Minimize Activities

In addition to the routine Quality Control (QC) of operational ESA Earth Observation (EO) missions and of the ESA Third Party Missions (TPM), the Sensor Performance, Products, and Algorithm (SPPA) team is involved in numerous other EO activities, including:

Minimize ESA’s Earthnet Data Assessment Pilot: EDAP

The objective of ESA's Earthnet Data Assessment Pilot (EDAP) project is to perform early data quality  assessments on existing and future Earth Observation missions from national or commercial providers. These New Space players are now playing an important role in the EO international strategy.  As some of these new missions are potential candidates for Earthnet Third Party Missions (TPM), ESA has established the EDAP project to assess the quality of their data and establish dialogues with the various mission providers in order to improve the overall coherence of the EO system.


ESA's Earthnet Data Assessment Pilot (EDAP) Details


Minimize The Quality Working Groups: QWG

The role of the Quality Working Group (QWG) is to advise the agency, through the SPPA team, on the operations performance of a mission's instruments and its products, as well as on the evolution of algorithms and processors. Each ESA EO mission is supported by one or more instrument specific QWG, which is composed by personnel from scientific and engineering organisations with proven expertise in the particular fields covered by the instrument.


AATSR Quality Working Group Meetings Details
MERIS Quality Working Group Meetings Details
MIPAS Quality Working Group Meetings Details
Proba-V Quality Working Group Meetings Details
SCIAMACHY Quality Working Group Meetings External link
SWARM 8th Data Quality Workshop Details
SWARM 9th Data Quality Workshop Details


Minimize (Multi-)Sensor Timeseries

ESA has been collecting and processing EO data from ESA missions (for example ERS-1/2, Envisat), and ESA TPM (for example AVHRR, Landsat, ALOS) for nearly three decades. To facilitate the various end-user and science applications, there is a need for the agency to support and maintain the quality aspects across missions with similar sensors. The SPPA team multi-sensor activities focus primarily on the sensor Fundamental Data Records (FDR), i.e. the level-1 data, on the instrument's core products, as outlined in the Mission Requirements Documents (MRD) of each mission, and on some select additional geophysical parameters that facilitate the improvements of the sensor FDR.

LTDP ALTS: ATSR Long Term Stability Details
LTDP EMiR: ERS/Envisat MWR  Recalibration and Water  Vapour Thematic Data Record Generation  External link
REAPER: Reprocessing of Altimeter Products for ERS Details
SCIRoCCo: Scatterometer Instrument Competence Centre Details
SEOM CAWA: Advanced Clouds, Aerosols and WAter vapour products for Sentinel-3/OLCI Details
SLAP: Systematic Landsat Archive Processing Details


Minimize Instrument Characterisation and Algorithm Studies

Maintenance and improvements of instrument characterisation and algorithm definition are crucial activities to guarantee that the requirements formulated in the MRD (Mission Requirement Document) are effectively fulfilled and potentially enhanced. These activities are nominally managed within the QWG, though some complementary studies are funded by ESA for supporting ad-hoc recalibration and reprocessing campaigns as well as for developing advanced scientific processors and innovative geophysical products.


ALGOM GOMOS Level2 Algorithm Evolution Studies Details
ODIN-SMR Recalibration and harmonization Details
PV-CDRR: Proba-V Cloud Detection Round Robin Details
PV-LAC-ATMO: Proba-V Advanced Atmospheric Correction Details
PV-LAC-COAST: Proba-V New Coastal Products Details


Minimize Quality Assurance framework for Earth Observation: QA4EO

The Quality Control framework for Earth Observation, which consists of a set of seven guidelines, is endorsed by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, and has been developed by the satellite calibration and validation (Cal/Val) communities to meet the needs of the Earth Observation communities. These QA4EO guidelines have been written with the aid of national metrology institutes of the United States and Europe and, where appropriate, are based on best practices of the wider EO and non-EO communities. Within this context, the SPPA team manages a series of projects addressing sensor calibration and traceability, as well as end-to end product traceability and uncertainty estimations.

QA4EO-ATLAS: A pulsed Tuneable LAser system for the characterisation of Spectrometers Details
QA4EO-DIMITRI: Database for Imaging Multi-spectral Instruments and Tools for Radiometric Intercomparison External link
QA4EO-GeoAcca: Feasibility Study for Geo-location Assessment of Optical Sensors External link
QA4EO-NATALI: Neural network Aerosol Typing Algorithm based on LIdar data External link
QA4EO-RUT: Radiometric Uncertainty Tool Details
QA4EO-SnowPEx: Satellite Snow Product Intercomparison and Evaluation Exercise Details


Minimize Fiducial Reference Measurements: FRM

Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM) are a suite of independent, fully characterized, and traceable ground measurements that follow the guidelines outlined by the GEO/CEOS Quality Assurance framework for Earth Observation (QA4EO). These FRM provide the maximum Return On Investment (ROI) for a satellite mission by delivering, to users, the required confidence in data products, in the form of independent validation results and satellite measurement uncertainty estimation, over the entire end-to-end duration of a satellite mission. Within this context, the SPPA team manages a series of projects targeting the validation of ESA altimetry, atmosphere, land, and ocean products.

FRM4VEG: Fiducial Reference Measurements for Vegetation External link
FRM4SOC: Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour External link
FRM4ALT: Fiducial Reference Measurements for altimetry External link
FRM-BOUSSOLE: Buoy for the acquisition of long-term optical time series External link
FRM4DOAS: Fiducial Reference Measurements for Ground-Based DOAS Air-Quality Observations External link
FRM4GHG: Reference Measurements for Ground-Based FTIR Greenhouse Gas Observations  External link

FRM4STS: Fiducial Reference Measurements for validation of Surface Temperatures from Satellites

External link
Pandonia FRMFiducial Reference Measurements for Ground-Based Direct-Sun Air-Quality Observations External link


Minimize Cal/Val Activities and in-situ field campaigns

Collection of in-situ campaigns measurements is essential to support products quality assessment and uncertainty budget estimation. As a complement to the validation data acquired in the frame of the Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM), additional Cal/Val activities are supported by ESA, to study specific climatological and geographical conditions or to design and test novel validation methodologies.


MBASSS   Bleue Arctic Surrogate Simulation Site  Details
S2L8VegStruc  Retrieval of vegetation structural variables from Sentinel 2/Landsat 8 time series Details