BioPAL at POLINSAR

BioPAL project will be presented at POLINSAR

BioPAL will be officially introduced to the scientific community at ESA POLINSAR 2021 conference from 26 to 30 April. The event will be accompanied by two side events: Second Biomass Retrieval Inter-comparison eXperiment BRIX-2 from 29 to 30 April 2021 (current edition here, past edition here) and 6th ESA Advanced Course on Radar Polarimetry from 10 to 14 May 2021.

A POLINSAR 2021 session dedicated to the BIOMASS mission is scheduled on Monday April 26th from 1:20 PM to 3:00 PM. In particular, the session will include a presentation dedicated to BioPAL as well as a presentation on Level 2 Science and Products.

“Biomass Level-2 Products: Methods, Processing Schemes And Results From Campaign Data” Tebaldini, Stefano; Mariotti d’Alessandro, Mauro; Banda, Francesco; Giudici, Davide; Ulander, Lars M.H.; Soja, Maciej J.; Quegan, Shaun; Papathanassiou, Kostas; Le Toan, Thuy; Villard, Ludovic; Rommen, Björn; Scipal, Klaus

“BioPAL – Collaborative Open Source Software Development for ESA’s BIOMASS mission” Lumnitz, Stefanie; Albinet, Clement; Alonso-Gonzalez, Alberto; Banda, Francesco; Caccia, Michele; Giorgi, Emanuele; Mariotti d’Alessandro, Mauro; Mazzucchelli, Paolo; Miranda, Nuno; Scipal, Klaus; Soja, Maciej

The abstract of BioPAL presentation

ESA’s seventh Earth Explorer mission, the BIOMASS mission, will provide crucial information about the state of our forests, how they are changing and the role they play in the global carbon cycle. This mission is designed to provide, for the first time from space, P-band Synthetic Aperture Radar measurements to determine the amount of biomass and carbon stored in forests. However, the novelty of BIOMASS’s sensors poses the challenges 1) to develop scientific processing algorithms with limited calibration and validation data pre-launch, 2) for timely improvement and updating of operational BIOMASS algorithms with the mission launch in 2023, and, 3) to enable scientific community formation for rapid scientific discovery with BIOMASS generated data products.

The BIOMASS Product Algorithm Laboratory (BioPAL) is an open-source scientific computing project, supporting the development of ESA’s BIOMASS mission algorithms coded in Python. The goal of the BioPAL project is to bridge the gap between advancements in scientific algorithm development and fast integration of these advancements into ESA’s BIOMASS’s ground operations. It is the first time that an official ESA Earth Explorer operational processor is supported by open and collaborative development of processing algorithms within the scope of an open-source software project and community.

BioPAL’s community includes scientists, developers and ESA Staff. Our community is jointly creating and reshaping technology for processing data of ESA’s BIOMASS mission. We endeavour to include the broader scientific community in the enhancement of BioPAL and BIOMASS operational algorithms. We also strive to extend the initially proposed operational BIOMASS algorithm suite as new insight into BIOMASS data become available. Today, available examples of project software include the tools and configurations related to the deployment of the BIOMASS L2 prototype processors. The software developed by the project is released under the MIT open source license, developed openly and hosted in public GitHub repositories under the BioPAL GitHub organization BioPAL. Additionally, BioPAL provides API documentation, tutorials, access to simulated mission data, and example workflows for BIOMASS L2 processing algorithms.

In this talk, I will introduce you to the open-source software concepts of BioPAL, creating a collaborative space for scientists and developers to share their knowledge, jointly enhance the operational BIOMASS processors and promote best practices for open scientific code development. I will then demonstrate how the project provides users and developers alike, an entry-point to scientific algorithms underlying the operational BIOMASS processors through an API supporting common coding interfaces such as the command line or Jupyter. Finally, I will show a summary of roadmap items that will be part of ongoing future developments and how you can be part of the BioPAL community.