The COASTCOLOUR project is developing, demonstrating, validating and intercomparing different Case 2 algorithms over a global range of coastal water types, identifying best practices, and promoting discussion of the results in an open, public form. The European Space Agency has launched the COASTCOLOUR project to fully exploit the potential of the MERIS instrument for remote sensing of the coastal zone.
ESA designed the MERIS instrument specifically to provide measurements for coastal zone management and research. In space for 7 years, MERIS has delivered a unique global dataset of coastal zones at 300m spatial resolution, which deserves dedicated processing with internationally agreed algorithms, and provision of specific user products, properly docu-men--ted and easily accessible. This dataset will become an important contribution to further understanding of the coastal zone in climate change.
from 2009



Contact Person: Dr. Carsten Brockmann


The main objectives of the BC-WAQS System are to provide products supporting an assessment of water quality in coastal areas. The products are tailored especially to the requirements each individual customer.
from 2004 to 2008


WAQSS Homepage

Contact Person: Kerstin Stelzer


BEAM is a toolbox for viewing, analysing and processing of optical remote sensing data. It was originally developed to facilitate the utilisation of image data from Envisat's optical instruments MERIS and AATSR.
Today, BEAM supports a growing number of other sensors such as MODIS, AVHRR, AVNIR, PRISM and CHRIS/Proba.
BEAM is an open source project, comprising a collection of executable tools and an application programming interface (API).
from 2003 to 2010


BEAM Homepage

Contact Person: Norman Fomferra


Calvalus is a high performance processing system, that fulfils the needs of rapid improvement, development, processing and validation of Earth Observation data products. The processing system based on Apache Hadoop, an open-source implementation of the MapReduce programming model combined with a Distributed File System. Both concepts have first been published by Google Labs and are addressing the analysis of ultra-large datasets. Calvalus gains its performance from massive parallelisation of tasks and the "data-local" execution of code (software programs are brought to the data, not the other way round) and operates on a cluster of 20 commodity computers.

The Calvalus study is an ESA LET-SME project.
from 2009 to 2011


Calvalus Homepage

Contact Person: Norman Fomferra

BEAM Scientific Processors

Brockmann Consult is supporting scientific laboratories and ESA in developing processors for BEAM. A processor is generating new products from Earth Observation input data:
  • ICOL … Adjacency correction for MERIS data (project lead by Prof. Richard Santer, LISE, France)
  • Case2Regional … Atmospheric correction and retrieval of water constituents over Case 2 waters (project lead by Dr. Roland Doerffer, GKSS, Germany)
  • Lakes … Atmsopheric correction over lakes and retrieval of water constituent concentrations (project lead Sampsa Koponen, Technical University Helsinki, Finland)
  • Glint … Correction of glint reflectance for MERIS (project lead by Dr. Roland Doerffer, GKSS, Germany)
  • O2 … Retrieval of atmospheric parameters from measurements in the oxygen absorption band (project lead Prof. J. Fischer, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany)
  • Synergy … Synergistic use of AATSR and MERIS for cloud detection, aerosol retrieval and atmospheric correction over land (project lead P. North, University Swansea, UK)
  • MERIS Land … Atmospheric correction over land and retrieval of fAPAR, LAI (leaf area index) and fraction of cover (project lead by B. Berthelot, Noveltis, France)
from 2003 to 2009







Contact Person: Norman Fomferra

BEAM Instrument Toolboxes

Brockmann Consult is developing toolboxes supporting specific earth observation instruments. The toolboxes are based on BEAM technology and implement specific processing functions based on user requirements.

  • Chris-Box … Supporting the multi spectral / multi-view instrument Chris on the Proba satelite
  • Smos-Box … Supporting the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity Sensors SMOS (launch Nov. 2008)
  • NEST … NEST is the next generation SAR toolbox supporting a wide range of currently flying and future SAR instruments. The Prime contractor for the NEST development is Array Systems, Canada, with support by Brockmann Consult. NEST is fully based on BEAM technology. NEST and BEAM will be compatible on product as well as on plug-in level.
  • AVISA and IAVISA … Tools supporting AVHRR and IASI on Eumetsat Metop satellites for the special purpose of cloud labelling
from 2006 to 2008





Contact Person: Norman Fomferra

 CHRIS Toolbox for BEAM

BEAM is an ESA funded open-source toolbox and development platform for viewing, analysing and processing of remote sensing raster data. Originally developed to facilitate the utilisation of image data from Envisat's optical instruments, now supports a growing number of other raster data formats. A dedicated set of tools for CHRIS/Proba has been developed under the BEAM toolbox framework. CHRIS products are provided in top of the atmosphere (TOA) radiance (radiometrically calibrated data). The noise reduction and geometric correction tools are preprocessing steps for cloud screening and atmospheric correction tools, which together the CHRIS Toolbox.
from 2007 to 2010


CHRIS Toolbox Homepage


Contact Person: Dr. Ralf Quast

 SMOS-Box for BEAM

The SMOS-Box aims at providing a facility for reading, visualisation and basic analysis of SMOS Level 1 and 2 Data Products, which complies with the BEAM Toolbox. Integrating the SMOS-Box into BEAM has the immediate advantage that the complete BEAM infrastructure can be exploited.
The main objective is the development of BEAM compliant software modules – all distributed under the GNU General Public License – for visualising measurement values, errors, flags and supplementary data in the SMOS User Data Product (UDP) family, for advanced plotting and charting of UDP data, and for exporting UDP data to alternative image and EO data formats.
from 2008 to 2010



Contact Person: Dr. Ralf Quast


MERCI has been developed to manage and process MERIS data regardless of the data volume and regardless of the storage media. The specific strength of MERCI is the support of online storage, either partly or for the complete archive to be managed. MERCI provides all functions for data acquisition, product registration quality control, product query, child product generation and dissemination. The web interface of MERCI makes your data accessible from any place in the world.
from 2004


Contact Person: Tom Block


Aquamar is a FP7 downstream project co-funded by the European Commission and started in April 2010.
The goal of Aquamar is to develop optimized and customized new products for water quality applications. Brockmann Consult is conducting research on the improvement of near shore products and is conducting the validation process of new products.
from 2010 to 2013


Aquamar Homepage

Contact Person: Kerstin Stelzer


The Sentinel-3 mission, which is in the focus of this project proposal, is primarily a mission to support services relating to the marine environment, with capability to serve numerous land-, atmospheric- and cryospheric-based application areas. The first Sentinel-3 satellite is expected to launch in 2012, followed by a second so that they work together to provide maximum coverage.
The SEN3EXP campaign combines airborne, satellite and coincident ground activities to provide feedback on key issues related to the Sentinel-3 instrument definition, performance and product quality for the OLCI and SLST instruments. This includes support to

  1.  The space segment development of OLCI, SLST hardware definition.
  2.  The ground segment simulation tool development (GPP, SPS, L1b,c).
  3.  L2 and higher processor development,
  4.  Scientific algorithm development
A key campaign requirement is that image data collected during the campaign can be fed into the O-GPP and the SPS. The output data shall also support the L2 product contract through the provision of suitable scenes and test data sets.
from April 2009 to September 2010


Contact Person: Dr. Carsten Brockmann


Brockmann Consult acts as Service Provider and is leading the Validation Bureau of the GMES project MarCoast (Marine & Coastal Environmental Information Services). The project delivers satellite-based services in the field of marine and coastal applications. Services integrate detection and monitoring technologies in terms of water quality and water quality indicators into a durable network.
Within the projects Marcoast (2007-2009) and Marcoast-2 (2009-2012) BC developed and established the WAQSS (Water Quality Service System).
from 2007 to 2012


MarCoast Homepage

Contact Person: Dr. Uwe Lange

  Value Adding Element - Monitoring Of Intertidal Flats

The "VAE - Monitoring Of Intertidal Flats" project - running under the ESA-VAE programme - investigates the international market for the potential of remote sensing techniques for monitoring of intertidal flats and implements a classification method based on optical and radar Earth Observation data to the Portuguese Tagus Estuary.
The Value Adding Element Programme of the European Space Agency focuses on the needs of the Earth Observation service industry to address new and evolving market opportunities.
10/2009 - 12/2010


Contact Person: Kerstin Stelzer


Freshmon is a EU FP 7 Downstream project and started was kicked off on 07.12.2010.
The objective of the project is to develop a new service-line for next generation of Water Quality Products for Lakes and freshwater reservoirs in Europe. The aim is to provide a continuous provision of Earth Observation based products, integrated with GIS analyses and hydrodynamic modelling components, for inland water quality monitoring. The project is lead by EOMAP GmbH and comprises 5 partners from 4 European countries.
2010 - 2013


Contact Person: Kerstin Stelzer

  Ballast Water

Within the Ballastwater Project a Risk Index Map is developed indicating high and low risk for ballast water exchange in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
The risk index integrates the most important recommendations made by the IMO Ballast Water Convention including distance to coast, water depth, clarity of water or currents away from land. This leads to a changing risk index map depending on the specific conditions of a respective date.
01/2009 - 06/2010


Contact Person: Kerstin Stelzer


MyOcean is a project granted by the European Commission within the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) Programme (7th Frame Programme), with the objective to define and to set up a concerted and integrated pan-European capacity for OCEAN MONITORING AND FORECASTING.
MyOcean is a European project dedicated to the implementation of the MARINE CORE SERVICE, one of the three GMES ‘Fast Tracks Services’, with the aim to deliver regular and systematic reference information, on the state of the oceans and regional seas. The areas of benefit are: Marine and Coastal Environment, Marine Safety, Marine Resources and Climate – Seasonal forecasting.
Brockmann Consult is responsible for service level agreements with users, service monitoring and quality control as well as for the assessment of user requirements to facilitate service quality and evolution.
GMES is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Space Agency designed to establish a European capacity to supply independent and permanent access to reliable and state of the art information on the status of Earth's environment, mainly derived from Earth observation data and in support of EU policy and sustainable development.
from 2009 to 2011



myOcean Homepage

Contact Person: Jasmin Geißler


Precise characterisation of aerosol optical properties is a key to the accuracy of atmospheric monitoring and climate studies. Until today, aerosol vertical distribution has rarely been considered in model development. Within VRAME, dynamic, vertically resolved non-maritime aerosol models for Europe have been developed from a synergy of EARLINET and AERONET data.
EARLINET is a European Aerosol Research Lidar Network and AERONET is an Aerosol Robotic Network of sunphotompeters. Systematic and comprehensive lidar measurements from EARLINET have been exploited to obtain aerosol optical properties and their vertical resolution. An aerosol database and a LUT of top-of-the-atmosphere (TOA) radiances have been created which are representative of statistical properties of the observed aerosol types. Both the database and the LUT are contributions to the EO community where an unprecedented dataset of aerosol measurements is compiled and analysed. In addition to the database and the LUT also a comprehensive sensitivity study report was performed.
The new models have been demonstrated in atmospheric correction (AC) of ocean colour satellite data. Within VRAME for the first time detailed optical and vertical information from lidars has been applied with the goal to improve ocean colour atmospheric correction.
from 2010 to 2012





Contact Person: Dr. Olaf Krüger

  Snow Radiance

Over land, permanent snow pack / sea ice is found mainly in the Northern hemisphere high altitude areas, the Arctic regions and Antarctica. An understanding of the interaction of light with snow / ice is an essential element to a diverse set of research areas, such as, investigations on climate feedbacks, ecology, atmospheric chemistry or hydrology.
The Global Climate Observation System (GCOS) group working in partnership with the other global observing systems as identified Essential Climate Variables. Among these variables, one finds: snow cover, glaciers / ice caps extent and albedo. The monitoring of these variables using a global system of satellite observations and the establishment of requirement for remote sensing products is discussed in a dedicated GCOS report.
In the frame of the Data User Programme, ESA is addressing user communities requesting snow and ice products. As such, the GlobSnow and GlobIce projects, are attempting to demonstrate that operational processing chains can be built to serve user communities with simple and robust snow and ice products. More complex product developments require detailed spectro-directional models of snow / ice covered surfaces to be developed.
The project is lead by Brockmann Consult with subcontracts to University Bremen, Finish Meteorological Institute and Freie Universität Berlin.
from 2008 to 2009


Contact Person: Dr. Olaf Krüger


The project Fronts is conducted in the framework of the German national KLIWAS project and investigates the applicability of remote sensing techniques and algorithms for the detection of fronts.
Fronts in the ocean are important oceanographic structures, because of their role as boundaries between water masses with different properties and their strong influence on the local dynamic, the dispersion and concentration of substances.
In the North Sea and in particular in the German Bight two types of fronts are dominant: The River Plume Fronts (RPF) between the freshwater entries of the rivers and the intrinsic North Sea water, as well as the Tidal Mixing Fronts (TMF) between the seasonally stratified water close to coast and saltier and therefore heavier North Sea water.
Front are characterised by strong gradients in the Sea Surface Temperature and often indicated by changing of the chlorophyll concentration or suspened matter concentration and can therefore be detected in remote sensing data.
from 2009 to 2013




Contact Person: Dr. Grit Kirches


The CEOS/GEO Cal/Val Portal is an initiative by the European Space Agency (ESA) to support the Committee on Earth Observation Systems (CEOS) and the Group on Earth Observation (GEO). ESA has awarded the contract to develop and maintain the portal to Brockmann Consult. The overall objective of the portal is the provision of satellite and correlative data over selected and agreed international sites, used for calibration and validation. This is accompanied by relevant methodological and instrument documentation. The portal comprises infrared and visible optical sensors (IVOS) as well as SAR, microwave and other GEO relevant instruments. The latter group of sensors will be expanded significantly in the near future, e.g. through the ESA SMOS mission.
from 2005


CalValPortal Homepage

Contact Person: Dr. Olaf Danne (content), Tom Block (development)


The CEOS/WGCV/LPV is currently proposing a general guideline for the validation of EO products. The OnLIne Validation Exercise - OLIVE is a service designed to quantify the performances of earth observation land product algorithms such as LAI, FAPAR, and FCOVER with respect to the guidelines proposed by CEOS. The validation algorithms implemented are monitored by the CEOS/LPV biophysical and albedo focus groups.
The OLIVE system implements the calculation of time series and other validation results over a number of known land-validation sites, the comparison with in-situ measurements and the cross validation of multiple input products.
The development of the OLIVE software is funded by the European Space Agency and is integrated into the CEOS CalValPortal web-site. The Validation Exercise Facility is accessible to a restricted user group during the first implementation phases. Furthermore OLIVE offers open access to the validation results and products.

OLIVE is realised in close collaboration with INRA EMMAH. Under ESA contract, Brockmann-Consult is developing the software, that integrates the OLIVE validation code into the CalValPortal.
08/2010 - 12/2011


Contact Person: Bettina Scholze, Tom Block


ESOV-NG is an orbit determination and visualisation software which provides users of various satellites and instruments with all information required for identification of overpasses over a specific area, coincidence of different satellites, information on viewing geometry and which supports generally campaign planning where satellite overpasses are important. ESOV-NG is provided by ESA free of charge. Brockmann Consult is developing and maintaining the software under ESA contract.
from 2006 to 2008


ESOV-NG Homepage

Contact Person: Norman Fomferra


Respond is an alliance of European and International organisations working with the humanitarian community to improve access to maps, satellite imagery and geographic information. Brockmann Consult is member of the consortium and consultant on medium resolution satellite images.
from 2007 to 2009


Respond Homepage

Contact Person: Dr. Desmond Murphy

Mosaic of Satellite Images

Brockmann Consult produces high-quality mosaics of satellite images. An example of our expertise was realized in cooperation with the Common Wadden Sea Secretary (CWSS). The satellite mosaic, composed of Landsat 7 ETM, covers the whole trilateral Wadden Sea of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands and illustrates the entire coastal area at low tide.
from 2003

Sat. Img. Mosaic Homepage

Contact Person: Kerstin Stelzer

MERIS Global Land Surface Albedo Map

Brockmann Consult under ESA contract has taken the initiative to generate a global land surface albedo product. The objective of the project is to derive monthly and 16-days averaged maps of spectral and broadband albedos from data acquired by the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) at a spatial resolution of 0.05° x 0.05°. The surface albedo, as derived from MERIS data, will significantly improve the estimation of MERIS atmospheric products and will be used as auxiliary parameters in the ENVISAT Ground Segment for the generation of standard MERIS Level2 products, as well as in climate and environmental studies.
from 2004 to 2008


Albedo Map Homepage

Contact Person: Marco Zühlke

Data Management Systems for coastal monitoring

Monitoring of the coastal zone requires a proper data management. In particular the reporting requirements for the EU Water Framework Directive and the Natura2000 directives can only be fulfilled if data quality control, archiving and retrieval and interfacing with other databases is ensured. Brockmann Consult is supporting monitoring agencies along the German coast in re-organising their data management. This includes concept development and implementation of a database layer, import and quality control routines, Web interface and data export / interface routines.
from 2004 to 2008



Contact Person: Eugen Faber

Database for nuclear power reactor

Nuclear power reactors are technically and politically highly sensitive and monitoring of the system as well as the environment is essential. The documentation of the reactor and its maintenance is critical as well. Brockmann Consult has developed a data management system for some of the monitoring and documentation requirements for a nuclear power reactor and is providing operational maintenance of the system.
from 2000 to 2008



Contact Person: Eugen Faber


The ESA DUE project series aims at bridging the gap between research projects and the sustainable provision of Earth Observation climate data products at an information level that fully responds to the operational needs of user communities. The ultimate objective of GlobVapour is to provide long-term coherent water vapour data sets exploiting the synergic capabilities of different EO (ESA and non-ESA) missions allowing for improved accuracies and enhanced temporal and spatial sampling better than those provided by the single sources.
The project seeks to utilize the increasing potential of the synergic capabilities of past, existing and upcoming European missions (ERS-1 and 2, ENVISAT, METOP, MSG as well as relevant non-European missions and in-situ data) in order to meet the increasing needs for coherent long-term water vapour datasets required by the scientific community.
Brockmann Consult is developing the processing system for all involved data.
from January 2010 to December 2012


GlobVapour Homepage

Contact Person: Uwe Krämer


The GlobColour project is demonstrating an EO based service supporting global ocean carbon cycle research and operational oceanography. It is has been initiated and funded by the ESA Data User Element. In order to cover the long time span necessary for climate monitoring purposes, the required ocean colour data set can only be built by merging together observations made with different satellite systems Brockmann Consult is responsible for the a Software development plan, architecture and detailed design of the processor, coordination of software verification activities as well as for the website design and development.
from 2005 to 2008


GlobCOLOUR Homepage

Contact Person: Dr. Ralf Quast


The GlobAlbedo project will develop a broadband albedo map of the entire Earth's land surface (snow and snow-free), which is required for use in climate modelling and scientific research. In doing so the project will generate an openly available and validated 15 year record of land surface albedo, which has the potential then to be sustained into the future using data from operational European satellites, such as the GMES Sentinels. The final albedo products will, among others, include both black and white sky albedo over the entire globe with at least a monthly frequency over the time period 1995-2010.

To achieve this goal, a new computing paradigm will be necessary to process the 75TB of input data into some 6TB of output product using a distributed computing architecture. The resultant products will be installed and validated on a MERCI-like online distribution system, and linked to the ESA Cal/Val portal. This will permit scientists worldwide to use both graphical and command-line tools to extract long time series of data for any given point (and its surroundings) on the Earth's surface.

The final GlobAlbedo products will be freely available to the user community within OGC-compliant servers as well as via simple graphical analysis tools for exploring the data.

The GlobAlbedo project is led by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) in the UK.
November 2009
to November 2012


GlobAlbedo Homepage

Contact Person: Dr. Olaf Danne


The objecive of BLMP+ was to define a cost effective reorganisation of the German "Bund-Länder-Messprogramm" (BLMP) for the marine environment. This was necessary in order to fulfil the changing requirements coming from directives and reporting duties. One of the results is a comprehensive so called Methodenhandbuch, which defines the methods, time frames and deliverable of the different monitoring programmes. This has been realized with a data bank solution.
from 2005 to 2008


BLMP+ Homepage

Contact Person: Dr. Uwe Lange

  IASI/AVHRR Cloud Detection and Characterisation

The Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer mission is composed of a Fourier transform spectrometer (IASI) and an associated Integrated Imaging Subsystem (IIS). The Fourier transform spectrometer provides infrared spectra with high resolution between 645 and 2760 cm-1 (3.6 µm to 15.5 µm). The IIS consists of a broad band radiometer with a high spatial resolution. However, the IIS information is only used for co-registration with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR).
The main goal of the IASI mission is to provide atmospheric emission spectra to derive temperature and humidity profiles with high vertical resolution and accuracy. Additionally it is used for the determination of trace gases such as ozone, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and methane, as well as land- and sea surface temperature and emissivity and cloud properties.
The interpretation of the IASI measurements requires a precise knowledge of the existence of clouds in the IASI field of view. Atmospheric profiles can only be retrieved in cloud free or partly cloudy conditions; in the latter case an estimate of the cloud contribution is required.
The first part the study was dedicated to a comprehensive overview about various mathematical approaches for cloud screening.
Within the second part of the study new algorithms for cloud detection were developed and tested. The novel methods suggested for automatic cloud detection and characterisation are Support Vector Machine and Neural Network Algorithms.
from 2009 to 2010


Contact Person: Dr. Olaf Krüger

  IASI/AVHRR Visual Scenes Analysis and Cloud Detection

The study "IASI/AVHRR Visual Scenes Analysis and Cloud Detection" has the aim to improve the IASI cloud detection by optimising the coefficients used for a predefined set of cloud tests which are performed in the IASI Level 2 processing.
For the optimisation, a dataset is assembled by a visual analysis of AVHRR Level 1B scenes overlaid by collocated IASI footprints. A sample comprises the visual cloud classification (cloud-free, cloudy and partly cloudy) together with all data required by the IASI cloud detection tests and the assessment of their performance after optimisation.
A set of interactive tools has been developed for the visual inspection and classification of IASI/AVHRR footprints. These tools as well as the IASI reader will be developed as plug-ins to the ESA BEAM 4 software, an open-source image processing, visualisation and analysis application.
from 2007 to 2008


IAVISA Homepage

Contact Person: Norman Fomferra


The objective of the GLOBCOVER / ESA initiative is to develop a service to produce a global land-cover map for the year 2005-2006, using the fine resolution (300 m) mode data acquired over the full year 2005 by the MERIS sensor on-board the ENVISAT satellite. A regionally-tuned classification and the calibration/validation of the classification by a team of regional experts in land cover characteristics assures the generation of an accurate global land cover map. Our role was to develop the prototype of the pre-processing chain as well as performing the pre-processing to the whole data set.
from 2005 to 2008



Contact Person: Dr. Carsten Brockmann


Within the OFEW project a standardized classification method for remote sensing data of intertidal flats has been developed. Different surface types such as sediment types, macrophytes and mussel beds can be spectrally differentiated and therefore be classified from optical remote sensing data. First steps have been made to integrate this application into the operational monitoring programmes. The project has been co-funded by the ministries for the Environment of Schleswig Holstein and Lower Saxony.
from 2005 to 2007


OFEW Homepage

Contact Person: Kerstin Stelzer


The MERIS Application and Regional Products Projects (MAPP) aims at providing the German Earth observation and climate research community with additional, region-specific, and higher-level Envisat MERIS science products and services. MERIS Full Resolution data of Europe are acquired in NRT at the national receiving station in Neustrelitz, and regional Level 2 and Level 3 products will be generated operationally. Validation, documentation and user training are important elements of the project aiming at improving the exploitation of MERIS products tailored to German user needs.
from 2005 to 2007


MAPP Homepage

Contact Person: Dr. Ralf Quast