June 8th 2022 was World Oceans Day. This year’s edition marks an important anniversary, as World Oceans Day was first declared as 8 June, 1992 in Rio de Janeiro at the Global Forum, a parallel event at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which provided an opportunity for non-government organizations and civil society to express their views on environmental issues.
World Oceans Day is a moment to celebrate the major role that oceans have in everyday life, as lungs of our Planet, a major source of food and medicine and a key part of the biosphere. Oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface, produce at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans and is a key resource to our economy, with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
At the same time, this is the chance to inform citizens on the impact of human activity on the oceans and raise awareness on the urgence to take action to support the sustainable management of the world’s oceans and safeguard this precious resource.
To this end, Earth Observation (EO) can be a powerful tool. It provides key data to monitor ocean environment, thus improving climate models, forecasts and decision-making. Some examples? Existing satellite applications can be used to observe and understand how phytoplankton (one of the world’s most important producers of oxygen) responds to global warming, analysing coastal waters to support coastal development planning and risk assessment, monitoring oceans’ currents and water quality.
Thanks to the use of two disruptive technologies, spatial light modulators and compressive sensing, the SURPRISE project develops a demonstrator of a super-spectral EO payload (sensor) with enhanced capability in spatial resolution, on-board data processing and encryption functionalities. As such, this could benefit EO by improving the frequency, reliability and accuracy of images collected.
Therefore, what a better way to celebrate World’s Ocean Day 2022 than to deepen discussion of how the SURPRISE work can actually help advancing EO for the marine sector?
On 8th June 2022, the SURPRISE partners have met (virtually) with expert potential end-users of EO applications for the marine sector. The engagement webinar, organised by the SURPRISE coordinator IFAC-CNR together with partners ACRI-ST, Resolvo and Leonardo, had the objective to better understand end-user needs, present the current status of SURPRISE work and open a discussion on the potential benefits of our concept for remote sensing marine products.
Invited external experts were Hubert Loisel for the Laboratory of Oceanography and Geosciences (LOG) of University of Littoral, Héloise Lavigne from the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, Hongyan Xi from the Alfred Wegener Institute and David Doxaran from the Oceanographic Observatory of Villefranche sur Mer. They provided extremely useful input concerning their work and needs and participated in a fruitful exchange with the SURPRISE partners, bringing precious insights on the possible added-value of the SURPRISE concept for their field.
This webinar has been a key milestone on the SURPRISE exploitation path, but it’s just the first of a long series of webinars with end-users and other key stakeholders. Keep following this page to be informed about the next ones!
Cover picture: Photo by samsommer on Unsplash