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A satellite processing platform for high resolution forest assessment

The FORSAT project is a research project co-funded by the national funding authorities of the participating countries under EUROSTARS and the European Commission. The consortium met on 29.11.2012 in the kick-off meeting, hosted in Nicosia, Cyprus.

The concept
The aim of project is to raise the current technological level of aerial imagery in combination with airborne laser scanning for forest cover mapping applications to a standalone satellite based monitoring capacity. Specifically, the project aspires to transfer the existing precise processing capabilities of airborne techniques to VHR optical, stereographic satellite data, thereby providing a single source forest information solution. The envisaged FORSAT platform will enable high resolution thematic mapping of forest areas along with canopy height, thereby allow derivation of forest volume. Based on historical data, the system will allow automatic change detection of forest / non-forest areas along with change in forest volume. The FORSAT functionalities, accuracy, capacities and applicability to specified market segments shall be tested, improved and benchmarked.

We aim to test the capacity and benefits of FORSAT to European champion users in Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey, by executing 6 application case studies. This will generate the necessary facts and needed trust of other public bodies and private organizations to use VHR satellite data for many forest information needs, which do not require centimetre accuracy. Finally, the project shall develop the marketing strategies and business agreements among the partners (and future service providers) for the sale of the FORSAT platform and the accompanying services.

In summary, the direct objectives of the proposed project FORSAT are to:
1. develop and validate a VHR satellite imagery based processing suite and dedicated application solutions products (FORSAT 3D software suite and FORSAT 3D Forest Geo-Products);
2. test user required applications with viability for future operation and prospect for wider service uptake to the European market;
3. set the business framework and promote the developed capacity to provide VHR satellite based forest assessment solutions.
The results of FORSAT will provide single source, flexible forest information solutions with a very competitive price/quality ratio, allowing for new market entry in the forest sector. The project is conceived as a fully user driven project and the consortium setup ensures know how transfer between the European EO software development and service application industry.

Other related info

  • Starting Date: November 1, 2012
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Initial budget: 1.642.280,00 €
  • Website: (under construction)
  • Coordinator: Dr Stratos Stylianidis[]
    GeoImaging Ltd, Cyprus
  • Code: E!7358
  • Funding scheme: EUROSTARS


  • GeoImaging Ltd, Cyprus
  • 4DiXploer AG, Switzerland
  • Ekinoks Surveying Software Eng Ltd. Co, Turkey
  • Ingeniería Y Soluciones Informáticas S.L., Spain
  • GeoVille GmbH, Austria