Terrascope: using satellite data for agriculture and health

The EU Copernicus program (Europe's Eyes on Earth) currently uses 7 Earth Observation satellites, the Sentinels, to provide full, free and open data. Terrascope is the Belgian platform for easy access and use of that data and ready-to-use derived products.

With satellites that pass over Belgium every few days, it is possible to monitor agricultural management practices (ploughing, mowing, harvesting, ...) and follow-up the evolution of crops throughout the growing season. When combined with weather information and soil composition information, this results in crop yield predictions that can help the food processing industry to plan their logistics.

Looking at coastal and inland waters, it is possible to derive quantitative measures of turbidity or Chlorophyll concentration. The latter is a predictor of algal blooms in times of warm weather. These blooms are a health risk. Using satellite data, every water body larger than 10 x 10 square meter can be monitored.

Sentinel-5P monitors trace gasses in the atmosphere, such as NO2 and CO. These measurements are complementary to the current in-situ monitoring systems, in providing an area-covering image, albeit at lower resolution.

The Terrascope platform offers cloud computing capacity to all users, so that they do not need to download many gigabytes of data, and can use parallel computing to derive any product they may define. For more information, visit www.terrascope.be .


Jurgen Everaerts, Dennis Clarijs


Remote Sensing Unit, VITO

Presenting author

Jurgen Everaerts, Project Manager, VITO
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