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Science and Applications with Sentinel-2

The Sentinel-2 mission provides unprecedented multi-spectral observations with a five-day revisit at the equator, a spatial resolution of up to 10 meters and systematic global coverage of the Earth’s land surface. The operational provision of globally and temporally consistent data provided by Sentinel-2 is expected to allow unmatched characterization of dynamic surface processes from national to continental scales.

Sentinel-2A was launched on the 23rd of June 2015 and was most recently joined by Sentinel-2B on the 7th of March 2017 as part of the European Earth Observation (EO) program Copernicus led by the European Commission, in which ESA is the coordinator of the Space Component and operates the Sentinel-2 mission.

The Sentinel-2 mission consists of two identical satellites and with recurrent satellite units ensuring long-term operational observations for the next 20 years. All Sentinel-2 data are available to users under a free and open data policy, which underpins the development of long-term, sustainable EO applications.

This special issue will report on the status of the mission, quality of the Sentinel-2 products and innovative research results based on Sentinel-2 observations. The wealth of information provided by improved data quality, resolution and increased temporal frequency together with the sheer data volume calls for innovative algorithms and new data exploitation strategies, for example such as those linked to cloud computing capabilities. Furthermore, dense time series over large geographic regions provided by Sentinel-2 as well as opportunities for combining the data with that from complementary systems, such as Landsat-8, allow for studies of natural and human-induced processes in unparalleled detail.

In particular, this Sentinel-2 special issue will focus on the following topics:

  • Sentinel-2 mission
  • Sentinel-2 products quality and cal/val approaches
  • Atmospheric correction and cloud screening methods
  • Agriculture
  • Aquatic ecosystems:
  • * Inland water quality
  • * Coral reef monitoring
  • Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services
  • Biophysical variables retrieval
  • Coastal mapping and monitoring
  • Data fusion and multi-sensor data integration techniques
  • Disaster risk reduction and recovery
  • Forest mapping and monitoring
  • Land cover and its change
  • Land degradation and soil condition
  • Natural hazards
  • Snow and ice mapping
  • * Glaciers
  • * Sea Ice
  • Time series analysis & hotspot detection
  • Urban mapping
  • Water resources management

In the spirit of Open Science, we aim to support accepted publications included in this special issue as open access. ESA funds the open access with the support of Elsevier for up to 24 papers accepted within this Sentinel-2 special issue.

Submissions are due by September 30th, 2017. Submit your paper under the “Sentinel-2 Science Special Issue” using RSE’s online submission system. The authors are kindly requested to follow RSE author guidelines. The Sentinel-2 special issue will follow the concept of a virtual special issue which ensures a timely publication of the individual accepted papers.

Guest Editors,
Bianca Hoersch, Benjamin Koetz, and Alan Belward