A close cooperation with Committee on Earth Observation (CEOS) to ensure provision of necessary satellite data for global crop monitoring, in a context of new satellites being launched regularly.
Scope & Background.
The lack of coordination among EO-data sources has led to gaps in spatial and temporal coverage in key agricultural areas and during important periods of the agricultural growing season. Even when there is adequate spatiotemporal coverage, gaining access to these data can be impeded by lack of connectivity, computational, storage, and/or licensing. Component 4 addresses the coordination of data acquisition and dissemination. To date, efforts have been primarily focused on space-based observations of land, and have been carried out through the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Ad Hoc Working Group for GEOGLAM. The eventual goal is to establish mechanisms for sustained imaging over global target croplands, ensuring adequate and continuous coverage as well as full utilization of EO data. The activities span from developing EO data requirements for agriculture (Table 1), to advocating for agricultural monitoring applications at mission planning stages, to near and mid-term acquisition planning, to the development, prototyping, and transfer of cloud-based space data management systems for visualization and analysis.
Table 1. The table of satellite data requirements, listed by spatial & spectral range (Columns B&C), frequency with which reasonably cloud-free data are required
(Column D), geographic extent (Columns E & F), as well as the application or target product for which the data would be used (Columns G–M).
Requirements are further refined based on the field size over which acquisitions are required (Column F), or the field sizes for which a certain data type
would be useful (Columns G–M). “L” refers to “Large fields” (defined as >15 ha), “M” refers to “Medium fields” (defined as 1.5–15 ha),
and “S” refers to “small fields” (<1.5 ha). The symbol “x” or the word “All” indicates that these data are useful for that product’s generation for all field sizes
Major Achievements, Partnerships/Linkages, & Future Plans
1. Establishment the CEOS Ad Hoc Working Group for GEOGLAM (2012-Present): This working group (Figure 1) bridges the gap between monitoring scientists and space agencies, with membership from >15 countries. The WG has been coordinating space data for JECAM, Asia-RiCE, and for broader GEOGLAM activities.
Figure 1: First CEOS Ad Hoc Team for GEOGLAM Workshop on tabulating the EO data requirements for monitoring.
Hosted by the Canadian Space Agency, Montreal, CA, July 2012.
2. Development and evaluation of space-based data requirements (2012-2014): GEOGLAM scientists characterized the spatial, spectral, temporal, extent, and timing requirements to meet a variety of agricultural monitoring applications (Table 1). The requirements were subsequently made spatially explicit and indicative of actual required revisit frequency through the incorporation of baseline maps of cropland extent, crop calendars, and cloud cover information developed in the GEOGLAM context. This enabled a comparison with current and planned CEOS satellite assets’ revisit capabilities – showing where CEOS agencies could and could not potentially meet optical data requirements (Figure 2).
Figure 2. A hypothetical constellation of coordinated CEOS moderate spatial resolution optical missions
(Landsat 8, Sentinel-2A, Sentinel-2B, Resourcesat-2 AWiFS) was simulated (by CEOS SEO). These capabilities were compared
against the required revisit frequency to yield a 70% cloud free 5 km area within 8 days over active croplands (Table 1, Req. #5).
This is the number of months during the calendar year for which the hypothetical constellation could not meet the required revisit frequency
(from Whitcraft et al., 2015).
3. Satellite Data Acquisition Plan endorsed by CEOS Plenary (2013, 2014, & 2015): The data acquisition plan developed by the WG covers for Asia-RiCE, JECAM, and broader GEOGLAM activities. Its endorsement has facilitated GEOGLAM (especially JECAM and Asia-RiCE) in gaining access to restricted datasets, e.g. JECAM has developed a multi-user request form (MURF) for restricted datasets (Link to Component 5). The Asia-RiCE team has worked with CEOS agencies to access Canadian (CSA), French (CNES), German (DLR), European (ESA), Indian (ISRO), and Japanese (JAXA) space assets to promote research into utilizing SAR data for rice monitoring. The 2015 CEOS Response to GEOGLAM Requirements will be prevented for endorsement at CEOS Plenary 2015.
4. Improved data acquisition for agricultural monitoring (2013-Present): The WG has influenced individual mission acquisition strategies (e.g. Landsat 8, Sentinel-1, Radarsat-2, etc.) and future mission planning (e.g. Global-V, Landsat 8) vis-à-vis quantitative requirements. Improved dialogue between space agencies and agricultural monitoring activities has led to coordinated acquisition/field data campaigns and advanced best-practices development.
5. Prototyping of cloud-based data management systems (2014-Present): Scene-based systems which incorporate multiple missions’ data have been developed by the CEOS Systems Engineering Office (SEO) for JECAM and Asia-RiCE (Indonesia only, which utilizing the JAXAdeveloped INternational Asian Harvest mOnitoring system for Rice (INAHOR) toolset.). The CEOS SEO is additionally developing a multi-sensor, pixel-based “DataCube” processing system with GEOGLAM as the target user.
Leadership (Point of Contact)