The Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour (FRM4SOC) Phase 2 project, funded by the European Commission under the Copernicus Programme and coordinated by EUMETSAT, was started in April 2021 to continue implementing the quality principles in validating Earth Observation (EO) data. The two-year main period was successfully closed in May 2023 and has now advanced to its first extension kicked off on 5 July 2023.

The FRM4SOC Phase 2 is the follow-up to the European Space Agency project (2016-2019) that continues expanding the Copernicus FRM capabilities and ensuring the adoption of FRM principles across the Ocean Colour (OC) community as outlined by the Quality Assurance Framework for Earth Observation (QA4EO) of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). In particular: studying the properties of the most common OC radiometer types; providing guidelines for calibration and characterisation of OC radiometers, performing measurements, and calculating uncertainties; contributing to the development of common processing tools (HyperCP), databases for FRM-qualified instruments with calibration and characterisation history (FidRadDB) and field data (OCDB). Also, organising laboratory and field comparison measurements.


The first outcomes

The first outcomes from the FRM4SOC Phase 2 main period – guidelines for achieving the FRM quality of EO data – are now published on the project website under the section of Deliverables.

The highlighted guidelines in the list are:


The first extension

The first extension of the FRM4SOC Phase 2, which kicked off on 5 July 2023, builds on the guidelines and tools developed in the main period with a focus on the hands-on training of OC researchers at Alta Aqua Oceanographic Tower (AAOT) in spring 2024.

The training and comparison activities are led by a new consortium partner Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) from Italy in co-operation with EUMETSAT, University of Tartu, and Giuseppe Zibordi  (EOScinece) as a contributing expert. A new deliverable, dedicated concise guidelines on ensuring quality in field measurements and data handling methods, will be produced in support of the AAOT comparison exercise as well as collecting quality OC data in general.

Details on the AAOT exercise and possibilities to participate will be provided here at the FRM4SOC Phase project website soon. Stay tuned for the updates.

The extension also continues the development of the Ocean Colour In-Situ Database (OCDB), Copernicus Ocean Colour Fiducial Radiometer Database (FidRadDB) and contribution to the multilateral community processor for above-water in situ data processing and uncertainty budget calculation (HyperCP). Also, harmonised calibration and characterisation guidelines of Ocean Colour Radiometers (OCR) for laboratories, an updated version of guidelines for uncertainty calculation, and results from laboratory calibration and field (AAOT 2022) comparison will be published.