Main objective: To develop and demonstrate an advanced forest environmental monitoring and management system prototype.


  1. To develop a system that is in accordance with current and future user needs;
  2. To monitor forest resources at the three scales regional, national and international;
  3. To improve and integrate advanced remote sensing technology based on airborne and space-borne sensors for the extraction of forest environmental parameters;
  4. To advance techniques for multi-scale integration of information in order to improve large-scale coverage by scattered information at more detailed scales;
  5. To develop techniques for the derivation of forest meta-data/higher-order information from spatial-temporal (4-D) collected data;
  6. To contribute to the development of a standard scheme for European-scale collection and analysis of forest environmental parameters;
  7. To prepare for the deployment of the system covering the total European forest resources.

Description of the work

The user needs will be determined and investigated in full depth in order to be able to develop the system. It comprises monitoring at three levels (scales):
  1. Selected intensive and small-size key-biotype areas (nodes) of a typical size of 20 km2 monitored in full detail by automatic field sensors, field studies and airborne very-high-resolution remote sensing;
  2. Fixed (including Level-1 areas) and sampled position high-resolution satellite images covering e.g. 10% of Europe's forest each time;
  3. Spatial statistical parameter prediction for Europe's total forested area based on medium resolution satellite data, data from Level 2, previous monitoring of the same area and meteorological data.


Automatic field sensors are intended to measure air, precipitation and soil variables continuously (e.g., related to man-induced pollution). Very-high-resolution airborne data are typically collected each few years in a measurement campaign supported by field personnel doing detailed sample measurements. The high resolution satellite data cover an area of typically 3000-30,000 km2, including at least one node area and is acquired at about the same time as the airborne and field campaign. The medium-resolution satellite data is acquired frequently through the vegetation season. The project will improve classification and inversion techniques for maximal information extraction of environmental forest parameters from airborne and space-borne remote sensing sensors. A multi-scale data analysis approach will be developed in order to make an accurate monitoring of the total European forested area possible. The environmental data in the system are stored in a spatial-temporal database (the three spatial dimensions and the time dimension). There are subsystems for advanced interactive data visualisation, time series, statistical analysis, scenario simulation and map and statistical report generation. Through its international efforts, the project may contribute to the generation of standards for the type of parameters to monitor, analysis methodology and data storage and exchange.

Milestones and expected results

  • A report on user needs related to a forest monitoring and management system
  • A report on the design of the forest monitoring and management system
  • A prototype system for forest monitoring and management
  • System demonstrators in Finland, Poland and Italy
  • An evaluation of the system
  • Plans for deployment of the system
  • Advancement of algorithms for analysis of airborne and satellite imagery for forest parameters
  • Advancement of methods for combination of multi-scale environmental data
  • Advancement of methods for trend analysis of data derived from remote sensors