NEWS

WHAT DOES THE NEW RELEASE ON TERRASCOPE HAVE TO OFFER?

17/04/2018

Updates and new features, that was promised and we are happy to shed some light on this new release that has some exciting extras. There are 3 new features now online

  • Terraviewer, a data viewer and browser
  • Sentinel-1 data availability
  • User Forum to attend to all your questions

And the website is now trilingual in English, Dutch and French.

Firstly,  a state-of-the-art Terraviewer, enabling you to easily browse and view our data, currently enabled for Sentinel-2. This version gives you the possibility to view & download Sentinel-2 data over Belgian territory. The data is available from mid-2015 onwards.  In the viewer you can choose 6 pre-defined layers, each one having specific characteristics and use.

An overview

  • RGB (Red Green Blue), also called natural colour, shows the imagery similar to viewing a digital photograph taken from a plane, or as we would observe it with our naked eyes.

Typical uses: Colour imagery provides an opportunity to detect expansion of cities, natural disasters, water ponds, road network,….    Additionally, it can be used to do an initial quantification of lost production acres

  •  NIR (Near-infrared) As healthy vegetation is a strong reflector of near-infrared light which is invisible to the human eye, this imagery provides a greater assessment of plant health than traditional photos.  .

Typical uses: NIR composites allow a better discrimination of vegetation compared to RGB and can be used for clear recognition of vegetated surfaces in cities or improved assessment of vegetation health.

  • NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index)  is a simple and effective vegetation index to quantify the vegetation amount and status.  

Typical uses: NDVI imagery has been widely used to assess crop vigor across a field, areas of ponding, recognition of different crop types and changes in vegetation conditions over time.

The following three products are Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). They drive the main vegetation canopy processes and are key variables in ecosystem, climate, hydrology and biogeochemistry models.

  • FAPAR (Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation) typically describes the the fraction of the solar radiation absorbed by green leaves and used for photosynthesis.

Typical uses: FAPAR is an ‘integrated indicator’ of the status of the vegetation canopy. This biophysical variable is directly related to the primary productivity of the crop. Due to its sensitivity to vegetation stress, FAPAR is often used as a drought indicator.

  • LAI (Leaf Area Index) LAI is defined as the ratio of one sided leaf area per unit of ground area (m2/m2).

Typical uses: LAI characterizes plant canopy structure and gives an idea of the amount of biomass.

  • FCOVER (Fraction of Vegetation Cover) FCover is the percentage of plant material that covers the soil surface when observed from straight above.

Typical uses: Monitoring FCover on agricultural fields from the early season onwards presents an indication of crop emergence, rate of crop development and vigor. fCover can be used to detect emergence problems (e.g. due to bad seeds) or damage due to extreme weather events such as floods,… FCover also provides a measure of the susceptibility of the soils in a farm field to erosion.

Secondly, Sentinel 1 data can now be downloaded directly from the data portal, in both single look complex (SLC) as well as ground-range detected (GRD) format. The data is available from 2018 onwards. As it concerns SAR – radar – imagery, the data can be used regardless of clouds being present at the time of recording.

Sentinel 1 data is very useful  for forest cover inventory to map deforestation, but also for land cover monitoring and classification, flood monitoring and detecting soil drought. In the upcoming releases the Terraviewer will also include the Sentinel 1 data.

And last but not least, a User Support section is in place to help users with any technical questions. By using the Forum, interaction with other experienced user will help solve specific issues with the data and an expert will always be available to solve your question. The FAQ section already contains answers to get you started using the data and platform. Along the way the FAQ will further expand depending on the input received from our users.

INSIGHTS
FROM SPACE

by providing a user-friendly platform to access satellite data and derived information to the Belgian users.