CIMA is contributing to the Copernicus program through the validation of Sentinel-3/OLCI data products.
The Sentinel-3 platform has been carried into orbit on a Rockot launcher from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia, on 16th February. This is a remarkable achievement of the EU Copernicus program, which devises Earth observation from space as an operational aid for decision making in matter of environmental policies. The acquisition, processing and distribution of Sentnel-3 data acknowledge the coordinated action of ESA and EUMETSAT. Scientific tasks are addressed to both ocean and land based on the following set of sensing instruments: SLSTR (Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer), OLCI (Ocean and Land Colour Instrument), SRAL (SAR Altimeter), DORIS, and MWR (Microwave Radiometer). Application examples include the monitoring of ocean ecosystems, land vegetation, crop conditions, inland water, atmospheric aerosol and clouds.
One of the first images taken by Sentinel-3 has already proven an outstanding performance to detail patterns of sediments and algae in seawater off the southern Iberian Peninsula (1st March 2016). Such remote sensing capability can be a valid aid to CIMA research scientists for consolidating ongoing research studies and starting new investigations of societal interest. The competences and instrumentation hosted by CIMA to collect in situ radiometric measurements for the validation of Sentinel-3/OLCI data products are indeed unique in Portugal, which makes our contribution to the Copernicus program of strategic importance.