Fire Damage Assessment with Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-5P

This past training was on

Thursday 28th of October 2021

RUS Copernicus will provide a full day hands-on training session where participants will access from their own laptop a Virtual Machine to exploit the open source software and toolboxes available in the RUS environment to download and process Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-5P products.

Please note that the RUS Copernicus Virtual Machines used for this training course can only be provided to citizens/residents of the Copernicus programme member countries (EU plus Iceland and Norway).


Copernicus is the European Union’s Earth Observation programme. It greatly relies on observations from various satellites called the Sentinels. Each Sentinel mission has its own specificities and addresses various environmental and societal needs. Combined together, the measurements collected by these satellites give us a precise, reliable and near-real time view of numerous key indicators on the state of our environment.

In particular, the Sentinel-3 (S3) constellation is composed of two identical platforms: Sentinel-3A (S3A) and Sentinel-3B (S3B). The mission objectives are to quantify medium to large-scale surface (both ocean and land) colour and temperature phenomena as well as to measure accurately the oceans and inland water bodies elevation. To fulfil these ambitious goals, each satellite carries three instruments: the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI), the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) and the Synthetic Aperture Radar Altimeter (SRAL). The data recorded by this pair of satellites is free of use and presents a great interest to study our Earth surface.

In addition, the Sentinel-5P (S5P) mission screens the Earth atmosphere to quantify different pollutants (O3, CO, NO2, SO2, aerosols…) with a great accuracy and spatial resolution. The observations sensed by the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) on board S5P are also free of use and provide global information on air quality, greenhouse gas emissions as well as detailed elements to detect and assess the impact of polluting events.

In particular, when a record-breaking heatwave hit the Mediterranean basin in the middle of last summer, the measurements recorded by S3 and S5P were of prime interest to detect and assess the severity of the gigantic wildfires that broke out at many different locations. These dramatic events lasted for several days, ravaged hundreds of thousands of hectares of forests and released thick smoke and toxic gases in our atmosphere.

On one hand, SLSTR collected valuable measurements to monitor the local surface ground temperatures as well as the extent of the areas burned by the fires. On the other hand, TROPOMI was able to capture the associated aerosol plumes and carbon monoxide emissions. The synergistic use of the S3 and S5P products allows assessing the impacts of a single event on two different environments (land surfaces and atmosphere).

Training Programme

After an introduction to the S3 mission and associated SLSTR products, this workshop will focus on the processing of a time series of SLSTR data to map the evolution of the extent of the areas burned by wildfires in Turkey between July 28th and August 09th 2021. The participants will use the SNAP software to monitor the wildfire activities based on Sentinel-3 products.

Then, you will learn about the S5P mission and its aerosols and carbon monoxide products. You will then process the data using Python code in the Jupyter Notebook environment to observe the daily emissions of the Turkish wildfires.

This study will end up with the creation of various maps to simultaneously visualize the atmospheric impacts on top of the land surface degradations caused by the fires.


Attendees must be in possession of their own computer with a microphone to follow the online training and will be provided with access to the RUS platform Virtual Machine.

Cost & Participation

Attendance to the training course is free of charge.

Audience & Selection

This training session is designed for an advanced audience familiar with the Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-5P missions and the tools to explore and process the products (SNAP and Python). Space is limited to 20 participants on a first-come first-served basis.

Useful Resources

If you are new to the Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-5P missions and associated products, we recommend you to watch the following webinars prior to the session:

Ozone Hole Monitoring in Antarctic using Sentinel-5P products:

Active Fire Detection with Sentinel-3:


Remote Sensing Engineer


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Fire Damage Assessment with Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-5P

Training date & time:

Thursday 28th of October 2021

09:00 – 17:00 CEST


Due to the uncertainties related to the coronavirus situation, this hands-on session will be held fully online.