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A twelve years ATSR-2/AATSR preliminary classification maps database

Mario Cavicchi(1), Alan Beccati(1), Sergio D'Elia(2), Andrea Della Vecchia(2), Andrea Baraldi(3) and Stefano Natali(1)

(1) MEEO Srl, Strada Luisa, 8, 44020 San Giovanni di Ostellato, Ferrara, Italy
(2) ESA/ESRIN, Via Galilei, 00044 Frascati, Rome, Italy
(3) European Commission Joint Research Centre, Via Fermi 1, I-21020, Ispra (Va), Italy


The ATSR-2 and AATSR sensors have observed the earth-atmosphere system since 1995, collecting more than 20TB of compressed data. At the time of writing, ATSR-2 and AATSR data is stored into magnetic and optical media and accessible upon request (no real time access), while newly collected AATSR data are available through a ftp rolling archive over a moving window of one month. In the framework of the ESA project “Classification Application-services and Reference Datasets” (CARD) an online database with preliminary ATSR-2/AATSR classification maps was studied and implemented. The preliminary classification maps are created by applying the SOIL MAPPER® software, which is a fully automated, application-independent, multi-sensor, spectral rule-based preliminary (in the Marr sense) classifier of Earth Observation images calibrated into top-of-atmosphere reflectance. In the preliminary classification map each pixel is associated with one label out of a discrete set of spectral categories (each spectral category has a semantic meaning). This process allows to: • Drastically reduce data size, since the output class information is stored into a 1-byte per pixel structure (compression about 60:1, when using only nadir view) • Preliminarily associate a class / semantic meaning to each pixel, simplifying any following processing • Efficiently pre-classify an entire ATSR-2/AATSR strip in less than 3 minutes.

The hardware includes a storage server that hosts the database of preliminary classification maps and two nodes to process the images downloaded from magnetic supports or the rolling archive. The system will allow accessing in real time the entire ATSR-2/AATSR database of preliminary classification maps, through geographic and semantic queries. Applications for bi-/multi-temporal interactive analysis of land areas are also under consideration. The system architecture, the development status and future activities are here presented.


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