an ESA DUE initiative


International LST and Emissivity Group

The International Land Surface Temperature and Emissivity Working Group (ILSTE-WG) aims to provide advice and recommendations to the wider scientific and user communities on the best practices for retrieval, validation and exploitation of Land Surface Temperature (LST), Ice Surface Temperature (IST), Lake Surface Water Temperature (LSWT), and Land Surface Emissivity (LSE).

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University of Leicester

The Earth Observation Science group is an interdisciplinary team based on the Departments of Physics/Astronomy, Chemistry and Geography. A strong component of the team, led by Professor John Remedios, is based in the Space Research Centre of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, which houses one of the largest space research groups in Europe. The other major axes of the team include the Atmospheric Chemistry group with its links to atmospheric chemistry, ground-based and aircraft measurements; and the Geography department with its heritage in land surface phenomena such as vegetation variations and fire disturbance. A range of research areas are of interest, linked by a core goal which is to participate in and to lead the design, build, validation, data analysis and exploitation of increasingly sophisticated and powerful sensors that are now being flown on satellites. The group particularly focuses on the use of Earth Observation (EO) space systems to understand regional and global causes of variability of climate, particularly in the land/ocean surface and the atmosphere; other remote sensing systems are also extensively used such as aircraft, ground-based, and ship-borne sensors.

Role in the project:

To provide the overall leadership of the Project (John Remedios – Project Director) and the scientific and technical management of the Project (Darren Ghent – Project Scientist). Specifically, they will be responsible for: the scientific and technical quality of the output datasets and documentation; federating the user community – including setting up and maintaining the International LST Working Group (LST-WG); delivery of the ATSR LST Climate Data Record; development of the prototype Sentinel-3 LST products; and provision of the single-sensor and Merged LST products from polar-orbiters.


University of Reading

The University of Reading has an enviable reputation in atmospheric and climate system modeling and research. The Department of Meteorology is the largest in Europe with >25 teaching staff, 80 research staff and around 50 PhD students. It has received the highest research rating of 5* in all UK Research Assessment Exercises, indicating an international reputation in all aspects of research.

The Department hosts three NERC-funded research centres, including the Climate Programme of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS-Climate), as well as several Met Office research groups. It is a member of Reading’s Walker Institute for Climate System Research, established to promote integrative and climate applications based research across the University.

The deep involvement of the Department in Earth Observation is illustrated by the presence of the Directorate of and the largest research unit of the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO). The NCEO has played a key role in developing the Earth Observation program of the UK over the past 6 years, and itself emerged, in part, from the Data Assimilation Research Centre which addressed EO and assimilation and was led from Reading. The NCEO unit at Reading continues to have a strong focus on data assimilation with expertise in ocean, atmosphere and land surface observation, modelling and assimilation. Through the NCEO the University of Reading has collaborative activities with nearly all of the EO active research institutes within the UK. The research group regularly has support coming from NERC, EPSRC, EU, ESA and DIUS, as well as from BMT (British Maritime Technology) and Schlumberger. NCEO staff at Reading are and have been active in ESA projects related to coupled assimilation, visualisation of EO, aerosols and sea surface temperature. Reading has invested in the space innovation initiatives within the UK (Satellite Applications Catapult, and JASMIN/CEMS facilities).  

Role in the project:

To manage the user inputs and user evaluation of the project outputs. Specifically they will create and maintain the User Requirements Document, and will manage the progress of the User Case Studies. They will also design and implement the Cloud Clearing Round Robin activity including the development of the expert-screened scenes.



Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) is a Portuguese Public Laboratory which promotes scientific research and provides services for the ocean and the atmosphere. IPMA is the National Meteorological Service (NMS) and, as such, assumes the following responsibilities: (i) to monitor weather and climate in Portugal; (ii) to issue weather forecasts and, when appropriate, meteorological warnings; (iii) to operate and maintain the network of national meteorological stations; (iv) to monitor the seismic activity and monitor the network of seismic stations; (v) to develop R&D in the fields of meteorology, climatology, earth observation and seismology.

Other attributions include maintaining the link with EUMETSAT, ECMWF, WMO, and establishing national and international research partnerships. Applications of Earth Observation data are specified as one of the current key areas of R&D. IPMA has about 500 workers, which include technical staff, forecasters and researchers.

To fulfil its operational commitments and R&D initiatives, IPMA makes extensive use of remote sensing data, mostly obtained from meteorological satellites. For more than 10-years, IPMA has been leading the EUMETSAT Satellite Applications Facility on Land Surface Analysis (LSA SAF), which is focused on the development of remote sensing applications to characterize land surfaces, evaluate the surface radiation budget, and monitor vegetation and wild fires. IPMA is responsible for the maintenance of the LSA SAF operational service, including near-real time data production, distribution, archiving, and user support.
IPMA initiated the development of applications for non-European satellites (e.g., GOES from NOAA, MTSAT from JMA) within the framework of FP-7 Geoland2 - the pilot project for the GMES Land Monitoring Core Service. As a follow-up of this work, IPMA is now part of two Copernicus (former GMES) initial operational services – Global Land and MACC-II. In both cases, IPMA provides near real time products based on data from several geostationary platforms to produce Land Surface Temperature (a merged product of geostationary LSTs) and Fire Radiative Power, respectively.
Recently, IPMA has become engaged in WACMOS-ET, an ESA funded project lead by ESTELLUS. Within this framework, IPMA is revisiting LST algorithms to be applied to AATSR data, particularly to improve the atmospheric and surface emissivity correction. It is also planned to explore methodologies to combine AATSR LST with coarser geostationary retrievals.

Role in the project:

To manage the overall development of the merged LST data set from thermal infrared and passive microwave satellite data; and specifically the Merged LST Product from Geostationary satellites and Near-Real Time (NRT) demonstration of the Merged LST Product. Additionally, they will provide the single-sensor Geostationary LST datasets.



The IMK-ASF (Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research - Atmospheric Trace Gases and Remote Sensing), is one of four departments of the IMK. The IMK is an institute at the KIT, which is member of the Helmholtz Association - the largest science organization in Germany. IMK-ASF is one of the world’s leading institutes in the development of novel instruments and methods for atmospheric remote-sensing. For decades it has played a leading role in atmospheric Fourier-transform spectrometry, in particular with the development of the MIPAS ("Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding") satellite instrument, which is also employed in balloon- and aircraft-borne versions for dedicated measurement campaigns. Located in many parts of the world, IMK-ASF’s ground based stations belong to various international networks and provide validation data for satellites and give insights into atmospheric and surface processes.

Ground-based Fourier-transform spectrometry and microwave radiometers are operated in Kiruna (Sweden), Izana (Tenerife), Karlsruhe (Germany), Addis Abeba (Ethiopia) and Merida (Venezuela), partly within the framework of the NDACC ("Network for Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change"). The analysis and interpretation of the measured data is another key research feature of IMK-ASF and includes the development of state-of-the-art retrieval algorithms.

Role in the project:

To manage all validation and intercomparison activities, including in situ validation, radiance-based validation, and intercomparison of LST products. This involves developing and maintaining the GlobTemperature Matchup Database (GT_MDB).



ACRI-ST has more than twenty-two years of experience in all phases of Earth Observation missions: space segment phase A, B, C & D (mission analysis, core expertise on optical payloads, simulators & prototypes development, data processing specifications), Ground segment operations phase E (routine CAL/VAL monitoring, algorithms & processors evolution, missions reprocessing), and EO data exploitation (downstream services such as water quality assessment, air quality monitoring, etc.).

The references provided below illustrate this experience and capability in several fields of critical importance to satisfy the requirements expressed in the present call:

  • In-depth understanding of EO data: ESLs coordinator, expertise in calibration, validation and exploitation. ACRI-ST is also an end-user of EO data.
  • EO data processing services:
    • deployment of service infrastructure,
    • processing system management and orchestration
    • acquisition, consolidation, (re)-processing, bulk processing, quality assessment,
    • archive and dissemination of EO data and products
    • configuration control of EO data and processing systems
  • Ground processors:
    • prototype specification, development, validation
    • operational software implementation, integration, configuration and quality assessment

Sentinel 3 SLSTR and SYN PAC
In the context of the GMES Sentinels Programme, ACRI-ST has been selected to host and operate the Processing and Archiving Center (PAC) for SLSTR and SYN products of the Sentinel-3 mission.

Sentinel 2 MPC
In the context of the GMES Sentinels Programme, ACRI-ST is member of the consortium led by CS, France, which has been selected to operate the Sentinel-2 Mission Performance Centre. ACRI-ST is in charge of the hosting of the MPC Coordination Centre that is collocated with the S3 SLSTR and SYN PAC.

Role in the project:

To provide the non-scientific management of the Project (Jerome Bruniquel – Project Manager). Additionally they will design, develop and maintain the GlobTemperature Website and Data Portal, whereby they will provide primary hosting of the majority of the GlobTemperature output datasets.


Met Office Hadley Centre

The Met Office Hadley Centre is one of the UK's foremost climate change research centres. We produce world-class guidance on the science of climate change and provide a focus in the UK for the scientific issues associated with climate science. Largely co-funded by Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), we provide in-depth information to, and advise, the Government on climate science issues.

As one of the world's leading centres for climate science research, our scientists make significant contributions to peer-reviewed literature and to a variety of climate science reports, including the Assessment Reports of the IPCC. We have world-leading expertise in running global and regional atmospheric/ocean/land models at the longer range for climate research and on seasonal and decadal timescales. This means that by combining the most comprehensive regional climate projections ever produced with the latest world-leading science, computing power and expert scientists, we can provide regional climate change advice vital to risk management, as well as providing advice to stakeholders on critical planning timescales.
Combined with this, the Climate Monitoring and Attribution group monitors the current state of the climate, putting it into its historical context and attributing changes and climate-related events to their likely natural or man-made causes. Underpinning this work is the development of a wide range of data sets and analyses of climate variables, made publicly available for research via, amongst other channels. A particular focus is the development of data sets and analyses of surface temperature over land and ocean: sea surface temperature, land air temperature, marine air temperature and analyses of combined global surface temperature. Our data sets are used extensively in Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and by many researchers world-wide.
The development of Climate Services brings with it the need to further develop our climate data sets and analyses to meet the varying needs of different sectors of society.

Role in the project:

To undertake a User Case Study on “Use of LST in improving Earth surface temperature reconstruction for climate monitoring”



ESTELLUS is the winner of the 2008 national French competition for promising young innovative enterprises (Concours National d’Aide à la Création d'Entreprises de Technologies Innovantes) from the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

Special emphasis has been put on the development of multi-satellite methodologies to retrieve complex surface parameters such as surface temperature and turbulent land surface fluxes. ESTELLUS collaborates with national and international institutions and regularly participates in ESA, EU, and NASA studies. ESTELLUS is also involved in several national and international committees such as the GEWEX Radiation Panel.

Role in the project:

To undertake a User Case Study on “Using GlobTemperature LST to estimate evapotranspiration”. Additionally, they will deliver single-sensor Microwave LST datasets and provide Microwave LST inputs to the Merged LST Product



Founded in 1872, Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) is a public institute, with 400 employees and more than 600 associated observers, and an annual turnover of 250 million Danish kroner. The main objectives of DMI are:

 To make observations
 To provide forecasts and other information
 To communicate these to the public, and
 To contribute to the development of the meteorological, oceanographic, climate and related geophysical sciences.
DMI provides meteorological, oceanographic and related services for the community within the large geographical area of the Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland), including surrounding waters and airspace. DMIs area of activity comprises forecasting and warning services as well as continuous monitoring of weather, sea state, climate, and related environmental conditions in the atmosphere, over land and in the sea. The purpose of these activities is to assist in the protection of life and property as well as to provide a basis for economic and environmental planning (aviation, national defence, shipping, agriculture, sporting and recreational events, etc.).
The institute is part of the HIRLAM developing corporation and is operationally running a number of HIRLAM numerical forecast models for European and Arctic regions. Also regional and large scale ocean models (HIROMB-BOOS and HYCOM) are operational at the institute. DMI is part of a corporation developing a coupled atmosphere, ocean and sea ice climate model (EC-Earth). Further, a high resolution coupled ocean and ice forecast model (HYCOM/CICE) is implemented for operational use, to serve the public and private companies, such as oil exploration companies with information about the ocean and ice conditions in the Arctic Ocean.
DMI has the national responsibility for ice charting in the Greenland waters and use satellite observations extensively to solve this task. In addition, DMI is responsible for the production of ice surface temperature products within the EUMETSAT Ocean and Sea Ice Application Facility (OSI-SAF) and MYOCEAN-2. DMI is part of the Arctic Regional Ocean Observing System (Arctic-ROOS) and holds a very large archive of satellite SAR observations and in situ observations dating back from 1872. In addition, DMI is the real-time in situ sea level centre for the BOOS and NOOS communities as well as in the MyOcean In situ TAC.

Role in the project:

To undertake a User Case Study on “The effect of satellite derived ice temperature on the modelled sea-ice cover and volume in the Arctic Ocean”


University of Copenhagen

The case study will be carried out at the Department of Geoscience and Natural Management (DGN) of the University of Copenhagen. This department is the result of a recent merger between the Department of Geography and Geology and the Department of Forest and Landscape.

The Earth Observation group (EO-DGN) has long time experience in using remote sensing data in dynamic simulation models in a range of larger projects, and the majority of the remote sensing research at the department is devoted to processes in the bio-geosphere ( Emphasis has been put on vegetation, hydrology and long term changes in relation to climate changes. We are currently part of several national and international related projects (CaLM, HOBE, I-REDD+, LaSyRe-Sahel, VegTrends) on evapotranspiration, vegetation/soil moisture modelling and vegetation trends and productivity.

Our group has a long track record on using thermal infrared data for modelling land surface processes, including soil moisture. One of the milestones in our group is the definition and development of the Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index, TVDI (Sandholt et al. 2002). Current research on the TVDI in our group is based on the use of SIWSI

Role in the project:

To undertake a User Case Study on “Soil moisture assessment using the triangle method with SEVIRI and AATSR land surface temperature”


Met Office Numerical Weather Prediction Services

The Met Office based in Exeter in the UK is one of the leading meteorological services in the world. The Office is a world leading organisation in Numerical Weather Prediction and Climate and Climate Change, and is involved in many collaborative research activities and projects. There is a continuing commitment from the Office to developing, promoting and delivering customer driven services in the natural environment, and in working more closely with customers to improve their decision making and risk management through better understanding of weather, climate and the natural environment. Throughout all of these activities the Office provides underpinning research expertise to support the development of numerical weather prediction and climate prediction models to meet customer requirements.


Role in the project:

To undertake a User Case Study on “Assessment of the impact of the assimilation of Satellite Land Surface Temperature within an NWP system”