Where there’s smoke…

Untitled.jpgThe attached Sentinel-2B image, taken on Wednesday morning, shows Dublin City in all of it’s glory, unobscured by cloud. However, towards the bottom of the image (inset), fingers of smoke can be seen drifting westward from active gorse fires along the Old Military Road (R115) in the Dublin/Wicklow mountains.

These blazes are currently being tackled by the Dublin & Wicklow Fire Brigades with help from the Air Corps. While not as extensive as wildfires elsewhere in the world, this image nonetheless highlights the capability of the Sentinel-2 constellation to detect and monitor wildfires at high spatial resolution, and its usefulness for post-event damage assessment and recovery monitoring,

As Stuarts last post indicates, the country is dry as a tinder box and additional outbreaks are likely over the coming days with the continuing high temperatures.



The current developing drought in Ireland


There are a few EO systems dedicated to estimating soil moisture. Mostly relying on the relationship between temp and moisture, they have resolutions in Kms and haven’t been tested against Irish ground truth, so are not used here in agriculture (though they can play a role in forecasting and risk warning).

However they can give us national scale looks at conditions. AS the current heat wave starts to kick in we can use data from NASA’s SMAP satellite (the passive radiometer instrument) converted into soil moisture estimates hosted on WorldView. On the left are the conditions as captured end of June 2017 and the right are the current conditions.

The legend shows us in orange those soils that are completely dry, zero soil moisture- the range of green and blues as seen in 2017 are far more normal.





MODIS captures the start of summer in Ireland

June’s map of the month is a rare cloud free (ish) image of Ireland, captured on Sunday.MOMjune


As an aside I selected the image via the GIBS rest service for MODIS products- essentially recreating the NASA’s Worldview portal within ARCMAP.

Nasa’s earthdata wiki has a clear set of instructions on how to add the MODIS server to ArcMap etc.


It can be tricky at the moment keeping track with satellite imagery portals, old services vanishing, new ones changing name etc, hopefully this will stick around for a while.








Student applications now open for first ESA Academy’s Earth Observation Satellite System Design Training Course

ESA’s Education Office is looking for 30 highly motivated engineering Master’s and PhD students to participate in the Earth Observation Satellite System Design Training Course 2018. This pilot Course will be held from 1 – 5 October in the new ESA Academy Training and Learning Facility (TLF) in ESA’s ESEC-Galaxia, Belgium.

Student applications now open: The deadline for applications is 13 August 2018. See who can apply and how!


Remote sensing at the European Grassland Conference in Cork.

Attending the European Grassland Federation conference in cork this week- big 5 day event with 100’s of grassland scientists from across Europe. Big focus on technology and sensing for grassland management and research with a lout of papers and posters on EO and drones.

At the workshop on day one, delighted to see a paper written by one of my old students, Iftikhar Ali, widely used. He’s doing  a post doc in Canada now, but i’m sure he’d be delighted to see his phd still having impact in Ireland.IA_EGF

Free EGNOS webinar

In order to disseminate the capabilities of EGNOS for mapping and GIS applications, a webinar has been organised by EuroGeographics and the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA), with the collaboration of ESSP, the EGNOS service provider. The webinar will take place on 20 June 2018 (Wednesday) from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM CEST.

Online registration is required through the following link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5805763733036941058


The webinar aims at briefing users from mapping and GIS communities about EGNOS, the European free augmentation service that improves GPS accuracy up to sub-meter range. The webinar is open to all mapping and GIS users, from both private enterprises and public organisations.

Open Source EO – Seminar in UL

Daniel McInerney alerted us to to *A BDARG seminar in association with Coillte / OSGeo-Ireland.” Open Source Processing of Remote Sensing Images with the ORFEO ToolBox: (very) Big Data Science At Scale” by Manuel Grizonnet Thursday 14th June 2018 at 15h00.

In the University of Limerick, Computer Science Building – Room- CSG-027.

All Welcome

From weather forecasting to military intelligence, satellite images help solve some of our most challenging problems on Earth. Since 2006, the French Space Agency have been actively developing an open source remote sensing image processing toolbox called the Orfeo ToolBox (OTB), which provides a large set of ready-to-use tools and a high performance satellite image viewer. It offers a wide range of processing algorithms, which permit the creation of high level processing chains that will run on a desktop computer or clusters alike. The processing capabilities cover pre-processing for several sensors, feature extraction, image segmentation, classification, as well as algorithms for hyperspectral and radar data. OTB is now used to design processing chains that can efficiently process thousands of remote sensing images (Sentinels, SPOT, Pléiades) to derive country-scale value added products.  The presentation will present the challenge of extracting valuable information from Earth Observation data and how open source software like OTB can help in this context.


Soil fluxes (CO2 and N2O ) under mitigation scenarios using the LUCAS soil-DayCent model integration framework