MUSCATE : New tiles in Europe will be added within Theia's production of Sentinel-2 L2A products

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Just before the holiday period, we are very happy to tell that all the sites that had been selected by Theia for the production of Sentinel-2 Level 2A products are now in production within MUSCATE. for Theia Land data center. The number of tiles processed each days often tops 400 ! Only a couple of sites need a few more days to be completed.
 

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But that's not the only good news : given we have some production margins, we are going to add 200 tiles in Europe : Spain, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and small parts of Germany and Austria will be included in Theia's production. The new tiles, which appear in red in the image above, will be available in August, starting from images acquired in December 2016. We are also talking with other partners to generalize MAJA processing over Europe.

 

Finally, regarding Sentinel-2B, a few weeks will be necessary 1) to get some rest, 2) check the quality of our products. S2B data release from Theia should happen in September.

Muscate : toutes les zones sélectionnées ont été mises en traitement

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Juste avant les vacances, nous pouvons annoncer de très bonnes nouvelles de la production de données Sentinel-2 au niveau 2A, par le centre de traitement de MUSCATE du CNES, pour le compte du centre de données Theia. Pour un petit nombre de sites, il nous faudra encore quelques jours pour terminer la production, mais le nombre de produits traités chaque jour dépasse fréquemment les 400.

 

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Enfin, vues les bonnes performances enregistrées, nous allons ajouter environ 200 tuiles à notre liste, en Europe. L'Espagne, le Portugal, l'Italie, la Hollande, la Belgique, le Luxembourg et la Suisse, et des morceaux d'Allemagne et d'Autriche, seront entièrement incluses dans la production de Theia, à partir de décembre 2016. Les nouvelles tuiles, qui apparaissent en rouge sur l'image ci-dessus seront disponibles en août, et seront par la suite traitées en temps réel. Nous discutons aussi avec des partenaires européens pour que l'ensemble de l'Europe soit progressivement mis en production.

Quant à Sentinel-2B, laissez nous quelques semaines pour 1) prendre des vacances et 2) vérifier la qualité des résultats. Ce sera donc pour le mois de Septembre.

 

THEIA releases Sentinel-2 L2A time series over several regions of Brazil

Theia has added seven new sites in Brazil, for which Sentinel-2 L2A are produced and distributed, starting in December 2016.  These sites will be processed in near real time from now on. Data are produced by the MUSCATE system at CNES, using CNES-DLR MAJA processor. The products can be freely downloaded from https://theia.cnes.fr.

 

These sites were selected following demands from French scientists, with two main themes :

  • Land cover and land use change monitoring
  • Water body surface and turbidity

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S2B data are now available on Copernicus hub

A very good piece of news:  ESA started distributing Sentinel2-B data on Copernicus hub, two months ahead of schedule. This is really an achievement !

Here is ESA's announcement :

Following the successful completion of the Sentinel-2B Satellite In-Orbit Commissioning Phase, we are happy to announce that access to Sentinel-2B Level-1C products will be opened to all users on 6 July .

Access to Sentinel-2B products will initially be provided through a dedicated hub accessible via the Copernicus Open Access Hub home page with public credentials. This dedicated interface will be maintained until early September, at which point both Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B products will be commonly accessible through the nominal Data Hub interfaces.

 

Regarding Theia L2A production, we will have to wait for the availability of the data in PEPS, by end of July, and then perform some validation before releasing the data. Given the holiday period, it will probably happen in September. However, we have already checked that our L2A products, produced with MAJA withing MUSCATE should be great, as shown in this post some time ago:

 

 

Sen2agri system released

After 3 years of development, we are very happy to share the news of Sen2Agri system release. Sen2Agri system is a fully automatic production system to produce agriculture information from Sentinel-2 data, with a focus on food security applications. For this reason, the final user meeting was held in Rome at Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program. The Sen2Agri project was funded and managed by ESA, and developed by a consortium led by Université Catholique de Louvain, with CESBIO, CS France and CS-Romania.

A very attentive audience at the User Final Meeting, in the impressive World Food Programm conference room

The system manages the following operations :

  • Sentinel-2 and LANDSAT 8 data download,
  • L2A processing with MACCS/MAJA software (developed by CNES and CESBIO)
  • Monthly Synthesis product generation (with a method developed at CESBIO)
  • Generation of LAI products (based on a method developed at INRA, France, and updated, integrated to Orfeo Toolbox by CESBIO)
  • A Crop mask (issued several times per year), with two different methods :
    • without in situ data (method developed at UCL)
    • with in-situ data (method developed at CESBIO)
  • A crop type product (with a method developed at CESBIO, an early version of iota2 processor)

The scientific work behind the methods was described in a special issue of MDPI remote sensing.

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MUSCATE News : 20000 + 93

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THEIA passed two new milestones in this beginning of summer :

  • The number of Sentinel-2A Level2A products just passed the 20000 milestone, with the complete collection of French oversea regions, and new sites along the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Mekong rivers. These sites where chosen by a research team from the GET laboratory in Toulouse.

Data are available from https://theia.cnes.fr

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Muscate News

After having written rather bad news from MUSCATE for quite a long time, I am very happy to send good ones, and I have to restrain myself not to provide news every day. :)

Here is the number of L2A products we are producing every day. The visible enhanced performance is due to several reasons :

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15 000 !

Theia's Sentinel-2 L2A counter passed the 15 000 threshold on the 26th of May. The joined image shows the zones which are available so far.

 

 

 

Recently, two more sites have been added to THEIA's list of processed sites :

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Our first L2A images obtained with Sentinel-2B (and Sentinel-2A)

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The Sentinel-2B satellite was launched in March 2017, and joined his twin brother Sentinel-2A, which was orbiting since June 2015. Both satellites are now succeeding each other above our heads every 5 days. Sentinel-2 system mission is to monitor the evolution of the landscape and especially vegetation, with an observation every fifth day.

 

Very quickly, ESA managed to obtain Sentinel-2B observations over Europe very steadily, which is quite an achievement : congratulations to ESA ! CNES was greatly involved in assessing the image quality and in calibrating the sensor and has its own L1C processor (level 1C provides images registered to maps, expressed in reflectance at the top of Atmosphere).

 

By merging the time series take by Sentinel-2B and Sentinel 2A above a few sites, we managed to get dense time series of images over a few sites. To monitor a landscape, it is necessary to detect the clouds and their shadows, and to correct the variations of atmosphere transparency. This is the job of MAJA processor, which is developed jointly by CNES, CESBIO and DLR. Camille Desjardins, from CNES made it run over one of the sites..

 

So, here is the time series we obtained over a zone in Provence, France. The detected clouds are circled in green. If one ignores the clouds, which are well detected, the animation shows the slow evolution of the landscape as spring arrives. It is not possible to see a difference between the images provided by Sentinel-2B, and Sentinel-2A, which is in fact the aim of the Sentinel-2 mission. All the users will soon have access to high quality time series, with frequent observations, every five days in the absence of clouds !

 

The Muscate production center, at CNES, already distributes level 2A products  provided by MAJA software above selected regions, from Sentinel-2A data. As soon as Sentinel-2B is declared operational, its images will also be integrated in the processing.

MACCS, renamed MAJA, now distributed as binary for non-commercial use

I have already mentioned that CNES teams working on MACCS cloud screening and atmospheric correction software and DLR teams working on ATCOR, decided to join their efforts to build a common software, named MAJA which stands for MACCS-ATCOR Joint Algorithm. And thankfully, a funding from ESA helps a lot this initiative.

 

The MAJA code relies on MACCS architecture which is designed to use multi-temporal criteria, but the successive MAJA versions will progressively include several features coming from ATCOR which did not exist in MACCS or were less elaborated and accurate.

 

We just released MAJA V1.0 which includes a few improvements (an enhanced mono-temporal mask coming from ATCOR has been included, as well as a modification of the estimation of water vapour). MAJA V1_0 is in fact just a little evolution compared to MACCS latest versions. MAJA V2.0 will include a directional correction (coming from CESBIO team), and a correction of cirrus clouds, that comes from DLR.  V1_0 version is now being integrated to Muscate, and it will soon run on our platform, while V2_0 should be delivered to CNES this week.

 

But the main news related to that is the fact that MAJA is now distributed as a binary code for linux Platforms RedHat and Cent OS versions 6 and 7 only. MAJA is distributed on CNES free software platform, and you will have to accept a licence and provide your email address. The licence is granted for non commercial use only. If you would like to get an extension of this licence for commercial use, please ask CNES.

MAJA tutorial page on github

MAJA was developed to process time series, if you only want to process a few images, please use SEN2COR. Given the size of Sentinel-2 images, MAJA is not meant to run on a laptop, it needs really serious computer resources, fast drives and processors, and several Gigabytes of Memory. I also have to stress that MAJA is not easy to use, and that solid knowledge in computers, linux, python might be necessary. MAJA also needs several stages of data preparation, including specific DTM generation.

Tutorial pages

A few beta-users are now testing the installation procedures. The first feedback is that the users often do not read the documentation carefully ;) . I strongly urge you to read the document provided in the package ! I have written a tutorial page on Github, and I hope you will manage to use it. In case of any problem, please do not comment here or send me an email, use the support address : maja-support@cnes.fr or add an issue to the github tutorial platform.