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Improved monitoring and forecasting of ecological status of European INland waters by combining Future earth ObseRvation data and Models (INFORM)
Start date: Oct 7, 2013, End date: Jan 1, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

INFORM aims to develop novel and improved user-driven products for inland water quality monitoring by using innovative methods integrated into biogeochemical models which fully exploit the capabilities of upcoming earth observation missions. Remote sensing is dramatically underutilized for the monitoring of inland waters mainly due to the complexity of these waters, the lack of adequate analysis methods allowing to deal with this complexity and the lack of adequate low-cost EO data for the often small or irregular shaped water bodies. INFORM aims to fill this gap by the development of new analysis methods and products for several upcoming satellites (e.g. Sentinel-2, Sentinel-3, EnMAP) which will provide a wealth of new data at increased spatial, spectral and temporal resolutions. The broader spectral coverage towards the UV and SWIR will be exploited e.g. to improve atmospheric correction and TSM retrieval in turbid waters and improve the retrieval of yellow matter. Hyperspectral signatures will be exploited by new analysis methods to derive e.g. phytoplankton functional types and their percentage in the total biomass and discrimate between macrophyte species. To develop these products, a large suite of in-situ and airborne hyperspectral images of European inland waters is already available for INFORM. The APEX hyperspectral airborne sensor with new in-situ measurements will be used for simulation of the upcoming satellite missions, algorithm development and product validation. INFORM products will be used as input and for calibration of models which simulates the dynamics of nutrients, phytoplankton, including phytoplankton types and dissolved oxygen. End-user interaction will steer new data gathering and algorithm development to guarantee uptake of INFORM products by modelers, water managers and policy makers. Validated INFORM RS-model products will form a basis for future GMES products to assess e.g. the implementation of the Water Framework Directive.
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