land, Climate, Emergency, and Security services that provide free and open access products driving an enormous portfolio of applications across Europe and the World. Copernicus Sentinels, together with Copernicus Services, are revolutionary in terms of how Earth Observation delivers user driven evidence to support European policy.
The Copernicus system has evolved at a rapid pace and, in order to preserve the momentum and ensure continuity of information required to meet evolving user needs, it’s future evolution is being initiated now in close cooperation with all stakeholders. The overall system architecture for the Copernicus space component and its evolution on the basis of user requirements is coordinated by the European Commission. ESA and its Member States, in close interaction with the European Commission and EUMETSAT, is now developing the Next Generation (NG) of Sentinel satellite missions to ensure enhanced continuity of the current system. At the same time, NG mission will drive new European technological development to enhance new user-led Copernicus Service elements and applications.
At this time, the Next Generation (NG) of Sentinel missions include:
  • Sentinel-1 NG: enhanced continuity of C-band SAR
  • Sentinel-2 NG: enhanced continuity of high spatial resolution multi-spectral imagery
  • Sentinel-3 NG Optical: enhanced continuity of optical and thermal infrared global imagery
  • Sentinel-3 and Sentinel6 NG Topography: enhanced continuity of satellite altimetry
This session will showcase each of the Copernicus Next Generation missions highlighting how they will address EC user needs for enhanced Continuity of Sentinel Products and their synergy in the overall Copernicus space constellation that will enable unprecedented measurements of our planet Earth.

Convenors: Craig Donlon (ESA), Mark Drinkwater (ESA), Malcolm Davidson(ESA), Paolo Cipollini (ESA), Matthias Drusch (ESA)
B.9 Space technologies

B9.01 RF Interference and Frequency Management challenges in EO missions

Open Session
Description:
RF Interference (RFI) is a growing concern for EO missions due to the increasing demand for spectrum by multiple and competing space and terrestrial systems, which might hinder the scientific exploitation by loss of data, by creating measurement biases or by damaging sensors.

Convenors: Josep Rosello (ESA), Yan Soldo (ESA)

B9.02 New Mission Concepts

Open Session
Description:
In this session you will learn about new EO mission concepts that could be considered in future ESA EO calls for future institutional missions. For each of these mission concepts, the concept, the scientific application, the technology challenges, the status of work done, and the potential for future calls so far will be presented.

Convenors: Josep Rosello (ESA), Philippe Martimort (ESA), Bernardo Carnicero (ESA), Julia Kubanek (ESA)

B9.03 Optical Instrument Technology for EO*

Invited Session
Description:
In this session you will learn about innovative optical instrument technologies enabling new and more performing remote sensing techniques and measurements for Earth Observation systems.

Convenors: Josep Rosello (ESA), Arnaud Heliere (ESA)

B9.04 Platform and Communications technology for future EO*

Invited Session
Description:
In this session you will learn about platform and communication space-to-ground technologies enabling new and more performing remote sensing techniques and measurements for future Earth Observation systems.

Convenors: Josep Rosello (ESA)

Enable the Earth Observation Digital Transformation

C.1 AI and Data Analytics

C1.01 Trusted Machine Learning - security, privacy and confidentiality in EO data ecosystems

Open Session
Description:
There is growing interest from the Machine Learning (ML) community in exploring cryptographic techniques to test if and how the ML/AI models can be trained over the encrypted data. These techniques - gathered thgether under the umbrella of Privacy-Preserving Machine Learning / AI - are leveraging approaches such as Multi-Party Computation (MPC), Federated Learning (FL) and Homomorphic Encryption (HE) for privacy-preserving training and inference. In this model the training data never leaves the premises of the data owners and is never disclosed to the ML model owners. The objective of this approach is meant to resolve the key challenge with the wide-spread application of AI which is blocked by the fact that computer scientists don't have access to AI training data or industrial or socio-economic data to build advanced models because of privacy or confidentiality concerns. In this sense PPML techniques allow to create trusted data-sharing frameworks in federated networks and as such it is emerging as one of the building blocks for the Digital Twin Earth concepts. It is also an area for future research in AI that is responding to the European policy objectives for building trust in data that is key asset for Europe. This session will explore innovation in this space and application-driven examples of the PPML approach in EO data science.

Convenors: Anna Burzykowska (ESA)

C1.02 Super Resolution for Earth Observation data enhancement

Open Session
Description:
Super resolution technologies are increasingly being employed to increase the spatial resolution of EO data.

Convenors: Patrick Griffiths (ESA)

C1.03 Training data for AI in EO

Open Session
Description:
Training data sets are of critical importance for machine learning applications in EO, yet they are scarcely available, not harmonised in terms of data structures and metadata

Convenors: Patrick Griffiths (ESA)

C1.04 AI4EO applications for Land and Water

Open Session
Description:
Considerable advancements have been achieved in the field of AI and ML, and despite these progresses, the EO research activities have not been able to harness its full potential. The implementation of AI and ML is not straightforward in earth observation, and it demands the knowledge of geospatial and data sciences on top of core domain expertise. The field of AI4EO seems more complex due to various reasons such as the size of EO data, geospatial consideration, availability of a wide range of software packages etc. Considering the vastly evolving nature of AI4EO, there seems to be a general interest in how these models were trained, developed and applied while navigating these complex data landscapes.
This session presents a wide array of case studies involving the application of AI4EO for various land and water applications. The overarching goal of the session is to shed light on different aspects of AI4EO via case studies. The case studies in the field of terrestrial (e.g., land-use classification, land cover change, coastal processes, agricultural and forest studies etc.) and aquatic (e.g., algal blooms, aquaculture, water quality, flooding etc.) applications will be considered. The session will provide understanding to scientists willing to adopt AI4EO in their research, and want to gain knowledge about the available methods and technologies while getting familiar with recent advancements.

Convenors: Sita Karki (Irish Centre for High End Computing)

C1.05 The Space Cloud as a service for Earth observation data

Open Session
Description:
New Space and the services to the ground creates data sets useful for Earth observation missions. Its concerns use case for the data and the applications to execute tasks in Space and on the Ground. The data volume on Earth reaches a high rate of production via the network typologies and the level of bandwitch. To store them the new platform and communication have emerged through the data centers in which services can be developed and used for many user cases : applications, consultation, data visualization, remote communication, machine learning on the observation data from the satellites. This platform known as Space Cloud as service uses the terrestrial networks combined with Space links to catch the data sets needed to produce the imagery cycle. By reverse engineering of the Space services from cloud solution on the way, the Earth observation is able to be improve to describe closely the process on the way in Space and on the Ground.The Space Cloud as service means the capacity to connect the traditionnal Space networks to a specific terrestrial infrastructure in which the data management offers digital functionalities to improve the observation from the satellites on orbit. In this way, the Space missions are oriented in the New Space where the data access change the operations between the ground, the Space and the user segment. The Cloud platforms communication applied to the Space need to manage the functionalities to use, to maintain performance and to protect the Earth observation applications used by the users through the instances in the Cloud of services.

Convenors: Jamel Metmati (Thales)

C1.06 Data assimilation and machine learning for the Earth system

Open Session
Description:
For several decades, data assimilation has been extensively used to improve the estimation of the state of the Earth system and to enhance forecasts of this system. More recently, machine learning has also demonstrated abilities to use data to improve the numerical models and the estimation of the state of the Earth system. In fact, strong connections can be established between data assimilation and machine learning, both theoretically and practically. Machine learning can also enhance model evaluation with observations and can improve Earth system models. This session invites submissions at the crossroads between data assimilation and machine learning in order to improve understanding of the Earth system, to make better use of the available data, in particular, satellite observations and to improve Earth system models.

Convenors: Julien Brajard (NERSC)

C1.07 ML4Earth: Machine Learning for Earth Sciences

Open Session
Description:
Big Earth observation data offers new perspectives in modeling the Earth system. To unlock its potential, machine learning plays a vital role in extracting geoinformation from the big EO data and integrating them with physical models. Despite first promising results, fundamental challenges in adoption of machine learning in earth sciences are still ahead.
In this session, we address methodological challenges in ML4Earth, such as physics aware machine learning, reasonsing, uncertainty quatification, explainable AI, sparse labels and transferability, and their applications in the European mission of a digital Earth twin. These methodological developments are exemplified for use cases such as permafrost thawing, sea level budget, climate modeling, or prediction of extreme hydrological events.

Convenors: Xiaoxiang Zhu (German Aerospace Center & Technical University of Munich)

C1.08 Advanced Solutions for SAR processing and analytics

Open Session
Description:
There will be an overwhelming amount of SAR data to mine in the coming years, with Sentinel-1, ROSE-L, and BIOMASS at ESA levels, but also other institutional SAR programmes, not to forget SAR constellations from new space. In addition, there is an urgent need to stimulate further SAR data uptake in thematic user applications. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is certainly one important part of the full solution, enabling scalable exploration of big data and bringing new insight and predictive capabilities.
While today, the new boost of AI4EO is mainly related to Computer Vision applied to optical satellite imagery, we should anticipate an increasing use of Deep Learning (DL) with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. However, there is still only fragmented access to analysis ready data (ARD) for SAR missions. Access to SAR ARD is essential for advanced analytics and integration of AI-based machine learning applied to deep time stacks at continental scales.
This session aims to provide a status on the current use of Deep Learning for SAR data, addressing also the bottleneck of ARD products. The following topics and open questions will be covered:
1. Scalable software solutions, the use of advanced hardware (e.g. GPUs), cloud solutions for storage and compute, on-the-fly computing for ARD generation at scale
2. Recent advances in SAR ARD product integration in Deep Learning and big data analytics (including weakly supervised and unsupervised methodologies)
3. A review of the main classes of problems that could be addressed with AI for SAR and a review of the main challenges coming from the SAR signal properties and imaging setup.
4. DL techniques being mostly supervised techniques, what are the current datasets available to the communities? What could be the role of space agencies in enabling the development of suitable datasets? How can AI be used to enhance the production of such datasets?
5. DL techniques are often challenging in terms of explainability and, therefore, may lack trust in the results. The need for more explainable AI4SAR solutions will be required to ensure its adoption at large.
This session aims to provide a status on the current use of Deep Learning for SAR data. The following topics and open questions will be covered: 1) What are the recent advances in the use of AI for SAR product enhancement and big data analytics?
2) A review of the main classes of problems that could be addressed with AI for SAR and a review of the main challenges coming from the SAR signal properties and imaging setup.
3) How can we adapt and tailor the current DL schemes to take into account the specific nature of SAR data (e.g. considering the measurement principles)?
4) DL techniques being mostly supervised techniques, what are the current datasets available to the communities? What could be the role of space agencies in enabling the development of suitable datasets? How can AI be used to enhance the production of such datasets?
5) Are AI techniques such as Weakly-supervised or unsupervised methodologies emerging with SAR data?
6) DL techniques, often referred to as “black-box”, pose some challenges in terms of explainability and trust in the results. The need for more explainable AI4SAR solutions will be required to ensure its adoption at large (and likely even more than optical data which by nature is more closely linked to an human understanding)
This session aims to provide a Scientific session in view of the overwhelming amount of SAR data available in the coming years, with Sentinel-1, ROSE-L, and BIOMASS at ESA levels, but also other institutional SAR programmes, not to forget SAR constellations from new space.

Convenors: Nicolas Longepe (ESA), Anca Anghelea (ESA), Guido Lemoine (JRC)

C1.09 Representation learning in remote sensing: from unsupervised, to self-and meta-learning

Open Session
Description:
Earth observation (EO) technology unlocked the potential to monitor and understand the Earth system. Satellites in orbit provide a snapshotof the status of the planet and, in particular when used across time steps or sensor modalities, tell us something about the different facets of the complex processes at work. Powerful artificial intelligence (AI) techniques are starting to surface and thefirst pilot studies show their adequacy to take the pulse of Earth.
At the same time, to really unlock the potential of Earth observation with AI technologies, one still needs large amounts of labelled information.Often manually gathered and application-specific, these labels allowed the advancement of specific application field (with land cover mapping being the most successful example). However, for other crucial applications (e.g. carbon estimation, atmospheric studies,humanitarian mapping, etc.) the absence of large labels sets and the necessity of constantly up to date ground information has hindered fast realisation of the potential of AI4EO technology and deep learning in particular. Inaddition, the quality of these labelled dataset is often a concern and a limitation to the performances of supervised approaches.
In the last years, unsupervised, and, more recently, self-supervised learning approaches have emerged as a way to provide data representationswithout such ground information, and therefore provide task-agnostic representations, specific to EO data, that could be then fine-tuned for specific tasks, like anomaly detection or change detection. Using these technologies would lead to pre-trained modelsthat are aware of sensors specificities of remote sensing data and that could be tuned with little ground references, also in different geographies, using autoML, transfer-or meta-learning approaches.
In this session, speakers will present and discuss the recent approaches for decreasing the need for large labelled datasets, dealing withlabel noise, enabling multi-sensor models, so that the wealth of remote sensing data can be exploited as a source of supervision, towards representations leading to better deep learning models than can adapt in space and time, as well as across processingtasks.

Convenors: Devis Tuia (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), David Petit (Deimos Space UK)
C.2 Digital Twins

C2.01 Towards a Digital Twin of the Earth - advances and challenges ahead

Open Session
Description:
How can we better understand our planet’s past, act on the present issues and predict its future challenges? What if we could generate a digital replica of the Earth as a whole and unveil its inner functioning? This is not a science fiction, but what ESA is currently working on in collaboration with scientists and organisations from all over the world: a Digital Twin of the Earth. This includes a characterization of the Earth system processes but also the capability to better understand human system processes, ecosystem processes and their interaction with each other and the Earth system
Several initiatives are currently ongoing to experiment on the development of Digital Twins for various Earth System processes. Such Digital Twins make use of data from in-situ sensors and satellites, amongst others, to test, validate and improve state of the art models that simulate a variety of Earth processes and make efficient use of distributed databases, high performance computing and cloud computing resources. A number of tangible outcomes are expected from these developments: weather predictions will become more skillful, the intensity and magnitude of natural disasters will be predicted more reliably, decision makers will have tools to tackle more efficiently the effect of climate change and much more.
This session aims at bringing together experts on Digital Twin components to showcase the latest results from the various related activities as well as to present a vision for moving forward within this challenging and ambitious endeavour. The broader community will also have the opportunity to provide feedback and ideas.

Convenors: Gordon Campbell (ESA), Diego Fernandez Prieto (ESA)
C.3 Emerging Technologies

C3.01 Powering the data revolution for transformational change in the supply chain management

Open Session
Description:
The European Green Deal is the basis for several new legislative actions including a forthcoming mandatory EU system of due diligence for supply chains which objective is to ensure that the products circulating in the EU internal market are compliant with human rights protection as well as different European environmental and sustainable development goals. This move is aimed to replace existing voluntary systems that for several decades have been underlying multinational companies in taking responsibility for their supply chains. This session will explore the innovation concepts for integrated end-to-end supply chain management such as EO-based satellite monitoring, combined with GNSS, Enterprise Resource Management systems (ERM), IoT as well as various tracking and tracing services (i.e. based on the distributed ledger technology) to demonstrate how they can enhance the end-to-end traceability of the origins of products particularly in the extractive industries, food supply chain or in timber extraction.

Convenors: Anna Burzykowska (ESA)

C3.02 User-Oriented Perspective in Across ESA and Third Party Missions' Earth Observation Data Access supported by Emerging Technologies

Open Session
Description:
The last years we see a shift in EO data access implementations from being technology driven towards being more user-oriented.
Ground segments provide more sophisticated services in response to user needs offering dynamic and efficient environments where the users are invited to play the main role in accessing and adding value to data. The data access services passed through a transformation process allowing the user-tailored functionality to be built on top of technological developments, like virtualisation, datacubes, open catalogues, platforms, portals and advanced information services. This session will present a new paradigm in offering opportunities to users in the domain of discovery, access and use of EO data benefitting from emerging technologies.

Convenors: Joost Van Bemmelen (ESA)

C3.03 Resilience from EO in a fast-changing complex and interconnected world

Open Session
Description:
Climate change, pandemics, humanitarian crisis are only some of the factors which cause instability in our world. Earth Observation can help in building resilience capability especially for themes like Urban, Healt and Eco-systems through the integration of engineering, scientific and socio-economic models. The fast pace in which the world changes requires to create and adapt this capability in an Agile way, analysing the various elements influencing a specific domain and building it incrementally. The use of cloud-based platform in this respect are a key factor for shortening the production time and reach operational stage very quickly. Additionally, as the world is not divided in silos and the various themes are interconnected, together they can define more accurate and complex models which contribute the definition of a Digital Twin Earth. This session aims in analysing the resilience application which uses EO data in a cloud-based platforms context and how they apply Agile methodologies for fast implementation which easily can adapt to changes.

Convenors:Antonio Romeo (RHEA)
C.4 HAPs/UAVs

C4.01 Innovative UAV applications

Open Session
Description:

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are flexible and efficient acquisition systems that can fill an important gap among spaceborne, airborne and ground-based measurements. UAVs can provide very high-resolution acquisitions also over inaccessible areas and have shown their ability to support various environmental and urban applications in the past. With this session we invite contributions on: Data acquisition for Earth Observation and atmospheric research; Synergies/data fusion of UAV and spaceborne/airborne and ground based measurements; Real time processing; Applications including agricolture, forestry, disasters, urban monitoring, security, etc.

Convenors: Dirk Schuettemeyer (ESA), Julia Kubanek (ESA), Malcolm Davidson (ESA), Tania Casal (ESA)

C4.02 Advances in Remote Sensing of Marine Litter and Debris 

Open Session
Description:

Remote sensing of marine litter and debris is now an emerging research field, attracting increasing interest and funding, with the goal to contribute to the monitoring of an environmental problem that poses socioeconomic and health risks to humankind. Since the introductory session on the topic held at the LPS 2019, several international projects have been assessing the detection capabilities of different remote sensing technologies and techniques, from space and airborne platforms, and for both direct and indirect observations of, in particular, plastic pollution in aquatic environments. This session will present some of the most significant advances in this field, will highlight the current remote sensing limits and the most promising remote sensing approaches in terms of present and future technologies and techniques by using different space and airborne platforms. The session aims at providing an evidence-based perspective on what is more likely to be, and not to be, achieved in terms of detection capability of marine litter with remote sensors in the short and medium term, what are the identified technical gaps, and what realistic monitoring approaches could be more effective for contributing to the resolution of this environmental problem, consequently helping to better direct future research initiatives and funding in the field.

Convenors: Paolo Corradi (ESA), Manuel Arias (Argans Ltd), Lauren Biermann (PML), Topouzelis Konstantinos (University of The Aegean), Laura Lorenzoni (NASA), Francois-Regis Martin-Lauzer (Argans Ltd), Laia Romero (isardSAT), Victor Martinez-Vicente (PML),
C.5 Open Earth Forum

C5.01 Continental to global mapping in open, cloud-based platform environments: showcasing user experiences

Open Session
Description:
Earth Observation based higher level products (L2-L4) are increasingly becoming available at high spatial resolution and at continental to global extent.
Cloud-based EO platform environments are important enablers for such products, providing the required computational resources, EO data access and analytic building blocks for constructing tailored mass processing workflows.
This session will showcase some key community achievements for continental to global maps and products. The aim is to illustrate the various data processing, analytics and validation/training strategies employed in cloud-based platform environments that enable this new generation of high-resolution, continental-global extent products.

Convenors: Patrick Griffiths (ESA)

C5.02 Scalable platform architectures enabling big EO data analytics in cloud-based platform environments

Open Session
Description:
Cloud-based EO platform environments are a key component of the EO paradigm change (“bring the user/algorithm to the data”) in order to address the big data challenges presented by open EO data archives.
This session will showcase the most relevant cloud-based EO platform architectures that enable scalable processing and analytics for EO data. Contributions shall demonstrate the state-of-the-art for scalable cloud processing architectures and related technology stacks, including key elements such as dynamic resource allocation & Infrastructure-as-a-Service, federated and cloud-native architectures, orchestration strategies, etc.

Convenors: Patrick Griffiths (ESA)

C5.03 Open Source, data science and toolboxes in EO: Current status & evolution

Open Session
Description:
The EO community has large variety of tools and methods available today, including commercial and open source software and toolboxes. Several toolboxes are developed by ESA to support specific EO missions others are more generic or focus on specific application areas. Moreover, methods and tools from the broader data science ecosystem are increasingly used also in EO. This session will showcase the most recent, relevant and innovative methods and tools available to the EO community from open source libraries, software packages and EO toolboxes.

Convenors: Patrick Griffiths (ESA)

C5.04 Jupyter technologies in EO: a key driver for collaboration, creativity and education

Open Session
Description:
Jupyter technologies (i.e. Jupyter notebooks and labs) are experiencing a widespread adoption in science and industry due to their outstanding value for collaboration, interactive development, reproducible of science and training/education. Also in Earth Observation, Jupyter labs/notebooks are being widely adopted facilitating innovation in science, education and industry. This session showcases some innovative uses of Jupyter technology in EO including its use in e.g. collaborative IDEs, coding competitions, Jupyter lab extensions and plugins, storytelling or visualisation.

Convenors: Patrick Griffiths (ESA)

C5.05 Earth System & EO Data Cube Services and Tools for Scientific Exploitation

Open Session
Description:
The session will be dedicated to showcasing EO and Earth System Datacube technologies, tools and services for Scientific Exploitation of EO satellite mission data and higher level products, focusing on the service offerings and features that contribute to maximising scientific output.

Convenors: Anca Anghelea (ESA)

C5.06 New Concepts towards Federated EO Platforms

Open Session
Description:
Big Data platforms for Earth observation deliver the enabling technologies to apply innovative AI/ML technologies and to meet the challenges of global change applications working on large amounts of data. Although several open standards have been established and are still under development to standardize and ease the access to data and to deploy processors on these platforms, it is still a challenge that data, models and processors can be physically and virtually exchanged between various platforms from different operators. This session will feature presentations on how access to EO data and models and portability of processing workflows is being provided using open standards. Different platform concepts are being presented and the advancements as well as the remaining challenges in the field of interoperable data handling will be discussed.

Convenors: Gunter Schreier (DLR)

Empower the green transition

D.1 Managing Risks

D1.01 Satellite EO for Geohazard Risks

Open Session
Description:
The satellite EO for Geohazard Risks session is addressing the potential and limits of EO based techniques to better understand geological and hydro-geological hazards such as landslides, abandonned mines, coastal lowland subsidence, earthquakes and volcanoes. In the spiit of the International Forum on Satellite EO and Geohazards organised by ESA in 2012, it is focusing on a range of observing systems including Radar and Optical with both High Resolution sensors and Coarse Resolution High Revisit sensors. Given the breadth of topics linked to Geohazards the session is primarily looking at land surfaces and in particular at Hazard Mapping including terrain motion mapping techniques such as interferograms and correlograms as well as EO based Hazard Inventory and Hazard Susceptibility.

Convenors: Philippe Bally (ESA)

D1.02 Satellite EO for Monitoring Infrastructures

Open Session
Description:
Infrastructures refer to the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or other area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function. Infrastructures are composed of public and private physical assets such as roads, bridges, railways, harbours, pipelines, airports, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical and telecommunication grids. In general, they are defined as "the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions". In order to insure their proper functioning, infrastructures together with their close neighbourhood environment continuously need to be monitored for changes such as physical damages caused by e.g. aging, weathering, quakes, subsidence and flooding.
In this context, Earth Observation (EO) represents an opportunity for innovative research, applications and information services not only to support the planning of new infrastructure but also to support its continued monitoring.
Nowadays, we are entering into a new era for EO science and applications driven by the continuously increasing observation capacity offered by the EU Sentinel missions, the opportunities for science offered by the ESA Earth Explorer missions and the capabilities to look at the past offered by the existing long-term EO data archives. Furthermore, a variety of national and commercial EO missions with unique capabilities especially in the domain of very high resolution deliver highly valuable information on our urban environments and infrastructures.
The session has the objective to present and discuss research and demonstration project utilising EO assets for infrastructure monitoring including their status and open ends with the experts.

Convenors: Zoltan Szantoi (ESA)

D1.03 Satellite EO for Disaster Risk Transfer & Insurance

Open Session
Description:
The EO for Disaster Risk Transfer session is looking at embedding observations in decision making solutions for Ministries of Finance in developing countries and the insurance sector. Stakeholders, such as IFIs, and users have defined needs and intregrating satellite EO and catastrophe modelling can help transfer risks with financial instruments and the Sentinel missions of the Copernicus programme have a potential to fully exploited. The session is addressing challenges and opportunities for the EO sector.

Convenors: Philippe Bally (ESA)

D1.04 Satellite EO for Coastal Hazards Linked to Land to Sea & Sea to Land Processes

Open Session
Description:
Coastal zones are the most populated regions on Earth. They suffer multiple stresses due to a broad variety of natural and anthropogenic forcing factors, e.g., climate-related sea level rise, extreme weather, wind stress, wave wash-up, storm surges, river floods in estuaries and deltas, pollutions, marine ecosystems destruction, ground subsidence (leading to relative sea level rise), coastal and upstream engineering (leading to sediment loss and shoreline modifications) and urbanisation.
Earth Observation (EO) enhances our capacity to characterise the different drivers and processes leading to extreme sea level events, flooding from inland runoff and related coastal hazards and assessing the related risk and vulnerability of coastal zones, which represents a major and urgent scientific challenge. Today, the novel capabilities and synergistic potential offered by EO technology and specially the Sentinel missions are opening the door to better characterise sea to land and land to sea coastal zone processes from space at unprecedented resolutions in space and time.
This session will focus on the progress in monitoring from space Coastal Hazards stressors linked to land to sea and sea to land processes.

Convenors: Jérôme Benveniste (ESA)

D1.05 International Collaboration to better understand risks using satellite EO (GEO, CEOS, etc.)

Open Session
Description:
To support the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in an effective fashion, governments need to create and implement national and local disaster risk reduction strategies. These require an improved understanding of risks to and of the underlying hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. Satellite EO can help stakeholders and users across multiple operational frameworks and using different platforms risk models provided that data are accessible and used in interoperable systems and that EO based services are accepted and adopted by users. The session will address how international collaboration linked to the Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and the Committee on Earth Observing Satellites (CEOS) and other initiatives such as the International Charter Space & Major Disasters can contribute to better address these challenges. It will discuss how and why internationally agreed policies are adopted, how satellite data can provide insight into each of the elements of the risk equation, and the role that practitioners play in helping to deliver actionable change within these frameworks. GEO is an intergovernmental organisation working to improve the availability, access and use of Earth observations for the benefit of society. CEOS has worked for several years on risk reduction activities, and is beginning to implement multi-hazard risk management projects in several countries.

Convenors: Philippe Bally (ESA)

D1.06 Satellite EO and Machine Learning for monitoring Natural Hazards: Opportunities and Challenges Ahead

Open Session
Description:
In response to natural hazards and given the impact of climate change on their increased frequency and intensities, it is crucial to maximise the contribution of satellite EO and of the underlying ICT helping to transform data into actionable information about the devastation incurred and about the timely and targeted allocation of resources and personnel for disaster relief. This concerns both exposure mapping, damage impact mapping and other geo-information products for risk preparedness and alert. This session welcomes the contributions about new technologies such as Cloud based EO processing envionments operating with multi-sensor and multi-temporal EO data, Artificial Intelligence applied to EO with, in particular, machine learning, deep learning, convolutional neural networks and computer vision approaches, etc. The primary aim of this session is to tack stock of advances in this field, streamline the current state of research for various types of hazards (extreme weather events, landslides, earthquakes, etc.)

Convenors: Thomas Chen (Academy for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering)
D.2 Sustainable Development

D2.01 Resilient cities

Open Session
Description:
From the beginning of the years 2000, more than half of the world population live in cities and the dynamic trend of urbanization is growing at an unprecedented speed. Hence the needs for effective urban planning and development measures that enhance city resilience. The use of Earth Observations and their integration with other source of information into effective urban data analytics tools can produce a quantum leap in tracking progress towards and achieving international development goals such as the SDG 11, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction or the new urban Agenda (Habitat III).
The advent of continuous data streams of high quality and free of charge satellite observations such as the Sentinels of the European Copernicus program, in combination with the emergence of automated methods for large data processing and image analysis and the democratisation of computing costs, offer unprecedented opportunities to efficiently monitor the changes and trends in urban development globally.
In addition, the synergetic use of EO data from different satellite sensors (radar/optical, HR/VHR, SAR/InSAR, TIR, Hyperspectral, Lidar) and the combination with ground-based and crowd-sourced data opens new pathways to extract an unprecedented range of urban information.
Urban remote sensing is therefore progressively evolving from traditional urban extent and cover mapping into advanced urban applications, connecting to the monitoring of urban-related environmental parameters (impervious surfaces, green spaces, urban welfare, air pollutants).
The series of LPS 2020 urban sessions will present the recent scientific advances in the application of remote sensing in urban applications, discuss opportunities and challenges which lie ahead for mainstreaming EO solutions into urban development practices and policies, and highlight future paths of research
Topics of interest for the urban sessions include (not limited to):
  • multi-sensor, multi-scale and multi-temporal approaches to urban mapping;
  • global mapping and monitoring of human settlements;
  • detailed urban cover mapping;
  • urban change detection;
  • 3D mapping of cities;
  • modelling of urban development and growth patterns;
  • characterisation of urban areas (e.g. imperviousness);
  • integration of EO into population modelling;
  • mapping of informal settlements;
  • nature based solutions (urban greening, urban ecology);
  • resilient cities (including disaster risk reduction in cities);
  • urban climatology (urban heat islands, urban air quality);
  • urban subsidence;
  • citizen science and crowd sourcing;
  • platforms and tools for urban applications;
  • EO integration into urban development agendas (SDGs, Sendai Framework, New Urban Agenda).


Convenors: Marc Paganini (ESA), Zoltan Bartalis (ESA), Paolo Gamba (Univ. Pavia), Yifang Ban (KTH), Thomas Esch (DLR), Thomas Kemper (JRC), Panagiotis Sismanidis (Ruhr University Bochum)

D2.02 Land Degradation Neutrality

Open Session
Description:
Advances in remote sensing of land degradation and restoration for LDN monitoring.

Convenors: Marc Paganini (ESA),  Sasha Alexander (UNCCD), Antje Hecheltjen (GIZ), Neil Sims (CSIRO), Eva Ivits (EEA)

D2.03 EO for Africa: advancements of EO Science and Applications

Open Session
Description:
This session will showcase state-of-the-art EO science and applications development related to the African continent. Presentations may span from climate-related studies and Earth system modelling to EO solutions for policymakers and operational services. Presentations will provide examples of multi-mission approaches, including meteorological EO assets, and the synergy and integration of ground-based data to advance models and to tailor solution to the stakeholders' needs.

Convenors: Giuseppi Ottavianelli (ESA)

D2.04 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Open Session
Description:
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides a universal development agenda for all countries to use as a blueprint of actions for social inclusion, environmental sustainability and economic development. The agenda is driven by seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), associated Targets, and a Global Indicator Framework. Collectively, these elements require countries to measure, manage, and monitor progress on economic, social and environmental sustainability.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development stresses the importance of Geospatial Information and Earth Observations (EO) to achieve the goals. Effective monitoring of the SDG indicators and reporting of the progresses towards the SDG targets require the use of multiple types of data that go well beyond the traditional socio-economic data that countries have been exploiting to assess their development policies.
EO is an essential source of information to produce high-quality and timely information, with more detail, at higher frequencies, and with the ability to disaggregate development indicators. However, EO poses several challenges related to the acquisition, processing, integration, analysis and understanding of the data which need to be tackled by the EO community in order to ensure operational applicability for countries.
This SDG session will present practical examples of EO integration into SDG monitoring and reporting, and EO integration within national statistical frameworks to support data-driven development policies.
Topics of interest mainly include (not limited to):
  • EO solutions for supporting countries in setting development policies (including national targets), monitoring progress toward SDG targets, and reporting on SDG indicators;
  • Approaches to integration of EO with socio-economic data into National Statistical Systems;
  • Practical examples of EO integration in national systems and processes on SDGs;
  • Innovative digital tools as EO enablers for countries adoption (e.g., on-line platforms, data cubes, EO toolkits for SDGs, open source software)


Convenors: Marc Paganini (ESA), Agyro Kavada (NASA), Alex Held (CSIRO), Laurent Durieux (GEO secretariat)

D2.05 Earth Observation data in Vector Borne Diseases

Open Session
Description:
Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are an important threat with an increasing impact on public health due to wider geographic range of occurrence and higher incidences. Identifying suitable environmental conditions across large areas containing multiple species of potential hosts and vectors can be difficult.
Climate change, ecological conditions, global travel and trade, rapid and unplanned urbanization, are key factors affecting the geographical and seasonal distribution of vectors’ population and thus influencing the transmission of pathogens, causing the spread of VBDs to countries where they were previously unknown.
The introduction of a VBD in a new area is often linked to host movements or other long-distance ways. Once a VBD is introduced in a new area with a large number of susceptible hosts, its establishment and spread are mainly constrained by the spatial and temporal distribution of the competent vector presence and abundance, under a permissive climate. The climate and the environment strongly influence the presence and distribution of vectors responsible for significant human and animal diseases worldwide. A fine understanding of the vectors’ habitat suitability that facilitates survival, reproduction and dispersal becomes therefore of paramount importance for determining the risk of local persistence and spread. Recent and future years offer a deluge of remote sensing (RS) and Earth Observation (EO) data, thanks to the collection of land and sea surface characteristics at high spatial and temporal resolutions with a wide number of spectral bands (land surface temperature, normalized difference vegetation index, soil moisture, etc.). The characterization of physical environments can now be performed at multi-scale levels, opening new challenging opportunities in vector borne studies.
The session will present the latest scientific advances on the use of Earth observations for Vector Borne Diseases, discuss opportunities and challenges and will identify the road map to move from big data towards great value for Public Health.

Convenors: Annamaria Conte (Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "G. Caporale")

D2.06 EO for International Development Assistance

Open Session
Description:
ESA has launched a new initiative “Space in support of Sustainable Development”, in an innovative partnership with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to cross-leverage different financing mechanisms and ‘mainstream’ Earth Observation (EO) derived environmental information (especially Copernicus data) in development projects and strategic programmes. This approach builds on the development expertise, capacity, and client relations of the International Financing Institutions (IFIs), complemented by the technical know-how of ESA and the European EO information industry sector. Satellites continuously collect key environmental information relevant for all sectors in sustainable development, which directly benefit a majority of the developing countries. As part of the ESA EO4SD and the new Global Development Assistance (GDA) initiatives a range of user-driven pre-operational EO use cases are been demonstrated integrated in the development projects of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank which will be the focus of this session.

Convenors: Benjamin Koetz (ESA)

D2.07 Water Resources Management

Open Session
Description:
Water is key to sustainable development, being critical for socio-economical development, energy and food production, and healthy ecosystems. Today water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of the world’s population and is projected to rise further, exacerbated by climate change. As the global population grows, there is an increasing need to balance the competing demands for water resources and have more efficient ways to manage water supply. The importance to ensure availability and sustainable management of water for all has been increasingly addressed in the global political agenda, as seen with the 6th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the adoption of an International Decade 20018-2028 for Action on ‘Water for Sustainable Development’ by the UN General Assembly
Earth Observation is increasingly seen as an essential source of information which can complement national data and support countries to collect regular information on the use and changes to their water resources for more informed policy decisions.
The session will present the latest scientific advances on the use of Earth observations for Water resources management, discuss opportunities and challenges which lie ahead for mainstreaming EO into sustainable management of waters and future paths of research.
Topics of interest for the urban sessions include (not limited to):
  • multi-sensor approaches to the monitoring of the seasonal and annual changes in surface water extent,
  • monitoring of the changes in surface water level from satellite radar altimetry,
  • EO approaches for monitoring changes in lake volume,
  • integration of EO in hydrodynamic/hydrological modelling to infer information on river discharges,
  • EO solutions for Water Use estimation (e.g. for irrigated crops),
  • inland water pollution,
  • impact of hydropower dams on rivers flows and morphology,


Convenors: Marc Paganini (ESA)

D2.08 EO for resilient recovery from the COVID-19

Open Session
Description:
The Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action recently steps up calls for green growth investments as part of a global shift toward an inclusive and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite its persistence, governments around the world are gradually transitioning from immediate relief to economic recovery and there is an increasing global momentum for action on climate change in the context of the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Around the world the primary focus is still on COVID-19, policymakers are now looking at how to bring the global economy back to life- with sustainability at its heart. An example is the EU’s ambitious Green Deal setting up a bold vision for climate action, recognising the crucial link between decarbonisation, climate resilience, natural capital, and social inclusion, that has been doubled rather than being scaled back. Despite the lessons of the pandemic that we can change and despite commitments that have been made, emissions have already bounced back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2020. Initiatives aiming to help countries build a low-carbon, climate-resilient recovery from COVID-19 are now starting to emerge, they stress out the importance to generate new analytical work, including geospatial data to assess the impact of COVID-19 on e.g. carbon emissions.

Convenors: Clément Albergel (ESA)

D2.09 EO for sustainable raw materials

Open Session
Description:
When managed effectively, mineral resources offer a real opportunity to achieve sustainable economic growth. Areas such as renewable energy, electric mobility, robotics all depend from mineral resources. It is of utmost relevance to discover new mineral deposits and to ensure that extractive activities are done in a responsible and sustainable way, minimising detrimental effects on the natural environment. Information derived from satellite EO has been demonstrated to be of significant benefit and impact for characterising new natural resources, planning new operational infrastructure, sustainable management of extraction operations and the optimised rehabilitation of production sites once the operational activity has ceased. The present session intends to give recent examples of using satellite-derived information over all stages of the mining life cycle to allow facility operators and government regulators ensure that the operations are implemented, operated and closed down such that the potential negative impacts on natural capital and ecosystems are minimised.

Convenors: Zoltan Bartalis (ESA)

D2.10 GEOGLAM the First Decade: Progress in Operational Agricultural Monitoring

Open Session
Description:
The first GEOGLAM Crop Monitor was launched ten years ago in response to the G20 policy mandate to support global commodity market transparency. The mandate has since expanded to include food insecure regions of the world, with the launch of the Crop Monitor for Early Warning. More recently work has been extended to the co-development of national crop monitoring systems in less developed nations. Now, as GEOGLAM looks to the future it has implemented community activities focused on capacity development, defining a set of Essential Agricultural Variables (EAV’s), and addressing gaps in open access to in situ data. In total this is positioning GEOGLAM to make an even greater contribution to some of the major policy challenges of our time including SDG’s, climate mitigation, climate adaptation, and disaster risk reduction. Consequently, this is an appropriate time to take stock of our progress over the last decade while looking towards the R&D challenges of the next. The session will provide a platform to highlight community research programs contributing to operational agricultural monitoring at the global to national scale, along with progress to address the remaining knowledge and information gaps. The session will put emphasis on innovative experiments based on Copernicus Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Landsat sensors which pave the way for national scale crop monitoring at field level to support food security policy development and program response. Within this context, the generation of essential variables such as crop masks, crop type maps, crop condition will be addressed along with more advanced agriculture research and applications addressing crop phenology, crop rotation, cropland change and ultimately yield estimation.

Convenors: Ian Jarvis (GEOGLAM)

D2.11 Earth Observation for Health

Open Session
Description:
The last 18 months have shown us, if we were not aware of it before, of the fragility of human health, and of the need to work collectively, at the global scale, to conquer pandemics of deadly, infectious diseases. It has reinforced the importance of the “One Health” concept: the inter-connections of human health at the global scale has been brought to the fore, and there is enhanced awareness of the need for a healthy global population, if health within a nation is to be sustained. Geo-spatial technologies have become indispensable for track-and-trace of infection routes; for timely and effective delivery of medical services; and for provision survival packages to those who have been hit hard. More generally, Earth observations have proven to be helpful in understanding the environmental controls on vector-borne and water-borne diseases; in providing advance warning; and generating risk maps. But these efforts remain dedicated to small study areas and to particular diseases, with no substantial effort to integrate across regions or across diseases. In the wake of global economic downturn following the covid pandemic, there are projected decreases to health-related aid flowing from rich countries to poorer ones, with associated increased risks to millions of lives vulnerable to ‘neglected tropical diseases’, according to WHO (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57506479). Many experts are of the opinion that more waves of covid outbreaks awaits the world in the near future, and that more global-scale outbreaks of new diseases from hitherto unknown sources are likely. Climate change, with associated increases in extreme weather conditions (floods, droughts, heat waves), warmer oceans and changing circulation patterns are likely to expand the geographic areas vulnerable to water-borne diseases such as cholera, according to experts. Faced with these threats to human health that are associated with environmental conditions, it has become an imperative to explore better use of resources available to the space sector, for control and mitigation of disease outbreaks, as well as to use Earth Observations to maintain and improve ecosystem health, towards meeting sustainable development goals, and hence to improved human health.
The session will contribute to the conference objective “understand Earth systems” by pushing the boundaries of our knowledge regarding ecosystem health and its relation to human health and to theme Sustainable Development. It will also contribute to objective “empower the green transition”, by developing deeper understanding of how sustainable management of planetary resources and building resilience to threats from infectious diseases is related to ecosystem health.
The session will be open to contributions on the use of Earth observations, geospatial technologies, and social media, to identify threats to human health (e.g., from air quality or water quality); to provide warning to reduce health risks; and to facilitate remedial actions and response measures in the event of disease outbreaks. Illnesses that are directly linked to environmental conditions (such as breathing disorders that are associated with air quality), and infectious diseases whose propagations are linked to environmental conditions (such as atmospheric conditions and vector-borne diseases, or water quality and water-borne diseases) fall within the scope of the session. Submission of work coupling epidemiological and other health-related models with environmental data for forecasting disease outbreaks is also encouraged. The role of smart phones for managing human health is also within the scope of the session.

Convenors: Rochelle Schneider (ESA), Irina Gancheva (Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”), Shubha Sathyendranath (PML), Anca Anghelea (ESA), Pierre-Philippe Mathieu (ESA)

D2.12 Cultural and Natural Heritage

Open Session
Description:
Cultural and Natural Heritage (CNH) has a major significance for local communities, and symbolize the legacy and resources that will be passed on to future generations. CNH has therefore a critical value in building the local identity and strengthening the regional growth and development, and is included in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. There is a wide consensus about the usefulness of satellite technologies to support the study, documentation and systematic monitoring for protection and sustainable maintenance of CNH. This emerged quite explicitly at the exchange among experts during the last LPS19 in Milan. The session “Sentinels and Copernicus Contributing Missions for Cultural & Natural Heritage” attracted a wide representation of academic and industrial remote sensing science community who showcased how the Sentinels and Copernicus contributing missions are effective in providing an objective source of geospatial information to undertake a variety of specific tasks, such as: risk assessment, archaeological prospection, landscape archaeology, land use land cover mapping, evaluation of climate change impacts. Moreover, the delegates attending the session included also members from public administrations and authorities in charge of CNH management that were interested in learning how latest technological developments can generate a concrete impact on their domain of work.
Since then, the sector has further developed. The Copernicus Cultural Heritage Task Force (2020) has highlighted how the majority of the current Copernicus products satisfy the identified user requirements, and envisioned the high potential for Copernicus to stimulate substantial growth of the Cultural Heritage downstream market. For example, CEMS and SECURITY service have already dedicated sections for Cultural Heritage monitoring, while the community is looking forward to the potential benefits that will be provided by some specific products of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Furthermore, various initiatives have been launched by ESA (e.g. Downstream Gateway, ARTES IAP) and national space agencies to support the development of downstream applications in the CNH sector.
In this context, this session aims to understand how EO scientists, CNH user community and institutional bodies have further progressed in the scientific exploitation of satellite data, also in combination with cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to provide further benefits to professionals involved in the field of CNH but also to larger interested public, education and research sector.
The session aspires to provide a forum to discuss how satellite data and infrastructure are enablers for technological innovation and tailored solutions to address specific user needs. We therefore encourage submissions focusing on:
- Solutions based on the exploitation of the Sentinels, Copernicus contributing missions and/or Third Party Missions data, as well as exploitation of AI, ML, thematic platforms, cloud computing resources and infrastructure, collaborative environments;
- Benefits from the use of Copernicus products and services, also in relation to impacts due to climate change and towards future resilience in CHN management;
- Use cases addressing specific user requirements and needs in the field of either CNH discovery, study, monitoring, preservation or cultural/touristic promotion;
- Practical examples of EO integration in operational systems, workflows and processes on CNH;
- Downstream applications, with a focus on multidisciplinary collaboration and partnerships between heritage institutions, academia and commercial providers;
- Initiatives of capacity building towards user uptake by the CNH community and end-users.

Convenors: Deodato Tapete Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), Jolanda Patruno (RHEA)

D2.13 Sustainable Development of coastal areas

Open Session
Description:
The global coastal ocean is of profound societal, environmental and economic importance. Coastal regions around the world provide ecosystem services and resources, both living and non-living, protect coastal communities and infrastructure from hazards, and regulate global climate, ecosystem function and health. Coastal resources, services and their role in the Earth system is under increasing pressure from both climate change and direct human activity.
The atmosphere, seabed, land, ocean and, in some latitudes, ice, are all interconnected in coastal seas, creating a dynamically complex environment where the relative importance of processes and interactions change on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.
The immediate marine impact of human activity and urbanisation is concentrated at the coast, where anthropogenic activities and transboundary fluxes of material accentuate the need for agreements and policies that ensure the health, cleanliness, biodiversity and productivity of the coastal ocean.
Global-scale understanding and solutions are needed that can bridge localised approaches and regionally focused case studies towards a globally understood and sustainably managed coastal ocean.
We welcome presentations that showcase new approaches that leverage the unique global perspective and evolving capabilities in the near shore and coastal ocean offered by EO, to address the urgent need for better understanding of coastal zone function and deliver globally applicable solutions that support sustainable development.

Convenors: Christine Sams (National Oceanography Centre)

D2.14 EO for Renewable Energy

Open Session
Description:
Fossil fuels continue to play a major role in the energy sector, contributing most to greenhouse gas emissions globally. In addition, coal, oil and natural gas are not infinite resources. In recent years, the perception of the role of renewable energy has been gradually changing regarding climate change mitigation and the achievement of reliable and clean energy accessible to all. This resulted in a presently booming renewable energy sector, which, irrespective of the types of renewables in question, is in constant need of reliable and accurate information about the environment. Satellite EO can contribute significantly with such information, providing a good basis of data for anyone designing, implementing or operating renewable energy production and distribution systems or wanting to assess the environmental footprint of such systems. The proposed session aims at presenting the newest scientific advances and application examples relative to the added value of EO in particular for the marine, wind and solar energy sectors and especially in light of recent or upcoming relevant satellite missions.

Convenors: Zoltan Bartalis (ESA), Francesco La Camera (IRENA)

Nurture public and private sector partnerships

E.1 New actors, stakeholders and Commercial EO

E1.01 When FinTech meets Nature - linking green assets with innovation in financial and digital ecosystems

Open Session
Description:
The introduction of EC-regulated Taxonomy on Sustainable Finance (EU Delegated Act on EU Taxonomy Regulation adopted in June 2020) will drive the definition of the investments that can considered environmentally sustainable, and in line with European Green Deal. It will also open up new opportunities for the technological innovation regarding green assets financing, as well as elaboration of new financial instruments that will intrinsically rely on the use of data and ICT systems for monitoring, and reporting of compliance.
On this wave a growing number of private (and public) sector entities looks for opportunities to respond to the market that is interested in solutions that allow for better, faster and more reliable way to channel financial resources to “green projects”. They are aiming to disrupt markets that currently incentivise environmental degradation by introducing a new class of financial assets that are linked to ecological performance of investments, climate mitigation strategies, carbon credits generation or green/blue infrastructures that perform certain ecosystem services. These innovative concepts are spearheaded by emerging climate and eco-finance industry and were developed on the cross point of FinTech, DeFi (decentralised finance), and sustainable finance which objective is to provide investment opportunities, financial liquidity and risk management strategies to attract new participants to green and digital finance. This session will be dedicated to the presentation of these emerging concepts that combine FinTech/DeFi innovation, EO and GNSS and end-to-end orchestration of different technologies to collect data about natural objects, their identities, and their entire life-cycle in order to optimise industrial operations and build completely novel investment instruments.

Convenors: Anna Burzykowska (ESA)

E1.02 Strengthening Industrial Competitiveness Exploiting Novel Systems and Capabilities

Open Session
Description:
While a wide range of EO application domains have supported the development of commercial applications and services, developments in platform ecosystems, new satellite systems, complementary non-space technologies (eg robotics and autonomous systems) and AI enabled enhancement, processing or fusion are opening up possibilities for a much more diverse range of information products, applications and services. While many of these are far from being close to market, European industry risks being left behind in these domains due to economic incentives supporting developments in these domains outside of Europe.
This session will consider a selection of priority domains exploiting EO derived information, identify issues constraining industrial innovation within these domains and elaborate technical approaches using a mix of support striuctures that ESA could implement post 2022. A panel will take questions from participants at the end of the session.

Convenors: Gordon Campbell (ESA)

E1.03 European EO industry in the global dynamic landscape

Open Session
Description:
EARSC, the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies, is a membership-based, not for profit organisation which coordinates and promotes the activities of European companies engaged in delivering Earth observation-derived geo-information services. EARSC represents this sector in its broadest sense, creating a network between industry, decision makers and users and covering the full EO value chain from data acquisition through processing, fusion, analysis to final geo-information products & services. This session will be looking at challenges faced by the European Value Add industry, driven by recent changes and developments in the Global Earth Observation landscape. New and innovative satellite operators are entering the market especially in the US. But also new and relevant non-space geo-spatial data sources are emerging, including UAVs and crowd or citizen sources using mobile technologies. At the same time large IT companies such as Google and Amazon are seeking to establish themselves in the marketplace. What are the impacts of these changes, and which opportunities and challenges do they bring to the European industry?

Convenors: Ola Grabak (ESA)

E1.04 Space Capacity Building in the XXI Century

Open Session
Description:
New innovation models are increasingly spreading across various sectors and disciplines, including space, which is becoming an integral part of many societal activities (e.g. telecoms, weather, climate change and environmental monitoring, civil protection, infrastructures, transportation and navigation, healthcare and education). The session will include high level speakers and key stakeholders such as new private actors, NGOs and civil society in the following domains : innovation, health, climate change and resilient societies. This invited session will analyze how space capacity building can empower the international community towards fully accessing all the economic and societal benefits that space assets and data can offer.

Convenors: Stefano Ferretti (ESA)
E.2 Security

E2.01 EO Supporting Law Enforcement

Open Session
Description:
As a result of both evolution in ICT and AI and the rapid expansion of satellite data collection capabilities, there is increasing interest among security community actors to adopt wider use of EO. More specifically, where security actors may have been interested to acquire particular images to verify conclusions or inferences from an intelligence model of a particular threat or investigation, there is now increasing interest in integrating EO derived information as a fundamental part of this intelligence model, complementing and optinmizing collection and analysis of conventional information layers. There appears to be particularly significant potential for wider use of EO derived information linked to countering environmental crime, crimes against humanity and proliferation.
This session will analyze priority technical developments in both the EO and non-space domains, consider issues to be addressed in effective integration of EO into investigative practices, elaborate lessons learned from on-going projects and identify approaches for moving forwards to achieve wider uptake of EO within this community.

Convenors: Gordon Campbell (ESA)

E2.02 Climate Security - The key role of R&I and cooperation to address global threats

Open Session
Description:
Climate Security refers to climate-related events that amplify existing risks in society, endangering the security of humans, key infrastructures, economy, or ecosystems.
On top of initiatives put in place in the recent years, as the EU Green Deal or the Paris Agreement among others, the recent IPCC report issued on August 2021 went one step further, making evident that Climate Change is impacting every region in the planet and puts the responsibility of this fact mainly on human activity, claiming for rapid measurements to minimize the increasing impact on the ecosystems and on the security of citizens and societies.
To make the right decisions, undertake the appropriate measurements and work towards a sustainable future on Earth, it is essential to understand the link between the climate events and its consequences, and there is where EO data can provide high-value information.
This session will address how EO data can help the understanding and modelling of links between climate events and their associated consequences that put at risk citizens’ lives. Presentations will focus on R&I and cooperative activities that, making use of EO related latest technologies, ICT, AI and new space capabilities, serve to model, analyse and predict facts in relevant scenarios, with the objective of supporting the building of digital models of the Earth that serve for policy and decision-making processes.
Expected contributions, coming from industry, research entities and international governmental actors in climate security, will be related to: environmental hazards driving populations to migrate; environmental impact of illegal activities affecting the health of populations; scarcity of water provoking violent events to gain access to this resource; crop shortages caused by extreme weather events and the impact on populations’ health; impact of uncontrolled activities to access basic resources (e.g. illegal underwater extraction); impact of climate change on the supply of raw materials necessary for digital, space and defence applications.

Convenors: Sergio Albani (EU Satellite Centre)
E.3 Regional Initiatives

E3.01 Alps Regional Applications and Science

Open Session
Description:
The eo4alps session provides information and identifies challenges concerning how EO can support observations and monitoring in themes relevant to the Alpine environment and its population. The main topics are hydrology, landslides, glaciers, ecosystems monitoring and air quality with both scientific studies and application developments.

Convenors: Philippe Bally (ESA)

E3.02 Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea: Differences, Insights & Transfer of Knowledge Across Shores

Open Session
Description:
The Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea are of great importance for Europe. They are key transportation hubs connecting the continent with Asia and Africa and are central for the socio-economic development of the riparian countries. Additionally their coastlines are important recreational areas, welcoming significant amount of tourists each year.
As semi-enclosed seas they are especially vulnerable to pollution and introduced foreign species. The rapid climate change has already significant impact on the biogeochemistry in both seas exposing their biodiversity to risk. In this regard it is important to gain in-depth understanding of their ecosystem dynamics and environmental stressors. Being able to address the conflicting needs of protecting the ecological balance and exploiting their natural resources requires state of the art monitoring system, relying both on in-situ and remote sensing techniques.
In this session we encourage the scientific exchange, with the objective of better understanding the specific challenges on remote sensing posed by both basins and how their differences can be adequately addressed by the remote sensing community. We encourage contributions focusing on the peculiarities of the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea regarding:
  • retrieval algorithms adapted to local conditions
  • imagery analysis
  • innovative approaches for environmental monitoring
  • new insights gained from current satellite missions


Convenors: Irina Gancheva (Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)

E3.03 Black Sea and Danube Regional Applications and Science

Open Session
Description:
The Black Sea region is subject to a range of pressures and the the focus for a number of development activities. The wider region encompasses a range of landscapes and ecosystems, diverse economic activity and a unique mix of political considerations. EO based information and customized analytics capabilities are becoming increasingly significant elements in planning, management and monitoring of sustainable development initiatives in the region. These cover both the activities of ESA Member States in the region as well as countries active in particular cooperation frameworks (eg Black Sea Commission). This session will showcase on-going developments where EO derived information is contributing to sustainable development initiaitves in the region and identify prioritieis for future actions to further expand the use of EO derived information in the region

Convenors: Zoltan Bartalis (ESA)

E3.04 Baltic Sea Regional Applications and Science

Open Session
Description:
The Baltic region is a unique mix of environmental pressures and drivers while hosting a significant fraction of European high technology devleopments. Industrial production, transport and raw material extraction must cope with a range of environmental sensitivities, vulnerabilitiies and hazards while sustainable devleopment programmes must effectively protect extremely diverse ecosystems while encouraging emerging commercial domains such as tourism and renewable energy.
There is considerable scope for greater use of EO derived information to ensure that both industrial and instituional stakeholders can access the required analytics tools and data (both EO and non-EO) to support successful implementation of initiatives such as the European Green Deal in the region. This session will highlight on-going actiivites to demonstrate and verify the use of EO derived information within the planning, management and monitoring of the diverse economic activities and identify priority developments to be set up over the coming 5 years to address emerging priorities in these domains.

Convenors: Gordon Campbell (ESA)

E3.05 Atlantic Regional Applications and Science

Open Session
Description:
Stakeholders in the Atlantic region comprise a unique mix of innovative industrial actors (innvoation clusters, spin-off/start-ups etc), institutions with unique collaboration issues and research entities addressing fundametal Earth system processes. Applicationa and science activities in the region will form an important part of post CM22 Future EO activity. This session will review on-going activities and consider priority development areas not currently addressed.

Convenors: Stefano Ferretti (ESA)

E3.06 Mediterranean Regional Initiative

Open Session
Description:
The Mediterranean basin is both an area of exceptional biodiversity value and of intense and increasing human activities. Its key natural resources, i.e. water, coastlines, biodiversity and soils, are threatened by a number of pressures acting simultaneously and in many cases chronically including urbanization, industrialization, the expansion of intensive agriculture activities and aquaculture, the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, offshore hydrocarbons exploration and extraction, maritime traffic, and other pressures as invasion of non-indigenous species. The fragility of the region is further aggravated by its sensitivity to climate change: in its Fifth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified the Mediterranean ecosystems among the most impacted by the consequences of the continuously increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Those include water acidification, ocean warming, sea level rise, invasion of alien species, and more intense and frequent extreme hydro-meteorological events damaging the shoreline and coastal habitats. This session welcomes contribution demonstrating the benefit and utility of EO-derived information to enhance the scientific understanding of the many different stressors threatening the Mediterranean region, support regional monitoring priorities, and achieve measurable progress in embedding EO-derived information into the strategies and cooperation actions within the region.

Convenors: Marie-Helene Rio (ESA), Olivier Arino (ESA), Angelo Amodio (Planetek), Helena Maria Los (DEIMOS), Rosalia Santoleri (CNR), Ananda Pascual (IMEDEA)
E.4 Education

E4.01 Space-Education for tomorrow – from school to lifelong learning

Open Session
Description:
In the last few decades ESA, NASA, DLR and many others have initiated many activities and programs for education from school to higher education and outreach in the field of space technologies. There are now many best practice examples of how such activities can be implemented, but also research on the effects of these activities on learning and student motivation. We intend to deal with school education from elementary school to high school as well as teacher training activities;in addition we will discuss university level education as well as informal education such as outreach programs and capacity building.

Convenors: Marie-Helene Rio (ESA), Olivier Arino (ESA), Angelo Amodio (Planetek), Helena Maria Los (DEIMOS), Rosalia Santoleri (CNR), Ananda Pascual (IMEDEA)
E.5 European and International Relations

E5.01 Towards improved availability, access and use of open Earth observations in GEOSS

Open Session
Description:
The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) unceasingly evolves the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) to continuously provide a best-response to the demand from the GEO community andto global challenges such as climate change, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. This session will focus on ongoing and (required) future developments and actions that are needed to support advancements of GEOSSin dealing with such challenges showing a move from a technology oriented focus to a more user-centric one and thus to more knowledge-driven implementations. Implementations that shall be tailored to the different categories of users including data scientists,application scientists but as well decision and policy makers and citizens. Users, value adders and resource providers are invited to participate. Regional and local developments are as well considered.

Convenors: Joost Van Bemmelen (ESA), Ivan Petiteville (ESA)

E5.02 EC-ESA Earth System Science Initiative.

Open Session
Description:
In the next decades population growth is expected to amplify current pressures on critical resources such as fresh water or food, intensify the stress on land and marine ecosystems and increase environmental pollution and its impacts on health and biodiversity. These problems will be further exacerbated by global warming and the likely impacts of climate change in human activities and the Earth system. Europe has now an unique opportunity to lead the global scientific efforts to address these challenges. In the next decade Europe will rely on the most comprehensive and sophisticated space-based observation infrastructure in the world, including an extraordinary and complementary suit of sensors on board of the Copernicus Sentinels series, the ESA’s Earth Explorers, the coming meteorological missions and different EO observation satellites planned to be launched by national space agencies and private operators in Europe. Ensure the scientific community takes full advantage from this unique opportunity and maximise its scientific and societal impact is urgent and will require a significant collaborative effort and an integrated approach to science where the synergistic use of EO satellite data, in-situ and citizen observations, advanced modelling capabilities, interdisciplinary research and new technologies will be essential elements. Sharing this vision, in January 2020, EC and ESA launched a joint Earth System Science Initiative, formalised with the signature of a working arrangement between both institutions. The initiative aims at joining forces to advance Earth System Science and provide a coordinated response to the global challenges that society is facing in the onset of this century. To put words in action, four joint Flagship Actions have been selected for kick-off in 2020 (i.e. polar changes and global impacts, Biodiversity and vulnerable ecosystems, Ocean health, Extremes and climate adaptation). Additional themes are under discussion in important topics such as water resources, food systems, carbon or health. Implementation will be based on a co-programmed approach ensuring the coordination of relevant scientific activities, calls, and work plans initiated under EC’s Horizon Europe and ESA’s FutureEO programmes. In this session, ESA and EC (DG-RTD) will present the status of the initiative to the scientific community and will offer an opportunity to discuss the plans for implementation after 2023.

Convenors: Diego Fernández Prieto (ESA)

E5.03 The Copernicus Programme – Looking Back, Going Forward (I) High Level Overview*

Invited Session
Description:
This is a programmatic Copernicus session involving all Copernicus European partners and entrusted entities. Following the successful agreement of the ESA-EC Financial Framework Partnership Agreement (FFPA) this session will be the high level launchpad for subsequent Copernicus LPS22 sessions.

Convenors: Simon Jutz (ESA), Mauro Facchini (EC)

E5.04 The Copernicus Programme – Looking Back, Going Forward (II) Copernicus Services Status Update*

Invited Session
Description:
This session will give an overview of Copernicus Space Component, In-situ Components, Copernicus Services and evolving User Requirements. It will feature the key Copernicus Services and their progress to date.

Convenors: Simon Jutz (ESA), Mauro Facchini (EC)

E5.05 The Copernicus Programme – Looking Back, Going Forward (III) Unlocking the power of Copernicus – institutional adoption and novel regulations as accelerators for the user uptake*

Invited Session
Description:
This session will demonstrate the current Copernicus user uptake, will outline the socio-economic benefits of Copernicus programme, as well as drivers for the Copernicus future growth through various forthcoming / proposed EC regulations and new international initiatives.

Convenors: Simon Jutz (ESA), Mauro Facchini (EC)

E5.06 The Copernicus Programme – Looking Back, Going Forward (IV) Digital Copernicus – convergence of emerging technologies shaping Europe’s Digital Future*

Invited Session
Description:
This session will demonstrate the role of future technology on Copernicus evolution (AI, HPCM, cloud computing, Quantum, etc.) and provide examples of concepts for future Copernicus services erving as an accelerator for the Industry 4.0 (AI/ML, Big Data, mobile technology, Internet of Things, augmented reality, DLT, and cybersecurity)

Convenors: Simon Jutz (ESA), Mauro Facchini (EC)

E5.07 Copernicus International Cooperation – Building infrastructure for the world*

Invited Session
Description:
Copernicus data and information exchange is subject to a growing number of international agreements shaping EU’s and ESA’s bilateral relations with international partners. These agreements are aimed not only to promote the uptake of Copernicus data globally but also to support the integration of the third-party data and information acquired by international partners into the Earth observation data management system in Europe. In addition to this, ESA’s Sentinel collaborative ground segment technical agreements further enhance the Sentinel missions’ exploitation in various areas enabling globally relevant regional data dissemination and access hubs. This session will highlight the ambition for and the role of the Copernicus international partnerships in the Programme development, as well as present key achievements to date and the outlook for the future.

Convenors: Simon Jutz (ESA)

E5.08 Cooperation Esa-Jaxa Using Sar Satellites in Earth Sciences and Applications*

Invited Session
Description:
ESA and JAXA has been developed in the context of observation, monitoring and study of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere from space, with a view to cooperate for the use of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites in the fields of earth science and earth observation applications.
ESA and JAXA recognize and agree to have an agreement for SAR cooperation. Since ESA and JAXA have both developed new generation L-band SAR missions, ESA and JAXA recognize the value to share an important experience in operational use of L-band SAR and intend to increase the benefits of synergies in the use of C- and L- band spaceborne assets. To proceed this cooperation, ESA and JAXA agreed to share the existing available SAR data from Sentinel-1 in Copernicus program and from ALOS-2 in JAXA to validate the value of C-band and L-band data to mutual interest area.
At present, both agencies jointly work for Polar Area Monitoring, Forest and Wetland Mapping, Ocean Monitoring, Snow Water equivalent, Soil Moisture, Monitoring Agriculture and GHG, Urban Monitoring, Natural and Urban Forest Monitoring, Monitoring of Geohazards and Joint validation Algorithm development of SAR.
In this session, invited speakers are expected to report ongoing and planning SAR satellites missions including ALOS-2, ALOS-4, Sentinel-1 and ROSE-L. Invited speakers are also expected to report the joint science and application early results using Sentinel-1 and ALOS-2 with ground-based observation data.

Convenors: Shinichi Sobue (JAXA), Maurice Borgeaud (ESA)

*Invited Session (solicited presentation)
Open Session (open to all)