Earth Observation Research

The Earth Observation Research unit focuses on remote sensing of the atmospheric composition and the cryosphere as well as the development of retrieval methods.

The unit has three groups:

Cryospheric Processes

The Cryospheric Processes group investigates the use of Earth Observation data in understanding the water and carbon cycles in the Arctic, northern tundra and boreal forest regions.

The group develops new remote sensing sensors and techniques for observing different processes of the cryosphere. The group participates in research projects funded by the European Space Agency focusing on Polar regions and cryosphere products.

The group is a part of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Atmospheric Research; the group works closely with the meteorological research and climate system research units, as well as the FMI Sodankylä National Satellite Data Centre (NSDC). The group operates in both Helsinki and Sodankylä.

Atmospheric Remote Sensing

The Atmospheric Remote Sensing group conducts research on low and middle atmosphere composition and develops applications from satellite observations for environmental monitoring and decision making.

The group also heavily utilises and develops atmospheric modelling and ground-based observations. Special expertise includes satellite-based observations and services of air quality, ozone and UV radiation, and effects of solar activity on middle atmosphere and regional climate.

The group has a strong role in production of satellite data and long observational time series through European collaboration, including the leadership of EUMETSAT's AC SAF project. The near-real-time services produced by the group are used to monitor e.g. the changes in the ozone layer and volcanic eruptions.

Greenhouse Gases and Satellite Methods

The Greenhouse Gases and Satellite Methods group studies the distribution of atmospheric greenhouse gases – mainly carbon dioxide and methane – through both space-based and ground-based remote sensing. The group utilises and develops extensive ground-based greenhouse gas measurements at Sodankylä in Northern Finland. These measurements provide an essential validation source for increasing volumes of satellite observations at high latitudes (e.g., GOSAT, OCO-2, Sentinel 5P TROPOMI).

One of our focus areas is to develop methods for satellite-data driven estimations of greenhouse gas sources and sinks. We also investigate and develop mathematical methods for time series analysis, data assimilation, data fusion, and satellite data interpretation, including uncertainty quantification.  

The group is part of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Inverse Modeling and Imaging.