The observation of the Earth from high platforms and from the outer space is a key element of the Earth-related sciences, including meteorology, oceanography, space weather or climate, to mention a few. These type of observations permit understanding processes and phenomena that would not be captured from in-situ measurements or from lower altitudes, thus improving their parameterizations and modeling. Spaceborne Earth observations enable monitoring the status of several ‘spheres’ of the Earth, and generate sets of data for both research and operational uses. Under operational systems, these data sets improve the skills of weather/ocean forecasting and enhance the climate projections on many fields. These activities have a large socio-economic impact, and are currently present in many aspects of our daily lives.
The IEEC is a leading center in developing new remote sensing concepts for Earth observation, from the invention of measurement concepts to their theoretical assessment, instrument prototyping and experimental field campaigns, including the research on required algorithms, inversion, calibration and validation activities and preparation of dedicated mission. This last step is done either through proposals to Space and Governmental agencies or by their direct implementation in very small platforms.
The main Earth Observation areas of expertise of IEEC cover: the use of Global Navigation Satellite System for Earth monitoring, mostry through Reflectometry (GNSS-R) and Radio Occultations (GNSS-RO); the use of other sources of opportunity (SoOP-R); advanced radiometric and hyperspectral technologies; their implementation in small satellites; their synergy and fusion with other Earth Observation products and technologies; and the opportunistic use of spaceborne infrastructure.
Reaching the aforementioned objectives cannot be accomplished in an isolated form, so that IEEC has a network of collaborations with other organizations, including academic institution and industrial enterprises. The latter provide a crucial contribution to ensure the high competitive level needed in space projects and ideally complement the capabilities of IEEC.