ESA Earth Home Missions Data Products Resources Applications
EO Data Access
How to Apply
How to Access
Site Map
Frequently asked questions
Terms of use
Contact us



New BEAM Developments

Norman Fomferra(1), Peter Regner(2) and Carsten Brockmann(1)

(1) Brockmann Consult, Max-Planck-Str. 2, 21502 Geesthacht, Germany
(2) ESRIN, Via Galileo Galilei, 00044 Frascati, Italy


BEAM is the software toolbox provided by ESA to visualise, analyse and process optical earth observation data. BEAM has its origin and strength in working with MERIS and AATSR data, however, today it provides a multitude of generic functions and is capable of working with various different optical earth observation products, such as Chris/Proba, Landsat or AVHRR.

BEAM is an open source project, and while the development of the core BEAM functions is managed and financed by ESA, numerous applications have been build by other ESA and non ESA projects using BEAM as development platform. Their results are provided back to the BEAM user community as plug-in modules. An overview is given about several of these extensions, which have been developed recently, such as an adjacency correction module for BEAM, the Chris/Proba tools or the Case2 Regional processor. The BEAM API has also been selected as development platform for the Next Generation SAR Toolbox (NEST), and with the SMOS toolbox another microwave type of sensor will be supported in BEAM in the future.

During the past year BEAM has been enriched with sophisticated image analysis functions. The new collocation functionality and the spectral unmixing will be presented as examples. The new scripting functionality and the Graph Processing Framework support automation of processes and operational processing of large data volumes.

ESA is ensuring continuous maintenance and substantial evolution of BEAM throughout the ENVISAT era, and possibly beyond. New scientific processors, such as a glint correction module or a module for synergistic use of MERIS and AATSR will be released in 2009. New products will be supported, and VISAT improvements, such as a layer management or classification tools, will improve the utilisability of BEAM. The open source project approach will be fostered by migrating the BEAM WebSite to a new environment, which improves the collaboration functionality with the user community.


Workshop presentation

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry