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TEPs @ Land Training Course

The "7th Advanced Training Course on Land Remote Sensing" has just concluded and we had the opportunity to join with the participants at the Szent István University, Gödöllő, Hungary.

The course was attended by more than 70 students from both academic and industrial sectors, representing more than 30 different countries. 

During the event a practical class on "Cloud Computing and the ESA Exploitation Platforms" was provided for the students and we had the opportunity to explain the challenges that the TEPs have faced and to give them the opportunity to experiment for themselves with the beta versions of the platforms, currently in pre-operations.

The students expressed interest in the usage of the TEPs for their research objectives and have now been invited to submit proposals to become early adopters and benefit from the expansion of the TEP user community.

The next opportunity to meet the TEP experts will be at the ESA EO Open Science where there will also be the possibility to join "hands on sessions" with each TEP.

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Geohazard TEP (GEP) expanding users' base

The GEP (Geohazard Thematic Exploitation Platform) Early Adopters programme is now welcoming new institutions with their users to take advantage of the platform capabilities.

Started in 2015 with 29 users, the GEP Early Adopters programme now includes 61 users and 54 different organisations from 19 countries, read more about this on the the GEP blog.

Users interested in geohazard analysis, GEP tools and the related products are invited to visit the Geohazard Portal.

Keep an automatic eye on seismic zones

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 twin radar satellites combined with cloud computing are monitoring Europe’s earthquake zones by searching for ground shifts as small as a millimetre. 

Radar was developed in the last century to pick up aircraft moving at hundreds of kilometres per hour. Today’s satellite radar can reveal otherwise invisible shifts in the ground taking place as slowly as the growth of your fingernails.

The new, automatic radar service covers Europe’s seismic regions, monitoring an area of three million square kilometres in 200 m blocks.

Once any motion of interest has been identified, more detailed checks can be made through ESA’s Geohazards Exploitation Platform.

“The quick-browse service has been under way across European tectonic regions since January, harnessing automated processing developed by the DLR German Aerospace Center,” explains Fabrizio Pacini of Terradue, overseeing the Platform. 

[...] Read full article here.

 

The GEP is one of six ‘Thematic Exploitation Platforms’ (TEPs)' being developed by ESA in the frame of the Earth Observation ground segment evolution strategy. The TEPs aim at fostering the exploitation of EO data by providing an online environment for users to access information, ICT resources, and tools.

The TEPs are contributing to the creation of an European EO data ecosystem for research and business, one of the overarching objectives of ESA Earth Observation Envelope Programme.

 

Earth's most active volcanoes on satellite watch

 As hundreds flee lava and ash spewed from Mexico’s Colima volcano, its continuing eruption is being tracked not only by ground instruments but also from space. Starting last month, Colima is one of 22 active volcanoes worldwide being monitored by satellites.

The latest observations by Europe’s Sentinels and the US Terra and Landsat satellites are being processed automatically for the rapid delivery of key parameters to geohazards researchers.

“Within the geohazards arena, this kind of systematic service is really something new,” explains Fabrizio Pacini of Terradue, which operates the new service through ESA’s online, cloud-based Geohazards Exploitation Platform, or GEP.

“Researchers already use Earth observation data, of course, but usually on an on-demand basis from a single sensor. We make use of a range of sensors to cover multiple sites on a continuing basis.”

The service is based on automated processing chains developed by GEP research partners, running on the GEP itself, then made available through it.

 

[...] Read full article here.

 

The GEP is one of six ‘Thematic Exploitation Platforms’ (TEPs)' being developed by ESA in the frame of the Earth Observation ground segment evolution strategy. The TEPs aim at fostering the exploitation of EO data by providing an online environment for users to access information, ICT resources, and tools.

The TEPs are contributing to the creation of an European EO data ecosystem for research and business, one of the overarching objectives of ESA Earth Observation Envelope Programme.

TEPs at EO Open Science 2016

Coastal, Forestry, Geohazards, Hydrology and Urban TEPS presented updates on their activities at EO Open Science 2016.

If you weren't able to attend you can replay here, it's the platforms session C2 on Wednesday 14th at 14:00

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Watch_live_EO_Open_Science

Conference papers will be available soon on http://eoopenscience.esa.int/index.php

 

GEP response to Central Italy Earthquake

On 24 August, an earthquake struck central Italy, claiming at least 290 lives and causing widespread damage. Satellite images are being used to help emergency aid organisations, while scientists have begun to analyse ground movement.

The Geohazards TEP is providing access to EO data collections and to processing results produced by services hosted on the platform. 

Following the request from INGV, the GEP is providing access to EO data from CEOS Contributors to authorised users. See first collections of ALOS-2 as well as Sentinel-1A and 1B data.

More datasets from Pleiades, Sentinel-2, Radarsat-2, TerraSAR-X and COSMO Skymed will follow soon, as well as results generated by GEP partners.

See on the GEP some of the measurements generated by the Community using the platform, including:

  • The interferogram created by INGV using Sentinel-1 acquisitions of 14 and 26 August. The product was generated using the DIAPASON chain of the French Space Agency, CNES. DIAPASON is one of the hosted processing chains of the GEP. 
  • Sentinel-1 T117 co-seismic interferogram (wrapped) of Amatrice earthquake (Italy), using Sentinel-1 acquisitions of 15 and 27 August. The product was generated by CNR-IREA using their own InSAR web tool, designed for exploitation on the Geohazards TEP and currently available as an initial prototype in ESA’s Grid Processing On Demand (G-POD) infrastructure.

 

Geohazards TEP @ EGU 2016

Are you interested in geohazards science and applications and going to EGU 2016? Checkout the following presentations to learn more about the impact that the Geohazards Thematic Exploitation Platform will have on the life of geoscientists starting this year!

 Monday, 18 April

  • 08:45–09:00 EGU2016-16545 The contribution of the Geohazards Exploitation Platform for the GEO Supersites community by Michele Manunta, Hervé Caumont, Oscar Mora, Francesco Casu, Ivana Zinno, Claudio De Luca, Susi Pepe, Antonio Pepe, Fabrice Brito, Laia Romero, Andre Stumpf, Jean-Philippe Malet, Ramon Brcic, Fernando Rodriguez Gonzalez, Massimo Musacchio, Fabrizia Buongiorno, and Pierre Briole

Tuesday, 19 April

  • 14:00–14:15 EGU2016-15136 Sentinel-1 DInSAR processing chain within Geohazard Exploitation Platform by Ivana Zinno, Manuela Bonano, Sabatino Buonanno, Francesco Casu, Claudio De Luca, Adele Fusco, Riccardo Lanari, Michele Manunta, Mariarosaria Manzo, Chandrakanta Ojha, and Antonio Pepe
  • 14:30–14:45 EGU2016-14756 Sentinel-1 automatic processing chain for volcanic and seismic areas monitoring within the Geohazards Exploitation Platform (GEP) by Claudio De Luca, Ivana Zinno, Michele Manunta, Riccardo Lanari, and Francesco Casu

Wednesday, 20 April

  • 12:15 – 15:00 SC57, Training on the SBAS-DInSAR web tool for Earth surface deformation analysis through the ESA Geohazard Exploitation Platform, Francesco Casu, Michele Manunta, Claudio De Luca, Ivana Zinno, Riccardo Lanari
  • 14:45 – 15:00 EGU2016-14672, The Geohazards Exploitation Platform, Francesco Casu, Philippe Bally, Hervé Caumont, Salvatore Pinto and Henri Laur
  • 16:30–16:45 EGU2016-12279 The Pilot Project 'Optical Image Correlation' of the ESA Geohazards Thematic Exploitation Platform (GTEP) by André Stumpf and Jean-Philippe Malet

Geohazards TEP@EGU 2016 wrap-up

 The EGU General Assembly 2016 was held in Vienna from 17 to 22 April with great success, with 4,863 oral presentations given, 10,320 posters, 947 PICO sessions and a total of 13,650 scientists from 109 countries taking part.

The Geohazards Exploitation Platform (GEP) featured in the interesting discussions of the Geoscience community, being subject of five presentations and a training session during the first three days.

 

 

On Monday, the new functions built into the GEP to support results publication ad sharing were presented to the GEO Supersites community.  All appreciated the clear contribution the GEP will make to enable Open Science for the Geoscience community, a key element of the GEO Supersite initiative.

New processing results of the GEP were also presented, including:

  • A preview of the new InSAR Browse Services developed by German Aerospace Center (DLR) in the context of their GEP pilot (more information on this service will follow on the GEP blog).
  • A continental scale map showing 12-days Interferometric Coherence of almost all of Europe, processed by scientists of CNR-IREA.
  • Sharing of results with an example from the 2015 earthquake in Chile (see yourself on GEP)

On Tuesday, examples of the SBAS processing chain and time series analysis were shown, with availability of per-pixel time series over Campi Flegrei, the Gargano area and Mount Etna.  The second presentation focused on the integration of the SBAS algorithm into processing services through the GEP, and described how the GEP makes it possible to realize a wide spectrum of service modes, like an on-demand mode and a surveillance mode systematically updated at each new acquisition.

On Wednesday, the GEP “Optical Image Correlation” pilot project was presented.  The project is led by University of Strasbourg and the team is implementing a processing chain on the GEP cloud-based (Hadoop, MapReduce) environment, which will enable analysis of surface displacements at local to regional scale (10-1000 km2), targeting in particular co-seismic displacement and slow-moving landslides. 

A training course for the GEP SBAS-DInSAR web tool was held. The course provided a short overview on the DInSAR processing methods allowing retrieving mean surface deformation maps and displacement time series, with a specific focus on the SBAS-DInSAR technique. Secondly, the GEP and G-POD environments were introduced and the P-SBAS web tool presented. Finally, the advanced features as well as some main results achieved via the web tool were shown.

In all of these presentations, we saw geoscience research and IT coming together in the GEP as geoscientists manage to introduce new concepts coming from the evolving IT world into their algorithms, leading to reduced execution times and new processing scales that allow for previously unfeasible analyses.  This development is being warmly received.  For instance, when the current scenario of growing satellite data was discussed at the “Integrated Research Infrastructures and Services in Geosciences” session in presence of  representatives from the European Plate Observing System (EPOS), the TEP model was presented as an answer to manage the concerned challenges.  The general consensus among the EGU audience was that we are living interesting times, in which the needs of the research infrastructures are shaping the evolution of the ICT and  governance is being negotiated by user communities in view of solutions that are sustainable in the long term.

New S1 InSAR processing service

On-Demand Sentinel-1 InSAR processing service

The Sentinel-1 mission flying under Europe’s Copernicus Programme offers a powerful system for monitoring surface displacement through the Interferometric SAR (InSAR) technique.  It acquires Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data on a global scale, and operates under an open and free data access policy.

The satellite uses an Interferometric Wide Swath (IWS) mode to obtain the raw digital radar data about the Earth’s surface.  Accurate and specific processing algorithms are required in order to turn this raw data into visual information products, and this layer of expertise can discourage users who are not familiar with InSAR techniques from using the data.

To promote wider use of Sentinel-1’s SAR data, increase research on interferometric techniques and make it easier for people to produce accurate Sentinel-1 InSAR measurements, CNR-IREA has developed a web tool which, through a user-friendly interface, enables users to generate interferograms in an automated and unsupervised way (see Figure 1). With this service, users can select SAR images from the Sentinel data repository, set a few processing parameters, and then automatically process imagery and retrieve the interferogram which shows the changes in the surface area detected by the radar.

image

CNR-IREA developed its InSAR web tool in the context of the Geohazards Thematic Exploitation Platform (Geohazards TEP). Designed for exploitation on the Geohazards TEP, the web tool has been available to users from the geohazards community since April, as an initial prototype in ESA’s Grid Processing On Demand (G-POD) infrastructure. The prototype will evolve into a pre-operational service on the Geohazards TEP by early 2017.

A short course on how to use CNR-IREA’s InSAR web tool on the Geohazards TEP will be given at the next EGU General Assembly (see here for details:

http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2016/session/22336).

For more information please contact sbas-help@irea.cnr.it and geohazards-tep@esa.int

Caption for Figure:

The map (interferogram) shown in the image represents the Earth’s surface displacement induced by the Mw 8.3 Illapel (Chile) earthquake of 19 September 2015. The interferogram has been generated by exploiting two Sentinel-1 images acquired before and after the event, respectively. Each colour cycle corresponds to a displacement of about 2.8 cm.

Geohazards Community Online Questionnaire

This link brings you directly to the Community Survey online questionnaire

Today we are opening an online survey to involve more parties from research, industry, administration and government authorities in the evolution of the Geohazards Thematic Exploitation Platform (GEP) services.

GEP is an R&D activity developing a new ground segment operations approach, complementary to the traditional operations concept, and demonstrating the benefit of new technologies for large scale processing of EO data. 

The platform is intended to support initially the global geohazards community’s objectives, as defined in the context of the International Forum on Satellite EO and Geohazards, organised by ESA and GEO in Santorini in 2012. In particular, GEP is a follow-on to the SuperSites Exploitation Platform (SSEP), an ESA initiative to support the Geohazards Supersites & Natural Laboratories initiative (GSNL) of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

GEP allows both on-demand processing for specific user needs and systematic processing to address common information needs of the geohazards community as a whole, as well as massive processing on multi-tenant computing resources on the Cloud. Such capacities will address the challenges of monitoring tectonic areas on a global basis, and of studying a range of geohazards. To exploit the geo-information generated using the Platform, GEP leverages open APIs for the integration of interactive processing and post-processing services.

The Platform follows a model for partnership and community building that is user driven. Fundamentally the current solution has been designed from working on user requirements from the GEO initiative on Geohazards Supersites and the CEOS Working Group on Disasters, with its Seismic Pilot involving a range of expert users such as for example the University of Leeds for UK’s COMET, ISTerre for the french Formater network, the italian Istituto Nazionale Geofisica & Vulcanologia, UNVACO, or NASA/JPL and University of Miami in the USA.

The evolution of the current platform into an operational service is following a capacity building process driving the requirements, design and implementation activities. This process includes a mechanism to gather user needs in liaison with the following types of organisation: 

  • Geo-science community incl. Universities (PIs) worldwide;
  • Organisations with a national mandate concerning risk assessment (incl. seismological centres);
  • Specialists of geohazard risks in other sectors (pre-commercial research affecting insurance/reinsurance sector, civil engineering companies, energy, etc.);
  • National & regional civil protection agencies and national & local authorities with a risk management mandate (potentially for both prevention/preparedness and response).

This process allows the GEP consortium to design functionalities able to meet prioritized user needs in view of efficient and cost effective operations. 

The programme of work covering the period 2016­-2017 will pursue activities with the Platform’s early adopters and will evolve the 16 processing applications currently available to exploit conventional and advanced InSAR processing for precise motion monitoring. The activity will develop six Pilot projects to demonstrate the potential of federated processing of EO data on the Cloud: a new pilot on photogrammetric processing using optical EO data with Univ. Strasbourg (France), the integration of optical based processing method for volcanic hazard monitoring with INGV (Italy), a pilot on terrain motion surveillance with CNR-­IREA (Italy), the systematic processing of Sentinel­-1 interferometric quick looks with DLR (Germany), the integration of a PSinSAR chain for precise terrain motion mapping with Altamira Information (Spain) and an exercise with the Corinth Rift Laboratory to test and exploit the platform processors and services to support geohazards science in this seismic part of Greece. In this course, the GEP will expand its overall user base to gradually reach a total of 60+ registered user applications in 2017.

This growing user community is a key aspect for the GEP consortium so we have created an online questionnaire to involve more parties from research, industry, administration and government authorities in the evolution of the platform’s services.

You have now the opportunity to contribute your needs and expectations in terms of functionality enhancements, use scenarios, services portfolio, data provisioning and concrete benefits for the GEP users.

The online survey is structured in 5 parts, and on average, it will take only 10 minutes to complete:

  1. About you
  2. Your thematic interests and current practices
  3. You as a geohazards platform user
  4. Your objectives with EO data [ incl. a branch for SAR experts ]
  5. Finally, your vision of a research community platform

You can access the survey by following this link:

GEP Community Survey online questionnaire

It will be open from the 1st to 21st of March, 2016.

For any queries about GEP or this questionnaire, please contact us at
geohazards-tep@esa.int

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Urban TEP aims to promote new opportunities to enable the creation and safeguarding of liveable cities.