A major European joint research project has kicked off to establish the infrastructure and expertise needed to make earth measurements which are sufficiently accurate to make reliable predictions about the effects of climate change. The project is a consortium of European National Measurement Institutes (NMIs) led by the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and will devote some 28 man years of effort to bringing greater accuracy to data acquired by the European Earth Observation (EO) community.
Monitoring the Earth system is crucial to understanding environmental changes and to developing long term mitigation and adaptation strategies for climate change. Global observations can only be made from space. Although such observations are being made, the challenging environment limits the accuracy of current measurement systems. In the case of climate measurements, uncertainty is often a factor of 10 larger than required by climate scientists, who often need measurements of the same level of accuracy found in national measurement laboratories.
The project, European Metrology for Earth Observation and Climate (MetEOC) will build a coordinated international capacity and demonstrate its potential capabilities as it seeks to develop a virtual centre for excellence. Activities will initially focus on the optical domain. This future European Metrology Centre for Earth Observation and Climate (EMCEOC) will provide a one stop shop for builders, calibrators and users of satellites and other in-situ EO instruments. Its establishment is timely as the new Quality Assurance Framework for Earth Observation (QA4EO) starts to become more widely implemented. The key principle of QA4EO requires all data and derived knowledge to provide a quality metric based on evidence of its traceability to a community defined reference standard, ideally based on SI units, in a coherent and consistent way.
The project is structured into four technical themes:
|Contact: David Lewis|
National Physical Laboratory