MONRUK: Monitoring the marine environment in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan using Synthetic Aperture Radar

Developing and implementing satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) monitoring of the marine environment in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan (the RUK area) as a component of GMES.

Objectives

The overall objective is to develop and implement satellite SAR monitoring of the marine environment in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan as a component of GMES.

Specific scientific objectives:

  • Develop and test algorithms for retrieval of marine geophysical parameters from SAR images, including open ocean parameters as well as sea ice parameters.
  • Improve the forward modelling of sea surface radar scattering, including effects of current features, ocean fronts and slicks.
  • Apply retrieval algorithms and radar scattering models as methods in the analysis of SAR images for improved quantification of sea surface parameters with focus on oil spill and sea ice monitoring.

Specific GMES objectives:

  • Facilitate and coordinate access to SAR and other satellite data as well as met-ocean data and in situ validation data needed for monitoring of the Northern Sea Route, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
  • Establish and test service chains for SAR monitoring in the study areas, including agreements with users who will receive information products and provide feedback to the service providers.
  • Develop and implement a user-friendly, harmonized, pan-European, interoperable system to access data and information about the marine environment based on web map server technology.
  • Build a network with other related projects, organizations and agencies to create momentum for developing operational oceanography services, focusing in the three study areas, with strong components of satellite observation.

Project Summary

The overall objective is to develop and implement satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) monitoring of the marine environment in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan (the RUK area) as a component of GMES. Satellite SAR images for the three study areas will be collected in order to develop and validate retrieval algorithms for ocean and sea ice parameters. The SAR data collection will be done by: (a) using existing ERS and ENVISAT SAR data retrieved from ESA archives; (b) new acquisition of ENVISAT ASAR data, including alternating polarization images, and (c) RADARSAT SAR images.

The initial set of SAR data will be analysed in combination with optical and IR satellite data, met-ocean data from models and in situ platforms.  The main tools in the SAR analysis will be the Radar Imaging Model (RIM) and the Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ABL) model provided by NIERSC and the SARTool provided by BOOST Technologies.  These tools will be further developed and validated in order to retrieve more quantifiable parameters from SAR. The performance of existing algorithms for retrieval of oil slicks, wind, waves, and sea ice parameters will be investigated as part of a benchmarking process.

SAR monitoring exercises will be conducted in the three study areas with support from other met-ocean and satellite data. The data analysis will result in geophysical information (wind, waves, currents, fronts, slicks, sea ice parameters). Identified users will receive and assess the information and provide feedback to the service providers. The monitoring exercise will test the functioning of the service chain starting with input data and resulting in products delivered to users. The lessons learned from this exercise will be used to develop fully operational systems for SAR monitoring in the context of GMES.

An important element of marine monitoring services is to provide efficient and user-friendly access to the products delivered by the service providers. For this purpose, MONRUK will develop and implement a web map server system based on a prototype developed in the DISMAR project. The prototype is a web-based, distributed, marine information management system following INSPIRE guidelines and is operated by CMRC (http://dispro.ucc.ie/apps/dismar).  By using the same web map server system in several GMES projects, there will be a significant progress towards implementation of harmonised, pan-European, interoperable systems to provide data and information about the marine environment. Finally, MONRUK will establish a network with other related projects, organizations and agencies that are involved in developing operational oceanography services across Europe.

 
Project Details
Acronym: 
MONRUK
Funding Agency: 
European Commission
NERSC Principal Investigator: 
Stein Sandven
Project Deputy Leader at NERSC: 
Torill Hamre
Coordinating Institute: 
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center
Project Status: 
Completed