Thematic Working Groups
Capitalise the excellence of the Copernicus Academy members
The overall objective of the Copernicus Academy Thematic Working Groups (TWG) is to capitalise on the excellence of the Copernicus Academy members to provide research results to the Copernicus stakeholders in a systematic way. It will untap innovation potentials in the thematic areas of the TWGs to establish new research lines based on exchange and collaboration among the TWG members.
Specific objectives are to:
- Support beneficiaries (e.g. Entrusted Entities, business, end users) with scientific advice in the thematic area (see below)
- Launch project ideas and initiatives to be further developed in the frame of Copernicus Academy (e.g. new working groups and project proposals)
- Test and validate an innovative exchange mechanism to improve Copernicus User Uptake to be operationalised in the future
What are the outcomes of the work?
- Develop an overview of the state-of-the-art in the thematic area
- Inform the Academy network about current developments
- Test and validate the Copernicus Academy request mechanism.
Why should you participate? What can you expect?
- Be part of a new, innovative Copernicus User Uptake mechanism
- Shape new ways of communicating scientific findings to beneficiaries
- Promote research and innovation across academia and beyond.
The Thematic Working Group on Atmosphere, led by the ERATOSTHENES Centre of Excellence at the Cyprus University of Technology.
Highlights and results
The TWG on Atmosphere started its activities in December 2019 with some preliminary actions and is currently ongoing. The key topics identified by the experts to be dealt with in the working group are the following:
- Environmental health issues mapping (e.g. Pollen fluxes tracking and trend forecasting)
- Local scale air quality analysis (downscaling and improved nowcasting and forecasting)
- Improved accuracy of Copernicus data and information for Renewable energy (solar and wind energy)
- Environmental impact assessment corresponding to a certain air quality status (e.g. agricultural production variability correlated to air quality)
Current research activities within the research thematic area of Atmosphere are focused on the following topics:
- Analysis of concentration and chemical composition of atmospheric aerosol using satellite data and developing specific neural networks
- Air quality assessments with Sentinel- 5p imagery, implementing neural networks in order to find useful correlations for air pollution monitoring
- Volcanic ash detection and retrieval from satellite data by means of neural networks
- Cloud detection and forecast from for Meteosat Second Generation SEVIRI by means of neural networks
The R&D needs in the Copernicus Atmosphere Service as these were showcased in the Copernicus R&D needs | Stakeholder consultation workshop held in Brussels on 7th of November 2019 are the following:
- Advancing data assimilation of atmospheric composition satellite observations
- Quantifying uncertainties for atmospheric composition forecasts and hindcasts
- Coupling and downscaling methods for air quality modeling and forecasting
- Integrated soil-vegetation-atmosphere modelling and data assimilation
- Improvement of aerosols modeling and data assimilation at global and regional scales
Marios Tzouvaras (Cyprus University of Technology)
Rodanthi Mamouri (Cyprus University of Technology)
Andreas Kazantzidis (University of Patras – Department of Physics)
Davide De Santis (University of Rome Tor Vergata – Laboratory of Earth Observation)
Eleni Loulli (Eratosthenes Research Centre, Cyprus University of Technology)
Argyro Nisantzi (Eratosthenes Research Centre, Cyprus University of Technology)
Copernicus Marine topics
The Thematic Working Group on Marine Environment, led by Marine Research Institute of Klaipeda University (KU MRI), aims at the collaboration of experts on marine and coastal monitoring to provide research results and expert knowledge on EO-based marine monitoring to the Copernicus stakeholders in a systematic way. Specific objectives of TWG re:
- Support beneficiaries (e.g. Entrusted Entities, business, end users) with scientific advice in the Marine thematic area;
- Launch project ideas and initiatives to be further developed in the frame of Copernicus Academy (e.g. new working groups and project proposals);
Test the CopHub.AC request mechanism to improve Copernicus User Uptake.
Highlights and results
Marine TWG is active since January 2020, with an initiative invite key experts and enlarge the working group. The experts have attended two national meetings for stakeholders, authorities and users “Environmental protection management of the Baltic Sea: updated ecological status assessment” on 13th January 2020 in Vilnius (Lithuania) and on 18th February 2020 in Klaipeda (Lithuania) related to the main achievements of the MSFD implementation.
The key topics identified by the experts on Marine monitoring are the following:
1. EU Directives and policy
- EO-based ecological status assessment, global vs. regional monitoring, Copernicus Marine Service strengths and limitations, potential to use in routine work;
- Water quality indicators – directly derived from EO data (chlorophyll a maps, Harmful Algal Blooms, cyanobacteria bloom index – CyaBI, water clarity, suspended solids, carbon content), potential to develop the indicators that can not be retrieved directly from EO data, however can be integrated and used for the simulations (maximum vegetation depth, Benthic Quality Index – BQI).
- Marine litter and microplastic pollution;
- Invasive/non-indigenous species.
2. Drone-based technology integration in Marine and coastal monitoring
3. Marine protected areas
4. Maritime spatial planning
5. Interactions with other Copernicus Services
- Monitoring and ecological status assessment following the holistic approach (land-ocean interaction), interactions between the MSFD and the WFD, link to Copernicus Land Service;
- Issues related to transitional (lagoons, estuaries) and coastal waters as significant component of oceans, link to Copernicus Land Service;
- Oil spills and slicks, monitoring, reporting, action, link to Copernicus Emergency Service;
- Ecological status assessment and changes due to climate change, link to Copernicus Climate Change Service.
6. Copernicus Marine Service outreach and awareness rising
- Education and training material (online) to assist stakeholders and managers;
- Community engagement, stakeholder engagement, public outreach.
Martynas Bučas (Klaipeda University)
Felipe Fernández (IHCantabria)
Ana Siló-Calzada (IHCantabria)
Diana Vaiciute (Klaipeda University)
The Thematic Working Group on Land, led by the University of Málaga (UMA), aims at the collaboration of experts on land monitoring to providing expert knowledge on Copernicus land monitoring to other Copernicus beneficiaries. Particularly, the TWG aims to
- Support beneficiaries (e.g. Entrusted Entities, business, end users) with scientific advice in the thematic area
- Launch project ideas and initiatives to be further developed in the frame of Copernicus Academy (e.g. new working groups and project proposals
- Test the CopHub.AC request mechanism to consolidate the Copernicus Academy and improve the Copernicus User Uptake overall.
Highlights and results
The TWG on Land started its activities in October 2019 with some preliminary actions and is currently ongoing. In its first phase, all the experts involved were invited to suggest new topics of possible interest for the development and evolution of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service, which were shared at the Copernicus Stakeholder Consultation Workshop held in Brussels on 7-11-2019.
The key topics identified by the experts on land monitoring are the following:
- Topics with important link to (EU) policies and reporting obligations
- Copernicus Land for Climate Change: monitoring land use and land changes (LULUCF)
- Agri-environmental applications: CAP monitoring, irrigation monitoring and management, crop yield and quality prediction
- Copernicus Land for habitat mapping and vegetation dynamics: coupling CLC+ with Sentinel missions
- Wetland and inland water monitoring
- Specific thematic focus
- Copernicus land for urban area monitoring
- Copernicus land for geoheritage management (identifying, mapping, monitoring, protecting, exploiting)
- Methodological & conceptual challenges
- Challenges for future land monitoring (CLC+, EAGLE, etc.)
- Copernicus land and AI/Machine learning challenges – identification of objects
- Copernicus land for educational purposes (education, training, capacity building, outreach)
The TWG land is currently testing the CopHub.AC Citizen App for communication and exchange.
Anastasios Polydoros (Copernicus Academy Network in Greece (GR-CAN))
Antonios Mouratidis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Christoph Schröder (European Topic Centre at the University of Malaga)
Daniel Paluba (Charles University, Prague)
Danny Vandenbroucke (KU Leuven Research and Development)
Dessislava Ganeva (Space Research and Technology Institute – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (SRTI-BAS))
Diana Vaiciute (Klaipeda University, Marine Science and Technology Centre)
Fabio Dell’Acqua (University of Pavia – Department of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering)
Hakki Emrah Erdogan (Centro Integrado Formacion Profesional Almazcara)
José Manuel Alvarez (IHCantabria)
Josef Lastovicka (Charles University, Prague)
Lachezar Filche (Space Research and Technology Institute – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (SRTI-BAS))
Mariano Lisi (Universita degli Studi della Basilicata)
Miro Govedarica (Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novy Sad)
Premysl Stych (Charles University, Prague)
Roderic Molina (GISIG-Geographical Information Systems International Group)
Sabrina Szeto (Non Copernicus Academy Member)
Silvija Pipiraitė-Januškienė (Lithuania – Vilnius University)
Thomas Strasser (Department of Geoinformatics Z_GIS, University of Salzburg)
Valerio Tramutoli (Universita degli Studi della Basilicata)
Zeljko Bacic (Faculty of Geodesy of University of Zagreb)
Copernicus Climate Change
The Thematic Working Group on Climate Change, led by Climate KIC, is focused on fostering the exchange of research results and knowledge on the application of Copernicus to Climate Change challenges. The group is constituted by experts from the academy and the private sector. This combination of researchers and experts from different companies allows the group to have a balance between pure research discussions and the application of knowledge to address specific Climate Change issues. In addition, the work of the group helped to identify synergies and areas for collaboration between existing initiatives such as the Copernicus User Learning Service, Climate-KIC and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF).
Highlights and results
The TWG on Land started its activities in November 2019 with some preliminary actions and is currently ongoing. In its first phase, it has identified the key topics to discuss in future exchange:
- Accessibility to climate change data
- Usability of the Climate Data Store
- Global monitoring of greenhouse gases for a better understanding of our climate
- Ontology for communication and data availability and usability
- How to exploit the data for educational purposes
Athanassios Argiriou (University of Patras – Department of Physics)
Conor Cahalane (Maynooth University)
Constantinos Cartalis (Copernicus Academy Network in Greece (GR-CAN)
Edvinas Stonevicius (Vilnius University)
Egidijus Rimkus (Vilnius University)
Eleni Katragkou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Gerard McCarthy (Maynooth University)
Kevin Ramirez (Climate KIC)
Marco Folegani (MEEO)
Peter Thorne (Maynooth University)
Rowan Fealy (Maynooth University)
Security as an all-inclusive concept relates today not only to national security but links to a broad range of aspects concerning the security of the citizen. The key word here is ‘resilience’ – of communities, nation states and regions. Not without reason resilience and supporting the formation of resilient societies figures as a key concept in the New Security Strategy of the EU. The way to achieve this strategic objective requires the linkage between e.g. development actions and maritime surveillance, border monitoring and landuse planning, stability of health care and monitoring migration. The Thematic Working Group sets out to analyse the policy requirements in regard to the New Security Strategy, compiles the various potentials to meet these requirements by relevant EO products and services, and suggests research challenges in the field of Copernicus Service evolution.
Highlights and results
The TWG has yet to meet, extent its body of experts, and develop its work programme. As an initial activity the objectives and the technical specifications of the three Copernicus Security Services are compiled – Border Monitoring, Maritime Surveillance, and Support to External Action.
Peter Zeil (Spatial Services)
Petra Füreder (Department of Geoinformatics Z_GIS, University of Salzburg)
Lorenz Wendt (Department of Geoinformatics Z_GIS, University of Salzburg)
Pablo Vega Ezquieta (SatCen)
The Thematic Working Group on Emergency (ETWG), led by the University of Basilicata (UNIBAS), has the main objective to support, with expert advice, all the CopHub.AC activities that are related to the development and user-uptake of Earth Observation-based solutions for Emergency. In this field, the ETWG is promoting and moderating the research pipeline of the CopHub.AC, helping in evaluating fluxes and contents, checking for their completeness, and their scientific soundness. Such an activity would aim at fostering the Copernicus User Uptake initiative – as well as the Copernicus Academy Network – also providing information useful in supporting the Academy to manage stakeholder requests.
Highlights and results
The ETWG activity is organized involving all the registered experts with a continuous and fruitful brainstorming through planned teleconferences and mail exchanges.
The ETWG started its activities in September 2019 with some preliminary actions and is currently ongoing. In its first phase, all the experts involved were invited to suggest new topics of possible interest of the Copernicus Emergency Core Service (CECS), which were shared at the Copernicus Stakeholder Consultation Workshop held in Brussels on 7-11-2019.
Interesting and useful proposals raised from this phase, such as:
- the need to develop and implement continuous (i.e., in real-time) monitoring functionalities/services on ongoing natural and man-made disasters, which are not yet sufficiently implemented
- the need for a proper integration within the CECS of ground-based observations and a timely data validation
- the need for a comparison of remote-sensed classified results with numerical models for improving products related to damage mapping and prediction (e.g. floods)
- to include climate change-related emergencies among the other topics
- to guarantee an easy assimilation of Copernicus data/products into the civil protection system.
An open discussion started within the WG on the following main issues, related to the use of EO-based technologies for emergency monitoring and management:
i) Gaps in the demand: what is currently available and is not fully used? Are there EO/solutions that are already available but not operationally used and/or not used as large as it would be possible (e.g., in the
developing countries where in-situ data are very scarce, even lower performance products can be profitably used)?
ii) Gaps in the offer: which are those user demands that have not been satisfied yet? It includes both emerging demands (new markets) and opportunities (new technologies) useful to identify those topics to be prioritized in the research fund distribution.
iii) Gaps in the user-uptake: which are the obstacles that are still present and prevent the full exploitation of the huge potential of Copernicus-based technologies? This will range from administrative issues (e.g., national regulations), lack of adequate skills and/or of accompanying measure (e.g., dedicated funds and/or training) to encourage the transition, etc.
iv) Quality assessment: how to ensure status-of-art product/services? The scientific community at large should be engaged to validate and benchmark alternative products/services in a more transparent and effective way. Easier interactions with the CECS should be established in order to report bugs/errors identified in the outputs/maps they provide.
All the experts are (and will be) involved in the discussions and a continuous search for new cooperation, trying to enlarge our small community of people interested in the EWG topics, is currently ongoing too.
Valerio Tramutoli (Universita degli Studi della Basilicata)
Gabriele Bitelli (DICAM, University of Bologna)
Igor Magdaleniç (Croatian Crisis Management Association)
Thalia Mavrakou (Copernicus Academy Network in Greece (GR-CAN)
Stefan Kienberger (Department of Geoinformatics Z_GIS, University of Salzburg)
Teodosio Lacava (Universita degli Studi della Basilicata)
Valeria Satriano (Universita degli Studi della Basilicata)