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Special Issue "Ten Years of Remote Sensing at Barcelona Expert Center"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 December 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Justino Martínez

BEC & Institute of Marine Science/CSIC, Pg. Maritim de la Barceloneta 37-49. 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Website
Guest Editor
Dr. Veronica Gonzalez

BEC & Institute of Marine Science/CSIC, Pg. Maritim de la Barceloneta 37-49. 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Guest Editor
Dr. Carolina Gabarro

BEC & Institute of Marine Science/CSIC, Pg. Maritim de la Barceloneta 37-49. 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Guest Editor
Dr. Estrella Olmedo

BEC & Institute of Marine Science/CSIC, Pg. Maritim de la Barceloneta 37-49. 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Barcelona Expert Centre (BEC) (http://bec.icm.csic.es) is a joint initiative between the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). It was created in 2007 to provide support to the Spanish SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) mission activities. Nowadays, BEC activities cover a wide variety of topics:  

  • Improvements on calibration, image reconstruction and stability of radiometric data
  • Synergy of observations from different sensors and data sources
  • Retrieval of geophysical variables: forward modeling and non-linear inversion
  • Validation and quality control
  • Assimilation into atmospheric and ocean models
  • Generation of added-value products at Levels 3 and 4

This Special Issue is mainly dedicated to publishing papers on new scientific results covering topics, such as:

  • Microwave radiometry, scatterometry, SAR, GNSS-R
  • Sensor calibration
  • Image reconstruction
  • Ocean Remote Sensing: salinity, winds, sea ice, currents, temperature, etc.
  • Soil Moisture
  • Retrieval algorithms

Dr. Justino Martínez
Dr. Veronica Gonzalez
Dr. Carolina Gabarro
Dr. Estrella Olmedo
Guest 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 special issue 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 1800 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

  • Radiometry
  • Scatterometry
  • SAR
  • GNSS-R
  • Sensor calibration
  • Image reconstruction
  • Ocean Remote Sensing
  • Soil Moisture
  • Cryosphere
  • Retrieval algorithms

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer (CIMR) Benefits for the Copernicus Level 4 Sea-Surface Salinity Processing Chain
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(15), 1818; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11151818
Received: 11 July 2019 / Revised: 30 July 2019 / Accepted: 31 July 2019 / Published: 3 August 2019
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Abstract
We present a study on the potential of the Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer (CIMR) mission for the global monitoring of Sea-Surface Salinity (SSS) using Level-4 (gap-free) analysis processing. Space-based SSS are currently provided by the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) and Soil [...] Read more.
We present a study on the potential of the Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer (CIMR) mission for the global monitoring of Sea-Surface Salinity (SSS) using Level-4 (gap-free) analysis processing. Space-based SSS are currently provided by the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellites. However, there are no planned missions to guarantee continuity in the remote SSS measurements for the near future. The CIMR mission is in a preparatory phase with an expected launch in 2026. CIMR is focused on the provision of global coverage, high resolution sea-surface temperature (SST), SSS and sea-ice concentration observations. In this paper, we evaluate the mission impact within the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) SSS processing chain. The CMEMS SSS operational products are based on a combination of in situ and satellite (SMOS) SSS and high-resolution SST information through a multivariate optimal interpolation. We demonstrate the potential of CIMR within the CMEMS SSS operational production after the SMOS era. For this purpose, we implemented an Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) based on the CMEMS MERCATOR global operational model. The MERCATOR SSSs were used to generate synthetic in situ and CIMR SSS and, at the same time, they provided a reference gap-free SSS field. Using the optimal interpolation algorithm, we demonstrated that the combined use of in situ and CIMR observations improves the global SSS retrieval compared to a processing where only in situ observations are ingested. The improvements are observed in the 60% and 70% of the global ocean surface for the reconstruction of the SSS and of the SSS spatial gradients, respectively. Moreover, the study highlights the CIMR-based salinity patterns are more accurate both in the open ocean and in coastal areas. We conclude that CIMR can guarantee continuity for accurate monitoring of the ocean surface salinity from space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ten Years of Remote Sensing at Barcelona Expert Center)
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Open AccessArticle
In Situ and Satellite Sea Surface Salinity in the Algerian Basin Observed through ABACUS Glider Measurements and BEC SMOS Regional Products
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(11), 1361; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11111361
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 31 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 6 June 2019
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Abstract
The Algerian Basin is a key area for the general circulation in the western Mediterranean Sea. The basin has an intense inflow/outflow regime with complex circulation patterns, involving both fresh Atlantic water and more saline Mediterranean water. Several studies have demonstrated the advantages [...] Read more.
The Algerian Basin is a key area for the general circulation in the western Mediterranean Sea. The basin has an intense inflow/outflow regime with complex circulation patterns, involving both fresh Atlantic water and more saline Mediterranean water. Several studies have demonstrated the advantages of the combined use of autonomous underwater vehicles, such as gliders, with remotely sensed products (e.g., altimetry, MUR SST) to observe meso- and submesoscale structures and their properties. An important contribution could come from a new generation of enhanced satellite sea surface salinity (SSS) products, e.g., those provided by the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission. In this paper, we assess the advantages of using Barcelona Expert Center (BEC) SMOS SSS products, obtained through a combination of debiased non-Bayesian retrieval, DINEOF (data interpolating empirical orthogonal functions) and multifractal fusion with high resolution sea surface temperature (OSTIA SST) maps. Such an aim was reached by comparing SMOS Level-3 (L3) and Level-4 (L4) SSS products with in situ high resolution glider measurements collected in the framework of the Algerian Basin Circulation Unmanned Survey (ABACUS) observational program conducted in the Algerian Basin during falls 2014–2016. Results show that different levels of confidence between in situ and satellite measurements can be achieved according to the spatial scales of variability. Although SMOS values slightly underestimate in situ observations (mean difference is −0.14 (−0.11)), with a standard deviation of 0.25 (0.26) for L3 (L4) products), at basin scale, the enhanced SMOS products well represent the salinity patterns described by the ABACUS data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ten Years of Remote Sensing at Barcelona Expert Center)
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Open AccessArticle
A Synergetic Approach for the Space-Based Sea Surface Currents Retrieval in the Mediterranean Sea
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(11), 1285; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11111285
Received: 22 April 2019 / Revised: 23 May 2019 / Accepted: 24 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (11686 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present a method for the remote retrieval of the sea surface currents in the Mediterranean Sea. Combining the altimeter-derived currents with sea-surface temperature information, we created daily, gap-free high resolution maps of sea surface currents for the period 2012–2016. The quality of [...] Read more.
We present a method for the remote retrieval of the sea surface currents in the Mediterranean Sea. Combining the altimeter-derived currents with sea-surface temperature information, we created daily, gap-free high resolution maps of sea surface currents for the period 2012–2016. The quality of the new multi-sensor currents has been assessed through comparisons to other surface-currents estimates, as the ones obtained from drifting buoys trajectories (at the basin scale), or HF-Radar platforms and ocean numerical model outputs in the Malta–Sicily Channel. The study yielded that our synergetic approach can improve the present-day derivation of the surface currents in the Mediterranean area up to 30% locally, with better performances for the the meridional component of the motion and in the western section of the basin. The proposed reconstruction method also showed satisfying performances in the retrieval of the ageostrophic circulation in the Sicily Channel. In this area, assuming the High Frequency Radar-derived currents as reference, the merged multi-sensor currents exhibited improvements with respect to the altimeter estimates and numerical model outputs, mainly due to their enhanced spatial and temporal resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ten Years of Remote Sensing at Barcelona Expert Center)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Wide Field of View Microwave Interferometric Radiometer Imaging
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(6), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060682
Received: 4 February 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
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Abstract
In microwave interferometric radiometers with a large field of view, as for example the Microwave Imaging Radiometer with Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS) onboard the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite, one of the major causes of reconstruction error is the contribution to the [...] Read more.
In microwave interferometric radiometers with a large field of view, as for example the Microwave Imaging Radiometer with Aperture Synthesis (MIRAS) onboard the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite, one of the major causes of reconstruction error is the contribution to the visibility of the brightness temperature outside the fundamental period, defined on the basis of reciprocal grids. A mitigation method consisting of estimating this contribution through the application of a brightness temperature model outside the fundamental period is proposed. The main advantage is that it does not require any a posteriori addition of artificial scenes to the reconstructed image. Additionally, a method to avoid the sophisticated matrix regularization and inversion techniques usually applied in microwave interferometry is presented. Image reconstruction algorithms are implemented on a minimum grid size in order to maximize their numerical efficiency. An improved method to apply an apodization window to the reconstructed image for reducing Gibbs oscillations is also proposed. All procedures are generally described considering the single polarization case and successively implemented applying the MIRAS layout in both its single polarization and full polarimetric modes. Results show similar performance of the proposed algorithm with respect to the nominal one applied by SMOS. All algorithms are implemented in the MIRAS Testing Software and have been successfully used for scientific studies by other teams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ten Years of Remote Sensing at Barcelona Expert Center)
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Open AccessArticle
Dominant Features of Global Surface Soil Moisture Variability Observed by the SMOS Satellite
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(1), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11010095
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 29 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Soil moisture observations are expected to play an important role in monitoring global climate trends. However, measuring soil moisture is challenging because of its high spatial and temporal variability. Point-scale in-situ measurements are scarce and, excluding model-based estimates, remote sensing remains the only [...] Read more.
Soil moisture observations are expected to play an important role in monitoring global climate trends. However, measuring soil moisture is challenging because of its high spatial and temporal variability. Point-scale in-situ measurements are scarce and, excluding model-based estimates, remote sensing remains the only practical way to observe soil moisture at a global scale. The ESA-led Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission, launched in 2009, measures the Earth’s surface natural emissivity at L-band and provides highly accurate soil moisture information with a 3-day revisiting time. Using the first six full annual cycles of SMOS measurements (June 2010–June 2016), this study investigates the temporal variability of global surface soil moisture. The soil moisture time series are decomposed into a linear trend, interannual, seasonal, and high-frequency residual (i.e., subseasonal) components. The relative distribution of soil moisture variance among its temporal components is first illustrated at selected target sites representative of terrestrial biomes with distinct vegetation type and seasonality. A comparison with GLDAS-Noah and ERA5 modeled soil moisture at these sites shows general agreement in terms of temporal phase except in areas with limited temporal coverage in winter season due to snow. A comparison with ground-based estimates at one of the sites shows good agreement of both temporal phase and absolute magnitude. A global assessment of the dominant features and spatial distribution of soil moisture variability is then provided. Results show that, despite still being a relatively short data set, SMOS data provides coherent and reliable variability patterns at both seasonal and interannual scales. Subseasonal components are characterized as white noise. The observed linear trends, based upon one strong El Niño event in 2016, are consistent with the known El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnections. This work provides new insight into recent changes in surface soil moisture and can help further our understanding of the terrestrial branch of the water cycle and of global patterns of climate anomalies. Also, it is an important support to multi-decadal soil moisture observational data records, hydrological studies and land data assimilation projects using remotely sensed observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ten Years of Remote Sensing at Barcelona Expert Center)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Root Zone Soil Moisture Estimations from SMAP, SMOS and MODIS Observations
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(7), 981; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10070981
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2467 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, six satellite-based root zone soil moisture (RZSM) estimates from March 2015 to December 2016 were evaluated both temporally and spatially. The first two were the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) and the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) L4 RZSM [...] Read more.
In this study, six satellite-based root zone soil moisture (RZSM) estimates from March 2015 to December 2016 were evaluated both temporally and spatially. The first two were the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) and the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) L4 RZSM products. The other four were obtained through the Soil Water Index (SWI) approach, which embedded surface soil moisture (SSM). The SMOS-Barcelona Expert Center (BEC) L4 SSM product and the apparent thermal inertia (ATI)-derived SSM from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data were used as SSM datasets. In the temporal analysis, the RZSM estimates were compared to in situ RZSM from 14 stations of the Soil Moisture Measurements Station Network of the University of Salamanca (REMEDHUS). Regarding the spatial assessment, the resulting RZSM maps of the Iberian Peninsula were compared between them. All RZSM values followed the temporal evolution of the ground-based measurements well, although SMOS and MODIS showed underestimation while SMAP displayed overestimation. The good results obtained from MODIS ATI are notable, notwithstanding they were not estimated through microwave radiometry. A very high agreement was found in terms of spatial patterns for the whole Iberian Peninsula except for the extreme north area, which is dominated by high mountains and dense forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ten Years of Remote Sensing at Barcelona Expert Center)
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