Operationalisation of the production chain: The production chain for retrieving FSC from ASAR data has been developed by Norut IT, while the production chain for FSC from the optical sensors has been developed by NR. The two single-sensor products are combined automatically into a near-real-time multi-sensor time-series map product based on confidence in the input single-sensor FSC products. A prototype of the production chain runs at KSAT, including manual inspection and quality assessment of the final products. This production chain will be improved technically as well as with better functionality in this project, ending up with a fully operational service at KSAT. See more information about the production chain here.
Demonstration: The service was initially demonstrated in the snowmelt season in 2006 (April-June). The product provided was a multi-sensor time-series product based on ENVISAT ASAR and Terra MODIS data. An improved version of the service is provided in 2007 and the service is expected to be fully operational in 2008. See more information about the products here.
Evaluation: The accuracy of the automatically produced snow cover area maps is dependent on the quality of the input data. In general the best results, with an accuracy of around 90%, are obtained with optical data under cloud-free conditions. With SAR data the accuracy is around 85% but with the advantage of being unaffected by cloud cover. The service evaluation will comprise how well the service meets the user requirements, the technical quality of the service and the accuracy of the products. See more information about the evaluation here.
Exploration of other opportunities: The project will also explore opportunities to deliver other value-added products, including:
- Snow surface wetness
- Multi-temporal optical snow cover
- Total snow cover within specified drainage basins
- Snow cover distribution with respect to altitude within drainage basins
- The specifications for such products will be produced in consultation with the users.