Baltic SEAL, funded by ESA, is being undertaken by a consortium consisting of five partners based in four European countries. Led by the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the consortium consists of experts in the fields of Earth Observation systems, satellite altimetry, dynamic ocean topography research, and stakeholder outreach and engagement. As the funding body, the European Space Agency is also a key partner in this initiative, providing the fuel to develop these advances, and the experienced oversight to deliver them.
Technical University of Munich (TUM) is a publicly funded research university with campuses in Munich, Garching, and Weihenstephan. In addition to the role of project lead, TUM is also leading algorithm development and validation exercises. The Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut (DGFI-TUM; German Geodetic Research Institute) is a research institute of the Technische Universität München (TUM) in the Faculty of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering. Satellite altimetry is one of the key areas of expertise of DGFI-TUM. For many years, the institute has been engaged in the determination, monitoring and investigation of global and regional variations of the water level of the ocean (open ocean, sea-ice regions and coastal areas) and of globally distributed inland water bodies on different spatial and temporal scales.
Personnel involved in BalticSEAL:
Marcello Passaro: Lead Scientist of the project and responsible for the fitting of the altimetric signal (retracking). Felix Müller: Responsible for the full chain of dataset production up to the data analysis; he also coordinates the project with Marcello. Denise Dettmering: Calibration among the sea level data coming from the different missions. She is WP Manager for WP3 “Algorithm Development and Validation”. Christian Schwatke: Storage and organization of the data from all the altimetric missions considered in the project. Julius Oelsmann: Data exploitation activities under WP4.
DTU Space is part of The Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The institute conducts research within the areas of Earth Observation and Arctic Studies, specialising in polar remote sensing of ice sheets and sea ice (e.g. with ICESat and CryoSat), airborne lidar and geophysics, and general research in physical geodesy. DTU Space has many years experience in working with the Arctic using remote sensing data, including derivation of the first ice-sheet wide DEMs, work with early satellite altimetry over the ice sheet, and general monitoring of ice sheet changes from ICESat, GRACE and EnviSat.
DTU is responsible for experimental dataset generation and impact assessment. Key personnel for the BalticSEAL project are Ole Anderson, Lars Stenseng and Adili Abulaitijiang.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) is a research and service agency under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The Marine Research unit aims to monitor and examine ocean and sea-ice processes in the Baltic Sea and in the polar oceans, and to understand how they interact with the climate. This research creates the foundation that is necessary for developing and improving forecasts and operative models and services, leading to safer sea transports in the Baltic and helping to prevent damage to the environment. Research interests of the marine research unit include the development of marine observational systems, understanding variability, and changes of the physical environment in the polar oceans, development of wave-ice-ocean numerical models, development of operational oceanographic modelling systems and remote sensing methods.
Laura Tuomi leads the FMI team and the work in WP1 Scientific Requirement Consolidation. Milla Johansson participates in the analysis of tide gauge data which will be used for altimetry dataset validation; analysis of long-term sea level trends and vertical land motion. Jani Särkkä participates in the collection of tide gauge data, in the validation of altimetry datasets against tide gauge observations, and in the derivation of relative sea level trend.
The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) is the national meteorological institute of the Kingdom of Denmark, serving as a public institution under the ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate. Founded in 1872, DMI provides meteorological, oceanographic and climate research and related services to the community within Denmark and Greenland, including surrounding waters and airspace. The R&D department at DMI comprises approximately 60 researchers, divided into four scientific areas: Numerical Weather Prediction, Ocean Science, Regional Climate and Remote Sensing. The department has extensive experience in storm surge monitoring, modelling and warning.
DMI personnel involved in BalticSEAL are Kristine Madsen (responsible for WP2) and Jacob Hoeyer (technical coordinator of the project) and Ida M. Riggaard.
The UCC team members have worked with data from a wide range of satellite EO instruments including MERIS, MODIS, SAR and higher resolution optical datasets for land, coastal and marine applications. Nested within the MaREI Governance group, Rory and Eimear are skilled at building the connection between stakeholders and data through engagement and requirements analysis. This includes experience in looking at EO for Marine Spatial Planning, aquaculture and fisheries, Blue Growth, and disaster Risk reduction. Ecosystems approaches to fisheries and mechanisms for improved participatory governance among others. In combination with a significant capacity and understanding of communications, engaging stakeholders, and the use of social media networks within communications strategies, they are well placed to deliver a scientific roadmap for Baltic SEAL product development beyond the project timeframe.
Key Person for UCC: Rory Scarrott is responsible for roadmap development under WP5, and promoting the achievements and learnings of ESA Baltic SEAL. He has invaluable experience in promotion activities and scientific roadmap development, particularly in the context of international projects. The project also acknowledges the contributions of Eimear Tuohy, who was instrumental in establishing the communications infrastructures, and is now working at Techworks Marine.
Overseeing and supporting the Baltic SEAL team are the ESA technical officer, Jérôme Benveniste, assisted by Marco Restano and Américo Ambrózio. Not only do they ensure Baltic SEAL is kept on track for delivery, scrutinize and accept the deliverables, but also provide invaluable links to expertise, technology, experience and specialist networks around the world.