Current Project Status

Phase 2 of the GlobBiomass project  is in current execution regarding the time period 01.04.2016 – 31.01.2017.

The significant deliverables in Phase 2 will be the updates of the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD) and the Design Justification File (DJF), which contains a comprehensive description of all applied algorithms for the estimation of growing stock volume, written by the scientific coordinator from University of Sheffield. All five mentioned regional partners will update their information about applied data, mapping procedures and used algorithms in the 2nd version of the Regional Product Development Method documents. These documents will implement in the new version of the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents (ATBD).

The regional teams produced in autumn 2016 the Regional Maps for the reference year 2005 (Epoch 1) for all five test regions (Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, Poland, Indonesia/Kalimantan). The partners from the University of Leicester, CESBIO, SLU, IGIK and RSS improved the algorithms from Epoch 2 (reference year 2010) for the current biomass 2005 retrieval. New sensors and a wide variety of different in situ data were used for the biomass estimation.

The development of the Global Biomass Approach will proceed in the 2nd Project Phase. Current the project partner Gamma tested different algorithms for global biomass mapping and the inter-comparisons at continental scale. Therefore they executed the first continental runs of BIOMASAR-L and the inter-comparison with data products produced by CESBIO. Beyond they interacted with the Max Planck Institute on a definition of the global biomass product and the conversion between volume and Above Ground Biomass. Different state-of-the-art methods for the retrieval of total site biomass were tested, including new machine learning methods and the surveying of the potential of additional in situ datasets for the creation of a shared and expanded reference database.

After finalization of the Global Biomass Approach the System Development will go straight forward. The System Requirements Document (SRD) and the System Specifications Document (SSD) will update in Phase 2 and the Qualification Review Report (QRR) will provide.

The 3rd Project Meeting was conducted successful from 30.08.2015-02.09.2015 at the Forest Research Institute in Bialowieza / Poland, supported by the Polish partners IGIK and FRI. Monthly teleconferences will offer a discussion platform for further project development until the 2nd User Workshop which is current in planning status. It will take place at VTT in Espoo/Helsinki/Finland from 31 January – 01. February 2017.

Phase 1 of the GlobBiomass project covered the time period 01.01.2015 – 31.03.2016.

Major deliverables were the User Requirements (URD) and Product Specification Document (PSD). In discussion between internal and with external partners a comprehensive Glossary of Terms .was generated These documents constitute an important foundation for the further progression of the GlobBiomass project.

The data acquisition task consisted of archiving different space data (ALOS PALSAR, ENVISAT ASAR, ICESAT GLAS, Sentinel-1 and Landsat data) and ground information (in situ measurements, data from national forest organizations, land cover data, DEM). Information about used remote sensing data is part of the Space Data Document (SDD) and about auxiliary data to support global biomass estimation is part of the Ground Data Document (GDD). On the basis of these preconditions, a Validation Protocol (VP) was developed to guide the project team through the algorithm development phase.

The five regional partners (responsible for Sweden, Poland, Kalimantan, and parts of South Africa and Mexico) described their mapping procedures in respective Product Development Method (PDM) documents. These regional PDM`s were implemented in the first version of the global Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents (ATBD) and the Design Justification File (DJF) for all products. For the production of these deliverables, a comprehensive set of algorithms for the estimation of growing stock volume and the sensitivity of model parameters were tested. A first list of system requirements and specifications were collected in the System Requirements and Specification Documents (SRD / SDD) and, based on this information, a prototype was developed.

The regional teams produced the first Regional Maps for the reference year 2010 (Epoch 2) for all test sites mentioned above. Applying different mapping approaches, they demonstrated the wide variety of different estimation algorithms thus constituting the basis for further discussions with users, interested parties and scientific colleagues. A rigorous accuracy assessment is part of the project’s Phases 2 and 3. All regional partners described the performance of the applied algorithms in the regional chapters of the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Documents (ATBD`s) and a very first version of the global approach has been introduced in the respective global chapter of the ATBD.

The management team organized the 1st Project Meeting with user participation in June 2015 in Jena at the premises of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry and the Friedrich-Schiller-University. A dedicated regional algorithm meeting took place additionally in September at the University of Leicester to discuss in depth the varying approaches. The 2nd Project Meeting was performed successful in October as a video conference. Monthly teleconferences offered a discussion platform for further project development until the 1st User Workshop, carried out from 2.-4. February 2016 at partner location IIASA in Laxenburg/Austria.


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