The general focus is on making the best possible use of the large quantity of satellite data available either now or in the near future. Research efforts should be geared to topics such as the testing of signal sensitivity, signal consistency and modelling for various variables in optical and SAR time series. At the same time, advanced research into the complementarity of optical and SAR data and the efficient integration of data with different spatial resolutions is needed.
The research should lead to the development or improvement of products and services. In view of usable applications, particular attention should be paid to the automation of image-processing and features such as accuracy, reliability and reproducibility.
Pole "Local vegetation and associated parameters" (A)
For the agricultural sector, the pole should focus on exploring new possibilities the exploitation of data from very high resolution (VHR) optical sensors, hyperspectrometers and multipolariser (HR) radar presents. Research may be directed towards topics such as improving farming statistics and yield prediction, detecting subtle differences in soil humidity, characterising ground roughness and soil salinity, monitoring crop growth, following up agro-environmental directives (EU), evaluating soil quality, detecting and visualising stress conditions, estimating disaster damage and precision farming. For the forestry sector, specific research may be possible on optimal pre-inventory information extraction (with treetype recognition), follow-up of forest structure, biomass and damage estimates, disease assessment, biodiversity and qualitative parameters such as complexity and vitality.
Pole "Cartography, environmental planning and land management" (B)
The research may be directed towards the development of algorithms for the extraction of specific information (such as object and pattern recognition) or the combination of data sources for topographical and thematic mapping, planning and modelling of land management, land registry, planning of regional development and urban management, tourism, insurance, public utilities, geo-marketing, updating of atlases, generation of indicators for the study of landscapes and cities, humanitarian applications and automatic change detection.
Pole: Study of coastal areas ©
The research should contribute to a better detection of, and scientific insight into, coastal and marine phenomena, the testing or improving of hydrodynamic models, and increased knowledge of the interactions between land, sea and atmosphere; or to the extraction of useful information for shipping, fishing and aquaculture and for bio-ecological indicators (preservation of natural resources and biodiversity), in view of protection against natural disasters and anthropogenic damage, and for coast or water quality inspections. It is important to develop an integrated approach that uses satellite data, in situ measurements and models and to develop information systems and Internet-based services that respond to the information needs of the various users.
New Technologies and Innovation (D)
The research contained in this section is directed towards new or improved generic approaches and algorithm development for data-processing (in particular, for new types of data), but always with practical applications in mind. Combining earth observation, GPS and telecommunications systems, may also be considered. Concerning the efficient processing of major data streams, efforts may be directed towards robust techniques for filtering, segmentation, compact visualisation and compression, image recovery, high-performance change detection agents, multi-sensor operability, fast object and pattern recognition, pinpoint identification of specific scenes, rapid transmission or archiving, etc…