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Images: JCR - C Gilbert BAS

Completed project

Project start: July 2016  |  Project end: March 2019
Funder: Copernicus and European Space Agency, ESA
Principal Investigator: Dr Gavin H. Tilstone
Other participants from PML: Dr Giorgio Dall'Olmo, Dr Hayley Evers-King, Dr Vikki Cheung, John Stephens, Silvia Pardo

The AMT4SentinelFRM project focuses on providing high quality reference measurements to validate Sentinel satellite data during the Atlantic Meridional Transect (AMT) annual research voyage between the UK and destinations in the South Atlantic.

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. The project will work towards the data being classed as FRM (Fiducial Reference Measurements) which certifies that the measurements meet required conditions to ensure quality and confidence in the resulting data.

The AMT transect is of particular value as it covers a vast range of environments from the productive coastal regions to the desert-like gyres in the centre of the ocean, which are rarely accessed by research ships and continuous on-board ship measurements will be used verify the accuracy and quality of the satellites orbiting overhead.

Data from Europe’s Sentinel satellites are central to the project. This new suite of satellites, developed by the European Space Agency, forms the heart of the European Commission’s Copernicus programme – the largest global environmental monitoring initiative ever conceived. The Sentinels carry a vast range of sensors to deliver a stream of complementary imagery and data for monitoring our land, ice, oceans and atmosphere.

Top image: Satellite image courtesy of ESA and ship image courtesy of C Gilbert BAS.


The project will take full opportunity to validate relevant Copernicus contributing missions. The European Commission’s Copernicus programme is the largest global environmental monitoring initiative ever conceived. Data provided by the AMT cruise will confirm the quality and performance of Copernicus satellite data which are used for environmental research around the globe.

For further information please see our twitter feed @AMT4SentinelFRM, facebook page or the European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus websites.