This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under grant agreement no 730008.

ECoLaSS

Evolution of Copernicus Land Services

based on Sentinel data

.. is an EU Horizon2020 project to develop several prototypes of new or enhanced Copernicus Land services making full use of dense time series of SAR and optical Sentinel EO data. These prototypes shall be suggested for qualifying as candidates for operational integration into the future Copernicus Land Monitoring Service from 2020 onwards.

ECoLaSS

BACKGROUND

Copernicus is a European Earth Observation (EO) programme headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the better understanding of the state and changes of our planet. Copernicus provides six operational services on the earth’s main sub-systems (i.e. Land, Atmosphere, Oceans) and on cross-cutting processes (i.e., Climate Change, Emergency and Security). These services are largely based on EO satellite data, which will rely on the fleet of ESA’s Sentinel satellites. The Copernicus Land Monitoring Service provides EO-based spatial information related to bio-geophysical variables and Land Cover/Land Use (LC/LU) characteristics as well as their changes over time. The related services are reflected in a Global, pan-European (Continental), Local Component, and an In-situ Component.

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THE PROJECT

The Horizon2020 project, “Evolution of Copernicus Land Services based on Sentinel data” (ECoLaSS) aims at developing innovative methods, algorithms and prototypes to improve and invent future pre-operational Copernicus Land services from 2020 onwards, for the pan-European and Global Components. ECoLaSS will make full use of dense Sentinel time series of optical (S-2, S-3) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data (S-1). These prototypes shall be suggested to EC and the relevant decision-makers for qualifying as candidates for operational integration into the future Copernicus Land Monitoring Service from 2020 onwards. Rapidly evolving scientific as well as user requirements will be analyzed in support of a future pan-European roll-out of new/improved Copernicus Land Monitoring services, and the transfer to global applications.

The overall duration of the project will be 36 months (Jan 2017 - Dec 2019), with two development cycles of 18 months each. Service requirements assessment will be performed involving the main Copernicus Land stakeholders and users, and will thus steer methodological developments, such as: (i) Sentinel-1/-2/-3 time series integration, (ii) time series pre-processing methods, (iii) thematic classification and (iv) change detection from time series analysis, and (v) the development of an incremental update methodology for the Copernicus Land High Resolution Layers (HRLs). These methods will be applied on test sites, located both in Europe and Africa, prior to a prototyping phase. Larger demonstration sites representing various bio-geographic regions were selected to implement the following innovative prototypes: (i) indicators and variables from high spatial and temporal resolution data, for both the Continental and Global Component products; (ii) incremental update strategies for the main pan-European products (i.e. the HRLs); (iii) improved permanent grassland identification; (iv) crop area and crop status/parameters monitoring; (v) further novel LC/LU products.

Finally, the main target to assess/benchmark all operational products in view of their innovation potential and technical excellence will be performed, leading to a strategy for an operationalization framework for a future pan-European roll-out of improved or newly developed Copernicus Land Monitoring services. It is expected that such new services will provide a variety of inter-linkages with other LC/LU projects, and bring new opportunities for a wide range of dedicated applications to the market from 2020 onwards.

OBJECTIVES

The project's key objectives contain the development of:

  • Innovative methods based on high volume data processing of Sentinel (optical and SAR) time series to improve existing and develop novel products and services for the pan-European and Global Copernicus Land Components.

  • Prototypes for improved an novel next-generation operational Copernicus Land Services, which are demonstrated in large  prototype sites of biogeographical diversity.

  • An operationalization framework  including benchmarking of all prototypes in view of their innovation potential and technical excellence for operational service implementation into Copernicus Land services from 2020 onwards.

 

Image: ESA

Project Consortium

The Consortium performing the project is composed of five companies/institutions - lead by GAF AG (Germany) - with deep and complementary EO technical proficiency and wide experience in developing geo-spatial operational services in the land mapping domain to different users. In particular, it includes: SIRS (France), JOANNEUM RESEARCH (Austria), Universite Catholiqe De Louvain (Belgium), and the German Aerospace Center - DLR (Germany).

SIRS-LIVRAISON_Couleur-Noir_Small_300dpi
 

Image: ESA

Prototype Developments

ECoLaSS will imply methodological developments, such as: (i) Sentinel-1/-2/-3 time series integration, (ii) time series pre-processing methods, (iii) thematic classification and (iv) change detection from time series analysis, and (v) the development of an incremental update methodology for the Copernicus Land High Resolution Layers (HRLs).

 

These methods will be applied on test sites, located both in Europe and Africa, prior to a prototyping phase. Larger demonstration sites representing various bio-geographic regions were selected to implement the following innovative prototypes:

  1. indicators and variables from high spatial and temporal resolution data, for both the Continental and Global component products

  2. incremental update strategies for the main pan-European products (i.e. the HRLs)

  3. improved permanent grassland identification

  4. crop area and crop status/parameters monitoring

  5. further novel LC/LU products