The main objective of this ESA-funded project is to scale up the proposed operational service, in view of its potential integration as part of a Copernicus Service.
Since 2016, experts from IFREMER and CLS have developed a new strategy, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), in order to observe Tropical Cyclones with Sentinel-1 Copernicus mission. In collaboration with space agencies and meteorological institutes, IFREMER and CLS experts track the paths of cyclones and other storms and characterize the associated ocean surface wind speed.
A Copernicus mission can now offer operational Tropical Cyclone monitoring services
A unique acquisition strategy developed for Tropical Cyclone observations successfully tested with ESA using Sentinel-1.
To do this, track forecasts available from ECMWF are provided by IFREMER/CLS to ESA’s mission planning team when a tropical cyclone starts to materialize. In return, ESA identifies and plans the most suitable Sentinel-1 observations intersecting the expected location of the hurricane’s eye over the next 5 days. Depending on both the evolution and duration of the phenomenon, updates on track forecasts are expected every 3 days. The planning loop is repeated to capture the entire trajectory. Thanks to these dedicated “late-programmed” Sentinel-1 acquisitions by ESA’s Mission Planning team, tropical cyclone can be monitored with the adequate datatakes, with 1) large swath image acquisitions maximizing the coverage and 2) dual-polarization capabilities to ensure no saturation of the signals for extreme force windstrong winds.
An end-to-end processing chain has been built up and is triggered automatically. It consists in retrieving the ocean surface wind fields from acquired Sentinel-1 data with up-to-date algorithms for extreme events. Within CYMS project, the service includes not only NRT operational wind field products, but also an archive center ensuring a continual improvement cycle and full data uptake by stakeholders. The service shall provide validated and fully acknowledged products, be consistent, standardized, interoperable and harmonized across international institutions and bodies supporting European policies and the international charter of risk management.
This innovative Tropical Cyclone acquisition strategy can be developed and operated on a daily basis within the Copernicus Programme.
This new service matches Sentinel-1 mission to “help manage our environment, understand and tackle the effects of climate change, and safeguard everyday lives.”