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Over land, sea and air, users give MERIS high marks

The Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) is one of ten sensors on Envisat, looking down from the earthward face of the spacecraft. It works by recording visible and near-infrared radiation reflecting from our planet across a range of up to 15 programmable wavebands, to a resolution of either 1200 or 300 metres.

This flexibility and the excellent radiometric and spectral performance designed into the instrument means that scientists can make use of MERIS data across many different fields, variously obtaining information on Earth's oceans, coastal zones, land surfaces and atmosphere and potentially combining it with results from other Envisat instruments.

Since MERIS was launched as part of Envisat in March 2002 there have been several gatherings concerned with complex calibration and validation processes needed to 'fine-tune' instrument performance, but last week's MERIS User's Workshop 2003 was the first time that users of MERIS products had a chance to meet up, share initial results and exchange their views of MERIS with ESA and each other.

"The MERIS data users attending included principal investigators, students and value-adding companies," said Workshop organiser Peter Regner. "The feeling among attendees seems to be that such activities are an excellent communication tool and will be repeated in the future."

The User Workshop started on 10 November and was hosted by ESA at its ESRIN centre in Frascati, near Rome. Attendees were in for a busy four days, with more than 50 presentations and round tables packed into the schedule, together with poster sessions, training sessions in the BEAM (Basic ERS, Envisat (A)ATSR and MERIS Toolbox) software used for data processing and special sessions on key themes including water, land and atmosphere applications.

Olivier Arino, Head of Projects in ESA's Earth Observation Applications Department gave the Workshop an overview of projects being run by the Agency that use MER
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Contact: Peter Regner
peter.regner@esa.int
39-06-941-80-558
European Space Agency
17-Nov-2003


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