Concept of LOTUS

The objective of the LOTUS project is to support the development of Copernicus by developing applications of Sentinel-3 to complete the space observation infrastructure that are designed for land and ocean monitoring for Copernicus.

Sentinel-3 is the Copernicus space component for monitoring the oceans. The SRAL instrument onboard Sentinel- is a new generation of radar altimeter. It will provide observations of sea surface and land-ice topography, in continuation of currently flying altimeter missions such as ENVISAT, Jason-1 and Jason-2. However, the SRAL instrument will also operate in a SAR mode and provide along-track high-resolution heights of the sea surface in the open oceans, in the coastal seas, in-land water and sea ice areas.

The SAR capability is a new feature and no data products based on this SAR mode data are provided or used operationally. Therefore, new methodologies, data processing, and applications need to be developed to prepare the take-up of the Copernicus Sentinel-3 data.

The LOTUS project will develop such new methodologies, data processing, and applications of the SAR mode data for the high resolution sea surface heights, wave heights and wind speeds in the open oceans, coastal seas as well as in sea ice covered regions for operational marine services.

For the operational land services, the LOTUS project will develop new methodologies, data processing, and applications of the SAR mode data for the monitoring in-land water levels in rivers and lakes as well as soil moisture.

For the support of operational services for emergency response and security in the events of, e.g.,

  • river flooding, the new land products will provide valuable information about the hydrological cycle and support services on monitoring hydrological parameters for climate change.
  • storm surges, the new improved SAR data and particularly the SAR related products will provide substantial improvement into sea level and wave height modeling and forecasting.

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