Current Research Projects

 Past Research Projects

Past Research Projects


EDOCROS (EUFAR Transnational Access project)

Early detection of crop water and nutritional stress by remotely sensed indicators


The objective of the EUFAR Transnational Access project "EDOCROS"  is to test hyperspectral indices (PRI and Fs) at canopy and landscape scale for the early detection of water and nitrogen (N) deficit, in order to provide irrigation and fertilization prescribing maps. Optical indices performances will be compared with thermal indicator (brightness temperature Ts and derived crop stress indices) and surface energy balance methods in order to verify their reliability in water stress detection. Dual-source energy balance algorithms will be applied by using high-resolution radiometric temperatures for estimating actual evaporation fluxes at the instant of acquisition.
Field radiometric measurements and airborne image acquisition will allow to test different techniques and to scale procedure from field canopy level to landscape level. Vegetation biophysical parameters and eco-physiological parameters measured in field during the airborne survey, will provide a description of crop status.



AXA Grant

Verso l’individuazione di indicatori precoci dello stress idrico e carenza di nutrienti in agricoltura: sviluppo di metodi innovativi di telerilevamento iperspettrale da aereo

The project aims to develop a vegetation stress monitoring system at landscape scale. This system is based on early detection indicators mapped from remotely sensed data acquired by airborne sensors. Different remote sensing techniques were tested on an experimental field where 48 corn and sorghum parcels were grown with different water and nitrogen treatments. Different narrowband vegetation indices related to biochemical and physiological variables (e.g. Photochemical Reflectance Index – PRI) were calculated, and relative values of sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence at 760 nm (F760) were retrieved by remotely sensed data. Furthermore, vegetation temperature was estimated by an image acquired by a thermal sensor in order to test its suitability for stress monitoring. Maps of water and nitrogen stress were produced on the experimental site. The method proposed can be applied in agro systems in order to produce water and nitrogen prescribing maps, toward a more sustainable use of water and nitrogen in agriculture.



Alpine Phenology


The PhenoAlp  transborder project, led by the Aosta valley region (I) aims to set up an integrated methodology for the analysis of the effects of climate change on the phenology of vegetation and animals in the Alps. Besides the scientific research dimension of the project, PhenoAlp partners will engage in concrete monitoring, realized in a participatory spirit in order to raise awareness about alpine environmental challenges towards the public at large but also in schools.,14,501,0




Robotic HyperSpectral Irradiometer

This project consists in the development of a robotic irradiometer designed for continuous and long term optical sampling of vegetated surfaces in order to monitoring daily and seasonal trend of steady state fluorescence at Oxygen A-Band (Fs@760nm), Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) and traditional Vegetation Indexes (VIs). This system is expected to provide an estimation of parameters and processes useful to explain water and carbon fluxes components measured at the eddy station. Installation of the HIS was carried out in summer 2008 at the IES-JRC experimental site of Castellaro (Italy).


Dinamiche della Vegetazione ALPina e dell'azoto in ambienti d'Alta quota in risposta ai cambiamenti climatici recenti

The DIVALPA project is founded by ERSAF Lombardia and it is aimed to evaluate the shift in altitude for different ecotones in Alpin environment using aerial photos and novel algorithms for the automatic identification of forest and tundra upper limits.


Metodi spettroradiometrici per la stima di parametri biofisici e biochimici della VEgetazione in aree industriali COntaminate
The VECO project is founded by ISPESL and it is aimed to exploit advanced remote sensing techniques based on hyperspectral radiometers for the early detection of the vegetation stress in the strain phase due to polluted soil.


Impiego di immagini satellitari per l'analisi della variabilità interannuale del ciclo fenologico della vegetazione

REmote sensing of PHenology Larix EXperiment

The REPHLEX project is founded by the ARPA Valle d'Aosta – Sez. Agenti Fisici and it is aimed to exploit daily MODIS reflectance data for to determine some phenological plant parameters. In particular, the purpose is to determine the onset, offset and amplitude phenological parameters and to provide their relationships with ground observations collected in field.


HYperspectral images for early WArning

This research is founded by LTDA and it is aimed to evaluate the applicability of solar induced fluorescence and PRI for the early detection of vegetation stress from hyperspectral airborne sensors. The study is conducted in collaboration with Fondazione Lombardia per l'Ambiente and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.


CarboEurope, FLEX and Sentinel-2

In the framework of its Earth Observation Envelope Programme, the European Space Agency (ESA) coordinates a number of ground-based and airborne campaigns to support geophysical algorithm development, calibration/validation and the simulation of future spaceborne earth observation missions for applications development related to land, oceans and atmosphere.
The CEFLES2 campaign integrates two ESA-backed experimental campaigns to be carried out in support of forthcoming GMES and Earth Explorer missions.


Mapping Atmospheric Pollution from Space

MAPS project was founded from by Comune di Milano and it was aimed at mapping atmospheric pollution using remote sensing data in urban areas. In particular, the goal was to derive multitemporal maps of PM10 and PM2.5 concentration over Milano by using combining MODIS, MERIS and Landsat data with measurements collected simultaneously with the images.

JRC-Kyoto Experiment

 The JRC Kyoto experiment is a pilot study aimed to develop tools and process under-standing for monitoring the full balance of carbon in a series of land-use types representative of the Lombardy area, from pristine forest to poplar plantations, maize and rice fields.



Modelli Aziendali Sostenibili e multifunzionali per la valorizzazione dei pascoli in aree marginali mediante GIS



The main aim of the project was to map the annual rangeland primary production in the Alpine area and to analyze its spatial and temporal distribution. Moreover we focused on the development of a robust rangeland ecosystem model fed with remotely sensed data to be used in natural resource management.

DARFEM Experiment

Dais and Rosis for Forest Ecosystem Monitoring

The project wass aimed to evaluate the capability and the limitation of estimating canopy parameters (LAI, SLA, leaf water and chlorophyll content) using hyperspectral - directional remote observations and the inversion of physically based model of radiative transfer into the canopy and into the leaf.


Immagini da satellite ad alta risoluzione IKONOS per aggiornamento e realizzazione di basi informative agro-ambientali inerenti il territorio lombardo

Use of very high resolution satellite imagery to update land use maps and to estimate environmental parameters related with agricultural production

The research was conducted in the context of the DUSAF Project (Destinazione d'Uso dei Suoli Agricoli e Forestali), managed by ERSAF (Ente Regionale di Sviluppo Agricolo e Forestale della Lombardia) and focused on precise land use and land cover mapping. The study regards the generation of high resolution land use maps by using high geometric resolution imagery such as Ikonos and Quickbird. Spectral and textural information were also used for mapping Leaf Area Index (LAI) in different vegetation types by applying different spectral vegetation indices.

Programma di indagini a carattere documentale inerenti le tecniche di telerilevamento fotografico ed elettronico dell'ambiente sul territorio lombardo con particolare riferimento alle coperture in cemento amianto

Airborne hyperspectral MIVIS data for mapping asbestos

The aim of this research was to test the possibility to use the MIVIS (Multispectral Infrared and Visible Imaging Spectrometer) airborne hyperspectral scanner to map asbestos concrete sheeting inside a metropolitan area of north Italy.

Evoluzione spazio temporale delle aree agricole tramite analisi di immagini satellitari

Detection of change in mediterranean rangeland

The main purpose of the project is the rangeland monitoring by using change detection techniques based on mulitemporal Landsat TM/ETM+ satellite data. The study is conducted in two pilot areas located in Sardegna Region (Italy).


International LAI Intercomparison network

This project is within the Committee Earth Observing Satellites' Working Group on Calibration and Validation (CEOS WGCV) and aimed to pursue activities to coordinate, standardize and advance calibration and validation of civilian satellites and their data. In particular the Land Product Validation (LPV) is focused to define standard guidelines and protocols and to foster data and information exchange relevant to the validation of Leaf Area Index (LAI) products ( In this context, the LTDA is collecting LAI and fAPAR field measurements in order to develop local relationships between canopy properties and carbon exchanges and to validate moderate-resolution remote sensing products.


Bio-indicators of forest status from Remote Sensing

This project is founded by the Ticino Lombardo Regional Park and it is aimed to evaluate the vegetation response to stress by using bio-indicators, as foliar pigment concentration, retrieved by hyperspectral sensors .

Sviluppo e applicazione di metodi per la perimetrazione di aree bruciate tramite osservazioni remote

Multisource observations for mapping alpine burnt areas

This project is founded by ERSAF and the main objective o is to produce burned area and the associated database by using remote sensing data from European Earth Observation satellite missions, for supporting the operational activities at regional level in the Lombardia Region.

Programmi di ricerca di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale

Verso il telerilevamento del bilancio del carbonio della vegetazione: sviluppo di metodi innovativi

Innovative techniques for the remote sensing of vegetation carbon balance

The main goal is to develop an efficient sampling system on a long-term and continuous basis for the estimation of the primary productivity by measuring the chlorophyll solar induced fluorescence using the Fraunhofer line depth principle. This system is expected to provide an estimation of parameters and processes useful to explain water and carbon fluxes components measured at the eddy station.


Progetto Kyoto - Kyoto Project

"Ricerca sui cambiamenti climatici e il controllo dei gas serra in Lombardia"

(Research on climate change and greenhouse gases at Regional level in Lombardia: Kyoto Project)


The Kyoto Project is an integrated three years project (2004 – 2006) that aims at providing the basic information (data, scenarios, policies) for monitoring and reduction of greenhouse gases emissions on a regional scale. The Kyoto Project, natural follow up of the Piano Regionale per la Qualità dell'Aria.



Influenza dell'Ozono sulla GEstione SOstenibile dei sistemi agricoli e forestali

Influence of ozone on the sustainable management of the agricultural and forest systems

The INFOGESO project is founded by Lombardia Region and is focused to evaluate the ozone damages on agro-ecosystem and natural forest. In particular, the main aim is to test the capability of a low cost – very high spectral resolution spectroradiometer (FWHM equal to 0.06 nm) to detect chlorophyll fluorescence signal by analyzing the fluorescence emission and the reflected solar radiation in a number of Fraunhofer lines. The detected signal is hence compared with the ozone fluxes and damages



Detection of Passive Fluorescence by high resolution spectroradiometer: reflected-emitted SPectra vs ECOLogical properties.


The project is co-founded by the University of Milano Bicocca and the Ocean Optics Inc and is aimed to retrieve the passive chlorophyll fluorescence under natural condition in the field by using the so-called Fraunhofer line-depth principle. Moreover the activity is focused to develop an efficient and multi-scale system sampling system for vegetated ecosystem optical properties (i.e. reflected and emitted domains).


Immagini satellitari ad alta risoluzione geometrica come strumento di supporto per un efficace governo dell'ambiente e del territorio della Provincia di Milano e Parco Sud

High resolution remote sensing imagery for urban areas classification


This project is founded by the Provincia of Milano and the main goals of the research is to classify the surface urban categories by means high spatial resolution satellite images. The classification approach is based on the image segmentation and further classification by implementing a stepwise strategy.


AVVistamento Incendi da SAtellite


This project is founded by Regione Lombardia and it is aimed to dectect active fire and their characterization with satellite data. The Project is in collaboration with the Lab. LADSAT-DIFA University of Basilicata; Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale CNR-IMAA, Potenza, IreR, ERSAF Regione Lombardia.


Land use mapping in alpine area


This project is founded by the ARPA Valle d'Aosta – Sez. Agenti Fisici in the context of CartaNatura and INTERREG III Spazio Alpino projects and it is aimed to map land use and land cover by aerial photos and satellite imagery with particular attention to larix and snow.