[MUSCATE news] MAJA upgraded to version 2

Yesterday, the MUSCATE ground segment started delivering Sentinel-2A L2A products using the MAJA V2 processor, while MAJA V1 was used until now. MAJA V2 corrects for a few bugs (such as the pixels flagged as cloud or cloud shadow on the edge of the images) and adds three new features :

  • We implemented a correction for directional effects for a better estimate of Aerosol optical thickness. As you probably know, MAJA uses multi-temporal criteria to detect clouds and estimate aerosol content. These criteria suppose that surface reflectance does not change much from one date to the next one. Over a given tile, we can combine data coming from two adjacent orbits, with slightly different viewing angles, and the directional effect can induce some variations in the surface reflectance of successive acquisitions, which would be interpreted as atmospheric effects. We are now using a simple directional correction to reduce this noise source (D.Roy et al). As this directional correction is not perfectly accurate, it is not applied to the surface reflectance we deliver at the end of MAJA processing.

Elsa Bourgeois, from Cap Gemini, compared the performances of processing with or without directional correction. In both cases (S2A, top, S2B, bottom), there is only a very slight improvement of performances.

  • We implemented a cirrus correction, that comes from DLR works. This correction is not in production yet, as it needs more validation on a large data set. We simply parametrise MAJA with "cirrus_correction= false". A coming post will address this subject.
  • We have started using the new high cloud threshold that was refined in this post. It will result in more cloud cover, with a large difference over mountains.

 

All these small improvements are now implemented in version 1.6. They do not justify a reprocessing of the Sentinel-2 archive, although the accumulation of successive slight improvement could justify it. We intend to start a reprocessing when MAJA V3 is put in production.

Speed-up downloads from PEPS S2 mirror site with peps_download.py

The French Sentinel mirror site, PEPS, has a very clever data management facility. All the products are stored on tapes, with a capacity of several PB, and there is some sort of cache made of disks. The products accessed recently are on disks, while the other products stay on tapes. The storage costs and also power consumption are therefore largely optimized.

 

The drawback is that before accessing a file on tape, some time is needed to get the tape, and read the file on tapes. This can take something like 2 to 10 minutes. My little tool, peps_download.py was designed when most of the products were on disks, and it was quite slow to download products on tapes. As I am not a patient person, I have tried to speed it up, and it works well, thanks to good advise from CNES peps  colleagues (Christophe Taillan and Erwann Poupart).

 

The previous version was working like that :

Make catalog request

For all product in the request result :

- while product is not downloaded

 - try to download the product

 - if still on tape, wait for 2 minutes

As a result, for each product on tape, it was necessary to wait for 2 to 10 minutes.

 
Now, it works like that

Make catalog request

For all products on tape in the request result

- ask to read it on disks

While (still some products to download):

- Redo catalog request

- Download products on disk

- If some products are not on disk yet

 - wait for 2 minutes

 
On my computer, it used to take more that 12 hours to download 2 years of Sentinel-2 data for a given tile. It has now been reduced to less that 3 hours (but my computer is on CNES network). I hope you will have similar results !

Validation systématique des produits Sentinel-2 de Theia

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Camille Desjardins (du CNES (DSO/SI/MO)), qui s'occupe de la validation des produits de niveau 2A distribués par THEIA, a très récement mis en place une validation systématique des produits fournis par MAJA, avec l'aide d'un service d'exploitation du CNES (DNO.OT/PE). Le travail est effectué par Bruno Besson avec l'aide de Nicolas Guilleminot (de Thales Services), en utilisant des outils développés par Aurélie Courtois, elle aussi de Thales).

 

Systématiquement, tous les mois, les valeurs d'épaisseurs optiques d'aérosols et de vapeur d'eau, déterminées par MAJA, sont comparées avec celles du réseau Aeronet, à chaque fois qu'un produit om THEIA observe l'un de ses sites.

 

Les deux figures ci-dessous montrent les résultats obtenus pour le mois de Février, pour l'épaisseur optique, à gauche, et pour la vapeur d'eau (à droite). Les points bleus correspondent à des validations effectuées dans les conditions idéales pour une bonne comparaison (peu de nuages, pas de données interpolées, données Aeronet qualifiées au niveau 2 ). Les points rouges correspondent à des conditions dégradées, et pour la plupart d'entre eux, c'est dû au fait que les données Aeronet qualifiées ne sont pas encore disponibles.  Dans ce cas, il est possible qu'elles soient dégradées, en raison d'une dérive de leur étalonnage... ou de la présence d'une araignée dans le tube du collimateur.

 

Validation des épaisseurs optiques d'aérosols des produits Sentinel-2 N2A de Theia  pour toutes les observations conjointes avec Aeronet en février 2018 Validation de la vapeur d'eau des produits Sentinel-2 N2A de Theia  pour toutes les observations conjointes avec Aeronet en février 2018

 

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Systematic validation of Sentinel-2 THEIA L2A products

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Very recently, Camille Desjardins (from CNES), who is handling the validation of the L2A products generated by THEIA, has set up a systematic validation of the products delivered by MAJA, with the help of an operational service from CNES (OT/PE) (Bruno Besson, and Nicolas Guilleminot from Thales Services, using tools developed by Aurélie Courtois, also from Thales)

 

Systematically, a comparison of AOT and water vapour is made for every Sentinel-2 L2A product from THEIA which observes one of the sites of the Aeronet network.

 

Both plots below show the results obtained during the month of February, for the Aerosol Optical Thickness (left), and for the water vapour content (right). Blue dots correspond to validations in ideal conditions (low cloud amount, no gap filling, and quality assured Aeronet data (Level 2.0). The red dots allow degraded conditions, and most of them correspond to the unavailability, yet, of version 2.0 Aeronet data. As data are processed in near real time, and level 2.0 data are made available a few months later, these plots rely mainly on Level 1.5 data, which are more prone to errors (such as a calibration drift... or the presence of a spider in the instrument tubes).

 

Aerosol optical thickness validation of Sentinel-2 L2A for all Aeronet match-ups gathered in February 2018 Water vapour validation of Sentinel-2 L2A for all Aeronet match-ups gathered in February 2018 (in g/cm2)

 

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Sentinel-2 goes global

Great news ! As announced in Sentinel-2 Mission status, laser links to geostationary relay satellites are now working, both for S2B (since last October) and S2B (since a few days ago). Sentinel-2 5 days repetitivity is now nominal above all lands, and that's cool ! A big thank you to ESA, Copernicus and all the engineers who strived to achieve that !

 

Map of S2A and S2B acquisition segments on the 28th of February. Almost all segments over continents were acquires, and are available on https://peps.cnes.fr

Une grand nouvelle ! Comme annoncé dans le "Sentinel-2 Mission status", les liaisons par laser vers un satellite relais géo-stationnaire fonctionnent, à la fois pour S2B (depuis Octobre 2017) et S2A (depuis quelques jours). Les deux Sentinel-2 observent les 5 continents avec la répétitivité nominale de 5 jours, et c'est chouette !  Un grand merci à l'ESA, Copernicus et tous les ingénieurs qui ont permis cette réussite !

[MUSCATE News] Retraitement des données Sentinel-2B acquises de Juillet à Octobre 2017

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MUSCATE est en grande forme ces jours-ci, grâce aux efforts de l'équipe de développement (CNES et CAP GEMINI), qui ont résolu de nombreux problèmes récemment. Le compteur des produits de niveau 2A de Sentinel-2 vient de dépasser 70 000, juste un mois après avoir passé 60 000. Si on fait la somme de tous les produits distribués par  THEIA, on arrive à plus de 99000. Theia distribue aussi des masques de neige sur les montagnes à partir de Sentinel-2, and des données Spot World Heritage (les anciennes données SPOT retraitées, ortho-rectifiées et disponibles gratuitement).

 

Cette grande forme nous permet d'augmenter les rythmes de production. Nous avons commencé à traiter les données Sentinel-2B acquises entre Juillet et Octobre 2017, car nous ne traitions S2B que depuis Novembre dernier. Mais comme MAJA est une méthode multi-temporelle, c'est un véritable retraitement que nous venons de lancer, en incluant à la fois S2A et S2B. La qualité des données S2A devrait elle aussi bénéficier de l'amélioration de la répétitivité des observations.

 

Ce retraitement va prendre quelques semaines. Il commence avec la France (ROM COM inclus), puis va s'étendre à nos voisins Européens. Puis viendra le tour du site sur le Maghreb, le reste des sites Africains, et enfin les autres sites répartis dans le monde.

 

Si vous avez que votre site soit traité de manière plus rapide, n'hésitez pas à demander ! (Bien sûr, cela ne s'applique qu'aux tuiles déjà présentes sur notre liste).

 

 

 

[MUSCATE News] Reprocessing of Sentinel-2B data aquired from July to October 2017

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MUSCATE is in a good shape these days thznkd to the continuous efforts of the development team (CNES and CAP GEMINI) who solved several issues. The counter of Sentinel-2 Level 2A products reached 70 000 products this night, just one month after reaching 60000. If we sum all the products delivered by MUSCATE, we are reaching 99 000 images. MUSCATE also distributes Sentinel-2 Snow masks over mountains, and Spot World Heritage data (old SPOT data reprocessed after ortho-rectification.and made available for free).

 

This good shape allows us to increase our production rhythm. We have started processing the Sentinel-2B data acquired between July and October 2017, as we had started processing S2B in November 2017 only. But since MAJA is a multi-temporal processor, we are in fact starting a complete reprocessing of the data, including S2A and S2B. The quality of S2A products should therefore also benefit from the improved repetitivity of observations.

 

This reprocessing will last several weeks. We are starting with data from France and will go on with our neighbouring European countries, then sites in Maghreb, the remaining sites of Africa, and finally, the rest of the sites in the world.

 

In case you have an urgent need for some tiles, please ask ! (of course, it is only applicable to the tiles already in our list)