Estonian scientists calibrate the world’s most accurate satellite
Scientists of the University of Tartu and Tartu Observatory and AS Regio help calibrate the world’s most accurate satellite WorldView-2. Calibration is needed for identifying more accurately different objects on the ground, assessing small space changes or even specifying the types of plants on the land and the depth of water in the sea by means of a photo taken from the satellite.
The satellite WorldView-2, which has the world’s highest spatial resolution, took photos of the reference panel in Järvselja while flying over Estonia some days ago. The spectrum of the concrete plate with the side length of 10 meters, located in Tartumaa Järvselja, and intended for calibration of satellites, is exactly known due to measuring carried out on the ground. “By comparing the accurate terrestrial spectrum of the reference plate with the dimensions of the satellite, it is possible to find correction coefficients. The given correction coefficients are universal and are suitable for global calibration of the satellite data. Calibration of the satellite is needed for exact identification of different types of plants as well as artificial objects measured by means of electromagnetic radiation,” says Kaupo Voormansik, Ph.D. student of physics at the University of Tartu.
Tartu Observatory is the leading remote sensing and space technology centre in Estonia. We have contributed to the world’s remote sensing science already since the beginning of it in the 1970s both by building sensors as well as developing theories and algorithms, which enable application of remote sensing data. AS Regio uses data of WorldView-2 for developing the applications of remote sensing and is also their reseller in Europe.
“Such involvement in the work of one of the world’s leading companies offering satellite information has been possible due to the fact that Estonian space scientists have been highly valued partners already in several international remote sensing projects. Great investments in new optical laboratories have paid off. We are especially happy that modern technologies have also motivated the young generation to contribute to monitoring and protecting the resources and physical and social environment of our home planet Earth,” assures Anu Reinart, Director of Tartu Observatory.