The Horizon2020 project, “Evolution of Copernicus Land Services based on Sentinel data” (ECoLaSS) aims at developing innovative methods, algorithms and prototypes to improve and invent future pre-operational Copernicus Land services from 2020 onwards, for the pan-European and Global Components. ECoLaSS will make full use of dense Sentinel time series of optical (S-2, S-3) and Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data (S-1). These prototypes shall be suggested to EC and the relevant decision-makers for qualifying as candidates for operational integration into the future Copernicus Land Monitoring Service from 2020 onwards. Rapidly evolving scientific as well as user requirements will be analyzed in support of a future pan-European roll-out of new/improved Copernicus Land Monitoring services, and the transfer to global applications.
The overall duration of the project will be 36 months (Jan 2017 – Dec 2019), with two development cycles of 18 months each. Service requirements assessment will be performed involving the main Copernicus Land stakeholders and users, and will thus steer methodological developments, such as: (i) Sentinel-1/-2/-3 time series integration, (ii) time series pre-processing methods, (iii) thematic classification and (iv) change detection from time series analysis, and (v) the development of an incremental update methodology for the Copernicus Land High Resolution Layers (HRLs). These methods will be applied on test sites, located both in Europe and Africa, prior to a prototyping phase. Larger demonstration sites representing various bio-geographic regions were selected to implement the following innovative prototypes: (i) indicators and variables from high spatial and temporal resolution data, for both the Continental and Global Component products; (ii) incremental update strategies for the main pan-European products (i.e. the HRLs); (iii) improved permanent grassland identification; (iv) crop area and crop status/parameters monitoring; (v) further novel LC/LU products.
Finally, the main target to assess/benchmark all operational products in view of their innovation potential and technical excellence will be performed, leading to a strategy for an operationalization framework for a future pan-European roll-out of improved or newly developed Copernicus Land Monitoring services. It is expected that such new services will provide a variety of inter-linkages with other LC/LU projects, and bring new opportunities for a wide range of dedicated applications to the market from 2020 onwards.