Radar Altimetry Tutorial & Concrete Marine and Inland Water Applications using Sentinels data

This past training was

24-29 September 2018

During the 25 Years of Progress in Radar Altimetry Symposium, the RUS consortium will provide a 1-day training course for 20 participants. The objective is to illustrate the capabilities of Open software tools developed within the ESA SEOM Programme on a concrete marine application and an inland water (hydrology) application.

To start this training day session, a lecture will be given by experts. This includes a theoretical part aiming to provide an overall background on radar altimetry and SAR imagery. This will then be followed by hands-on sessions with data processing exercises based on Sentinel-1 radar images and Sentinel-3 radar altimetry data. The hands-on sessions will be based on Open tools developed within the ESA SEOM Programme (with focus on the ESA SNAP Toolbox, the STEP platform and the, BRAT Toolbox in the RUS environment.

The first hands-on session will be about radar altimetry applications dedicated to ocean monitoring with Sentinel-3 data (analysis of sea level and currents) with different types of data (Level-2 and Level-3 data).

The second hands-on session illustrates how Sentinel-1, 2 and Sentinel-3 data can be used in synergy to accurately measure inland water levels. In the first part the attendees will learn how to use the SNAP toolbox to obtain a high-resolution water mask (KML format) from a Sentinel-1 image. In the second part a water mask will be used, within the BRAT software, together with colocated and “codated” Sentinel-3 Level 2 data. It will serve to geo-select the Sentinel-3 records that fall over the water body of interest. Simple BRAT “Formulas” will then make it possible to measure the mean level of this water body.

The RUS service – Research and User Support for Sentinel core products – is an initiative funded by the European Commission and managed by ESA with the objective to promote the uptake of Copernicus Sentinel data and support R&D activities. It is a free and open service offering not only powerful computational environment – in the form of customized Virtual Machines (VMs), pre-installed with a wide variety of open source toolboxes – but also EO expertise and support for application-specific data selection, data processing and visualization as well as algorithm development and scaling-up to large amount of Sentinel products.

Each registered participant will be provided with a pre-installed VM, accessible through an internet browser on their personal laptop. The VM will contain all the software and data necessary to follow the exercise during the course and will be accessible to users also in the following weeks.

Learning objectives

  • Participants will have a good overview and hands-on experience with radar applications, focusing both on ocean (sea level analysis, currents analysis…) and inland water applications.
  • Participants will be familiar with the RUS environment and will be informed on how to request RUS VM for other EO projects and activities exploiting the Copernicus Sentinel data.

Prerequisites of the participants

Basic knowledge of remote sensing (Radar)

Number of participants:
20 participants.

Selection of participants:
The 20 participants to the hands-on sessions will be selected based on their application; only participants to the workshop 25 years of Altimetry will be considered. The possibility to allow for few extra participants in case of no-show will be considered.

Fee for the participants:
The Training is offered free of charge

Participants will be requested to use their own laptops and they will connect to their dedicated VM through a simple browser.


Research engineer


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Radar Altimetry Tutorial & Concrete Marine and Inland Water Applications using Sentinels data

Date & training date:

24-29 September 2018


Ponta Delgada