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BELAIR2013: Belgian BELAIR supersite and pilot campaign

Onderzoeksproject SR/67/167 (Onderzoeksactie SR)

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Context and objectives

The BELAIR2013 project aims to converge the Belgian Scientific Community on the Belgian, European and international needs in the context of targeting Earth Observation data, by identifying a Belgian “multisite” comprising multiple thematic sites, servicing remote sensing (calibration & validation as well as innovative) research activities. While the, in ESA context, well-known Barrax site is in essence an agricultural site, it is the intention to strengthen research capabilities in various thematic areas such as vegetation-, water quality-, soil monitoring, agriculture, forestry (non-limitative enumeration). I.e. congruent with Copernicus, it is the intention to support the Belgian Remote Sensing community as a whole.


Satellite data, airborne hyperspectral (APEX) imagery, UAV multispectral imagery, in-situ measurements and assorted ancillary data will be collected at the BelAir multisite for algorithm development, thematic validation, radiometric calibration, validation and simulation of spaceborne data etc.
The thematic sites will be clustered in 3 Belgian regions, comprising the multisite, which each focus on different thematic applications such as biodiversity, water quality, forestry, agriculture etc. The 3 regions are referred to as “Litora”, “Sonia” and “Hesbania”. BELAIR2013 data will be made available to the participating STEREO users in order to be exploited further in MSc and PhD theses or running/future (inter)national research projects. Lateron all data will become available to the complete (inter)national scientific community.

Results expected

The BELAIR2013 objectives are to:

 identify together with BELSPO and key users of the Belgian Earth Observation research (STEREO II) community a Belgian multisite, the BELAIR multisite, covering various thematic research areas,
 organize a ground campaign and perform in-situ measurements at the BELAIR multisite in collaboration with the key users of the Belgian Earth Observation research community, simultaneously with UAV, APEX and spaceborne data acquisitions,
 process the UAV and APEX imagery
 archive and distribute the in-situ, UAV, APEX and satellite images through the CVB (VITO) to the key users of the Belgian Earth Observation research community
 maximize the use of BELAIR data

Products and services

Process the VITO acquired UAV imagery.

Raw hyperspectral APEX images (DN) will be calibrated, geometrically and atmospherically corrected in VITO’s Central Data Processing Center (CDPC). The processed images will be quality controlled according the “Airborne Missions –Data Quality Control Handbook”. A standard and advanced APEX product will be defined.

Field spectral and sun photometer measurements taken will be analyzed.

All acquired and processed data (cfr supra) will be archived in the Center for Image Processing (CVB) at VITO and distributed through ftp to the key users of the Belgian Earth Observation research community for further analysis and interpretation in their research and education activities. It is highly encouraged to explore the BELAIR2013 data further in MSc and PhD theses.

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