Context and objectives
The PROBA-V satellite, brought in to cover the gap between the discontinuation of the VEGETATION instruments and the scheduled launch of Sentinel-3. The project aims to assess the improvement brought about by the improved spatial resolution of PROBA-V, in comparison to the previous VEGETATION instruments, with regards to forest cover change monitoring, and particularly changes caused by natural disasters. The main objectives of the study are:
- Quantification of the effects of the increased spatial resolution for the estimation of total European forest cover.
- Evaluation of forest cover classification methods, on representative site from five different biogeographical regions, using simulated multi-temporal PROBA-V data
- Use of multi-temporal simulated PROBA-V data to evaluate the potential in mapping the impacts of disastrous events in forest canopies
Expected scientific results
Comparison between the resolution of PROBA-V and VEGETATION, in terms of assessing forest cover of Europe will provide an estimate of the accuracy at which the new satellite instrument will be able to map forest cover across Europe. Comparison between the most frequently used classification methods will highlight the most efficient method of discriminating between forest types at each of the five biogeographical regions investigated. Finally, the application of the most efficient classification method on two images, before and after a natural event causing changes in the forest cover, will reveal the accuracy of estimating the size of the area where the change in the forest cover has occurred.
Preliminary results will be communicated with the scientific community at EARSeL events (on June 2011 in Prague). Feedback and review comments will support the improvement and validation of project’s findings leading to peer-reviewed publication(s).
Both research and space product applications will benefit by receiving a combined tool (product and best technique) with quantified and reviewed efficiency. The latter is of high importance for the users across Europe at regional, governmental, and local scale both in the public and private sector.