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Topical Collection "Sentinel-2: Science and Applications"

Editors

Prof. Dr. Jadu Dash
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Interests: land surface phenology; Earth observation; biophysical variables; agriculture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Olivier Hagolle
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Centre d’Etudes Spatiales de la BIOsphère (CESBIO), 18 avenue E.Belin, 31401 Toulous, France
Interests: optical remote sensing; earth observation; analysis ready data; absolute calibration; cloud detection; atmospheric correction; land surface monitoring
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Dr. Jochem Verrelst
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Senior scientist, Laboratory for Earth Observation, Image Processing Laboratory - Scientific Park, University of Valencia, C/ Catedrático José Beltrán, 2, 46980 Paterna, Valencia, Spain
Interests: imaging spectroscopy; vegetation properties retrieval; FLEX, vegetation fluorescence; optical remote sensing; radiative transfer models; retrieval methods
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Mr. Quinten Vanhellemont
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium
Interests: atmospheric correction; satellite image processing
Dr. Jordi Inglada
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
CESBIO/CNES, BPI 811, 18 Avenue E. Berlin, 31401 Toulouse, CEDEX 9, France
Interests: land cover mapping; satellite image time series; image classification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Tuomas Häme
E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, Finland
Interests: forest biomass and carbon; forest management support with remote sensing; forest inventory and statistical techniques; change detection; automatic and adaptive image analysis systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

With two identical (twin) satellites in orbit, Sentinel-2 (A and B) now provide unprecedented coverage of the land Earth surface at 5 days revisit time, in several carefully chosen spectral channels, including channels designed to facilitate the atmospheric/radiometric correction of the data streams. In this Collection, we wish to collate papers dealing with this sensor, its application and related science. Also highly welcome are those papers combining Sentinel-2 with other satellite data. Typical applications and problems studied with Sentinel-2 include the following (non-exhaustive) list:

  • Land cover/land use classification
  • Change detection
  • Precision agriculture and monitoring of agricultural land
  • Forestry and natural resources
  • Land surface phenology and monitoring of phenology stages
  • Contribution to Essential Climate Variables (ECV) monitoring
  • Coastal zones and inland water
  • Data assimilation in dynamic process models
  • Data fusion
  • Cloud detection and atmospheric correction
  • Cal/Val activities

Prof. Dr. Clement Atzberger
Prof. Dr. Jadu Dash
Mr. Hagolle Olivier
Dr. Jochem Verrelst
Dr. Quinten Vanhellemont
Dr. Jordi Inglada
Prof. Dr. Tuomas Häme
Collection Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sentinel-2
  • Time series
  • Land use and land cover mapping
  • Retrieval of Earth surface variables
  • Land surface phenology
  • Data fusion

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (16 papers)

2021

Jump to: 2020, 2019, 2018

Article
Understanding the Requirements for Surveys to Support Satellite-Based Crop Type Mapping: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(23), 4749; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13234749 - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 268
Abstract
This paper provides recommendations on how large-scale household surveys should be conducted to generate the data needed to train models for satellite-based crop type mapping in smallholder farming systems. The analysis focuses on maize cultivation in Malawi and Ethiopia, and leverages rich, georeferenced [...] Read more.
This paper provides recommendations on how large-scale household surveys should be conducted to generate the data needed to train models for satellite-based crop type mapping in smallholder farming systems. The analysis focuses on maize cultivation in Malawi and Ethiopia, and leverages rich, georeferenced plot-level data from national household surveys that were conducted in 2018–20 and integrated with Sentinel-2 satellite imagery and complementary geospatial data. To identify the approach to survey data collection that yields optimal data for training remote sensing models, 26,250 in silico experiments are simulated within a machine learning framework. The best model is then applied to map seasonal maize cultivation from 2016 to 2019 at 10-m resolution in both countries. The analysis reveals that smallholder plots with maize cultivation can be identified with up to 75% accuracy. Collecting full plot boundaries or complete plot corner points provides the best quality of information for model training. Classification performance peaks with slightly less than 60% of the training data. Seemingly little erosion in accuracy under less preferable approaches to georeferencing plots results in the total area under maize cultivation being overestimated by 0.16–0.47 million hectares (8–24%) in Malawi. Full article
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Article
Estimating Crop Biophysical Parameters Using Machine Learning Algorithms and Sentinel-2 Imagery
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(21), 4314; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13214314 - 27 Oct 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Global food security is critical to eliminating hunger and malnutrition. In the changing climate, farmers in developing countries must adopt technologies and farming practices such as precision agriculture (PA). PA-based approaches enable farmers to cope with frequent and intensified droughts and heatwaves, optimising [...] Read more.
Global food security is critical to eliminating hunger and malnutrition. In the changing climate, farmers in developing countries must adopt technologies and farming practices such as precision agriculture (PA). PA-based approaches enable farmers to cope with frequent and intensified droughts and heatwaves, optimising yields, increasing efficiencies, and reducing operational costs. Biophysical parameters such as Leaf Area Index (LAI), Leaf Chlorophyll Content (LCab), and Canopy Chlorophyll Content (CCC) are essential for characterising field-level spatial variability and thus are necessary for enabling variable rate application technologies, precision irrigation, and crop monitoring. Moreover, robust machine learning algorithms offer prospects for improving the estimation of biophysical parameters due to their capability to deal with non-linear data, small samples, and noisy variables. This study compared the predictive performance of sparse Partial Least Squares (sPLS), Random Forest (RF), and Gradient Boosting Machines (GBM) for estimating LAI, LCab, and CCC with Sentinel-2 imagery in Bothaville, South Africa and identified, using variable importance measures, the most influential bands for estimating crop biophysical parameters. The results showed that RF was superior in estimating all three biophysical parameters, followed by GBM which was better in estimating LAI and CCC, but not LCab, where sPLS was relatively better. Since all biophysical parameters could be achieved with RF, it can be considered a good contender for operationalisation. Overall, the findings in this study are significant for future biophysical product development using RF to reduce reliance on many algorithms for specific parameters, thus facilitating the rapid extraction of actionable information to support PA and crop monitoring activities. Full article
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Article
Prototyping a Generic Algorithm for Crop Parameter Retrieval across the Season Using Radiative Transfer Model Inversion and Sentinel-2 Satellite Observations
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(18), 3659; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13183659 - 13 Sep 2021
Viewed by 483
Abstract
In this study, Sentinel-2 data were used for the retrieval of three key biophysical parameters of crops: leaf area index (LAI), leaf chlorophyll content (LCC), and leaf water content (LWC) for dominant crop types in the Czech Republic, including winter wheat (Triticum [...] Read more.
In this study, Sentinel-2 data were used for the retrieval of three key biophysical parameters of crops: leaf area index (LAI), leaf chlorophyll content (LCC), and leaf water content (LWC) for dominant crop types in the Czech Republic, including winter wheat (Triticum aestivum), spring barley (Hordeum vulgare), winter rapeseed (Brassica napus subsp. napus), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), sugar beet (Beta vulgaris), and corn (Zea mays subsp. Mays) in different stages of crop development. Artificial neural networks were applied in combination with an approach using look-up tables that is based on PROSAIL simulations to retrieve the biophysical properties tailored for each crop type. Crop-specific PROSAIL model optimization and validation were based upon a large dataset of in situ measurements collected in 2017 and 2018 in lowland of Central Bohemia region. For LCC and LAI, respectively, low relative root mean square error (rRMSE; 25%, 37%) was achieved. Additionally, a relatively strong correlation with in situ measurements (r = 0.80) was obtained for LAI. On the contrary, the results of the LWC parameter retrieval proved to be unsatisfactory. We have developed a generic tool for biophysical monitoring of agricultural crops based on the interpretation of Sentinel-2 satellite data by inversion of the radiation transfer model. The resulting crop condition maps can serve as precision agriculture inputs for selective fertilizer and irrigation application as well as for yield potential assessment. Full article
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Article
Mapping Crop Types and Cropping Systems in Nigeria with Sentinel-2 Imagery
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(17), 3523; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13173523 - 05 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 786
Abstract
Reliable crop type maps from satellite data are an essential prerequisite for quantifying crop growth, health, and yields. However, such maps do not exist for most parts of Africa, where smallholder farming is the dominant system. Prevalent cloud cover, small farm sizes, and [...] Read more.
Reliable crop type maps from satellite data are an essential prerequisite for quantifying crop growth, health, and yields. However, such maps do not exist for most parts of Africa, where smallholder farming is the dominant system. Prevalent cloud cover, small farm sizes, and mixed cropping systems pose substantial challenges when creating crop type maps for sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, we provide a mapping scheme based on freely available Sentinel-2A/B (S2) time series and very high-resolution SkySat data to map the main crops—maize and potato—and intercropping systems including these two crops on the Jos Plateau, Nigeria. We analyzed the spectral-temporal behavior of mixed crop classes to improve our understanding of inter-class spectral mixing. Building on the Framework for Operational Radiometric Correction for Environmental monitoring (FORCE), we preprocessed S2 time series and derived spectral-temporal metrics from S2 spectral bands for the main temporal cropping windows. These STMs were used as input features in a hierarchical random forest classification. Our results provide the first wall-to-wall crop type map for this key agricultural region of Nigeria. Our cropland identification had an overall accuracy of 84%, while the crop type map achieved an average accuracy of 72% for the five relevant crop classes. Our crop type map shows distinctive regional variations in the distribution of crop types. Maize is the dominant crop, followed by mixed cropping systems, including maize–cereals and potato–maize cropping; potato was found to be the least prevalent class. Plot analyses based on a sample of 1166 fields revealed largely homogeneous mapping patterns, demonstrating the effectiveness of our classification system also for intercropped classes, which are temporally and spatially highly heterogeneous. Moreover, we found that small field sizes were dominant in all crop types, regardless of whether or not intercropping was used. Maize–legume and maize exhibited the largest plots, with an area of up to 3 ha and slightly more than 10 ha, respectively; potato was mainly cultivated on fields smaller than 0.5 ha and only a few plots were larger than 1 ha. Besides providing the first spatially explicit map of cropping practices in the core production area of the Jos Plateau, Nigeria, the study also offers guidance for the creation of crop type maps for smallholder-dominated systems with intercropping. Critical temporal windows for crop type differentiation will enable the creation of mapping approaches in support of future smart agricultural practices for aspects such as food security, early warning systems, policies, and extension services. Full article
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Article
Mapping Seasonal Agricultural Land Use Types Using Deep Learning on Sentinel-2 Image Time Series
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(2), 289; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs13020289 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
The size and location of agricultural fields that are in active use and the type of use during the growing season are among the vital information that is needed for the careful planning and forecasting of agricultural production at national and regional scales. [...] Read more.
The size and location of agricultural fields that are in active use and the type of use during the growing season are among the vital information that is needed for the careful planning and forecasting of agricultural production at national and regional scales. In areas where such data are not readily available, an independent seasonal monitoring method is needed. Remote sensing is a widely used tool to map land use types, although there are some limitations that can partly be circumvented by using, among others, multiple observations, careful feature selection and appropriate analysis methods. Here, we used Sentinel-2 satellite image time series (SITS) over the land area of Norway to map three agricultural land use classes: cereal crops, fodder crops (grass) and unused areas. The Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) and two variants of the Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), are implemented on SITS data of four different temporal resolutions. These enabled us to compare twelve model-dataset combinations to identify the model-dataset combination that results in the most accurate predictions. The CNN is implemented in the spectral and temporal dimensions instead of the conventional spatial dimension. Rather than using existing deep learning architectures, an autotuning procedure is implemented so that the model hyperparameters are empirically optimized during the training. The results obtained on held-out test data show that up to 94% overall accuracy and 90% Cohen’s Kappa can be obtained when the 2D CNN is applied on the SITS data with a temporal resolution of 7 days. This is closely followed by the 1D CNN on the same dataset. However, the latter performs better than the former in predicting data outside the training set. It is further observed that cereal is predicted with the highest accuracy, followed by grass. Predicting the unused areas has been found to be difficult as there is no distinct surface condition that is common for all unused areas. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2021, 2019, 2018

Article
Mapping the Forage Nitrogen-Phosphorus Ratio Based on Sentinel-2 MSI Data and a Random Forest Algorithm in an Alpine Grassland Ecosystem of the Tibetan Plateau
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(18), 2929; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12182929 - 10 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Nondestructive and accurate estimating of the forage nitrogen–phosphorus (N:P) ratio is conducive to the real-time diagnosis of nutrient limitation and the formulation of a management scheme during the growth and development of forage. New-generation high-resolution remote sensors equipped with strategic red-edge wavebands offer [...] Read more.
Nondestructive and accurate estimating of the forage nitrogen–phosphorus (N:P) ratio is conducive to the real-time diagnosis of nutrient limitation and the formulation of a management scheme during the growth and development of forage. New-generation high-resolution remote sensors equipped with strategic red-edge wavebands offer opportunities and challenges for estimating and mapping forage N:P ratio in support of the sustainable utilization of alpine grassland resources. This study aims to detect the forage N:P ratio as an ecological indicator of grassland nutrient content by employing Sentinel-2 multispectral instrument (MSI) data and a random forest (RF) algorithm. The results showed that the estimation accuracy (R2) of the forage N:P ratio model established by combining the optimized spectral bands and vegetation indices (VIs) is 0.49 and 0.59 in the vigorous growth period (July) and the senescing period (November) of forage, respectively. Moreover, Sentinel-2 MSI B9 and B12 bands contributed greatly to the estimation of the forage N:P ratio, and the VIs (RECI2) constructed by B5 and B8A bands performed well in the estimation of the forage N:P ratio. Overall, it is promising to map the spatial distribution of the forage N:P ratio in alpine grassland using Sentinel-2 MSI data at regional scales. This study will be potentially beneficial in implementing precise positioning of vegetation nutrient deficiency and scientific fertilization management of grassland. Full article
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Article
Investigating Live Fuel Moisture Content Estimation in Fire-Prone Shrubland from Remote Sensing Using Empirical Modelling and RTM Simulations
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(14), 2251; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12142251 - 14 Jul 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2020
Abstract
Previous research has demonstrated that remote sensing can provide spectral information related to vegetation moisture variations essential for estimating live fuel moisture content (LFMC), but accuracy and timeliness still present challenges to using this information operationally. Consequently, many regional administrations are investing important [...] Read more.
Previous research has demonstrated that remote sensing can provide spectral information related to vegetation moisture variations essential for estimating live fuel moisture content (LFMC), but accuracy and timeliness still present challenges to using this information operationally. Consequently, many regional administrations are investing important resources in field campaigns for LFMC monitoring, often focusing on indicator species to reduce sampling time and costs. This paper compares different remote sensing approaches to provide LFMC prediction of Cistus ladanifer, a fire-prone shrub species commonly found in Mediterranean areas and used by fire management services as an indicator species for wildfire risk assessment. Spectral indices (SI) were derived from satellite imagery of different spectral, spatial, and temporal resolution, including Sentinel-2 and two different reflectance products of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS); MCD43A4 and MOD09GA. The SI were used to calibrate empirical models for LFMC estimation using on ground field LFMC measurements from a monospecific shrubland area located in Madrid (Spain). The empirical models were fitted with different statistical methods: simple (LR) and multiple linear regression (MLR), non-linear regression (NLR), and general additive models with splines (GAMs). MCD43A4 images were also used to estimate LFMC from the inversion of radiative transfer models (RTM). Empirical model predictions and RTM simulations of LFMC were validated and compared using an independent sample of LFMC values observed in the field. Empirical models derived from MODIS products and Sentinel-2 data showed R2 between estimated and observed LFMC from 0.72 to 0.75 and mean absolute errors ranging from 11% to 13%. GAMs outperformed regression methods in model calibration, but NLR had better results in model validation. LFMC derived from RTM simulations had a weaker correlation with field data (R2 = 0.49) than the best empirical model fitted with MCD43A4 images (R2 = 0.75). R2 between observations and LFMC derived from RTM ranged from 0.56 to 0.85 when the validation was performed for each year independently. However, these values were still lower than the equivalent statistics using the empirical models (R2 from 0.65 to 0.94) and the mean absolute errors per year for RTM were still high (ranging from 25% to 38%) compared to the empirical model (ranging 7% to 15%). Our results showed that spectral information derived from Sentinel-2 and different MODIS products provide valuable information for LFMC estimation in C. ladanifer shrubland. However, both empirical and RTM approaches tended to overestimate the lowest LFMC values, and therefore further work is needed to improve predictions, especially below the critical LFMC threshold used by fire management services to indicate higher flammability (<80%). Although lower extreme LFMC values are still difficult to estimate, the proposed empirical models may be useful to identify when the critical threshold for high fire risk has been reached with reasonable accuracy. This study demonstrates that remote sensing data is a promising source of information to derive reliable and cost-effective LFMC estimation models that can be used in operational wildfire risk systems. Full article
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Article
Assessing Spatial Limits of Sentinel-2 Data on Arable Crops in the Context of Checks by Monitoring
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(14), 2195; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs12142195 - 09 Jul 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1233
Abstract
The availability of large amounts of Sentinel-2 data has been a trigger for its increasing exploitation in various types of applications. It is, therefore, of importance to understand the limits above which these data still guarantee a meaningful outcome. This paper proposes a [...] Read more.
The availability of large amounts of Sentinel-2 data has been a trigger for its increasing exploitation in various types of applications. It is, therefore, of importance to understand the limits above which these data still guarantee a meaningful outcome. This paper proposes a new method to quantify and specify restrictions of the Sentinel-2 imagery in the context of checks by monitoring, a newly introduced control approach within the European Common Agriculture Policy framework. The method consists of a comparison of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) time series constructed from data of different spatial resolution to estimate the performance and limits of the coarser one. Using similarity assessment of Sentinel-2 (10 m pixel size) and PlanetScope (3 m pixel size) NDVI time series, it was estimated that for 10% out of 867 fields less than 0.5 ha in size, Sentinel-2 data did not provide reliable evidence of the activity or state of the agriculture field over a given timeframe. Statistical analysis revealed that the number of clean or full pixels and the proportion of pixels lost after an application of a 5-m (1/2 pixel) negative buffer are the geospatial parameters of the field that have the highest influence on the ability of the Sentinel-2 data to qualify the field’s state in time. We specified the following limiting criteria: at least 8 full pixels inside a border and less than 60% of pixels lost. It was concluded that compliance with the criteria still assures a high level of extracted information reliability. Our research proved the promising potential, which was higher than anticipated, of Sentinel-2 data for the continuous state assessment of small fields. The method could be applied to other sensors and indicators. Full article
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2019

Jump to: 2021, 2020, 2018

Article
Winter Wheat Mapping Based on Sentinel-2 Data in Heterogeneous Planting Conditions
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(22), 2647; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs11222647 - 13 Nov 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1229
Abstract
Monitoring and mapping the spatial distribution of winter wheat accurately is important for crop management, damage assessment and yield prediction. In this study, northern and central Anhui province were selected as study areas, and Sentinel-2 imagery was employed to map winter wheat distribution [...] Read more.
Monitoring and mapping the spatial distribution of winter wheat accurately is important for crop management, damage assessment and yield prediction. In this study, northern and central Anhui province were selected as study areas, and Sentinel-2 imagery was employed to map winter wheat distribution and the results were verified with Planet imagery in the 2017–2018 growing season. The Sentinel-2 imagery at the heading stage was identified as the optimum period for winter wheat area extraction after analyzing the images from different growth stages using the Jeffries–Matusita distance method. Therefore, ten spectral bands, seven vegetation indices (VI), water index and building index generated from the image at the heading stage were used to classify winter wheat areas by a random forest (RF) algorithm. The result showed that the accuracy was from 93% to 97%, with a Kappa above 0.82 and a percentage error lower than 5% in northern Anhui, and an accuracy of about 80% with Kappa ranging from 0.70 to 0.78 and a percentage error of about 20% in central Anhui. Northern Anhui has a large planting scale of winter wheat and flat terrain while central Anhui grows relatively small winter wheat areas and a high degree of surface fragmentation, which makes the extraction effect in central Anhui inferior to that in northern Anhui. Further, an optimum subset data was obtained from VIs, water index, building index and spectral bands using an RF algorithm. The result of using the optimum subset data showed a high accuracy of classification with a great advantage in data volume and processing time. This study provides a perspective for winter wheat mapping under various climatic and complicated land surface conditions and is of great significance for crop monitoring and agricultural decision-making. Full article
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Letter
A Simple Similarity Index for the Comparison of Remotely Sensed Time Series with Scarce Simultaneous Acquisitions
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(13), 1527; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs11131527 - 27 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1503
Abstract
Emergence of new state-of-the-art technologies has enabled an unprecedented amount of high spatial resolution satellite data having great potential for exploitation of extracted time series for a vast range of applications. Despite the high temporal resolution of time series, the number of real [...] Read more.
Emergence of new state-of-the-art technologies has enabled an unprecedented amount of high spatial resolution satellite data having great potential for exploitation of extracted time series for a vast range of applications. Despite the high temporal resolution of time series, the number of real observations of optical data that can be utilized is reduced due to meteorological conditions (such as cloud or haze) prevailing at the time of acquisition. This fact has an effect on the density of the retrieved time series and subsequently on a number of coincidental observations when comparing the similarity of time series from two different data sources for which the simultaneous acquisition date is already scarce. Classical tools for assessing the similarity of such time series can prove to be difficult or even impossible because of a lack of simultaneous observations. In this paper, we propose a simple method in order to circumvent this scarcity issue. In the first step, we rely on an interpolation in order to produce artificial time series on the union of the original acquisition dates. Then, we extend the theory of the correlation coefficient (CC) estimator to these interpolated time series. After validation on synthetic data, this simple approach proved to be extremely efficient on a real case study where Sentinel-2 and PlanetScope NDVI time series on parcels in The Netherlands are compared. Indeed, compared to other methods, it reduced the number of undecided cases while also improving the power of the statistical test on the similarity between both types of time series and the precision of the estimated CC. Full article
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Article
Validation of Copernicus Sentinel-2 Cloud Masks Obtained from MAJA, Sen2Cor, and FMask Processors Using Reference Cloud Masks Generated with a Supervised Active Learning Procedure
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(4), 433; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs11040433 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 78 | Viewed by 7569
Abstract
The Sentinel-2 satellite mission, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Copernicus program of the European Union, provides repetitive multi-spectral observations of all Earth land surfaces at a high resolution. The Level 2A product is a basic product requested by many [...] Read more.
The Sentinel-2 satellite mission, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Copernicus program of the European Union, provides repetitive multi-spectral observations of all Earth land surfaces at a high resolution. The Level 2A product is a basic product requested by many Sentinel-2 users: it provides surface reflectance after atmospheric correction, with a cloud and cloud shadow mask. The cloud/shadow mask is a key element to enable an automatic processing of Sentinel-2 data, and therefore, its performances must be accurately validated. To validate the Sentinel-2 operational Level 2A cloud mask, a software program named Active Learning Cloud Detection (ALCD) was developed, to produce reference cloud masks. Active learning methods allow reducing the number of necessary training samples by iteratively selecting them where the confidence of the classifier is low in the previous iterations. The ALCD method was designed to minimize human operator time thanks to a manually-supervised active learning method. The trained classifier uses a combination of spectral and multi-temporal information as input features and produces fully-classified images. The ALCD method was validated using visual criteria, consistency checks, and compared to another manually-generated cloud masks, with an overall accuracy above 98%. ALCD was used to create 32 reference cloud masks, on 10 different sites, with different seasons and cloud cover types. These masks were used to validate the cloud and shadow masks produced by three Sentinel-2 Level 2A processors: MAJA, used by the French Space Agency (CNES) to deliver Level 2A products, Sen2Cor, used by the European Space Agency (ESA), and FMask, used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The results show that MAJA and FMask perform similarly, with an overall accuracy around 90% (91% for MAJA, 90% for FMask), while Sen2Cor’s overall accuracy is 84%. The reference cloud masks, as well as the ALCD software used to generate them are made available to the Sentinel-2 user community. Full article
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2018

Jump to: 2021, 2020, 2019

Article
Assessment of Sentinel-2 MSI Spectral Band Reflectances for Estimating Fractional Vegetation Cover
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(12), 1927; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs10121927 - 30 Nov 2018
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2586
Abstract
Fractional vegetation cover (FVC) is an essential parameter for characterizing the land surface vegetation conditions and plays an important role in earth surface process simulations and global change studies. The Sentinel-2 missions carrying multi-spectral instrument (MSI) sensors with 13 multispectral bands are potentially [...] Read more.
Fractional vegetation cover (FVC) is an essential parameter for characterizing the land surface vegetation conditions and plays an important role in earth surface process simulations and global change studies. The Sentinel-2 missions carrying multi-spectral instrument (MSI) sensors with 13 multispectral bands are potentially useful for estimating FVC. However, the performance of these bands for FVC estimation is unclear. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the performance of Sentinel-2 MSI spectral band reflectances on FVC estimation. The samples, including the Sentinel-2 MSI canopy reflectances and corresponding FVC values, were simulated using the PROSPECT + SAIL radiative transfer model under different conditions, and random forest regression (RFR) method was then used to develop FVC estimation models and assess the performance of various band reflectances for FVC estimation. These models were finally evaluated using field survey data. The results indicate that the three most important bands of Sentinel-2 MSI data for FVC estimation are band 4 (Red), band 12 (SWIR2) and band 8a (NIR2). FVC estimation using these bands has a comparable accuracy (root mean square error (RMSE) = 0.085) with that using all bands (RMSE = 0.090). The results also demonstrate that band 12 had a better performance for FVC estimation than the green band (RMSE = 0.097). However, the newly added red-edge bands, with low scores in the RFR model, have little significance for improving FVC estimation accuracy compared with the Red, NIR2 and SWIR2 bands. Full article
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Article
Evaluating the Performance of Sentinel-2, Landsat 8 and Pléiades-1 in Mapping Mangrove Extent and Species
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1468; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs10091468 - 14 Sep 2018
Cited by 58 | Viewed by 4173
Abstract
Mapping mangrove extent and species is important for understanding their response to environmental changes and for observing their integrity for providing goods and services. However, accurately mapping mangrove extent and species are ongoing challenges in remote sensing. The newly-launched and freely-available Sentinel-2 (S2) [...] Read more.
Mapping mangrove extent and species is important for understanding their response to environmental changes and for observing their integrity for providing goods and services. However, accurately mapping mangrove extent and species are ongoing challenges in remote sensing. The newly-launched and freely-available Sentinel-2 (S2) sensor offers a new opportunity for these challenges. This study presents the first study dedicated to the examination of the potential of original bands, spectral indices, and texture information of S2 in mapping mangrove extent and species in the first National Nature Reserve for mangroves in Dongzhaigang, China. To map mangrove extent and species, a three-level hierarchical structure based on the spatial structure of a mangrove ecosystem and geographic object-based image analysis is utilized and modified. During the experiments, to conquer the challenge of optimizing high-dimension and correlated feature space, the recursive feature elimination (RFE) algorithm is introduced. Finally, the selected features from RFE are employed in mangrove species discriminations, based on a random forest algorithm. The results are compared with those of Landsat 8 (L8) and Pléiades-1 (P1) data and show that S2 and L8 could accurately extract mangrove extent, but P1 obviously overestimated it. Regarding mangrove species community levels, the overall classification accuracy of S2 is 70.95%, which is lower than P1 imagery (78.57%) and slightly higher than L8 data (68.57%). Meanwhile, the former difference is statistically significant, and the latter is not. The dominant species is extracted basically in S2 and P1 imagery, but for the occasionally distributed K. candel and the pioneer and fringe mangrove A. marina, S2 performs poorly. Concerning L8, S2, and P1, there are eight (8/126), nine (9/218), and eight (8/73) features, respectively, that are the most important for mangrove species discriminations. The most important feature overall is the red-edge bands, followed by shortwave infrared, near infrared, blue, and other visible bands in turn. This study demonstrates that the S2 sensor can accurately map mangrove extent and basically discriminate mangrove species communities, but for the latter, one should be cautious due to the complexity of mangrove species. Full article
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Technical Note
Comparison of SNAP-Derived Sentinel-2A L2A Product to ESA Product over Europe
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(6), 926; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs10060926 - 12 Jun 2018
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4909
Abstract
Sentinel-2 is a constellation of two satellites launched by the European Space Agency (ESA), respectively on 23 June 2015 and 7 March 2017, to map geophysical parameters over land surfaces. ESA provides Level 2 bottom-of-atmosphere reflectance (BOA) products (ESA-L2A) for Europe, with plans [...] Read more.
Sentinel-2 is a constellation of two satellites launched by the European Space Agency (ESA), respectively on 23 June 2015 and 7 March 2017, to map geophysical parameters over land surfaces. ESA provides Level 2 bottom-of-atmosphere reflectance (BOA) products (ESA-L2A) for Europe, with plans for operational global coverage, as well as the Sen2Cor (S2C) offline processor. In this study, aerosol optical thickness (AOT), precipitable water vapour (WVP) and surface reflectance from ESA-L2A products are compared with S2C output when using identical input Level 1 radiance products. Additionally, AOT and WVP are validated against reference measurement. As ESA and S2C share the same input and atmospheric correction algorithm, it was hypothesized that they should show identical validation performance and that differences between products should be negligible in comparison to the uncertainty of retrieved geophysical parameters due to radiometric uncertainty alone. Validation and intercomparison was performed for five clear-sky growing season dates for each of three ESA-L2A tiles selected to span a range of vegetation and topography as well as to be close to the AERONET measurement site. Validation of S2C (ESA) products using AERONET site measurements indicated an overall root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.06 (0.07) and a bias of 0.05 (0.09) for AOT and 0.20 cm (0.22 cm) and the bias was −0.02 cm (−0.10 cm) for WVP. Intercomparison of S2C-L2A and ESA-L2A showed an overall agreement higher than 99% for scene classification (SCL) maps and negligible differences for WVP (RMSE under 0.09 and R2 above 0.99). Larger disagreement was observed for aerosol optical thickness (AOT) (RMSE up to 0.04 and R2 as low as 0.14). For BOA reflectance, disagreement between products depends on vegetation cover density, topography slope and spectral band. The largest differences were observed for red-edge and infrared bands in mountainous vegetated areas (RMSE up to 4.9% reflectance and R2 as low as 0.53). These differences are of similar magnitude to the radiometric calibration requirements for the Sentinel 2 imager. The differences had minimal impact of commonly used vegetation indices (NDVI, NDWI, EVI), but application of the Sentinel Level 2 biophysical processor generally resulted in proportional differences in most derived vegetation parameters. It is recommended that the consistency of ESA and S2C products should be improved by the developers of the ESA and S2C processors. Full article
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Article
Lithological Classification Using Sentinel-2A Data in the Shibanjing Ophiolite Complex in Inner Mongolia, China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 638; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs10040638 - 20 Apr 2018
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3893
Abstract
As a source of data continuity between Landsat and SPOT, Sentinel-2 is an Earth observation mission developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), which acquires 13 bands in the visible and near-infrared (VNIR) to shortwave infrared (SWIR) range. In this study, a Sentinel-2A [...] Read more.
As a source of data continuity between Landsat and SPOT, Sentinel-2 is an Earth observation mission developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), which acquires 13 bands in the visible and near-infrared (VNIR) to shortwave infrared (SWIR) range. In this study, a Sentinel-2A imager was utilized to assess its ability to perform lithological classification in the Shibanjing ophiolite complex in Inner Mongolia, China. Five conventional machine learning methods, including artificial neural network (ANN), k-nearest neighbor (k-NN), maximum likelihood classification (MLC), random forest classifier (RFC), and support vector machine (SVM), were compared in order to find an optimal classifier for lithological mapping. The experiment revealed that the MLC method offered the highest overall accuracy. After that, Sentinel-2A image was compared with common multispectral data ASTER and Landsat-8 OLI (operational land imager) for lithological mapping using the MLC method. The comparison results showed that the Sentinel-2A imagery yielded a classification accuracy of 74.5%, which was 2.5% and 5.08% higher than those of the ASTER and OLI imagery, respectively, indicating that Sentinel-2A imagery is adequate for lithological discrimination, due to its high spectral resolution in the VNIR to SWIR range. Moreover, different data combinations of Sentinel-2A + ASTER + DEM (digital elevation model) and OLI + ASTER + DEM data were tested on lithological mapping using the MLC method. The best mapping result was obtained from Sentinel-2A + ASTER + DEM dataset, demonstrating that OLI can be replaced by Sentinel-2A, which, when combined with ASTER, can achieve sufficient bandpasses for lithological classification. Full article
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Article
Explaining Leaf Nitrogen Distribution in a Semi-Arid Environment Predicted on Sentinel-2 Imagery Using a Field Spectroscopy Derived Model
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 269; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/rs10020269 - 09 Feb 2018
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2924
Abstract
Leaf nitrogen concentration (leaf N, %) is an essential component for understanding biogeochemical cycling. Leaf N is a good indicator of grass or forage quality, which is important for understanding the movements and feeding patterns of herbivores. Leaf N can be used as [...] Read more.
Leaf nitrogen concentration (leaf N, %) is an essential component for understanding biogeochemical cycling. Leaf N is a good indicator of grass or forage quality, which is important for understanding the movements and feeding patterns of herbivores. Leaf N can be used as input for rangeland carrying capacity and stocking rate models. The estimation of leaf N has been successful using hyperspectral and commercial high spatial resolution satellite data such as WorldView-2 and RapidEye. Empirical methods have been used successfully to estimate leaf N, on the basis that it correlates with leaf chlorophyll. As such, leaf N was estimated using red edge based indices. The new Sentinel-2 sensor has two red edge bands, is freely available, and could further improve the estimation of leaf N at a regional scale. The objective of this study is to develop red edge based Sentinel-2 models derived from an analytical spectral device (ASD) spectrometer to map and monitor leaf N using Sentinel-2 images. Field work for leaf N and ASD data were collected in 2014 (December) in and around Kruger National Park, South Africa. ASD data were resampled to the Sentinel-2 spectral configuration using the spectral response function. The Sentinel-2 data for various dates were acquired from the European Space Agency (ESA) portal. The Sentinel-2 atmospheric correction (Sen2Cor) process was implemented. Simple empirical regression was used to estimate leaf N. High leaf N prediction accuracy was achieved at the ASD level and the best model was inverted on Sentinel-2 images to explain leaf N distribution at a regional scale over time. The spatial distribution of leaf N is influenced by the underlying geological substrate, fire frequency and other environmental variables. This study is a demonstration of how ASD data can be used to calibrate Sentinel-2 for leaf N estimation and mapping. Full article
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