Official HYGEOS website



Current projects

HYGEOS is involved in a number of projects funded by European or national public authorities. They all contain a strong R&D component oriented towards operational applications. The main on-going activities are:


   Copernicus Global Land service

The production and distribution of the global biophysical products of the Copernicus Global Land Service are performed by 3 consortia in charge of the Operations of the Vegetation and Energy variables (Consortium 1 led by VITO), of the Operations of the Cryosphere and Water variables (Consortium 2 leb by CLS), and of the Distribution (Consortium 3 led by VITO), respectively.

HYGEOS is involved in the 3 consortia by:

  • coordinating the scientific activities of Consortium 1, in particular concerning the evolution of portfolio, the quality of products and the communication.
  • performing the quality assessment of the Water Bodies and being member of the expert teams in charge of the Lake Surface Reflectance in Consortium 2.
  • supporting Consortium 3 leader to ensure the consistency and the quality of the product information provided on the CGLS website from a scientific viewpoint

Funder: Joint Research Center (JRC) for European Commission (EC)

Duration: 2016 - 2019

Contact at Hygeos: Roselyne Lacaze


  Copernicus Climate Change Service

The generation and the delivery of long term Climate Data Records describing the global evolution of Essential Climate Variables (ECV) are performed by 9 consoritia. HYGEOS is involved in the consortium led by VITO in charge of the surface albedo, Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) and Leaf Area Index (LAI).

HYGEOS contributes by:

  • the definition of atmospheric correction to apply to various sensors data, including the propagation of uncertainties
  • performing the gap analysis to identify the opportunities and/or obstacles to improve in quality and fitness-for-purpose the CDRs and to make them fully compliant with the target requirements.
  • supporting VITO in the contract review management.

Funder: European Center for Medium range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) for European Commission (EC)

Duration: 2017-2018

Contact at Hygeos: Roselyne Lacaze


    C2X: Extreme case 2 waters

A project initiated and funded through the SEOM Programme of ESA – the European Space Agency.

The objective of this project is to study and advance the state of the art of retrieval of water reflectances, IOPs and concentrations from ocean colour data of extreme absorbing and extreme scattering Case 2 waters, demonstrating this with MERIS historical data and preparing algorithms and processors for the near future Sentinel 3 OLCI and SLSTR sensors. 

Funder: European Space Agency (ESA)


Contact at Hygeos: François Steinmetz 


   ESA Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative

ESA's Climate Change Initiative programme (CCI) aims at producing stable, long-term satellite-based Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) data products for climate modellers and researchers. In this frame, the OC_CCI focuses on the Ocean Colour ECV: water leaving radiance in the visible domain, chlorophyll concentration and inherent optical properties, using data from MERIS, MODIS and SeaWiFS sensor archives.

Hygeos is involved in this project since 2010 concerning the atmospheric correction work-package, in which the Polymer atmospheric correction algorithm is being implemented.

Funder: European Space Agency (ESA)


Contact at Hygeos: François Steinmetz 


   ASoRA: Attenuation of the Solar Radiation by Aerosols

The aim of the ASoRA project is to improve the estimate of the solar ressource for the Solar Tower plants. Observation data sets are exploited to derive the attenuation of the solar radiation between the heliostat and the optical receiver.

HYGEOS provides all necessary aerosol and radiative parameters to make the best estimate of the plant productivity.

Funder: EDF and HYGEOS both contribute to the funding

Duration: 2015-2016

Contact at Hygeos: Thierry Elias


   SMART-G Monte Carlo GPU Radiative Transfer

HYGEOS has co-developed a Monte Carlo-like atmospheric transfer radiative code (SMART-G) for CNES. The code is still developped by HYGEOS.


Duration: 2010 - present

Contact at HygeosFrançois Steinmetz, Mathieu Compiègne, Didier Ramon 



Total Ozone Retrieval Using MERIS in view of Sentinel-3 is a project that proposes a innovative way to assess total column of ozone from visible TOA reflectance and from assumption on the free absorption TOA spectrum

Funder: ESA


Contact at Hygeos: Dominique Jolivet


   GlobCoast project

Funded by ANR (French Agency of National Research), GlobCoast contributes to better understand the coastal biogeochemical cycles, and their relationships with physical forcing occuring in coastal areas, and the evolution of productivity and fish resources. HYGEOS is in charge of atmospheric correction.

Funder: Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)

Duration: 2012 - 2016

Contact at Hygeos: François Steinmetz 



The aim of this project is to inform EUMETSAT with respect to all aspects of Cloud Top Pressure O2 A-band retrieval as well as to establish and demonstrate an appropriate CTP-O2 retrieval scheme based on METimage (EPS-SG) observations. 

Funder: European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)

Duration: 2015 - present

Contact at HygeosMathieu Compiègne


   4MSDS project

The aim of this project is to generate synthetical dataset at level 1b for the 3MI and METimage instruments that will fly onboard the EPS-SG plateform. HYGEOS is in charge of develloping and running the radiance simulator. 


Duration: 2014 - present

Contact at HygeosMathieu Compiègne



Past projects

In the past years, HYGEOS participated in various projects related to the study of atmosphere components (aerosols detection using Meteosat Second Generation data and development of the processing chain, funded by Eumetsat and CNES; algorithm enhancement of liquid water integrated content using meteorological satellites data, funded by KNMI), of the marine ecosystem (validation of ENVISAT/MERIS ocean colour products, funded by ESA), and of the land surface.

HYGEOS has developed operational processing lines generating ocean color variables from PARASOL/POLDER-3 (funded by CNES) and from ENVISAT/MERIS (funded by CLS).

HYGEOS has also performed technical analysis for the future oceanographical satellite missions (e.g. OLCI/Sentinel-3)



  FP7/Imagines project                                                                

ImagineS performs the Research and Development activities necessary to ensure the continuity of the operations of the Copernicus Global Land Service. Thus, ImagineS has provided the software able to process multi-sensor data, at the global scale on a fully automatic and reliable basis, to prepare the exploitation of the Sentinels sensors data.

HYGEOS coordinates the ImagineS consortium gathering 8 European partners, and is in charge of the development of processing lines which are integrated into the CGLS production facilities.

Funder: EC

Duration: 2012-2016

Contact at Hygeos: Roselyne Lacaze


   The PreViBOSS project: fog formation nowcasting

The aim of the project is to identify atmospheric visibility change predictors on a hourly time scale, among multi-sensor observation data sets, including in situ measurements and ground-based and satellite remote sensing. The project involved the collaboration of CNRS and HYGEOS.

HYGEOS was in charge of analysing the data set to identify the predictors.  HYGEOS also studied the aerosol properties in ambient conditions before the fog formation and within the fog layer.  A paper with peer-review was submitted.

Funder: DGA via the RAPID scheme

Duration: 2010 - 2013

Contact at Hygeos: Thierry Elias


The FP7/geoland2 project

geoland2 was the precursor research and development project of the Copernicus Land Service. It included 2 major pilars: the "Continental" component which continued in the Pan -European component of the Copernicus Land Service, and the "Global" component which continued in the Copernicus Global Land Service.

HYGEOS coordinated the group of 12 teams in charge of the development, validation and off-line production of the global biophysical variables.

Funder: EC

Duration: 2008 - 2012

Contact at HYGEOS: Roselyne Lacaze