The objective of the pilot activities is not to develop new science but to build on the integration of available capacities (infrastructure, datasets, models, etc.) and skills, towards the provision of improved EO Services in the RoI. The pilots will span a period of 15 months (M09-M24), and the final results will be presented to relevant stakeholders (especially decision makers) in a dedicated workshop.
PILOT 1 : Adaptation to Climate Change (ACC) – Task : 4.1 – Leader : NOA
The RoI has been recognised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as one of the most sensitive and vulnerable to climate change regions on Earth. Climate change is governed to a large extent by atmospheric processes, in particular the interaction between radiation and atmospheric components (e.g. aerosols, clouds, greenhouse, and trace gases), some of which also contributing significantly to air quality degradation. In summary, the ACC pilot will: (a) support the sustainability of regional EO infrastructures and trigger needed synergies, (b) improve knowledge on current regional climate adaptation policies, and (c) provide reliable assessments on the level of needed coordination and future investment to be carried towards the implementation of GEO, GEOSS and Copernicus in the RoI.
PILOT 2 (T4.2): Improved Food Security – Water Extremes Management (IFS)
Food security depends on many aspects such as water abundance and extremes (flooding and drought), vegetation stresses, yield monitoring, soil quality monitoring and sustainability. Plants need nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, none so easily available in the RoI. Common standards and protocols following the FAO principles for long-term monitoring of soils and minerals will be defined for the first time in the RoI. Also for the first time the available EO means, service chains, and methods developed in soil science discipline over the past years will be evaluated and tailored to meet the RoI specific mapping needs. A scientific challenge of using multiple satellite missions including the Copernicus missions, together with a large dataset of field spectral measurements will be addressed. New service specifications and roadmaps will arise for deriving food security essential parameters (e.g. soil degradation, soil acidification, soil moisture, and water extremes). Diversified EO data sets and soil spectra libraries together with their metadata will become accessible through the GEO-CRADLE Data Hub for the benefit of all potential users.
PILOT 3 (T4.3): Access to Raw Materials (ARM)
For the first time, GEO-CRADLE will make available in the RoI the roadmap for long-term monitoring, mapping, and management of mineral deposits, also assessing the ground changes and site degradation relating to mineral exploitation. Diversified data sets together with their metadata will become accessible through the Regional Data Hub. The resulted delineated waste materials areas will advance the knowledge on the critical hazardous areas for remediation purposes. The proposed roadmap for the characterisation of waste materials will promote specifications and methodologies for engaging future operations fitted to raw materials demand, minimising the environmental footprint, and improving the evaluation of the sustainability and management of the post-mining areas.
PILOT 4 (T4.4): Access to Energy (SENSE)
GEO-CRADLE will lead a coordinated effort to support and improve the regional EO infrastructures through the Solar Energy Nowcasting SystEm (SENSE) pilot. SENSE will demonstrate ways to maximise the value and benefits of EO investments in the RoI and trigger synergies between the private sector with public services and user communities. End-users in both public and private sector (e.g. solar plants, power networks and distributors, state authorities, stand-alone solar panels installations) will benefit from the provision of real-time information on solar energy availability, enabling safer prediction of power distribution from renewables, while preserving natural resources and reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. It is a unique demonstrative example of how EO science and industries (private sector) can come together in contributing to the solution of the “energy” issue in the area, empowering also the decision makers to design energy planning that will stimulate future investments. This is vital for the sustainable development of EO resources and activities that will strengthen the competitiveness and performance of the energy and research sectors.