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First assessment on the potential of Sentinel-2 data for land area monitoring in Southeast Asian conditions

Jukka Miettinen, Hans-Jürgen Stibig, Frédéric Achard, Olivier Hagolle, Mireille Huc


By 2016, two Sentinel-2 satellites developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) will start systematically delivering high temporal frequency (5-day revisit in the equator) coverage of all global land areas at 10-20 m spatial resolution. Before the decommissioning of the SPOT 4 satellite, the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) lowered the satellite to a 5-day revisit orbit to allow collection of Sentinel-2 type high temporal frequency data on 45 sites across the globe between February and June 2013. In this report we present the main findings of this “SPOT 4-Take 5” exercise for three sites located in Southeast Asia, including analysis of the cloud free observation frequency and possibilities enabled by the high frequency multi-temporal datasets. We conclude that the unprecedented acquisition frequency of high spatial resolution data holds great potential for Southeast Asian land area monitoring. In the seasonal continental part such frequency allows high spatial resolution time series analysis in an exceptional level of temporal detail, whereas in the humid insular part of the region it potentially enables accumulation of a full coverage dataset in as short as semi-annual intervals. Overall, the findings indicate that Sentinel-2 type future datasets will open new horizons for land cover monitoring in Southeast Asia and will further enforce the ongoing trend towards multi-temporal monitoring approaches.

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