Feb 1, 2017 · 5 min read
The imagery is based on multi-spectral data and can effectively assist in any digitalization/interpretation job of LPIS.

With today’s immediate and seamless availability of global archive of Sentinel-2 data we have revolutionised remote sensing processes. Today we have possibilities, which didn’t exist a year ago — for every place on Earth there are multi-spectral data available every week (in Europe even more often), the data, which can help automate or reduce workload of several tasks in IACS. Our services are here to help users managing massive volume of data by empowering Cloud technology, with access to data available from anywhere via web services.

Get Setinel-2 data in your own existing IACS system in a matter of seconds

Although all the Sentinel-2 satellite imagery is free, available by Copernicus programme, the process to download and process the desirable data could take several hours. Sentinel Hub is exploiting advance cloud technology and innovative methods to efficiently process and distribute data in a matter of seconds. Users and IT administrators do not need to worry about synchronization issues, downloading, storage of TB of data, processing, de-compression algorithms, meta-data or sensor bands.

Sentinel Hub makes satellite data (Sentinels, Landsat and other providers) seamlessly accessible for you to be browsed or analysed, within your own GIS environment, therefore with your own reference data.

Lower cost of inspection process based on continuous satellite imagery

Satellite imagery is revolutionising agriculture and can help European farmers and public authorities take land monitoring to a whole new level. While Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) requires member states to perform diligent checks of subsidised agricultural parcels, satellite imagery can help automate or speed up some of the tasks, thus lowering the cost of the inspection process. With using Sentinel Hub services you can avoid unnecessary additional investments into technology and infrastructure.

There are several benefits of Sentinel data for IACS controls:

  • Managing complaints in a more transparent manner.
  • Easy observation of cultivated areas through the year.
  • Better insights with the use of multi-spectral imagery (e.g. stubble and catch crops).
  • Advanced possibilities like land use and crop classification.

With the freely available satellite imagery of the Copernicus programme it is possible to obtain quality data for almost every reference parcel on many dates, almost every week if weather permits it.

You can easily observe, whether the area was cultivated throughout the year or not (an example is clearly shown on the following snapshots through time). Based on the observation you can reach more accurate conclusions, and avoid unnecessary field trips.

Different spectral bands of the image can be effectively used to perform classification of crops. This result can constitute an important contributor to the Risk Analysis and be of a great help during inspection.

Figure 2: The images are showing a parcel declared using several years old aerial image. Recent data show that there is a significant area covered with water. From the acquired Sentinel-2 images it was clear, that this area wasn’t used for farming at that time. Therefore, the farmer wasn’t entitled to a full subvention.

Parcels, where classified crop is found to be different then claimed, can be marked and the inspector can be warned beforehand. Additionally, a lot of help can be provided for determining land usage, EFAs, and identifying stubble crops.

Figure 3: Cropped NDVI image on a reference parcel
Figure 4: Stubble crop inspection — an example is showing parcels, which have declared stubble crops. By visually inspecting satellite imagery in late autumn, it is very easy to identify areas, which do not have a green cover (e.g. areas with low NDVI value are shown yellow in the right image).

WMS satellite imagery service

For any location, there are year around images available through WMS service, with the most recent being usually only few days old.

Figure 5: Several snapshots of a Reference Parcel through time

These imagery is based on multi-spectral data and can effectively assist in any digitalisation/interpretation job of LPIS (Figure 6–8). Since the last image is usually not more than a week old, it is especially useful for interpretation of changes in the land usage that are not yet seen on the orthophoto.

Figure 6: Post-processing inspection with Natural Color snapshot of a parcel on a selected date
Figure 7: Near IR images can be used to identify growth and structures
Figure 8: NDVI images visualise the amount of chlorophyll

Work with Sentinel Hub

Our approach combines cloud-based GIS technologies, parallel processing and fully automated procedures. Regardless of the volume of data, Sentinel Hub is able to create an on-the-fly mosaic of the imagery based on your choice of area, time, cloud coverage parameters, atmospheric correction, and combines the sensor bands using one of several products and visualisation options. On-the-fly processing and visualisation make it possible to build new products (e.g. vegetation indices — NDVI and similar) in a matter of minutes. The resulting image gets delivered to you via OGC standard services or the web interface in just a few seconds.

Land monitoring

Sentinel-2 data offers 10–20m spatial resolution, 5-day revisit frequency, global coverage and compatibility to the Landsat missions and provides new opportunities for regional to global agriculture monitoring.

The results of land monitoring bring significant added value to agriculture. Monitoring of crop conditions, soil properties and mapping tillage activities, help to assess land use, predict harvests, monitor seasonal changes and assist in implementing policy for sustainable development.

Figure 9: The NDVI provides quantitative information on the health of the crop in the field. The green coloured zones have the most robust volume of vegetation while the yellow and red zones represent less vegetation. This information can be used to make management decisions on the application of inputs like fertilizer and fungicide.

There is no doubt, that Sentinel data is rich in information and can help automate or reduce workload of several tasks in IACS. With Sentinel Hub you can start using earth-observation data in a cost-efficient way of gathering necessary information for IACS controls.

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Interested in our solution? Contact us for live demo and try it out for free.

Originally published at

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Sentinel Hub Blog

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