Black Sea from Space SNAP Training

Black Sea Ocean Colour Remote Sensing with SNAP, Sentinel and Envisat Data

26-27 September, 2016

National Institute for Marine Research and Development "Grigore Antipa", Constanta, Romania


Scientists and students wishing to participate can apply on-line and should:
  • the application deadline has passed 
  • Your application has to be supported with one reference letter on official headed University/Company paper which has to be sent to (deadline 15 June 2016). Please put in the subject of your email "Black Sea from Space SNAP Training-Reference Letter-Your Last Name"
  • The deadline for application is 15 June 2016
  • Your application will be considered completed once the referee's reference letter is sent to (deadline 15 June 2016)
  • Notification of acceptance will be sent by mid July 2016

Training Details

This part of the course will introduce ocean colour remote sensing with theoretical lectures and practical hands-on work. The theoretical part will be 1-hour lectures, followed by 2-hour practical exercises using SNAP with the Sentinel-3 Toolbox of ESA. MERIS, Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-2 products will be used during the practical.


Day 1, Morning

Theory: Principles of ocean colour remote sensing.

The lecture starts with an overview on the importance of biological and sedimentological quantities in the oceans, which are the parameters we can measure with optical remote sensing from space. Starting from the basic radiative transfer processes, the specific aspects of light in the ocean and its transport through the atmosphere will be introduced.

Practical: ESA’s SNAP and the Sentinel-3 Toolbox introduction and basics.

Using ESA’s ENVISAT MERIS and Sentinel-3 and -2 products, the students will learn how to operate the SNAP Toolboxes and to explore the content of the image products. Geophysical bands, flags and uncertainties will be introduced and the options offered by SNAP to work with this information.

Day 1, Afternoon

Theory: Atmospheric correction and retrieval of water products.

Atmospheric correction and in-water algorithms to retrieve the concentrations of chlorophyll-a, total suspended matter and coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) are the two main categories of algorithms needed to be employed in order to extract the marine information from the satellite measurements. These algorithm steps are part of ESA’s ground segment processing to generate the so-called Level 2 products, and they are provided within the Sentinel-3 Toolbox for user specific processing.

Practical: Processing and analysis of ocean colour products from ESA’s satellites.

Level 1 products will be processed with SNAP tools into Level 2 products which contain chlorophyll concentration, total suspended matter (TSM) concentration and CDOM absorption. SNAP provides various analysis tools to study correlations and to understand the relationships between environmental factors and satellite measurements.

Day 2, Morning

Theory: Validation of Ocean Colour data.

Validation is a critical part of the work of ocean colour remote sensing scientists. This includes the comparison with reference data (in situ measurements) as well as consistency and plausibility checks. It is very important for the development of individual algorithms (e.g., for regional studies).

Practical: Validation and data integration (binning and mapping), introduction to programming in Python with SNAP.

In the final exercise the students will use SNAP to compare satellite data with reference data, and they will learn how to generated mapped and binned products. The final part of the lecture introduced the Python SNAPPY API, which enables easy programming and own algorithmic ideas in Python.

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