The MAXSS consortium consists of scientists and engineers of the entities listed below:
- Institut Français de Recherche pour l'exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), prime
- Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
- Institute of Marine Sciences CSIC Spain (ICM)
- OceanDataLabs (ODL)
- AER Europe - Verisk Analytics Gmbh (VA)
- Deimos Space UK (DEIMOS)
- Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (BIO)
- Centre for Geography and Environmental Science, University of Exeter (UvE)
- Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS)
- Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC)
- IEEC (Institut dEstudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC)
Institut Français de Recherche pour l'exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER, Prime)
IFREMER is an industrial and commercial public body. It operates under the joint auspices of the Ministry of National Education, Research and Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Equipment, Transport and Housing. Being involved in all the marine science and technology fields, IFREMER has the capability of solving different problems with an integrated approach.
IFREMER scope of actions can be divided into four main areas: understanding, assessing, developing and managing the ocean resources; improving knowledge, protection and restoration methods for marine environment; production and management of equipment of national interest; helping the socio-economic development of the maritime world. IFREMER will be involved in this project through the LOPS (laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et spatiale) for expertise and product development, and CERSAT entity for the technical implementation and data pool and dissemination.
The Laboratory for Ocean Physics and remote Sensing (LOPS) is a joint research unit of University of Brest, CNRS, IRD and Ifremer. Under the LOPS consortium agreement, projects are managed by the parent organization of the PI, in this case Fabrice Ardhuin (CNRS). The LOPS is focused on the observation and analysis of oceanic motions, their connection with the atmosphere, sea floor and the littorals, and their influence on life in the ocean. Research at LOPS is organized into 4 teams, working on
• the coastal ocean
• the oceans and climate
• satellite remote sensing and air-sea interface dynamics
• ocean scale interactions: how small scales (waves, eddies ...) influence the larger scales and vice versa.
The lab expertise also contributes to higher education, in particular through the International Master in Marine Physics, and also with joint training programs with the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and the Université Cheikh Anta Diop (Sénégal).
Our work naturally fuels operational oceanography projects including Coriolis and the Copernicus Marine Core service. The 125 or so people that work at LOPS are tenured researchers (around 55), tenured engineers and technical staff (35) and around 35 graduate students, post-docs and technical staff on short-term contracts.
Created in 1991, the CERSAT (Centre d’Exploitation et de Recherche Satellitaire) was part of the ESA (European Space Agency) ground segment for the ERS-1 and ERS-2 Earth observation satellites. The CERSAT consists of a engineering and operation team (spanning over LOPS and Ifremer Marine Data departments) addressing issues such as remote-sensing of ocean surface (retrieval algorithm, calibration/validation of the sensors,...), data analysis and merging techniques, combination of multiple data sources to investigate geophysical processes, massive data archive management and processing,or data dissemination and value adding. In line with the contract between ESA and IFREMER, CERSAT performed until 2010 off-line processing of data from the ERS-1 and ERS-2 "low-bit rate" sensors : Radar Altimeter, Scatterometer, Microwave sounder and SAR in wave mode. These data are distributed to the scientific community world-wide.
Since 1996, the CERSAT has been evolving towards a multi-mission centre, archiving new data from various sensors similar or complementary to those of ERS (SSM/I, ADEOS/NSCAT, QuikSCAT, SeaWinds), and generating homogeneous series of value-added products from its growing database : mean wind fields, turbulent and radiative fluxes, waves, sea-ice characterization maps or multi-sensor colocated datasets (combining ERS, NSCAT, QuikSCAT/SeaWinds, TOPEX, SSM/I, JASON-1, ENVISAT satellites but also buoys and model outputs).
The CERSAT has therefore developed for more than 20 years a renowned expertise in particular in the following key areas :
• earth observation data management, for satellite but also in situ or model data
• operational processing for NRT applications and services, through a dedicated
• sensor cross-comparison and synergy, through various frameworks implemented by
its engineering team such as the XCOL cross source colocation system or match-up databases (MD)
• web based applications for online data search and visualization, analysis of matchups, sensor or product quality monitoring and assessment
• mass data archiving and data intensive processing using innovative Big Data and cloud computing technologies
• key ocean parameters such sea surface temperature, waves, wind, sea ice or surface salinity.
Since its creation IFREMER Spatial Oceanography Laboratory has been involved in the development of national services and value-added products based on its large database and its processing and dissemination capabilities: Medspiration (ESA DUE program), MERSEA
(EU), GMES/MyOcean (EU) (development of validated geophysical datasets), Enviwave, Icemon (GMES), PolarView, Roses (GMES), MARCOAST (GMES), GlobWave (ESA), GlobCurrent (ESA), Sentinel-1 MPC (ESA), CFOSAT (CNES), SMOS-Wind (ESA), SMOS-Storm (ESA)., CFOSAT/IWWOC (CNES),...
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)
The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut, KNMI) was established in 1854. It is a government agency operating under the responsibility of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment. It is an operational institute that provides weather observations, weather forecasts and weather alerts all year round, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week. The institute carries out applied and fundamental research in support of its operational tasks and as a climate change research centre. Important efforts are spent on the development of numerical weather and climate models and in the interpretation of observations in these contexts. The processes of data acquisition and processing are highly automated to ensure cost effectiveness and quality. Skilled and experienced groups, specialized in such diverse topics as instrument development and electronic read-out, automation, computing, operations control and quality control are employed within the institute. The institute has four main departments and employs approximately 450 staff taking care of these tasks.
As an operational meteorological data centre and research institute in one, KNMI combines international contacts and co-operation projects in a practical sense. KNMI is an active member of such large international organizations as WMO (Geneva, CH), ECMWF (Reading, UK) and EUMETSAT (Darmstadt, G).
KNMI has been providing wind, wave and surge forecasts for several decades with the HiRLAM, NedWAM and WAQUA/DCSM model. The development of coastal climatologies and extreme weather projections at KNMI lies at the basis of the rigorous water defenses in the Netherlands .
Remote sensing is of great importance to the KNMI, also in the context of atmospheric composition and chemistry. For weather forecasting and for research and development activities satellite observations provide a valuable complement to in-situ measurements. KNMI has a long standing experience in the reception and processing of earth observation data from meteorological and climatological satellites. These data are applied in the first place for KNMI's own operational meteorological and research tasks but KNMI also provides earth observation products and related services as an aid to the exertion of other public tasks, e.g., management and research of marine and inland waters. Furthermore, data and value added products are provided for national and international environment and climate change programs. KNMI is involved in national and international studies concerning user aspects of earth observation data. KNMI aims to contribute to establishing and extending the national, European and world-wide infrastructure.
KNMI scientists have extensive experience in the retrieval of satellite information. Several numerical satellite data products are being enhanced and evaluated in the context of the development of earth system models. Among these are ASCAT and ScatSat scatterometer winds, but also RadarSat, ESA Aeolus, EarthCare and OMI.
Research and development for satellites is the main topic of the RDSW department, led by Prof. Pieternel Levelt. The project responsible officer, Dr. Ir. Ad Stoffelen, leads a group in the RDSW section on active instruments.
Track record of KNMI satellite winds group
Relation of the KNMI Satellite R&D active instruments group with other international projects/programmes are:
• The group coordinates, develops and services, since last century, the scatterometer wind products of the EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility (SAF), the EUMETSAT Early Advanced Retransmission Service, and the NWP SAF;
• The group leads the wind activities in the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Services (CMEMS) Thematic Assembly Centre since 2009 and processes L2 wind products into L3 wind products in the context of CMEMS..
The work in the context of this proposal fits well with the EUMETSAT and EU projects; • Ad Stoffelen is a member of ESA/EUMETSAT SCA Science Advisory Group;
• He is a co-organizer of the International Ocean Vector Wind Science Team:
• Contribution to the ESA Core Explorer Aeolus program and the EUMETSAT post-EPS program, the two latter by membership to expert teams;
• Ad Stoffelen is the Principle Investigator of a European project in the context of the Indian Space Research Organisation ScatSat scatterometer Announcement of Opportunity Cal/Val round;
• KNMI contributes advice and development to the Chinese-French CFOSAT wind/wave satellite mission as science team member and contractor;
• The KNMI satellite winds group co-proposed the WINDS mission for the 9th ESA Earth Explorer Opportunity call and led the ESA Atmospheric Convoy project at KNMI.
Institute of Marine Sciences CSIC Spain (ICM)
ICM belongs to one of the largest research institutions in Europe, i.e., CSIC, and is an internationally recognised centre for marine research, and in particular, for ocean remote sensing. ICM’s Department of Physical and Technological Oceanography (DOFT) focuses on the description and understanding of the physical behaviour of the ocean and its role in the climate of the Earth, using the principles of fluid mechanics, radiative transfer theory and thermodynamics. The observation and analysis of water movement (waves and currents), the transfer of energy and momentum between the ocean and atmosphere, and the special properties of seawater, such as the propagation of electromagnetic energy from microwaves to visible wavelength range, serve to improve the knowledge about the physical processes in the ocean, from the microstructure to global scale climatic phenomena. The Department is also working on new techniques for analysis of data obtained from space and
oceanographic instrumentation and in the design and development of advanced numerical models to study various aspects of the ocean dynamics.
Ocean remote sensing has been for many years one of the main DOFT research areas, with the use of new sensor approaches and the development of novel techniques to obtain dynamic information from satellite data analysis. DOFT researchers were part of the group that submitted the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity proposal to ESA in 1998 and since then have played a key role in the development and implementation of SMOS, including the role of Co-Lead Investigator (Jordi Font) for ocean salinity. Moreover, the DOFT hosts the Barcelona Expert Centre (BEC) on Remote Sensing, a joint initiative of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC), the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), and the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), whose aim is to develop, produce and routinely serve added-value microwave ocean remote sensing products. BEC’s competitive research funds come from a wide variety of sources, including the Spanish National Plan, H2020, ESA, and EUMETSAT. In particular, the satellite winds group (SWG) has strongly contributed over the last decade to the scatterometer-related R&D activities of the EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice (OSI) and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) Satellite Application Facilities (SAFs), through the Associated and Visiting Scientist schemes. The SWG group has also contributed to microwave remote sensing related ESA & EUMETSAT ITT studies, such as TGSCATT (2015-2017) and CHEFS (2017-2019). The group is specialized on geophysical data interpretation, including calibration, measurement error modelling, forward modelling, non-linear inversion, quality control, and data assimilation. In addition, SWG members are involved in the Dragon-4 Europe/China (ESA-MOST) cooperation programme on SAR-derived extreme wind retrievals and applications.
Ocean Data Labs (ODL)
OceanDataLab (ODL) is a R&D PME working in close collaboration with IFREMER Space Oceanography Laboratory with the principal objective to develop and push forward the synergetic use of multisensory, model and in-situ data to provide a full picture of any given oceanic or atmospheric phenomena or variables of interest. The Developments at OceanDataLab are articulated around a multisensor plateform tool including both web and stand alone clients with multiple plugins for analysis, merging, linking and extraction of synthetic information. Some case studies are highlighted on the web site www.oceandatalab.com
ODL staff has extensive knowledge about data and products from all major satellite sensors useful for oceanic studies but also about instrument simulation, signal processing and the dynamic of oceanic and atmospheric fluids.
ODL is involved as Expect Support Laboratory for Sentinel1 Level2 wind wave and Doppler products to fine tune and validate geophysical parameters retrieval.
ODL is also involved in national and international projects aiming at enlarging the use of ocean remote sensing data by combining them with complementary in-situ data or models to emulate higher time sampling rate.
OceanDataLab is a business unit within the IFREMER Space Oceanography Laboratory (LOS) that is working in close collaboration with the scientific teams of LOS. As a spinoff, ODL benefits from the from the LOS facilities for oceanographic research and the key staff have a long history of Earth Observation applications and software development and data processing for national, European Commission and ESA projects.
EO Data processing facilities
- ● ODL benefits from extensive hardware, including a Linux-based cluster Nephele at CERSAT, consisting of over 600 computing nodes connected via Gigabit Ethernet to one another and to 1 Petabyte of network attached storage.
- ● ODL is connected to the RENATER fibre link, the French Research and University network.
- ● ODL also has established links with other computing centers, including the SOLAB in StPetersburg or ESA GPOD facilities.
- ● ODL disseminates data via FTP, and via a variety of web-based services such asoceandatalab.syntool.org hosted in a private external data center with massive data storage. ODL has significant software development capabilities, with experience ranging from algorithm development, creation and integration of processing systems, data archival / metadata creation, data distribution to web development (including interactive web portals).
- ● For applications development and testing, ODL uses IDL, Matlab and Python. For version control ODL uses Mercurial.
- ● The processing algorithms have been created (some externally) in many languages, meaning ODL has undertaken a significant amount of integration work and consequently has a lot of expertise in this area.
- ● ODL uses JIRA for information and issue management. Software change control uses Mercurial (ODL has also used CVS, SVN, and git)
Verisk Analytics , AER division (VA)
In 2019 AER (www.aer.com) established an European branch as a division within Verisk Analytics GmbH in Munich, Germany. Verisk Analytics GmbH and AER are closely connected as they are owned by the same parent company: Verisk Analytics, a global company.
AER is a research and development institute located in Lexington, Ma. AER staff are involved a wide range of remote sensing, earth-atmosphere and space related topics. Of its
more than 100 employees approximately 70 hold a Ph.D. Each year AER employees publish on average 30 papers in peer reviewed journals, and several employees have received awards for outstanding research contributions.
Mr. Y. Tatge is Verisk Analytics GmbH Managing Director. It is worth noticing, that Verisk Analytics GmbH (AER division) has prepared several project proposals for ESA, which contained significant in-kind support provided by AER scientific staff. This underscores the close relation between AER and its European Division.
Deimos Space UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Elecnor Deimos, the technology branch of Elecnor Group. Elecnor is a large Spanish group specialising in integrated management of projects and infrastructure development. Elecnor Deimos, which employs over 300 people in Spain, Portugal, Romania and United Kingdom, has a proven track record in the space sector, being today one of the leading suppliers of space systems in Europe. Founded in 2001, Elecnor Deimos acquired a growing specialization in engineering studies and turnkey solutions in the areas of Mission Analysis, Systems Engineering, and critical software for Space and Ground Segments, including Real-Time applications. Deimos Space UK Ltd was created in 2013 to address the UK and UK-export market for space systems, services and applications. Deimos Space UK is located on the Harwell Oxford campus and has 20 staff, of which 17 are highly qualified and experienced engineers.
Deimos Space UK has a wealth of expertise in EO and radar remote sensing, including Altimetry, GNSS-Reflectometry and Scatterometry. Deimos Space UK has been involved in particular in a number of projects concerning the design and development of algorithms for retrieval of geophysical parameters from GNSS-R data (i.e. the COREGAL project, existing data from CYGNSS, and forthcoming data from the Copernicus FSSCAT Mission), and collaborates on the maintenance of the Sentinel-3 altimetry tooxbox. Staff and Engineers in the Data Processing Division at Deimos Space UK have a strong background in Remote Sensing, data analysis and machine learning, algorithm development and testing, electromagnetic scattering simulations and statistical processing.
Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (BIO)
BIO is a modern oceanographic research facility, established in 1962 by the Federal Government of Canada and located on the shores of the Bedford Basin in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Over the last 50 years it has grown to become Canada's largest centre for ocean research. The Institute performs targeted research, mandated by the Canadian government, to provide peer reviewed advice and support to government decisions on a range of ocean issues, including sovereignty, safety and security, environmental protection, the health of the oceans, safe and accessible waterways, the sustainable use of natural resources (fisheries, minerals, oil and gas) and integrated management large ocean areas. Oceanography, by
nature, is a multidisciplinary research field, involving geological, physical, chemical and biological research disciplines. To solve problems related to the oceans, BIO houses researchers, engineers, technicians, natural resource and environmental managers, and support staff from a variety of different disciplines. Currently, four federal departments are located at BIO: Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Environment Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and the Department of National Defence (DND). Additional information is at http://www.bio.gc.ca/general-generales/about-sujet-en.php.
Centre for Geography and Environmental Science, University of Exeter (UvE)
The University of Exeter combines world class research with excellent student satisfaction at its campuses in Exeter and Cornwall. It is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive universities. Formed in 1955, the University has over 22,000 students from more than 130 different countries. Exeter is ranked amongst the UK’s top 20 universities in the Higher Education league tables produced by the Times and the Sunday Times. It is also ranked amongst the world’s top 200 universities in the QS and Times Higher Education rankings. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework 98% of our research was rated as of international quality, as a result we were awarded an additional £3.8m for research – the third highest gain amongst English universities.
The university of Exeter team are based in the Centre for Geography and Environmental Science, University of Exeter Penryn Campus. Academics based within this Centre conduct research in human and physical geography and environmental science with expertise covering past, present and future global environmental change, biological and physical oceanography, Earth observation and remote sensing using light aircraft and drones, sustainable development, energy policy and governance, critical heritage studies, social innovation, changing political geography and human cultural evolution.
Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS)
Collecte Localisation Satellites (CLS), established in 1986, is a subsidiary of the French Space Agency (CNES), and Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille (CNP). It develops satellite services in location and environmental data collection, space ocean and land monitoring and radar detection. With a turnover of 130M€, a staff of 700 people worldwide, and an average 10% growth over the last 10 years, CLS has developed a wide range of integrated offers to a broad range of professionals including: government, industry and the scientific community and services. CLS operates in the sectors environmental surveillance, sustainable management of Earth resources, maritime security.
CLS holds more than 25-year experience in environmental monitoring by remote sensing techniques. CLS has been acting continuously in Earth Observation (EO) projects providing services to French and European space agencies, CNES, ESA, EUMETSAT and European stakeholders like the European Union, through research programmes, FP5, 6, 7, H2020 and
through the operational Copernicus programme. CLS is both involved in research, development and project coordination activities and in operational services (Copernicus MyOcean project, AVISO/SALP, Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service, Copernicus Global Land Operation Service – Cryosphere&Water, Copernicus Climate Change Service – Sea Level, Copernicus Climate Change Service – Lake Water Level), Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3 Mission Performance Center for Altimetry and services for end-users (off-shore industry, ship routing, fisheries management).
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC)
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC), Bergen, Norway is an independent non-profit research foundation founded in 1986. The Center is a national environmental and climate research institute with basic funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment. NERSC conducts basic and applied research primarily funded by research councils, space agencies, and governmental agencies of relevance for society.
The Vision of the Nansen Center is to pioneer understanding of the Earth system and science- based innovation leading to services for the society. Its Mission of is to conduct marine, cryosphere and atmospheric research using observations, models and data assimilation leading to innovation and service development. The research focus is on the high latitudes and the Arctic. The results and knowledge are disseminated and communicated to stakeholders and society in support of sustainable environment and blue growth. The Center contributes to education and capacity building and maintain strategic national and international partnerships.
The NERSC staff includes 76 persons from 26 countries. The staff comprises researchers and senior scientists, six Post-docs, three Ph.D. students, and administrative/technical personnel. The scientific production in 2019 included 84 referee or book publications, 95 publications in conference proceedings, 20 technical reports for clients and five popular science article – totally 208 publications. NERSC has participated in more than 125 EU projects of which 50 are coordinated by the Center.
The main office is located at Marineholmen in Bergen, Norway, with a branch office in Svalbard Science Park in Longyearbyen. NERSC is the founding institution of a network of international Nansen research centers - consisting of about 220 scientists (2017), including about 75 PhD and master students in Norway, Russia, China, India, South-Africa and Bangladesh. More information is available at www.nersc.no.
Institut dEstudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC)
The Institut dEstudis Espacials de Catalunya (IEEC) is a private, non-profit foundation to foster space R&D in Catalonia. It currently has a Board of Trustees composed of the
Generalitat de Catalunya (regional government), the University of Barcelona (UB), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), and the Spanish Research Council (CSIC). The IEEC also belongs to the Institucio CERCA - Research Centers of Catalonia.
IEEC is a research institute that studies all areas of space and space sciences, including astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, Earth observation, and space engineering. Its mission is to push the frontiers of space research from the scientific and technological domains for the ultimate benefit of society. The IEEC also develops instrumentation for multiple space missions thanks to a team of engineers with extensive experience in the aerospace sector and in sectors with a high value in innovation. As a private non-profit foundation, the IEEC can have a versatile relationship with private industries and companies that ultimately fabricate the qualified flight hardware.
The contribution to this proposal is from one of the four units of IEEC, the unit called Institute of Space Sciences (ICE), which also belongs to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The Earth Observation group at IEEC/ICE-CSIC focuses on remote sensing using GNSS signals. The group conceived a new measurement concept being demonstrated aboard the PAZ Low Earth Orbiter (GNSS-PRO). The group was one of the pioneering groups of GNSS reflectometry in Europe and it developed the first dedicated GNSS-R hardware receivers. The group has also developed processing techniques for GNSS-R altimetry and scatterometry and led mission proposals to ESA (PARIS-IOD, G-TERN).