A workshop on ensuring quality of in-situ measurements for validation of Earth observation ocean colour satellite data on was hosted by EUMETSAT and the FRM4SOC Phase-2 project from 5 - 7 December 2022 at the EUMETSAT  headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

Fiducial Reference Measurements (FRM) are a suite of independent, fully characterised, and metrologically traceable ground measurements that follow the guidelines outlined by the Quality Assurance Framework for Earth Observation (QA4EO) of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). These FRM provide the maximum return on investment for Copernicus satellite missions by delivering, to users, the required confidence in data products as independent validation results and associated uncertainties on both ground-based and satellite measurements over the entire duration of a mission.

FRM4SOC Workshop
Photo: Karin Pai

In 2016 – 2019, European Space Agency funded the first phase of the FRM4SOC (Fiducial Reference Measurements for Satellite Ocean Colour) project to improve ocean colour validation through a  series of proof-of-concept tasks. The FRM4SOC Phase 2 - funded by the European Commission - was launched by EUMETSAT in April 2021.
The FRM4SOC Phase 2 workshop was organised with aim to introduce, collect feedback and seek for community consensus in discussions on implementation of the principles, guidelines and tools developed during the project. The workshop collected the leading experts in the field (project Expert Review Board, ERB), representatives of agencies (EUMETSAT, ESA, NASA, NOAA, SANSA), scientists performing ocean colour in-situ measurements, and manufacturers of ocean colour radiometers (TriOS, Sea-Bird Scientific, CIMEL, Water Insight).

The main developments presented by the project consortium were:

  • General principles of the FRM (existing resources and lessons learned).
  • Implementing the principles of FRM by establishment of the network of radiometric measurement with FRM quality indicator (FRMOCnet consisting of FidRadDB,  HyperInSPACE Community Processor, and OCDB).
  • Guidelines for
    • calibration and characterisation of radiometric instruments.
    • laboratories performing calibration and characterisation of radiometric instruments;
    • operating the radiometers, and measurement procedures,
    • evaluating  measurement uncertainty,
    • conducting comparison measurements.
  • Requirements for qualification of instruments as a ‘FRM’ instrument.
  • Calibration and characterisation database (FidRadDB).
  • Ocean Colour In-Situ Database (OCDB) https://ocdb.eumetsat.int.
  • HyperInSPACE Community Processor https://github.com/nasa/HyperInSPACE.
  • Overview on laboratory and field inter-comparisons  organised during the project.
FRM4SOC Workshop
Photo: Karin Pai

The following discussions were initiated by two keynotes: “FRM resources  and community needs” by S. Bernard (SANSA) and “The user perspective” by A. C. Banks (HCMR), and comments from the members of the ERB on reviewed deliverables.

The workshop was very successful with fruitful discussions and good feedback bringing the community closer to common agreement. The workshop served well the aim to develop and spread the principles of FRM in support of validation the ocean colour satellite data.

The detailed agenda with links to presentations can be found at the event page. The guidelines and tools developed in the project as well as the conclusions from the workshop will be also published here at the FRM4SOC Phase-2 website soon.

Stay tuned!

FRM4SOC Workshop participants
Photo: Karin Pai