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Mapping Germany's agricultural landscape

29 August 2017

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Combining images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission and the US Landsat-8 satellite between October 2015 and the end of 2016, this land-cover classification map shows different crops across Germany. A total of 2.2 TB of data were used to generate the map, which distinguishes between 21 land cover classes and includes 15 specific crop types.

Clear pixels from all the satellite images were used to create a time series of 45 composites, each capturing the surface reflectance over a 10-day period, which can be related to crop type. Latest machine-learning software allowed this detailed map to be generated for the entire country.

Europe's Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission provides important information for monitoring vegetation. Its multispectral camera has 13 spectral bands and is the first of its kind to include three bands in the 'red edge', which provide key data on vegetation state. The mission was designed to provide images that can be used to distinguish between different crop types as well as data on numerous plant indices, such as leaf area, leaf chlorophyll and leaf water – all essential to monitor plant growth accurately.

The US Landsat-8 mission data (OLI and TIRS products) is distributed by ESA within its Third Party Missions Programme.

germanyCopyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel and Landsat data (2015–16), processed and analysed by Humboldt University Berlin/P. Griffiths (ESA Living Planet Research Fellow). Data preprocessing: NASA and Harmonized Landsat–Sentinel initiative. 
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Sentinel-5P launch preparations in full swing

14 September 2017

With liftoff set for 13 October, engineers at Russia's Plesetsk launch site are steaming ahead with the task of getting Europe's next Copernicus satellite ready for its journey into orbit.
Sentinel-5P being lifted into position
The Sentinel-5P satellite has been at Plesetsk in northern Russia for almost two weeks. So far, it has been taken out of its transport container, positioned for testing and engineers have started ticking off the jobs on the long ‘to do' list.