Selected research Projects (2014-2020)



Eurostars RAMON (2019-2022)

The objective of the Eurostars RAMON Project, coordinated by GAMMA with the partners SATIM and ICEYE Polska, are to design, develop and test an innovative radar-based landslides monitoring service to support different phases of the landslide risk management. The service combines existing, established elements as landslide velocity maps derived from stacks of satellite SAR data using Persistent Scatterer Interferometry with completely new near-real-time monitoring elements, as urgently required during crisis situations, made possible using a novel microsatellite constellation and terrestrial radars. 


ESA Worldcover (2019-2021)

The aim of this project under the lead of VITO is to deliver to the public a land cover map of the entire globe at 10m resolution based on its Sentinel-1 and 2 data. GAMMA contributes the pre-processing of Sentinel-1 SAR data, including quality assessments and support to the thematic classification chains.



ESA – CCI+ - Glaciers (2019-2022)

The main objectives of the CCI+ Glaciers Project (coordinated by University of Zürich, Switzerland) in the frame of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) are to provide EO based services for glacier monitoring, as developed and demonstrated under the DUE GlobGlacier Project and CCI Glacier. GAMMA’s responsibilities are in the glacier flow monitoring and in the service and system engineering.


ESA – CCI+ – Biomass (2018-2021)

The main objectives of the CCI+ Biomass Project (coordinated by Aberystwyth University, UK) in the frame of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) are to provide EO based services for forest biomass monitoring. GAMMA has the technical lead, with responsibilities in the algorithm development, system implementation and the generation of the global biomass products.


ESA – CCI+ – Permafrost (2018-2021)

The main objectives of the CCI Permafrost Project (coordinated by GAMMA, with T. Strozzi acting as project manager, and B.GEOS, with A. Bartsch acting as science leader) is to deliver a permafrost related climate data record which complies with the requirements of the climate user community. The work builds upon elements developed and demonstrated under the ESA DUE GlobPermafrost project. GAMMA’s responsibilities are in the coordination of the work, mountain permafrost thematic products, overall system design engineering and the production of subsidence maps on Arctic permafrost sites.


ESA – CCI+ – Snow (2018-2021)

The main objectives of the CCI Snow Project (coordinated by ENVEO, Austria) in the frame of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) is to provide essential climate variables for snow based on EO data. GAMMA’s responsibilities are in the system design engineering.



ESA AALM4INFRAM (2019-2020)

In this project EO based services in support as a high-level building and infrastructure stability management aid in permafrost areas are developed and assessed. The project is coordinated by GAMMA who is responsible for the SAR based EO elements. Partners are the Danish Technical University and ASIAQ who contribute geotechnical competence, in-situ information and optical EO components.


ESA - Dragon 4 Cooperation Programme (2016-2019)

The Dragon Programme focuses on exploitation of ESA, Chinese, and third party mission EO data for geo-science and applications development in land, ocean and atmospheric applications in 50 joint Sino-European projects. GAMMA is involved in forest, glacier dynamics and permafrost projects.


ESA - GlobPermafrost (2016-2019)

ESA has launched the GlobPermafrost initiative to develop, validate and implement information products to support the research communities and related international organizations like IPA and CliC in their work on understanding permafrost better by integration of Earth Observation data. In this project coordinated by Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG), GAMMA has the lead for the mountain permafrost thematic products and the overall system design engineering and will produce subsidence maps on Arctic permafrost sites.


ESA – Exploitation of S-1 for Surface Soil Moisture Retrieval at High Resolution (2016-2019)

In this project, led by CNR-ISSIA, the objective is to develop and generate surface soil moisture products at 100m spatial scale, based on multi-temporal Sentinel-1 C-band SAR backscatter and L-band radiometry soil moisture products of the ESA SMOS and NASA SMAP missions.


ESA – Wide-Band Scatterometer Development (2017-2019)

In this project GAMMA develops and builds the coherent, polarimetric 1 – 40 GHz scatterometer WBScat. A design incorporating a Vector Network Analyzer and a front end with 3 wide-band horn antennas was chosen. During The WBScat can be used in support tower based measurements of snow, crops and soil.



ESA - Snowlab (2016 – 2019)

After a SNOWSCAT ( X- to Ku-band scatterometer) / WBScat (1-40 GHz Wide-band Scatterometer) cross-comparison campaign in early winter 2018/19 the measurements were continued, using the WBScat, in combination with the L- and X-band radiometers ELBARA and MORA operated by WSL-Birmensdorf.



ESA – Biomascat (2018-2019)

The objective of this project under the ESA EO SCIENCE FOR SOCIETY program is the assessment of vegetation carbon dynamics from multi-decadal spaceborne Scatterometer and SAR observations. GAMMA develops and applies the biomass retrieval algorithms, the Max-Planck Institute, Jena incorporates the biomass maps in their climate modeling and provides feedbacks on their usefulness.


KTI/CTI - Development of a car-borne repeat-pass differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system at L-band for ground displacement measurements (2016-2019)

In this project GAMMA and the Earth Observation & Remote Sensing Group, ETH Zurich (EO-ETHZ) develop and test a car-borne repeat-pass differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar. In 2018 the focus of the work on GAMMA side was on the development of the L-band hardware while EO-ETHZ gained experience with the acquisition and processing of car-borne SAR data using a modified GPRI-II Ku-band system. In addition, the new L-band radar hardware was successfully tested in a series of measurement campaigns. The feasibility of repeat-pass interferometry using the car-borne L-band SAR could be confirmed.



ESA –SMOS Expert Support Laboratory for Level 2 - Soil Moisture (2014-2019)

The tasks of the SMOS ESL for soil moisture include the development, implementation and assessment of SMOS soil moisture retrieval algorithms. GAMMA contributed new algorithm ideas arising from 2-stream radiative transfer modeling that are now being further tested and that may be introduced at a later stage into the operational processor.

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