New bio-optical processing system

13 November 2023
CERTO scientists have developed an online system to improve the accuracy of above-water measurements of remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) by removing residual surface-reflected skylight.

Remote sensing reflectance (Rrs) is an essential data for water colour remote sensing studies to support algorithm development and atmospheric correction validation. Rrs measured


Satellite image of the Tagus estuary

New approach for estimating suspended solids in coastal and inland waters

29 September 2023
A new semi-analytical method to estimate total suspended solids (TSS) from Sentinel-2 MultiSpectral Instrument (MSI) satellite data has been developed by CERTO scientists. Extensive validation demonstrated the technique reliably estimates TSS across diverse inland and coastal waters, from clear to extremely turbid, outperforming current approaches.

Monitoring TSS is critical for managing inland and coastal aquatic ecosystems that provide key services like water provision, fisheries, and recreation to humanity. However


Sensors on the AMT29 cruise

Revised spectral optimisation approach revolutionises the above-water method for measuring remote-sensing reflectance

28 June 2023

CERTO scientists have made a significant breakthrough in the field of ocean colour remote sensing with the development of a revised spectral optimisation approach to accurately estimate remote-sensing reflectance (Rrs) using the above-water method (AWA).

This innovative approach, detailed in a recently published scientific paper, allows for the removal of surface-reflected radiance, enhancing the precision


The River Nile at sunset

Expanding CERTO's horizons

26 April 2023
CERTO will be expanding our horizons to new regions including the Nile, Ganges and Indus to contribute to the Mega Delta working group of Future Earth Coasts.

CERTO is very pleased to be collaborating with Future Earth Coasts (FEC), which is a global research network that aims to support healthy coasts and oceans for a


CERTO progress meeting participants in Brussels

CERTO progress meeting in Brussels, Belgium

21 February 2023
As we are entering the final months of the CERTO project a progress meeting was held in Brussels and online 26-27 January 2023 to review progress and ensure that we are on track to meet all our objectives by the end of September. The meeting began with a presentation by Steve Groom about the management of the project, outlining the plans for the remainder of the project, including monthly meetings to ensure that progress keeps on track.

Training course onboard Lisboat

Training onboard the Lisboat ferry

24 January 2023
Students from the International Space University learn about CERTO's work onboard Lisboat

CERTO uses TriOS radiometers onboard the Lisboat ferry to take water quality measurements to validate data obtained from satellites. As part of the Space Studies University 2022 summer school training was provided to a


Participants at the CERTO meeting

CERTO progress meeting in Lisbon

30 July 2022
For the first time since the CERTO kick-off meeting in January 2020 we were able to hold a project meeting in person.

The University of Lisbon provided a perfect venue for the meeting and it was fantastic to be able to continue discussions into the evening over a Portuguese meal. A hybrid solution also meant that those unable to travel were


View of the Danube Delta

Filling-in the gaps in the Danube Delta

21 July 2022
Researchers from GeoEcoMar and the University of Stirling participated in a field campaign in the Razelm-Sinoe lagoon system, from the 27th of June to the 3rd of July.

This joint effort was part of the work to characterize Optical Water Types in the Danube Delta, but the travel restrictions of the pandemic made this field campaign impossible until now.

Continuous above


ESA Living Planet Symposium banner

CERTO at the ESA Living Planet Symposium

23 May 2022
Hear the latest news from the CERTO project at ESA's Living Planet Symposium in Bonn, Germany, 23-27 May 2022. 

CERTO scientists will be chairing a session on Colour and light in the ocean from Earth observation and presenting project progress and technical details of our approach to optical water type classification. 


Sampling using the TriOS radiometers in the Tamar estuary

Testing the limits of algorithms

17 May 2022
In the second fieldwork campaign in the Plymouth region during a week in April 2022, we extended sampling inland, towards the upper reaches of the Tamar and Plym estuaries, and seaward off the Breakwater and Whitsand Bay. This gave us good coverage of the transitional waters between riverine and coastal areas and enabled sampling in a wide variety of optical conditions with different sediment particle loads. The CERTO team covered

Venice lagoon

One hundred stations sampled in the Venice Lagoon

16 January 2022
The CNR team carried out extensive calibration and validation fieldwork at over 100 sampling stations in the Lagoon of Venice and in the adjacent coastal areas.

The fieldwork took place between March and August 2021 and was timed to coincide with Sentinel-2 satellite overpasses. The measurement stations were visited with a maximum time difference of one hour from


Following the tide into the Tamar

10 January 2022
The CERTO team sampled in the Plymouth Sound and followed the tidal wave with saline water into the Tamar Estuary for more than 20 km during a field campaign in September 2021.

The aim of this work was to investigate the optical properties of water causing changes in colour observed from satellites along a gradient of salinity.

This study is important to improve satellite remote sensing


Fisalia research vessel sampling in the Tagus

Comparing radiometers in the Tagus

15 November 2021
An extensive field work campaign in the Tagus estuary, Portugal took place in October 2021. 

Two sets of radiometers, one from the CERTO project and the other from the Alfred Wegener Institut were mounted on the Fisália research ship to obtain measurements of water quality that will be used to validate satellite


The So-Rad system at work in the Razelm-Sinoe lagoon

Summer in the Danube Delta and Black Sea

19 October 2021
The plan for the summer season of 2021 was to cover several environments in the Danube Delta and the coastal area of the Black Sea – lagoons, lakes, channels, river mouths, in order to capture the variability of optical properties and in-water parameters. 

Three field campaigns took place, one in the Razelm-Sinoe lagoon and two in the Sulina and Sfantu Gheorghe discharging areas, including the Musura and Sahalin lagoons and the Red Lake.

The team did


Curonian field campaign

13 September 2021
In the Curonian Lagoon a two-day field campaign was performed from 22 to 23 July 2021 to collect water samples and radiometric measurements, synchronous with Sentinel-2, Sentinel-3 and PRISMA satellite acquisitions.

Continuous radiometric measurements from TriOS Hyperspectral Radiometer (University of Stirling) and ROX (CNR) instruments were collected along two different transects into the Lagoon and on a fixed position on a long jetty


CTD and bottle sampling instruments mounted on a frame for in-water sampling

Sampling in the Elbe estuary

6 September 2021
A one-week field campaign was held at the end of June on the Elbe River, starting from just before Hamburg and ending at the river mouth in Cuxhaven, to gather samples at different stations along the river, and at less sampled areas of the river.

The CERTO field campaign was organised by University Stirling with the consultancy of Brockmann Consult, the Certo Elbe Case Study Site lead. Hereon (formerly HZG), the local advisor board member, provided great technical and


Fieldwork in the Danube Delta

29 May 2021
A short field campaign was held in the Danube Delta at the end of April, with the primary aim of testing the So-Rad system.

The Solar Tracking Radiometry platform (So-Rad) is designed to control and automate underway radiometric measurements for satellite validation from ships and buoys. It consists of two sets of Trios spectroradiometers


Screenshot of online meeting

CERTO General Assembly

27 February 2021

The CERTO General Assembly was held over two days in January and attended by 34 people from all parts of the project with the aim of reviewing progress on the project and preparing for the first EU Review Meeting later in the month.

The meeting opened with an update from Project Coordinator, Prof. Steve Groom who noted that all deliverables from 2020 have been submitted and are available to download from the CERTO website. However, he cautioned that some future


Fieldwork and online meetings

CERTO's first year

31 December 2020
CERTO has had a productive first year, despite worldwide travel and working restrictions throughout most of 2020, with successful fieldwork and desk-based studies undertaken.

The CERTO project got off to a great start in January 2020 with a two-day kick off meeting hosted by Plymouth Marine Laboratory. Partners from all seven institutes across Europe gave presentations on their work packages and discussed how


CERTO meeting participants

CERTO progress meeting

21 August 2020
The first CERTO progress meeting was held online, 30-31 July 2020, due to current travel restrictions.  The online platform worked well and it enabled more participants to be able to attend than might have otherwise been possible, with representatives from all the workpackages and over 20 people in attendance.

The meeting started with an introduction from project coordinator Prof Steve Groom. He reported that 11 deliverables had already been reviewed by the management workpackage and submitted to the EU. However, there were some minor


Fieldwork in Adriatic Sea

Adriatic Field Campaign

12 May 2020
An early field campaign of the CERTO project took place in February 2020, on board the Dallaporta vessel in the North Adriatic Sea. The objectives of the campaign were to characterize the hydrological, biogeochemical and sedimentological properties of the study area during the maximum river runoff phase.  In situ measurements of hydrological properties and

Group shot of CERTO participants

CERTO Kick-off meeting

12 March 2020
The CERTO project has started with a productive two-day meeting hosted by Plymouth Marine Laboratory in January 2020.

Partners from 7 institutes across Europe gave presentations on their workpackages and discussed how they were going to work together towards the overall goal of harmonising water monitoring practices across marine, coastal and inland


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CERTO in the media

How can we leverage space innovation to take climate action? Opinion piece by Climate-KIC, including description of work with CERTO. 4 October 2021.

Research explained by scientists: GeoEcoMar is involved in 3 European projects that develop applications for Copernicus and NASA satellite data. and 24 April 2020 (in Romanian)

CERTO: monitoring water quality at a global scale. News article on Future Earth Coasts website. 6 April 2021.

A short film on DANUBIUS-RI featuring several CERTO scientists. 


CERTO Newsletter

An e-newsletter is distributed every six months with details of project progress and highlights. The first edition was distributed in August 2020, shortly after the six-month progress meeting. If you would like to receive the newsletter please complete the short "Register for updates" form in the footer of the website. The next edition will be produced in early 2021, please email with any contributions.