The SAO team members Felix Greifeneder, Ruth Sonnenschein, and Sarah Asam hold a training course on “Sentinel Satellites Data Analysis” at our partner institution International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), in Kathmandu (Nepal) from January 30 until February 3, 2017. This training on Sentinel satellites data analysis was aimed at building the capacities and strengthening the capabilities of ICIMOD professionals and other stakeholders in using these tools and techniques in their respective thematic work areas.
The Sentinel training course at ICIMOD: what we talked about
Within the one week course, first a general introduction on the Copernicus program, to the Satellite missions and sensors, and to the related freely available data, training, and software resources was given.
In a next step, the specific technical characteristics of the data sets, which were new to most of the participants, as well as the most important data processing techniques were explained through lectures and direct hands-on exercises on Sentinel data analysis tools and techniques. A special focus was on the introduction of the open source SNAP software.
Both optical and radar data (i.e. Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2) were introduced and jointly analyzed within the course in order to meet the specific information needs of the course participants for the monitoring of the environment and disasters in the Hindu Kush Himalaya. Especially the SAR part, including theories of microwave radar, an introduction to the Sentinel-1 specifics, and the application field of soil moisture estimation were of high interest to the ICIMOD colleagues, since the experience with this kind of data was limited at ICIMOD until now. Another strongly requested application was the joint analysis of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 time series for monsoon crop mapping and growth monitoring of rice and wheat in cloud prone areas of the Hindu Kush region, which was assessed using an example data set from the Nepalese Chitwan area.
The training was being organized under the framework of the SERVIR Hindu Kush Himalaya Initiative, MENRIS, with financial assistance from USAID and NASA. Training participant were ICIMOD professionals from relevant themes, relevant partner agencies in Nepal, SERVIR-Mekong Hub, and SERVIR-Eastern & Southern Africa Hub.
It is expected that this training will initiate and foster further training whereby workshop participants will take on the role of facilitators to promote institutional capacities in Sentinel satellites data analysis.