Monthly Archives: December 2008

Google does Frontiers of Geophysics Lecture at AGU

Slightly off-topic, but those of you interested in the benefits of online maps and virtual globes to science will be interested in the lecture given this week at AGU by Michael Jones. He gave the Frontiers of Geophysics Lecture on Monday and it is available as a webcast for you to watch without the hassle of flying to San Francisco.



There was a whole session dedicated to Virtual Globes with lots of interesting demos and presentations. More info here and links to abstracts for the talks and demos here. Of course if lightbulbs turn on in your head and you would like to know if any of this can be applied to your science, please come and ask.

Cryosat-2 opportunity

ESA has released the announcement of opportunity for exploitation of Cryosat-2 data. Full details of the announcement and details of how to submit a proposal can be found here. Proposals are due for online submission by 20th February 2009.

Those of you that submitted such a proposal before Cryosat-1 nose-dived into the Arctic do not need to resubmit. You should be contacted and asked for any necessary modifications due to the delay in data availability.



Cryosat-2 is due for launch in 2009 and more information can be found here.

Free Landsat data

The entire Landsat archive of over 35 years worth of data for the whole globe collected by Landsat 1 to the current Landsat 7 is free. No charge, nothing to pay, absolutely gratis. Just search for the images you want, order them, total cost = $0, and USGS will email you a link where you can go and collect them. So go here for more info and ways to search and order data, but the best route in my opinion is GloVis. Now that’s what I call a data policy.



One word of caution, we already have a lot of Landsat data at BAS and you can search for what we hold here (BAS internal link only). So don’t bother duplicating effort and in an effort to manage our data properly, either ask me to order it for you or let me have the ftp link and I’ll sort it out and import it to your favourite geo-format at the same time.

ESA initiative to support young scientists

The European Space Agency has launched an initiative called the “Changing Earth Science Network” to support young scientists who wish to focus on aspects of its Earth Observation Science Strategy called ‘The Changing Earth’. Support is for young post-docs over a two year period, with the option of carrying out part of their research at an ESA Centre. Perhaps even the new UK centre.

The announcement of the first call for proposals is here or download the relevant package here.

NERC scoping new remote sensing technology

NERC is looking to define research activities to develop new remote sensing instruments for ‘next generation aerial platforms’. So think of UAVs, blimps etc. They’ll be doing this definition via a consultant, but if you have any ideas start thinking now since this will be a key input to the Technologies Theme Action Plan. Full text of the notice is provided below and you can get further details in the scoping study ITT here. I’ll let you know when I find out who will do this and how to input ideas.

NERC wishes to commission a scoping study that will define targeted research activities in remote sensing technology for next generation platforms and is looking to appoint a consultant to carry out this study. The objective is to enable the timely development of new instrumentation technologies targeted for, and ultimately mission proven on, emerging next generation aerial platforms. The next generation of platforms includes UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), zeppelins and high altitude platforms (HAPs) This scoping study is one of the activities included in the Technologies Theme Action Plan; the action plan outlines how NERC will deliver the Technologies aspects of its strategy ‘Next Generation Science for Planet Earth’. Full details are contained in the attached ITT.

All eyes on the Arctic

The recent communication from the EU sets out their interests and policy objectives for the Arctic. Among lots of specific recommendations is the need to “ensure continuity in space measurements via GMES”. Since the EU are paying ESA to provide access to these space observations, ESA has recently highlighted its capabilities in the Arctic, outlining all the great things it can measure and monitor from space. Lets hope we soon get some clarity about the related data policy and who can access them for what and for how much.

Rapidfire for the whole continent

A while back I highlighted the daily MODIS subsets which cover the Peninsula produced by the folks at the NASA Rapid Response group. They’ve been working on improving the Antarctic coverage and today have announced daily updates of the entire continent. So click here to go to the data and further options for higher resolutions (1km at best currently), download as georeferenced files, alternative spectral band combinations and images from previous dates. The first mosaics from today is included below. Gaps occur where there is no current coverage.


LIMA – you’ve seen the picture, now read the paper

LIMA (Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica) has always claimed to be more than just a pretty picture. Unlike continent scale mosaics for the rest of the world, a lot of effort went into making LIMA a useful dataset beyond its aesthetic value. The data values are robustly corrected surface reflectance values, so we’ve bothered to correct for variable sun angle, saturation and reflective properties of snow amongst other things. So it is perfectly valid to compare a pixel value on the Peninsula with one at Dome A for instance.

If you are interested in how this was achieved or just need to cite the dataset, the method has now been published in Remote Sensing of the Environment. Citation below.



Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 112, Issue 12, 15 December 2008, Pages 4214-4226
Robert Bindschadler, Patricia Vornberger, Andrew Fleming, Adrian Fox, Jerry Mullins, Douglas Binnie, Sara Jean Paulsen, Brian Granneman, David Gorodetzky

There’ll be more to come on LIMA soon as it’s currently being updated to correct a few niggles, including some of the cloudy patches. Better and faster access is also in the pipeline.