Institute for Mediterranean Studies
Potential of virtual earth observation constellations in archaeological research
ISBN: 1424-8220

Agapiou, A., Alexakis, D. D., & Hadjimitsis, D. G. (2019). Potential of virtual earth observation constellations in archaeological research. Sensors (Switzerland), 19(19) doi:10.3390/s19194066

Earth observation sensors continually provide datasets with different spectral and spatial characteristics, while a series of pre- and postprocessing techniques are needed for calibration purposes. Nowadays, a variety of satellite images have become accessible to researchers, while big data cloud platforms allow them to deal with an extensive number of datasets. However, there is still difficulty related to these sensors meeting specific needs and challenges such as those of cultural heritage and supporting archaeological research world-wide. The harmonization and synergistic use of different sensors can be used in order to maximize the impact of earth observation sensors and enhance their benefit to the scientific community. In this direction, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) has proposed the concept of virtual constellations, which is defined as “a coordinated set of space and/or ground segment capabilities from different partners that focuses on observing a particular parameter or set of parameters of the Earth system”. This paper provides an overview of existing and future earth observation sensors, the various levels of interoperability as proposed by Wulder et al., and presents some preliminary results from the Thessalian plain in Greece using integrated optical and radar Sentinel images. The potential for archaeolandscape studies using virtual constellations is discussed here.

  • Δημήτριος Αλεξάκης