Research and innovation

The radiative transfer is at the heart of HYGEOS research and development activities. We have an in-depth understanding of the physical processes governing the interactions of solar radiation with atmospheric components, water, vegetation and soil. Associated with high programming skills and up-to-date technologies, we develop innovative methodologies to process ground-based and satellite sensors data to retrieve Earth surface and atmospheric physical properties.

The continuous and long-term investment of HYGEOS in research and innovation is translated through numerous scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals. It also allows to develop highly-performing tools like Polymer, SMART-G and SMAC-CL.

Examples of current research topics

In her air quality activities, HYGEOS works on an integrated approach to enhance the modelling of second organic aerosols which are produced via the oxidation of intermediate and anthropogenic volatile organic compounds. A new desert dust and sea-salt aerosol emission scheme, based upon machine learning technique, is also in development.

In her water quality activities, HYGEOS works on the improvement of the atmospheric corrections over transitional waters (estuaries, lagoons and deltas) by taking into account the benthic and adjacency effects. The retrieval of seafloor reflectance and of a satellite-derived bathymetry is also investigated, in particular to characterize the presence of underwater seaweeds.

RGB composite of Sentinel-2 image acquired on 15 April 2020 over the Venice lagoon

Sentinel-2 image acquired over the Venice lagoon on 15th April 2020.

Map of bathymetry of the Venice lagoon retrieved in the CERTO project.

Map of the bathymetry (in m).

Map of the seabed albedo of the Venice lagoon retrieved in the CERTO project.

Map of the seabed albedo.


Thanks to close links with academic world and research institutes, HYGEOS invests in supervising doctoral students. Fourth PhDs were defended at HYGEOS: one was at the origin of the POLYMER algorithm, the last one contributed to the development of the SolaRes service by studying the interactions between the solar radiation on one hand, and the atmosphere, the ground surface and any objects on the other hand.

Preparatory meeting to a PhD defense