FFSAR- Coastal

Fully Focused SAR Altimetry and Innovative River Level Gauges for Coastal Monitoring

Home | Documents | Products | Publications

FFSAR-Coastal is a project funded by ESA to apply the Fully Focused SAR altimetry processor on Sentinel-3 data and evaluate its potential to make a significant new contribution to coastal and estuarine monitoring systems. Innovative in situ water level gauges will be used for validation. Two different environments will be considered:

  • The Severn Estuary and river: A highly dynamic mixed tidal estuary environment, the confluence between a river and its estuary experiencing large tidal range and strong tidal currents.
  • The lower Rhone Delta and Camargue: A low lying, flat river delta and wetland environment, susceptible to inundation and rising water levels.

By studying these two very different environments, the potential applicability and benefits offered by FF SAR altimeter data in other coastal, estuarine and delta locations will be demonstrated.

Applications will focus on the benefits offered by the very high along-track resolution in water level and backscatter that can be provided through FF SAR processing. User agencies and groups from the two regions will be consulted to identify gaps and priorities for monitoring requirements. Time series will be provided by autonomous in situ microstation gauges, drone-mounted instruments will be used to provide water level profiles between the fixed locations and satellite tracks.

Latest news

Final VorteX.io microstation installations (6th Sept 2022):

Two further VorteX.io microstations were successfully installed at locations on the Severn Estuary coast on 6th September, on the A48 bridge over the River Usk in Newport, and on the Grand Pier at Weston Super Mare. This completes the installation of new gauges for the project.

              image001             image001

The micro-station installations at Newport (left) and Weston Super Mare (right)

                  image001

Map of the Sentinel 3A (brown) and 3B (green) satellite tracks and micro-station sites (yellow pins). Google Earth

Fully Focused Processing of SAR altimeter data near Newport, and new application (15th August 2022):

Around 30 cycles of Sentinel-3B SAR altimeter data in the area around Newport, UK, have been processed using FFSAR processing, with a resolution of 115 m along the track.

Sentinel-3 flies over Newport every 27 days, and some of the overflights took place during high tide, where the satellite could measure the sea surface, and some overflights occurred during low tide, when there was no water in the Severn in the area of Newport.

The results show that during low tide, the altimeter is able to measure the height of the seabed with a very high precision. This is very interesting since in-situ surveying for mapping the bathymetry of the Severn can be challenging due to  its soft sediment bottom and it's high tidal range of up to 14 m. In addition, bathymetric data from any kind of survey in the Severn are quickly outdated because of sediment transportation. Continuous measurements from satellites would therefore be a great addition to the existing bathymetric data sets in the area.

More detail is available in a short report available here.

                        

  Aerial photograph of Newport docks and the River Usk (credit southwalesports.co.uk)

       

 Individual Sentinel 3B ground tracks over Newport (left), retrieved surface heights from FFSAR processing (right).

First VorteX.io microstations installed (27th July 2022):

Two VorteX.io microstations were sucessfully installed on bridges near the Rhone outflow into the Gulf of Lion on the 27th July,  at Port Saint Louis, and Port de Bouc - Fos sur Mer.

              image001             image001

The micro-station installations at Port Saint Louis (left) and Port de Bouc - Fos sur Mer (right)

                  image001

Map of the Sentinel 3A (brown) and 3B (green) satellite tracks and micro-station sites (yellow pins). Google Earth

Study areas

Severn Estuary

image001

Rhone Delta

image002

Contact

Project Manager: David Cotton, SatOC (d.cotton at satoc.eu)

Interested?

If you are interested in accessing any of the data sets contact the Project Manager at the above address.

Project activities

Task 1 (March 2022 to February 2023):
User Engagement and Application Road Map

  • Review with stakeholders to identify key issues and requirements.
  • Workshops to present project results and invite recommendations.
  • Development of proposals for implementing a long term solution to meet user needs, adding to existing networks.
  • The output will be a publicly available Application Road Map

Task 2 (March 2022 to February 2023): Fully Focused SAR processing and water level analysis

  • DTU will implement the FF SAR SMAP processor and apply to Sentinel 3A and 3B data over the two study regions (Severn Estuary in the UK, and the Rhone delta in southern France)
  • The processed FF SAR data will be validated against in situ data, and evaluated in terms of its ability to map small scale coastal features.
    Outputs
  • Data Sets: data will be made available online via links on the project website
  • Technical Report: Validation and evaluation results will be provided in a Product Validation Report

Task 3 (March 2022 to February 2023): Installation and operation of microstations, drone campaign

  • VorteX.Io will install 2 micro-stations in each study region, as soon as possible to maximise the time series.
  • A drone survey will be carried out in each region to perform water surface measurements to link the in-situ data to the satellite tracks.
  • Outputs
  • Data Sets: Campaign data will be made available via links on the project website
  • Campaign Report: A Campaign Report will provide analysis of data and summarise the operations.

Meetings

Project Kick Off (March 2022): Planning and confirmation of project timetable

User Engagement Workshop (17th May 2022):  (Online meeting) Introduce project, gather feedback from users in the two locations.

Mid Term Review (September 2022):  Review of stakeholder input, presentation of interim data sets and validation results.

User Workshops (January 2023): Presentation of project results, gather feedback and recommendations from users.

Final Review (February 2023): Presentation and review of project results.

Project team

satoc                  noc

dtuspace            vortex.io

CCO                ESA


Satellite Oceanographic Consultants Ltd 2022