FerryScope runs from July 2014 to June 2016.


The FerryScope objectives are

  • To provide quality assured, freely accessible NRT Rrs from SOOP.
  • To improve the accuracy of EO products by data assimilation with shipborne Rrs
  • To investigate the sources of uncertainty in EO products, particularly near the coast, and to improve the underlying algorithms using large volumes of aggregated optical observations
  • To familiarize users (managers, researchers) with the new information system and to streamline adoption of the system in national monitoring agencies
  • To develop an open framework for automated and continuous in-situ and satellite measurement ingestion, processing and provision
  • To develop the commercial service model on top of the open source technical model

Conceptual approach

Links between in situ and remote observations

Stronger links between in situ and remote observations must be established to yield robust and regionally valid optical monitoring. Observations from SOOP (notably ferries) have matured over 20 years. Nevertheless, extrapolating shipborne observations to EO water quality products is still difficult. Discrepancies in timing and observed water depth between satellite and shipborne observations, low sun angles, frequent cloud cover, and the optical complexity of the water hamper interpretation of the combined signals.

Improvements in calibration and uncertainties

This project recognizes that (1) sustained calibration and validation of EO data against in situ observations is required to gain cost-efficient and high-quality regional water quality assessment of the optically complex Baltic Sea, and (2) to resolve uncertainties in the correspondence of in situ and EO measurements, there must be overlap in the physical measurements from remote and in situ platforms. Several fixed moorings in the Baltic Sea presently allow verification of water-leaving radiance, the same quantity as obtained with spaceborne sensors after atmospheric corrections. Although reliable, these sites are difficult to access, costly to maintain, and too few in number to capture the optical variability of the sea.

Ship-borne hyperspectral Rrs observations

Placing spectroradiometer technology on ships-of-opportunity solves these gaps: the ships frequently enter harbours where the sensors can be maintained and data transferred at low cost, and ferries in the established Alg@line consortium have established routes in all Baltic Sea areas. The remaining difficulties in deriving reflectance measurements from moving ships were recently addressed in EU projects PROTOOL and WaterS (Simis and Olsson, 2013, RSE, Thus, shipborne remote-sensing reflectance (Rrs) observations are now feasible and ready to be implemented.


Partners in the FerryScope project are


Collaborators in the FerryScope project are

The project is funded by BONUS.

Contact: Martin Boettcher, Brockmann Consult GmbH,