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Leiden University launches MULTIPLY platform to integrate information by newest ESA-satellites for earth observation

The Institute of Environmental Sciences of the Leiden University has, together with its European partners, presented the new MULTIPLY platform, during a workshop at the European Space Agency (ESA). This platform makes it for the first time possible to combine different data stream’s of ESA’s newest satellites (Sentinel 1, 2& 3). At ESA’s headquarter for ‘Earth Observation Activities’ (ESRIN), scientists have for the first time worked with this platform to estimate the status of agricultural crops and nature area’s around the world.

Satellites come in different shapes and sizes. There are satellites that primarily use visible light, such as Sentinel-2 and 3, but also satellites that only use microwave radiation, such as Sentinel-1. Until recently, information of these different sources were not combined.

Within the MULTIPLY project, financed by the Horizon 2020 program of the Europese Commission and lead by Prof. Dr. Ir Peter van Bodegom, scientists are working to achieve exactly this.

The first prototype of the MULTIPLY platform has recently been finalized and provides the opportunity to estimate vegetation and soil characteristics worldwide. The mapping of soil moisture (using microwaves) can be performed much better if the  vegetation density can be calculated (using visible light).

Model of a Sentinel 2 satellite

During a 3 day workshop in Frascati, Italy, the participants have for the first time experienced the MULTIPLY  platform using three case studies. These showed vegetation Mapping in Tanzania using Sentinel-3 images and precision agricultural information over Spain using Sentinel-2 data. While this is just a prototype of the final program, the achievements of the project were received with great enthusiasm by the participants, the ESA and the European Commission.


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