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Supporting New Space and VHR data at 2023 workshop

20 Oct 2023

As European New Space providers continue to bolster the global offering of Very High Resolution (VHR) data, commercial providers are set to meet with space agencies and the scientific community, to discuss data quality, calibration and validation, at VH-RODA 2023. 

Very high resolution imagery takes centre stage
Very high resolution imagery takes centre stage

The New Space economy is thriving, and many recent commercial players contribute with very high resolution (VHR) remote sensing data products to foster applications relying on space borne VHR Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and optical data. ESA’s Third Party Mission (TPM) Programme supports European New Space by facilitating free access to commercial data from non-ESA missions for application and development purposes.  

As a consequence of New Space activity, however, there is a heightened need to put in place best practice guidelines for data quality and identify critical issues that arise for VHR providers, as they navigate the challenging Calibration and Validation (Cal/Val) landscape. 

The VH-RODA workshop - which stands for Very High Resolution Radar & Optical Data Assessment - is an open forum, where emerging and established Earth observation (EO) companies, such as Third Party Missions and Copernicus Contributing Missions, space institutes and researchers gather to present their latest findings in the fields of data quality,  (Cal/Val) of SAR and optical space-borne data. 

New topics on infra-red and hyperspectral instruments

The workshop will provide an open platform to promote collaboration and drive innovation in the Cal/Val and data quality arena. It is hoped that open exchange of information on present standards and best practices for data quality will support New Space providers, especially those currently entering this emerging area.

Specialists will present the most recent developments in the domain, aiming to find new ways to leverage synergies between SAR and optical stakeholders. There will be designated sessions on infra-red and hyperspectral instruments. Additionally, panel sessions and informal workshop discussions aim to further engagement within the community.

Open dialogue shall allow private and public sectors to work in coordination with each other to ensure harmonisation in Cal/Val approaches, facilitate interoperability and even develop synergy with non-VHR missions.

Rome in very high resolution
Rome in very high resolution

This 4th edition of the VH-RODA workshop will be held at ESA’s centre for Earth observation (ESRIN) in Frascati (Italy) from 27–30 November. The most recent VH-RODA workshop, which took place at ESA/ESRIN in November 2022, successfully hosted over 190 participants and close to 300 overall, including online attendees.   
The agenda of VH-RODA 2023 will soon be finalised but an outline of the topics to be discussed can be seen below:  

  • Calibration Techniques (requirements, definitions, database, methodologies) 
  • Processing and Algorithms (including Artificial Intelligence for Cal/Val) 
  • Calibration Sites (cross-Cal/Val, intercalibration, field campaigns) 
  • Fiducial Reference Measurements 
  • Quality Control, Best Practice, Product Validation (for a single satellite) 
  • Cal/Val and Data quality for Constellations and Big Data 
  • Analysis Ready Data, Digital Elevation Models 
  • Infra-Red, Hyperspectral instruments 
  • Calibration of Future Missions (innovative instrument concepts)

Through these comprehensive topics, the workshop aims to support New Space, by providing updates on data quality and related Cal/Val activities and helping further improve data products, so that they better meet the needs of users.

See an infographic summary of the VH-RODA workshop. 

Registration for VH-RODA 2023 remains open until 13 November