Earth Observation and Modelling

Development of a remotely operated floating platform to calibrate and validate optical remote sensing data in the Arctic sea ice supporting the MOSAiC experiment

Sea ice in the Arctic has decreased dramatically since the late 1970s. During summer months, melt ponds affect the albedo, mass balance and heat balance of the sea ice by translating the increase of air temperature into drastic and rapid surface type changes. They introduce a positive feedback within the sea ice albedo feedback loop, thus facilitating further ice melt. A satellite retrieval of the spatio-temporal dynamics of melt ponds allows to observe the optical properties of melt ponds and sea ice throughout the whole Arctic summer.

For the development of remote sensing based applications, however, calibration and validation data are necessary. To enable non-destructive pond measurements, the project aims to develop a remotely operated and floating platform for measuring the light field above the water surface and within the water body of melt ponds. The platform also hosts an echo sounder for measurements of pond depths and pond bottom relief. The measurements are fundamental for the calibration and validation of airborne hyperspectral (AisaEagle) and satellite-based multispectral (Sentinel-2 MSI) data, which are acquired during the summer months of the MOSAiC experiment.

Funding agency:      Prof. Dr. Werner Petersen Stiftung

Funding period:       10/2019 bis 12/2020

Coordination:           Prof. N. Oppelt

Project staff:            Felix Linhardt




Petersen Stiftung: