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 work may experience delays due to restrictions imposed by the COVID pandemic. A decision will be taken whether to request an extension to the project in April when it is hoped that the potential to travel and undertake fieldwork is clearer.
The Communications Work package presented their outputs from the past year, including the website, social media, and leaflet and noted that the communications plan had been reviewed at the end of the year, which saw good progress against the original plan.
Dr Federico Falcini outlined the progress identifying community requirements for CERTO products. Discussions with users in the case study areas has found that the sectors which most users were interested in were water pollution, coastal protection, sustainable marine-living resources, and basic and applied research. User requirements for spatial and temporal resolution have been defined, with many users requiring higher spatial resolution than which is currently readily available from other sources.
In situ data collection has been severely impeded by the COVID restrictions during 2020, however we were fortunate to be able to undertake a field campaign in the Adriatic Sea in early in the year and some local data collection has continued in the Venice Lagoon, Curonian Lagoon and Plymouth Sound. Radiometers have also been purchased and which will be installed on vessels in the Danube Delta and Tagus estuary. Prof. Andrew Tyler reported than plans for fieldwork in 2021 were being discussed, which will be dependent upon travel restrictions being lifted.
Tom Jackson reported that good progress had been made on the optical water type classification, and work is ongoing to develop an automated process for Regional Optical Reports which will allow for a rapid assessment of a region of interest. Work is continuing assigning water class sets and refining the code base which will then be extended to Sentinel-2 and in-water algorithms will be assessed.
As part of the land-sea interface and atmospheric correction work, two pixel-based and two image-based algorithms have been evaluated and the impact of sun glint reviewed. For the next year work will continue improving the algorithms and analysing bathymetry and adjacency effects on satellite data.
Work on development of indicators began part way through 2020 and the first deliverable submitted in November. The most relevant parameters to users have been identified. It was noted that most users required a high spatial resolution of 10-100m, and that chlorophyll and total suspended matter were selected in all case study areas. Sea surface temperature and turbidity were also useful parameters, and most users would prefer daily data.