Field Spectroscopy Facility

Lead Research Organisation: National Centre for Earth Observation

Abstract

The mission of the Field Spectroscopy Facility is to: a) support high-quality, peer reviewed NERC science; b) maintain a pool of modern, high quality field instruments and associated calibration facility compatible with user requirements, and make them available for loan to environmental scientists in support of their research. The equipment includes spectroradiometers, sun photometers and associated equipment to support their use in the field; c) provide training and user support, and to promote good practice in the application of field spectroscopy; e) promote the awareness, application and technology of field spectroscopy and to disseminate to a wider scientific community, thereby contributing to the economic competitiveness of the United Kingdom, the effectiveness of public services and policy and the quality of life; f) undertake research into calibration procedures, measurement methodology, data analysis and display appropriate to the FSF mission and to disseminate the results by the most appropriate means. In order to achieve its objectives the FSF will: a) maintain and calibrate the equipment using in-house irradiance, radiance and reflectance calibration standards which are traceable to the UK National Physical Laboratory and appropriate to the task of supporting the Facility; b) maintain a core of appropriate documentation and data processing software; c) operate procedures to ensure that the best science is supported via peer review of the quality and relevance of applications; d) disseminate knowledge and promote public understanding of field spectroscopy by providing training, particularly of post-graduate students, and offering advice to all users, reaching the wider community via workshops and conferences; e) maintain an awareness of developments in instrumentation for field spectroscopy and associated fields, and evaluate the requirements of future demand; f) carry out development work to modify the available commercial equipment to more closely match user requirements; g) pursue collaborative opportunities with industries in development of new applications, instruments and techniques; h) establish and maintain international collaborative links with related organisations, facilities and programmes; i) maintain close links with the NERC Airborne Remote Sensing Facility to ensure calibration and validation needs are satisfied; j) monitor user satisfaction with the service provided and maintain an awareness of users requirements. FSF was recommissioned in April 2019 until March 2024, and can be found under award reference NE/S013385/1.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description FSF have supplied field spectrometers for research improving our ability to remotely detect plastics in the environment, including the use of drones, planes and satellites (doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.08.044). This will feed into work trying to remotely detect plastics on beaches and the marine environment to direct clean up efforts. FSF regularly participate in science outreach events, such as NERC's Unearthed events and UKPN Polar outreach shows. At these we use thermal cameras to show school age participants how technology can be used to show things about the world that yo can't see with the human eye, and how through remote sensing, these sensors can be used to answer big questions about the world. These events have high footfall and inspire a new generation of scientists. FSF have contributed to a 4 year research programme, through the provision of field spectrometers, which will make a significant contribution towards improved flood protection in the UK and across Europe by leading to an online tool for the prediction of wave overtopping of sea defences that are fronted by vegetated foreshores (http://www.fast-space-project.eu/). There are currently 24 different end-users from the private sector, government, and conservation sector signed up to use this tool. Benefits to the UK economy through improved flood prediction will be significant. Moussallam et al (doi: 10.5194/se-5-1341-2014), with FSF support, quantified the gaseous flux and considered its composition indicates near completion of the drying-up of the hydrothermal system in the summit region of Turrialba Volcano or isolation of these main vents from the hydrothermal system. Such studies, especially if they are repeated, are important in identifying the evolution of volcanic unrest, particularly in the case of reactivation of long-dormant volcanoes and identifying possible dangers to human health and the well-being of local societies. FSF in-house research has caused field spectrometer manufacturers to improve the systems they provide and thereby reduce measurement uncertainties by a minimum of 5%. In-house research by FSF has led to both major field spectrometer manufacturers (ASD and SVC) improving the functionality of the instrument. These instruments now include the ability to measure down-welling solar irradiance simultaneously to up-welling radiance, providing metadata and quality control of measurements, thereby improving the quality and representativeness of measurements, particularly for EO ca/val activities.
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Funding for Leicester Secondment and Development of Hyperspectral Imaging Characterisation Protocol by NPL
Amount £34,640 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 03/2020
 
Description Funding for replacement of retired Field Spectrometer
Amount £70,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2019
 
Description NERC National Capability Commissioning - Services & Facilities
Amount £945,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2024
 
Description Transformational Capital for UAV Hyperspectral Imager and GHG Mega-city monitoring network.
Amount £1,100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 03/2020
 
Description COST Action OPTIMISE 
Organisation Dystonia Europe
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Dr Mac Arthur, a Facility staff member, chairs COST Action ES1309 (OPTIMISE) a network investigating Earth surface reflectance and fluorescence, the use of UAVs to as platforms for making these measurements and spectral managements systems to quality control and distribute data OPTIMISE has 28 participating European countries, over 90 active scientists and an annual budget of €142k. OPTIMISE was proposed by Dr Mac Arthur and has been established to support the ESA Earth Explorer 8 FLEX mission due to be launched in 2022.
Collaborator Contribution Funding training schools where field data can be acquired to advance trainers own science
Impact Dr Mac Arthur is developing the cal/val plan to be presented to ESA in Feb 2017.
Start Year 2014
 
Title FSF Matlab Toolbox 
Description FSF Matlab toolbox. A member of staff at FSF and another colleague in GeoSciences U. of Edinburgh have developed a Matlab Post Processing Tool box to post process field spectroscopy data. The toolbox can be used to import spectra acquired on spectroradiometers manufactured by Analytical Spectral Devices (ASD), Spectra Vista Corporation (SVC), Ocean Optics and the Field Spectroscopy Facility (FSF). It can post process spectra to calculate spectral reflectance, radiance and irradiance. It also provides functions for spectral smoothing with a Savitzky-Golay filter and the removal of the spectral regions dominated by water absorption. Field spectra may be compared with measurements made by satellite or airborne instruments by convolving the field spectra with the relative spectral response functions (bands) of these instruments. This toolbox is open source and available from Mathworks File Exchange 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2015 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact 40 Downloads in the last 30 days 
URL http://uk.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/31547-field-spectroscopy-facility-post-processing...
 
Title Python 3 Microtops Data Downloader 
Description Data downloader for Microtops Sunphotometers. Improves on native RS232 communication and updates Python 2 modules. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact Simple useful tool to make using microtops sunphotometers easier. 
URL https://github.com/NERC-FieldSpectroscopyFacility/PyMicrotops3
 
Description Cambridge Open Science Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact FSF presented its upcoming UAV sensor capability to a UK Polar Network event focused on drone technology in Polar Sciences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Documentary Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact FSF Operations Manager was interviewed whilst in Antarctica, on his research, remote sensing validation and UK tools for EO, for the Life and Science Documentary in Chile.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Exhibit at British Ecology Society Annual Meeting, 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact FSF exhibited the services and new capability available through our facility at the Annual Meeting of the British Ecology Society in Belfast. This involved an instrument showcase with field spectrometers and drones/thermal imagery. As well as talking with academics about using remote sensing within their research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/events/annual-meeting-2019/
 
Description Exhibited at BES Macroecology conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact FSF exhibited and attended the 2018 Macroecology conference, organised by the British Ecology Society in St Andrews. This enhanced awareness of our facility with the ecology community and helped build our network within BES.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Exhibited at National Earth Observation Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact FSF exhibited on the NCEO stand at the National Earth Observation Conference in Birmingham. Discussions were had with attendees, raising awareness of our service within the EO community.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description IGARSS 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact FSF attended IGARSS 2018 in Valencia. Here, we enhanced our network within the UK remote sensing community. We were also involved in several expert working groups relating to calibration and validation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description International Science Advisory Board Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact FSF presented its capability to an international science advisory board coordinated by NCEO.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Introduction to Field Spectroscopy Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Introductory workshop teaching about integrating field spectroscopy measurements into UAV, Airborne and Satellite Earth Observation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Scottish Biodiversity Conference Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact FSF presented its drone/sensor capability in a presentation at the Scottish Biodiversity conference at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description TV interview on NERC investment on drone technology for remote sensing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact TV interview given to BBC Scotland on report linking drones to geosciences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Workshop involvement: ARF-DAN Processing of Hyperspectral Imagery 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact FSF presented and demonstrated the use of our equipment in airborne hyperspectral surveying.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://nerc-arf-dan.pml.ac.uk/files/NERC-ARF_Training_2018_Flyer.pdf