• GMES & Africa and Copernicus Marine Earth Observation

    This is the online phase for the GMES&Africa and Copernicus Marine Earth Observation Training Course. 

    This training is co-organised by the MarCoSouth GMES&Africa consortia and EUMETSAT in collaboration with other GMES&Africa partners and guest lecturers.

    The MarCOSouth project aims to maintain, further develop and provide a sustainable platform for local, institutional, human and technical capabilities in the African countries  through the development of services focused on sustainable socio-economic development, empowering a wide range of users in the public and private sectors through the application of regionally-optimised satellite observations and model based forecasts in African marine and coastal domains.

    Through Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and Africa, the Africa Marine and Coastal Operations projects will contribute to the implementation of the African Space Policy and Strategy (ASPS) through application of world-leading satellite sensors, e.g. the European Sentinel series, with innovative and regionally optimised products. Examples of ASPS objectives addressed are: developing indigenous infrastructure and capabilities that service an African market; provisioning regionally appropriate services and products; ensuring all levels of government are able to access data through a centralised portal.

    The goal of this workshop is to strengthen your capacities to develop Earth Observation products, services and tools that promote sustainable management of marine resources, improve marine governance, and stimulate the growth of the blue economy in Africa..The online phase will introduce you to the Copernicus Marine Data Stream (CMDS), providing you with the background knowledge of the Copernicus programme, satellites and instrumentation, data access and formats, tools and software, necessary to begin working with this data for marine applications .The aims of this training course (both the online and classroom phases) are to help you:

    • Understand the concepts around Earth Observation across the value chain;
    • Learn the underlying principals of marine remote sensing, how to access / download data and products, and how to work with various open source tools; 
    • Develop and deliver a 'mini project' so you are able to gain all the skills that are directly applicable to your research / work needs.
    This online phase will be followed by a classroom phase in Zanzibar, Tanzania from the 12th - 20th November (applications are closed).


  • Sentinel-2: Coastal Optical Imagery at High Spatial Resolution

    Sentinel-2 is an Earth observation mission developed and operated by ESA under the Copernicus Programme. Like the Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3 missions, the Sentinel-2 mission is also a constellation with two satellites (A and B). The Multi-Spectral Instrument (MSI) aboard Sentinel-2 is passive, exploits the sunlight reflected from the surface of the Earth. Optical data is acquired along the orbital path at high spatial resolution (10 m, 20 m and 60 m) over land and adjoining coastal waters. 

    Primarily, Sentinel-2 is a terrestrial focussed mission with priorities around land and agricultural monitoring, land cover classification, and emergency management and security. Consequently, its sensors are not ideally designed for marine applications; having rather few, wide bands and low signal to noise ratio. However, it has proved to be very useful in monitoring the coastal environment for applications such as detecting blooms of Cyanobacteria algae and assessing water quality


    As a primarily terrestrial mission, coverage is focussed on continental land surfaces (including inland waters) between latitudes 56° south and 84° north, which includes adjacent coastal waters up to 20 km from the shore. Sentinel-2 coverage also extends to all EU islands and islands greater than 100 km2, and covers the Mediterranean Sea and closed seas like the Caspian.

    Additionally, if member states (or Copernicus) makes a request for coverage to include areas not listed above, the Sentinel-2 observation scenario is able to adapt and respond. Examples of coverage being extended include Pitcairn island, when the British government requested continuous Sentinel-2 coverage.

    Depending on geographical location, the Sentinel-2 constellation will revisit every 2 to 5 days, with highest revisit times at the higher latitudes, as with all the other polar orbiting Sentinels (when they are collecting data).

    Multi-Spectral Instrument Spatial and Spectral Resolution:

    The Sentinel-2 MSI samples across 13 spectral bands which range from the Visible (VNIR) and Near Infra-Red (NIR) to the Short Wave Infra-Red (SWIR). Four of these bands are at 10 m spatial resolution, six bands are at 20 m and three bands are at 60 m spatial resolution. It's important to also note that spatial resolution is dependent on the spectral band:

    • 4 x 10 m Bands: classical RGB bands (Blue (~497nm), Green (560nm), and Red (~665nm) and a Near Infra-Red (~835nm) band;
    • 6 x 20 m Bands: 4 narrow bands in the red edge spectral domain (~704nm,~740nm, ~783nm and ~865nm) and 2 wider SWIR bands (1610nm and 2190nm);
    • 3 x 60 m Bands: mainly focused toward cloud screening and atmospheric correction (~443nm for aerosols and 945nm for water vapour) and cirrus detection (~1374nm).

    From a marine perspective, the effective resolution of the satellite, e.g. the resolution at which the signal is reliably detectable above the noise, depends on the application in question.

    For more information on Sentinel-2 for marine applications, please consult this link from ESA.

Sentinel-1: Radar Imaging of the OceanSentinel-3: The Ocean Mission for Copernicus