Assesscarbon Project

The Assesscarbon project (Feb 2020 – Feb 2021) developed and demonstrated at a pre-operational level an approach for large area forest biomass and carbon modelling, combining ground reference data, Sentinel-2 imagery and primary production modelling.

See project description below, or read about the progress of the project in these blog posting:

  1. Assesscarbon laying the foundation for scalable large area carbon pool and flux modelling in Forestry TEP (20.4.2020)
  2. Assesscarbon project ready to start implementing biomass and carbon modelling pipeline into Forestry TEP (9.9.2020)
  3. First large scale forest variable maps processed in Forestry TEP for the Assesscarbon project (24.11.2020)
  4. Assesscarbon successfully demonstrated large area forest biomass and carbon mapping in Forestry TEP (4.3.2021)
Aerial image of forest.

Project description

The overall goal of the project is to develop a foundation for a novel approach to derive large area biomass and carbon pool and flux estimates and forecasting in a scalable fashion on an online platform. The project is coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and funded by European Space Agency (ESA) under the EO Science for Society Permanently Open Call funding mechanism. It will run from February 2020 to January 2021.

The general outline of the technical design can be seen in the figure. The main input data for the project will be European Space Agency Sentinel-2 satellite data, forest plot measurements and climatic datasets. The Sentinel-2 mosaics will be created by Terramonitor (Satellio Oy)using their novel image mosaicking approach. This image composite is used together with field sample plots (Finnish Forest Centre) to create forest variable estimation models. Finally, dynamic forest primary production variables are modelled using the forest structure variables and climatic data.

The forest structural variable models will be based on the Probability software package developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. It contains three different parts, which together form a comprehensive package of classification/estimation tools combining field data with satellite imagery. The primary production modelling will be based on the PREBAS models developed by the University of Helsinki. The models will be further developed utilizing multi-temporal observations. The practical processing of the primary production estimates for the area of interest will be carried out by Simosol Oy.

The demonstration will be conducted on the Forestry TEP. Forest structural variable and primary production information will be produced for a test area covering the entire Finland and the Russian boreal forests until the Ural mountains. All components of the project will be implemented in a manner that enables scalable execution of the models in Forestry TEP environment. The chosen approach will utilize the Sentinel-2 tiling structure as the building blocks. All software components are redeveloped to enable processing of a given number of Sentinel-2 tiles in a coordinated manner, in order to produce consistent results over large interest areas.



Company Description of the partner Role in the project
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. State owned and controlled non-profit research centre operating under the ownership steering of the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. One of the leading research institutes in Finland with over 2000 staff. Overall coordination Development, implementation and demonstration of structural forest variable modelling in Forestry TEP environment
(Satellio Oy)
SME that produces and sells satellite images to varying customer needs, and offers remote sensing based automatic image analytics as a service with constantly evolving technology. Creation of cloud free Sentinel-2 image mosaic images
Simosol Oy SME that offers software development and analysis services for the forestry, agriculture and renewable energy sectors. Concentrates on (1) mapping and pre-feasibility analyses, (2) resource management optimization and (3) valuations of forest assets. Implementation and demonstration of primary production modelling in Forestry TEP environment
University of Helsinki Research university with over 36,000 students and 8,000 staff. The Forest Modelling Group at Department of Forest Sciences focus on forest structure, growth and ecosystem material balances, utilising dynamic modelling, advanced data-model assimilation techniques and spatial and temporal scaling. Primary production model development and journal manuscript lead


Project Manager

Assesscarbon project flow where Sentinel-2 images, forest plots and climate data is used to integrate the process in Forestry TEP.
General outline of the technical design.