NCEO/CEOI Joint Science Conference, September 2011

The first joint annual science conference of the National Centre for Earth Observation and the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation was held from 5th - 8th September 2011 at the University of Warwick. 

The full conference programme is available here. Presentations from the Conference are available below.

Developments in technology enable new kinds of observations of Earth from space, which lead to new scientific insights into how our planet works as a complex system. Major advances are likely to require an appreciation of the whole spectrum of EO activities, comprising technological developments, fundamental science and applications. This is why NCEO and the CEOI have joined forces for this first joint annual conference, and are developing a diverse and exciting programme of both plenary and parallel sessions.

Many of the presentations from Days 2 and 3 of the Conference are available below. The science presentations from Day 1 and the Young Scientists talks from Day 2 are/will be available through the NCEO website.


1 Welcome – Alan O’Neill, Director NCEO

2 Volcano InSAR reveals shallow magmatic activity in East Africa– Juliet Biggs, University of Bristol

3 A new scheme for sulfur dioxide retrieval from IASI measurements: application to recent volcanic eruptions.

Elisa Carboni, Roy Grainger, Joanne Walker, Anu Dudhia, University of Oxford, Richard Siddans, STFC RAL

4 Vertical tectonic signals from integrated InSAR and GPS observations: Southern Walker Lane and Sierra Nevada - Zhenhong Li, University of Glasgow: William C. Hammond, Geoffrey Blewitt, Corné Kreemer and Hans-Peter Plag, University of Nevada, Reno, USA

5 Slip in the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquakes, New Zealand and implications for future seismic hazard in Christchurch. John Elliott, E. K. Nissen, P. C. England, J. A. Jackson, S. Lamb, Z. Li, M. Oehlers, K. Palamartchouk, and B. Parsons.

6 Data assimilation news – Peter Jan van Leeuwen, University of Reading

7 Reduced order models in data assimilation. Amos Lawless University of Reading.

8 Development of prototype EO land data assimilation system - Philip Lewis (UCL):, Jose Gomez-Dans, UCL; Thomas Kaminski, FastOpt Ltd., Germany; Jeff Settle, Kevin Pearson, U of Reading, Tristan Quaife, University of Exeter, Nadine Gobron, Joint Research Centre, Jon Styles, Assimila Ltd, Michael Berger, ESA

9 Analysis of the DALEC evergreen model - Anna Chuter, Anne Skeldon, Philip Aston, Ian Roulstone, University of Surrey

10 Atmospheric data assimilation with space and ground based observations for high-impact weather. Stefano Migliorini and Ross Bannister, University of Reading

11 Future improvement to methane & ozone climate data sets through combining sensors – Richard Siddans, RAL

12 Measuring methane from space and comparing to model simulations - Robert Parker, University of Leicester, Annemarie Fraser, University of Edinburgh

13 ESA Climate Change Initiative: A new collaborative European approach to aerosol remote sensing from satellite – Gareth Thomas/Caroline Poulsen, University of Oxford

14 ESA Climate Change Initiative: Towards a unified satellite cloud climatology – Caroline Poulsen, RAL

15 Radiative impacts of desert dust in HiGAM Model – Margaret Woodage and Richard Allan, University of Reading

16 An update on the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget project - Helen Brindley and Jacqui Russell, Imperial College

17 Latest results from Cryosat – Seymour Laxon, UCL

18 Melt-induced speed-up of Greenland ice-sheet offset by efficient subglacial drainage - Aud Sundal, Andrew Shepherd, Steve Palmer, U of Leeds; Pete Nienow, U of Edinburgh; Edward Hanna, U of Sheffield; Philippe Huybrechts, University of Vrije, Brussels

19 Using EO data to assess snow models - Steven Hancock, Bob Baxter and Brian Huntley, Durham University

20 Seasonal cycling of inorganic carbon downstream of the island of South Georgia, Southern Ocean - Elizabeth Jones, University of East Anglia/ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Dorothee Bakker and Andrew Watson, University of East Anglia; Hugh J. Venables, British Antarctic Survey

21 Consistency of marine wind speed data sets for global calculations of turbulent heat flux over the ocean - Susanne Fangohr, Elizabeth Kent, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

22 A High-Resolution Reanalysis of the Global Ocean - Keith Haines, Maria Valdivieso and Hao Zuo, Reading University

23 Using satellite radar to map biomass and disturbance- Timothy Hill, Casey Ryan and Mat Williams, University of Edinburgh

24 Radiative Transfer modelling of wildfire impacts - Philip Lewis, Jose Gomez-Dans, Mathias Disney UCL, Martin Wooster, Kings College London, Bernard Pinty, Joint Research Centre, David Roy, South Dakota State University, USA

25 Determining global soil moisture from space - Robert Gurney, Mel Sandells, Ian Davenport, University of Reading

26 Storm Initiation in the Sahel - Phil Harris, CEH Wallingford

27 Near real-time flood detection in urban and rural areas using TerraSAR-X - David Mason, Ian Davenport, University of Reading, Guy Schumann, Jeffrey Neal, Paul Bates, University of Bristol


UK Earth Observation and ESA Missions:

1. Overview of NCEO (Alan O’Neill)

2. Overview of CEOI (Mick Johnson)

3. ESA Plans for EO Missions and Technologies (Amanda Regan, ESA)

4. Science and Technologies for EE8 Missions:

a. Carbon Sat (Hartmut Boesch, University of Leicester)

b. FLEX (Luis Guanter, University of Oxford)

c. Instrument Options for CarbonSat and FLEX (Dan Lobb, SSTL)


1 Alex Parkins, UCL - Development of a new class of geodetic sensor for seismic early warning

2 Remote sensing of snow mass from ground to satellite - Mel Sandells, Mark Richardson, Ian Davenport and Robert Gurney, University of Reading

3 The detection and measurement of forest degradation using ALOS PALSAR data – Kevin Tansey, Sue Page, Matthew Waldram, University of Leicester

4 Inter-comparison of AIRS and High Quality Radiosonde Sites for Climate Assessment, Timothy Trent, John Remedios, University of Leicester

5 Profiling Trace Gases in the Upper Troposphere and Lowest Stratosphere, Daniel Gerber, STFC

6 Improving satellite retrievals of formaldehyde and glyoxal from GOME-2 to improve tropical biogenic emission estimates - Will Hewson, Hartmut Bosch, University of Leicester

7 Model based predictions of marine ice sheets – Rupert Gladstone,

University of Bristol

8 Dale Partridge, N Nichols, M Baines, University of Reading: Data assimilation in a moving mesh model of an ice sheet

9 David Nandi, R Sharples, D Donogue (University of Durham): A Novel Hyperspectral Imager Based on Microslice Technology

10 Science potential for advanced EO missions in convoy with operational satellites (Karl Atkinson, Astrium)

11 Laser Heterodyne Radiometry for EO (Rebecca Rose, STFC-RAL)


A. CEOI Instruments and Technologies for EO

1. Using Hollow Waveguides in Advanced Optical Instruments for EO (Mike Jenkins, Hollow Waveguides Ltd)

2. Millimetre wave technology for STEAM-R (Simon Rea, STFC-RAL)

3. CityScan and CompAQS Air Quality Monitors (Roland Leigh, University of Leicester)

4. Thermal IR Data Acquisition Systems (Neil Humpage, University of Leicester)

5. Passive Microwave and Sub-millimetre wave Imager Technologies for MetOp-SG (Simon Rea, STFC-RAL)

6. The TDS Altimetry Sensing System (Martin Unwin, SSTL)

B. Joint Workshop with the UK Measurement Network (NPL/NMS) on “Quality Issues for ECVs and Climate Data”

1. Pascal Lecomte (European Space Agency)

2. Geoff Busswell (Logica)

3. Nigel Fox (National Physical Laboratory)

4. John Remedios (University of Leicester

5. Richard Siddans (NCEO RAL)/ Debbie Clifford (NCEO)

C. Scientific applications of InSAR Interferometry (Andy Shepherd andTim Wright, NCEO, University of Leeds)

1. Andy Hooper (Atmosphere)

2. Zhenhong Li (Atmosphere)

3. Shaun Quegan (Vegetation)

4. Iain Woodhouse (Vegetation)

5. Noel Gourmelen (Carbon Capture and Storage)

6. Aud Sundal (Ice motion)

7. Mal McMillan (Ice motion)

8. Tim Wright (Tectonics)

9. Juliet Biggs (Volcanoes)

D. Media Interviews (Sam Williams, NCEO and Paul Ireson)


A. Innovation in Earth Observation Services

1. The evolving UK EO landscape – science & policy (Andy Shaw, NCEO/ISIC)

2. The evolving UK EO landscape – commercial perspective (Chetan Pradhan, BARSC)

3. Innovation & Markets for EO services (Gordon Campbell, ESA)

4. EO Markets – The Value Chain and the Chasm (Robin Higgons, Qi3)

5. View From the City – Commercialising Measures for Commerce (Professor Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group Limited)

6. Is the future of EO in the mass market? (Ed Parsons, Google)

7. Public-Private innovations for managing resource scarcity under increasing complexity and uncertainty (Juan Carlos Castillo-Rubio, Planetary Skin Institute)

8. Discussion: Where are the growth markets? How can UK grow its share of the market? What is innovation? What does it look like? How do we make it work?

B. Getting your Message Across

Why it’s important to communicate your science and how to do it.

Science journalist Richard Hollingham leads this practical session in

science communication covering media, writing and podcasting.

C. Land-atmosphere processes and interactions


1. EO for Science, Security and Services (Paul Monks, University of Leicester):

2. Could a Space Technology and Innovation Centre help accelerate the commercialisation of new EO technologies? (Michael Lawrence, TSB)

3. UK Space Agency Technologies (David Parker, UKSA)

4. The UK Space Agency’s perspective and vision for Earth Observation (Ruth Boumphrey, UKSA)


1. Developing Indicative Missions for EO – The story so far and next steps (Mick Johnson)

2. EO Opportunities through TDS - Stuart Eves (SSTL)

3. TRUTHS Mission - Nigel Fox (NPL)

4. Tropical Carbon Mission - Paul Palmer (University of Edinburgh)

5. The SpecL Mission - Iain Woodhouse (University of Edinburgh)

6. From EO to planetary missions - Jan-Peter Muller (MSSL)