Earth Observation

Remote sensing obtains information about the ocean from a distance, usually from satellites or aircraft, and can be used to measure a wide variety of parameters from ocean temperature to plankton dynamics. These observations from space provide unique information which greatly aids understanding and management of our environment and are vitally important because they can observe vast areas of the Earth that are difficult to access and sample using traditional methods.

Our activities are centred on the remote sensing of the Earth’s ocean and atmosphere, whilst not ignoring the intimate connections between the ocean, the atmosphere and terrestrial, estuarine and lacustrine environments. We have a focus on several research areas:

  • Phytoplankton dynamics and ocean colour
  • Validation of Earth observation data
  • Exploitation of Earth observation data
  • Provision of EO services to NERC and European agencies
 

Finally, the group is also exploiting new capabilities from the ESA Sentinel programme for innovative applications, and, potentially, commercial services, such as for the aquaculture industry, working with PML Applications Ltd.

PML's use of satellite data

Making a difference

Our Earth Observation group enjoys a global reputation and has a proven track record in both pure and applied Earth observation science, and comprises experts in many complementary fields including remote-sensing, physics, meteorology, engineering, data visualisation and computing. PML also develops applications to address environmental questions, provide services for others and is working to commercialise its research via PML Applications Ltd.

With a flexible approach to problem solving, scientific investigation and interpretation, and a willingness to share its expertise and to work co-operatively world-wide our Earth Observation group is a partner in a multitude of national and international projects, latterly with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Copernicus Programme, as well as NERC, BBSRC and Defra research programmes.

Further information

Projects

National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) - Carbon Cycles
Completed

National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) - Carbon Cycles

Contact: Professor Icarus Allen

The goal of the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) project is to understand physical and biological processes involving the carbon cycle,...

FRM4SOC

FRM4SOC: Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour

Contact: Dr Gavin Tilstone

The FRM4SOC project focuses on providing high quality reference measurements to validate Sentinel satellite data using a range of different optical...

Europe-Africa Marine Earth Observation Network (EAMNET)
Completed

Europe-Africa Marine Earth Observation Network (EAMNET)

Contact: Steve Groom

EAMNet was a collaborative network linking Earth Observation (EO) information providers, user networks and centres of excellence in Europe and...

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News

Global recognition for PML’s Earth Observation science

This week the relevance of PML Earth Observation science has been recognised on a global scale through the launch of a new report ‘Applications of Satellite Earth Observations: Serving Society, Science & Industry’.   

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EO Detective Earth from Space competition

Have you heard about the Earth Observation Detective Earth from Space competition and resources? 

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1.25m dollar boost for Earth Observation research at PML

PML is delighted to announce a grant of almost £1 million towards its world-leading Earth Observation research programme – PML’s largest ever award from a charitable foundation! The award will aid the further development of how data from satellites, orbiting the globe to scan...

Related publications

  1. Goddijn-Murphy, LM; Woolf, DK; Land, PE; Shutler, JD; Donlon, CJ. 2015 The OceanFlux Greenhouse Gases methodology for deriving a sea surface climatology of CO2 fugacity in support of air–sea gas flux studies. Ocean Science, 11 (4). 1895-1948. 10.5194/os-11-519-2015
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  2. Brewin, RJW; Hyder, K; Andersson, AJ; Billson, O; Bresnahan, PJ; Brewin, TG; Cyronak, T; Dall'Olmo, GD; de Mora, L; Graham, G; Jackson, T; Raitsos, DE . 2017 Expanding Aquatic Observations through Recreation. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4. 351, pp. 10.3389/fmars.2017.00351
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  3. Spyrakos, E; O'Donnell, R; Hunter, P; Miller, C; Scott, M; Simis, SGH; Neil, C; Barbosa, CCF; Binding, CE; Bradt, S; Bresciani, M; Dall'Olmo, GD; Giardino, C; Gitelson, AA; Kutser, T; Li, Lin; Matsushita, B; Martinez Vicente, V; Matthew, MW; Ogashawara, I; Ruiz-Verdu, A; Schalles, JF; Tebbs, E; Zhang, Y; Tyler, AN. 2017 Optical types of inland and coastal waters. Limnology and Oceanography. 10.1002/lno.10674
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  4. Shutler, JD; Land, PE; Piollé, J-F; Woolf, DK; Goddijn-Murphy, LM; Paul, F; Girard-Ardhuin, F; Chapron, B; Donlon, CJ. 2016 FluxEngine: A Flexible Processing System for Calculating Atmosphere–Ocean Carbon Dioxide Gas Fluxes and Climatologies. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 33. 741-756. 10.1175/JTECH-D-14-00204.1
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  5. Brewin, RJW; de Mora, L; Billson, O; Jackson, T; Russell, P; Brewin, TG; Shutler, J; Miller, PI; Taylor, BH; Smyth, TJ; Fishwick, J. 2017 Evaluating operational AVHRR sea surface temperature data at the coastline using surfers. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 196. 276-289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2017.07.011
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