Current Research Projects

 Past Research Projects

Current Research Projects



A national system for the retrieval, storage, access and diffusion of environmental and climate data from mountain and marine areas.



Mountains are sentinels of climate and environmental change and many marine regions provide information on past climate variations. The NextData will favour the implementation of measurement networks in remote mountain and marine areas and will develop efficient web portals to access meteoclimatic and atmospheric composition data, past climate information from ice and sediment cores, biodiversity and ecosystem data, measurements of the hydrological cycle, marine reanalysis and climate projections at global and regional scale. New data on the present and past climatic variability and future climate projections in the Alps, the Himalaya-Karakoram, the Mediterranean region and other areas of interest will be obtained and made available. The pilot studies conducted during the project will allow to obtain new estimates on the availability of water resources. The effects of atmospheric aerosols on high-altitude environments, as well as new assessments of the impact of climate change on ecosystems, health and societies in mountain regions, will be also analyzed. The system of archives and the scientific results produced by the NextData project will provide a unique data base for research and environmental management and for the estimate of climate change impacts, allowing the development of knowledge-based environmental and climate adaptation policies.



Prototypal multi-source system integrating multi-spectral observing techniques from satellite, aircraft and ground measurement for the multi-scale monitoring of environmental indicators variation related to atmospherical components and energy dispersion


The project object is the realization of a prototypal system operating in Lombardia Region for the multi-scale monitoring of environmental indicators, such as: i) the atmospheric concentration of aerosol and gas at surface in urban and rural areas; ii) the natural and anthropogenic aerosol components and their direct effects on climate, both in urban and natural areas (e.g. lake and glaciers); iii) the thermal dispersion in urban areas. The prototypal system developed will be helpful for the assessment, on a regional scale, of the meteo-climatic effect induced by anthropic activities. In particular, the integration of satellite, aerial and ground hyperspectral measurement will allow to study the earth radiation balance due to natural and anthropogenic atmospheric constituent. This aspect will be assessed through a comparison of different ecological models that consider meteorology, transport, dispersion and chemistry of various pollutants. Model outputs will be validated by the hyperspectral data collected.





Flex/S3 Tandem Mission Performance Analysis and Requirements Consolidation Study (PARCS)” (ESTEC RFQ 3-13397/11/NL/CBi)


This study is performed in the context of the Phase A feasibility study of the FLEX Earth Explorer 8 candidate mission. The FLEX mission concept comprises a small satellite carrying a Fluorescence Imaging Spectrometer (FLORIS), which is flying in tandem with a GMES Sentinel-3. The main objective this project is to review in detail technical and scientific aspects related to fluorescence retrievals from space in the context of the FLEX mission, as implemented in tandem with Sentinel-3.



HYFLEX (RFQ-3-13566/12/NL/LF)


The HyFlex project will test and verify the performances of the Hyperspectral Plant Imaging Spectrometer (HyPlant). HyPlant is a narrow-band imaging sensor for passive monitoring of sun-induced fluorescence in the O2 absorption bands, which has been developed in cooperation of  Forschungszentrum Jülich (Jülich Research Center, Germany) and SPECIM Imaging Ltd. (Finland). In the frame of the project, several flight lines will be recorded during summer 2012 in West Germany and Czech Republic, covering a variety of crops, natural grasslands and other vegetation types for the quantification of sun-induced fluorescence. Airborne data will be complemented by a wide range of ground measurements that include top-of-canopy reflectance and fluorescence of vegetation and atmospheric properties. The HYFLEX campaign aims to deliver maps of sun-induced fluorescence from airborne data using the approaches of the spaceborne FLEX mission. Airborne data will be validated by ground based measurements  providing a crucial element for the feasibility study of the FLEX mission, as implemented in tandem with Sentinel-3.




Spectral sampling tools for vegetation Biophysical Parameters and Flux measurements in Europe


The COST action ES0903 “Spectral sampling tools for vegetation Biophysical Parameters and Flux measurements in Europe” was funded in 2009 by the European Science Foundation.
The main objective of the Action is to define common and standardized protocols and to develop new instruments for optical measurements at flux tower sites. In this context, the Action sets out to join together scientists and industries to improve the methodologies for proximal optical sampling.


Supporting FLEX Mission

FLuorescence EXplorer Performance analysis and requirements consolidation study

This study is performed in the context of the Phase 0 activities carried out for the FLEX Earth Explorer candidate mission. The main objective is to demonstrate the performance of FLEX in the context of observing photosynthetic activity of the terrestrial biosphere from space.


Remote sensing for FUel properties MApping of alpine vegetation

This research is founded by ERSAF and RL Civil Protection and it is aimed to evaluate the potential of satellite data to infer qualitative and quantitative characteristics of vegetation fuel model for fire risk assessment