Agri Punjab, Agriculture Department Agri Sindh, Agriculture Department University of Maryland Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
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Testing Sentinel-1/2 Satellite Images for Monitoring Wheat and Rice Crops and Mapping Flood Extent in Pakistan

April, 2016

healthy wheat crop TT Singh

The Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) is partner of the Sentinel-2 for Agriculture project. SUPARCO contribution to the project regards the testing of Sentinel-2 satellite images to monitor Wheat crop for the whole country. More than 85 Pakistan districts will be covered, representing around nine million hectares of land under wheat. The testing will concern area and yield estimation for the 2016 Rabi season between November 2015 and May 2016. Here is a set of slides showing screenshots of first results.

The use of multi-temporal Sentinel-2 images will enable SUPARCO to collect near real time crop field information and use it operationally for the monitoring. Procedures and results of such testing will be shared with the project to support its objective of demonstrating the benefit of the Sentinel-2 mission for the agriculture domain across a range of crops and agricultural practices.

Summary Sentinel-2 for Agriculture (Sen2-Agri) project

Sen2-Agri is an ESA project which was recently launched to exploit new opportunities for regional to global agriculture monitoring offered by the Sentinel-2 mission. The project is a major contribution to the R&D component of the GEOGLAM initiative and to the JECAM network activities.

Sentinel-2 is a land monitoring mission consisting of two satellites carrying sensors in the visible and short infrared domains, which will provide 13 spectral bands from 10 to 60 meters, with a 290 km swath and a 5-day revisit time at the equator. Sentinel-2 is the first optical Earth observation mission of its kind to include three bands in the "red edge", which provide key information on the state of vegetation. Read more on Sentinel-2 mission.

Here is the result of mapping Wheat crop in a small area in the Hafizabad District. December 2015 and February 2016 images were used to mask wheat fields from other uses.

Sentinel-2 image Dec 2015
Sentinel-2 image Feb 2016
Sentinel-2 image stack
Resulted wheat crop mask

Testing Sentinel-1 images for mapping rice crop and flood extent areas

SUPARCO is also conducting tests with Sentinel-1 images to evaluate the mapping of rice crop and flooded areas.

Sentinel-1 is part of the Sentinels fleet of European Space Agency (ESA) satellites. Sentinel-1 is the first in the series and carries an advanced radar instrument to provide an all-weather, day-and-night supply of imagery of Earth's surface. The C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) builds on ESA's and Canada's heritage SAR systems on ERS-1, ERS-2, Envisat and Radarsat.

The design of Sentinel-1 focuses on reliability, operational stability, global coverage and quick data delivery, with its 6-day time to complete the global imaging of the Earth. Read more on Sentinel-1 mission.

Here are some test results conducted for flood mapping and rice crop masking (Sheikhupura and Hafizabad areas).

Sentinel-1 image (SAR)
Flood extent map
Rice mask Sheikupura
Rice mask Hafizabad

Look at the set of slides showing larger screenshots.

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Sep 2, 2015 - A new amendment (no. 3) was signed by USDA and FAO to formalize a no-cost extension of the project GCP/PAK/125/USA from Oct 1, 2015 to Sep 30, 2016.

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FAO Pakistan website >>>>


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SUPARCO, the National Space Agency of Pakistan >>>>


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