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NERC Earth Observation Data Centre (NEODC)

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  • The Airborne Research & Survey Facility (ARSF, formerly Airborne Remote Sensing Facility) is managed by NERC Scientific Services and Programme Management. It provides the UK environmental science community, and other potential users, with the means to obtain remotely-sensed data in the form of synoptic analogue and digital imagery for use in research, survey and monitoring programmes. Data offered by the facility includes: 1) Aerial photography data collected with an analogue camera, the Wild RC-10 visible NIR, in conjunction with CASI and ATM instruments. 2) Airborne Thematic Mapper (ATM): ARSF has flown two ATM instruments over the period 1982 - 2008: the Daedalus 1268 was operated from 1982 until 1998. Since 1996 and until 2008 an upgraded version - the Azimuth Systems AZ-16 was used, along with an improved data acquisition system. 3) LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data from an Optech ALTM 3033 instrument. The sensor is on loan to the ARSF only for some periods of the year from the Unit of Landscape Modelling (ULM) at Cambridge University. 4) High spectral and spatial resolution data from the Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI 2). The CASI 2, produced by Itres Research of Canada, is a two-dimensional CCD array-based pushbroom imaging spectrograph operated by ARSF until 2007 5) High spectral and spatial resolution data from the AISA Eagle and Hawk hyperspectral sensors (since 2007). The AISA Eagle is a 12 bit, pushbroom, hyperspectral sensor with a 1000 pixel swath width, covering the visible and near infra-red spectrum 400 - 970nm. The AISA Hawk is a 14 bit sensor able to capture short wave infrared wavelengths, 970 - 2450nm. The ARSF currently uses a Dornier 228 aircraft. This extensively modified aircraft is not only capable of accommodating the current ARSF core instrumentation, as well as additional experimental optical and geophysical sensors, but is also configured to deploy a range of atmospheric instrumentation and samplers. Such a comprehensive data service cannot be easily achieved by other survey techniques. The operational flying season generally spans from early March until early October. Three elements determine this period: weather, solar zenith angle and vegetation state; maintenance on the aircraft; sensor maintenance as this is performed by the manufacturers between November and January. Every day during this season, the ARSF has to make difficult decisions on whether or not to attempt flying based on weather forecasts, and to prioritise the most important projects based on many parameters. Flying schedule is available from the ARSF website. The NEODC holds the entire archive of Airborne Thematic Mapper (ATM) and Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) data acquired by the NERC ARSF. High-resolution scanned digital versions of the entire collection of analogue photographs are now also available as well as selected LiDAR-derived elevation and terrain models for selected sites flown using the sensor.

  • This dataset collection contains a 10 year monthly climatology and monthly composites of the fractional contributions of three phytoplankton size classes (micro-, nano- and picoplankton) over the globe for the period Sep 1997-2007, as produced by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) using SeaWIFs data. Accompanying maps are also available. This dataset contributes to fulfilling the first objective of the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) Theme 2 programme (Monitoring, Diagnosis and Prediction of the Global Carbon-Cycle), Quantification of ocean biogeochemistry and carbon fluxes sub-theme 6 (ST6): Quantify the global oceanic organic C cycle using OC data, partitioned into phytoplankton (pigments, biomass, size structure & PFTs), particulate organic C, coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM), dissolved and particulate inorganic components. Understanding the interaction between phytoplankton and the in-water light field is crucial to model ocean primary production and to improve our comprehension of the role of biological processes in the ocean–carbon cycle. The absorption coefficient of phytoplankton is a fundamental quantity in marine primary production models because: - it alters the transmission of light underwater; - it modifies the photosynthetic response of phytoplankton to available light; - it can be used as a direct indicator of phytoplankton abundance and phytoplankton size; - it can be used as an indicator of environmental variability It is well known that the phytoplankton absorption coefficient is a function of the dominant phytoplankton pigment, chlorophyll-a, and that this relationship is directly linked to changes in both pigment composition and size structure.

  • The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) is one of the ten instruments onboard the Envisat satellite launched from Kourou (French Guyana) on the 28th February 2002 and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). MIPAS is a Fourier transform spectrometer for the measurement of high-resolution gaseous emission spectra at the Earth's limb. It operates in the near- to mid-infrared, where many of the main atmospheric trace gases have important emission features. Its main objectives are to provide simultaneous and global measurements of the middle atmosphere dynamics, radiation budget and chemical composition (O3, H2O, CH4, N2O, HNO3, NO2), and to monitor stratospheric ozone and CFCs. The data issues by ESA include both Level 1B (emission spectra) and Level 2 (derived quantities) products. They come in a number of versions: a near real time (nrt) version, a consolidated version, result of a first processing by ESA to eliminate bad data and perform a few basic checks, and fully reprocessed spectra. MIPAS is a Fourier transform spectrometer for the measurement of high-resolution gaseous emission spectra at the Earth's limb. It operates in the near- to mid-infrared spectra. The data routinely archived at the NEODC is received from ESA through different routes (DDS, FTP, tapes). The archive currently includes: Level 1B data (emission spectra) NRT data - September 2002 - May 2011 consolidated data - June 2002 - January 2004 reprocessed data - July 2002 - April 2012 - processing versions v4.x (2002-2010) and v5.x (2002-2012) Level 2 data (derived products) consolidated data - July 2002 - February 2004 reprocessed data - July 2002 - March 2004

  • Landsat 4 and Landsat 5 carry both the TM (thematic mapper) and the MSS (multi-spectral scanner) sensors, though routine collection of MSS data was terminated in late 1992. The satellites orbit at an altitude of 705 km and provide a 16-day, 233-orbit cycle with a swath overlap that varies from 7 percent at the Equator to nearly 84 percent at 81 degrees north or south latitude. Landsat data is widely used in many fields including geology, agriculture, resource management, climate analysis etc. The Landsat program is jointly managed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the US Geological Survey (USGS). The NERC Earth Observation Data Centre (NEODC) now also holds the data. The cost of retrieving data from these satellites is now prohibitive and they are now obsolete; in 1993 Landsat 6 failed to achieve orbit but the launch of Landsat 7 in 1999 provided open source data at less than commercial prices. See Landsat 7 article. Note: Gaining access to the Landsat 4/5 TM data will also automatically give you access to the Landsat 7 etm data also held at the NEODC

  • The Landmap project features data collection consists of building heights, classes of buildings (including place names) for the main conurbations of the UK, and Kinematic GPS (KGPS) data for over 6,400km of roads. The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) funded Landmap service which ran from 2001 to July 2014 collected and hosted a large amount of earth observation data for the majority of the UK. After removal of JISC funding in 2013, the Landmap service is no longer operational, with the data now held at the NEODC.

  • Skin Sea Surface Temperature data from the (A)ATSR Validation Campaign by ISAR. The prime objective of the (A)ATSR mission is to return accurate measurements of the global sea surface temperature. To ensure the accuracy of the measurement, there have been joint efforts to validate the data. One of these efforts is the (A)ATSR Validation Campaign which involves the deployment of the the Infrared Sea surface temperature Autonomous Radiometer (ISAR). The ISAR is designed to measure accurate and reliable skin sea surface temperature, with automated system of data collection, and its own protection from severe weathers. Data come from the ISAR mounted on cruiseferries MV Pride of Bilbao (2004-2010) and MV Cap Finistere (2010-2012) and were collected continuously throughout the cruises unless severe weather conditions required the instrument to be protected, which results in the prevention of the data collection.

  • Data products produced from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), on-board EOS Terra. MISR is a unique instrument that has 9 cameras all pointing towards different directions, taking images in each of blue, green, red and infra-red band spectrum (centre wavelengths are 446, 558, 672 and 867 nm respectively). The information is used to investigate how sunlight scatters in the atmosphere in different natural conditions, and distinguish types of clouds, atmospheric particles and surfaces. The red and infra-red bands are used for vegetated surface identification and marine aerosol studies. The green band is used to study the albedo, while the blue band aids in the determination of particle size of the aerosol. EOS Terra is a satellite in the Earth Observation System, a group of polar-orbiting satellites which are dedicated to study Earth's climate.

  • Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) mission was funded jointly by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change External Link (DECC) and the Australian Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research External Link (DIISR). This dataset collection contains version 2.1 AATSR Multimission land and sea surface data. The instrument uses thermal channels at 3.7, 10.8, and 12 microns wavelength; and reflected visible/near infra-red channels at 0.555, 0.659, 0.865, and 1.61 microns wavelength. Level 1b products contain gridded brightness temperature and reflectance. Level 2 products contain land and sea-surface temperature, and NDVI at a range of spatial resolutions. The third reprocessing was done to implement updated algorithms, processors, and auxiliary files. The data were acquired by the European Space Agency's (ESA) Envisat satellite, and the NERC Earth Observation Data Centre (NEODC) mirrors the data for UK users.

  • The European Space Agency's (ESA) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instruments have been flown on board ERS-1, ERS-2 and the Advanced SAR (ASAR) on board Envisat satellite. The ERS-1, ERS-2 and Envisat satellites, launched in 1991, 1995 and 2002 respectively, are ESA multi-payload, Earth observation satellites. This dataset collection contains Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from the European Remote Sensing (ERS) satellites ERS-1 and ERS-2, and Advanced SAR data from Envisat. The ERS-1 mission began in 1991 and ended in 2000, and ERS-2 and Envisat are still ongoing. SAR provides high resolution images, ocean wave spectra data and wind direction vector data. They are available through the NEODC to UK based students only.

  • Data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer-3 (AVHRR-3) on board the Eumetsat Polar System (EPS) MetOp-B satellite. AVHRR-3 scans the Earth's surface in six spectral bands in the range of 0.58-12.5 microns, to provide day and night imaging of land, water and clouds and measurements of sea surface temperature, ice snow and vegetation cover. The instruments were provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is flown on the EPS-METOP series of satellites. The NEODC currently archives the L1B data, which were acquired directly from EUMETSAT.