Our team are working to make Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar satellite data available by the end of 2020. We will provide a time-series of Sentinel-1 radar data from 2017 onwards, which is captured every 12 days, totalling approximately 50,000 scenes every year.
Sentinel-1 image of an area on Nigeria coast near Port Harcourt. See our gallery for more Sentinel-1 imagery from DE Africa
For the first time in Africa, Sentinel-1 radar data will be routinely processed for the entire continent, and through Digital Earth Africa will provide a time-series of information. We’ve engaged European Earth Observation (EO) industry leader Sinergise to process the Sentinel-1 radar data from 2017, which is captured every 12 days, totalling approximately 50,000 scenes every year.
Radar satellite imagery is important for Africa as it is not affected by cloud cover. Countries that experience frequent clouds often find other satellite imagery less effective, but the use of radar data can overcome this challenge.
To make the data easier to use, it will be processed according to Analysis Ready Data (ARD) specifications developed by the Committee on Earth Observing Satellites (CEOS). ARD reduces the barrier to use, allowing thematic specialists in areas such as land cover, forest management, agriculture and water resources to apply the data.
While satellite radar data has many uses, the applications traditionally call for high levels of expertise in pre-processing and interpretation. CEOS has been developing ARD specifications since 2016 to allow data to be processed in an easier to use and interoperable format. The Normalised Radar Backscatter is the simplest product as it allows changes through time to be detected, for example it is used in Switzerland to measure changes in seasonal snow cover.