OT4CLIMA project: A public-private collaboration initiative for investigating climate change impacts
OT4CLIMA is an Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research – MIUR funded project in the “Aerospace” theme domain of the National Industrial Research program PON 2014-2020. The aim of OT4CLIMA is to develop advanced Earth observation technologies & methods to improve our understanding of the effects of Climate Change and our ability to mitigate them at a regional and sub-regional scale. Investigations will be focused on both medium-to-long term impacts (for example vegetation stress and drought) and extreme events with rapid dynamics (e.g. intense hydro-meteorological phenomena and fires), through dual technical innovations aimed at improving both products and processes:
- the design and the implementation of advanced sensors to be mounted on multiplatform Earth observation systems;
- the development of advanced methods for the analysis, interpretation, integration and fusion of Earth observation data.
Activities will focus on the Carbon and Water Cycles, two of the major natural processes strictly related to climate change.
OT4CLIMA benefits from a strong scientific expertise: 14 CNR institutes, ASI – the Italian Space Agency, INGV – the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, CIRA – the Italian Center of Aerospace Research, and Universities of Basilicata, Calabria and Trento, considerable research infrastructures together with a wide industrial partnerships, e-Geos and IDS – Ingegneria Dei Sistemi SpA, and a group of well-established Italian SME consortia, CREATEC Scarl, CORISTA and SIIT ScpA , and a spin-off company, Survey Lab with its focus on being at the frontier of this type of technological innovation.
The specific objectives of OT4CLIMA project are to:
- Develop innovative techniques and methods for analyzing and interpreting EO data to study the impact of climate change on the environment and territory;
- Develop and experiment advanced in-field technologies, airborne sensors and/or unmanned platforms, for the measurement of high-interest climate and environmental parameters;
- Develop market-oriented products/services/applications based on remote sensing data;
- Improve the capacity to adequately and timely respond to extreme events and climate-related environmental emergencies;
- Improve existing strategies for monitoring, protecting and controlling the environment and territory through innovative decision support systems;
- Develop innovative decision support systems – DSS, based on the smart integration of data with products.
As an example, the project will permit an unprecedented accuracy in measuring surface parameters that are crucial in determining the vegetation contribution to the Co2 balance, while at the same time suggesting solutions based on the analysis and integration of satellite, airborne and unmanned data to significantly improve the capability of local communities to face the effects of short and long-term climate change.