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Measurement for our planet

Following COP26, discover how NPL plays a key role in enabling climate action through the delivery of accurate, reliable data that supports decision making and enables low carbon innovation.

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NPL scientist joins Expert Group for Copernicus mission

Dr Emma Woolliams will support in establishing priorities for the new mission

Sentinel 2 is one of the Copernicus satellite missions that act as “Europe’s eyes on Earth”, and consists of two satellites (S2-A and S2-B) launched in 2015 and 2017 respectively that are in the same orbit, on opposite sides of the Earth to give full global coverage every five days. The satellites carry the multispectral instrument (MSI) that can measure the Earth in 13 spectral bands with 10 m to 60 m spatial resolution and provide significant contribution to the Copernicus themes of climate change, land monitoring, emergency management and security. 

Dr Emma Woolliams, Principal Research Scientist at NPL, has been invited onto the Copernicus Sentinel-2 Next Generation Ad Hoc Expert Group. This group is establishing the priorities for the new mission – for example choosing new spectral bands, the new spatial resolution and setting mission priorities.   

Dr Woolliams has been invited due to her expertise in satellite pre-launch and post-launch calibration and validation. Previously NPL has provided significant support to the current Sentinel 2 missions through establishing a radiometric uncertainty tool for the mission. Ongoing activity in developing software for satellite intercomparison and comparisons to RadCalNet also support this mission. A lot of this work is carried out after the satellite has been developed and launched. With Dr Woolliams’ inclusion in the Expert Group, there is an opportunity to bring metrological principles into the system development from the beginning and support in shaping the future of the missions.  

03 Nov 2021