The Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) is a German hyperspectral satellite mission to monitoring and characterise Earth’s environment on a global scale. EnMAP measures and models key dynamic processes of Earth’s ecosystems by extracting geochemical, biochemical and biophysical parameters that provide information on the status and evolution of various terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Once operating, EnMAP will provide unique data needed to address major environmental challenges related to human activity and climate change. The mission’s main objective is to study and decipher coupled environmental processes and to assist and promote the sustainable management of Earth’s resources. Despite being a primarily scientific mission, EnMAP has a clear potential to evolve towards operational service.
- Dedicated imaging pushbroom hyperspectral sensor mainly based on modified existing or pre-developed technology
- Broad spectral range from 420 nm to 1000 nm (VNIR) and from 900 nm to 2450 nm (SWIR) with high radiometric resolution and stability in both spectral ranges
- Swath width 30 km at high spatial resolution of 30 m x 30 m and off-nadir (30°) pointing feature for fast target revisit (4 days)
- Sufficient on-board memory to acquire 1,000 km swath length per orbit and a total of 5,000 km per day.
The EnMAP mission is divided into five phases of mission progress. As of June 2020, the EnMAP mission is in the development and production phase (Phase D). Full readiness of the ground segment for in-orbit operations has been ensured and utilization for spacecraft in-orbit operations has been authorized; all mission components are to be verified and validated.
The main scientific goal of the hyperspectral EnMAP mission is to study environmental changes, investigate ecosystem responses to human activities, and monitor the management of natural resources. The primary mission objectives are:
- to provide high-quality calibrated hyperspectral data for advanced remote sensing analyses
- to develop novel methodologies improving the accuracy of currently available remote sensing information
- to obtain diagnostic geochemical, biochemical and biophysical parameters describing the dynamics of ecosystems
- to improve understanding of complex environmental processes
- to provide suitable information products for ecosystem models
- to significantly contribute to environmental research studies
- to use synergies with other sensors
EnMAP will significantly increase the availability of currently infrequent hyperspectral measurements covering large areas. To understand and fully exploit the information content provided by EnMAP, novel evaluation techniques need to be developed that fully utilize EnMAP’s regional coverage on a global scale. Consolidated and improved regional scale science on the state and evolution of ecosystems is the prerequisite for improvements in global ecosystem models. Such upscaling studies require discriminating generalisation of the derived quantitative ecosystem parameters and synergistic analysis with other spaceborne imagery such as provided by ESA’s Sentinel fleet.