The objective of this CIRFA work package is to organize dedicated field campaigns on and over Arctic sea ice and ocean to combine accurate in-situ, Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS), aircraft and helicopter observations, and satellite data, and improve validation shortcomings by seeking new and refined methods.
The acquisition of sufficient ground truth and validation data is a major limiting factor to the development of Earth observation techniques. With this WP, CIRFA highlights the importance of carefully designing field campaigns in connection with satellite surveys, especially using synthetically aperture radar (SAR), RPAS measurements, such as the Cryowing from Norut, and JPL/NASA’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR). Arctic sea ice is highly dynamic with rapidly changing physical properties, leading to a changing appearance, on time scales from minutes and hours to seasons and decades. WP6 will be serving as a validation and calibration platform for remote sensing data, as well as giving ground truth data for assessing the work conducted in WP1, WP2 and WP3. Several partners operate Arctic stations with long-term monitoring programmes and conduct field measurement campaigns. In the first half of 2015, the Norwegian Polar Institute freezes its research vessel Lance in Arctic sea ice north of Svalbard. This gives an excellent opportunity to collect collocated satellite, RPAS and ground based measurements, to be designed and collected specifically for remote sensing ground truth calibration and validation purposes. Data collected during this campaign, other annual campaigns of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies’ (NOFO’s) oil-on-water exercise at the abandoned Frigg field in June 2015, and from other national and international projects (such as the planned MOSAiC drift in 2018-19, see mosaicobservatory.org) and data providers, will be used by CIRFA in the assessment and validation of algorithms and remote sensing products. WP6 will be responsible for the design of focussed RS validation measurement setups in connection with field campaigns and ensure RS coverage at relevant scales in space and time.
Photo: Sebastian Gerland, Norwegian Polar Institute