Science Advisory Group (SAG)

Objectives of the ATSR SAG

(Revised April 2021)

The over-arching objective of the ATSR Science Advisory Group (SAG) is, through the AATSR Principal Investigator, acting on behalf of NERC and its funding partners, to exercise appropriate and effective scientific leadership in the conduct of the ATSR exploitation programme. A complementary objective is to act as a bridge or conduit between the providers and the users of ATSR data.


Terms of Reference of the ATSR SAG

The terms of Reference for the ATSR SAG are:

  • To maintain contact with users and to represent their needs with respect to ATSR data;
  • To ascertain and record scientific priorities for the ATSR series, considering the capabilities of the sensors and their data products, in relation to the key scientific questions concerning the natural environment
  • To support the AEB by advising on the specific status of climate data from the ATSR series, and the activities that are needed to ensure a long-term record of surface temperature and other data sets
  • To identify other possible future applications of ATSR data to current practical problems in environmental monitoring
  • To provide advice on the scientific and technical issues which may need to be addressed in order to realise the applications identified
  • To consider, and where appropriate to provide feedback on, proposals for the exploitation of SLSTR data, especially those proposals that may contribute to the future continuity of the ATSR data record
  • To seek opportunities to promote and expand awareness of ATSR data, and to bring about the successful implementation of the ATSR exploitation plan
  • To make recommendations, where necessary, to the AEB, on all issues which affect scientific effectiveness and usefulness of the ATSR dataset


Modus Operandi of the ATSR SAG

The main activities of the ATSR SAG will be:

  • To review and contribute to the development and maintenance of an effective ATSR Exploitation Plan (AEP). This document sets out a list of applications and priorities for exploitation of the ATSR series, and then identifies possible, planned and on-going scientific investigations, which support the ATSR applications through the use of ATSR data and, in the future, SLSTR data. The applications include:
    • Climate research and prediction
    • Ocean processes,
      • Sea Surface Temperature (SST)
    • Land Surface processes,
      • Land Surface Temperature (LST)
      • Lake Surface Water Temperature (LSWT)
      • Fires
      • Land Surface Reflectance
      • Surface Radiation
    • The atmosphere,
      • Clouds
      • Aerosols
      • Water Vapour
    • The cryosphere,
      • Ice surface temperature (IST)
      • Sea-ice surface temperature
    • Operational applications, included meteorology and Copernicus services
  • To seek input and feedback from existing and potential users of ATSR data and where appropriate, ensure that responsive action is taken;
  • To review and contribute to the development and maintenance of the ATSR Scientific Requirements for future missions, in particular for climate records;
  • To monitor the work of, and make recommendations, if necessary, to external groups and sub-groups which may be formed to address specific technical areas, which include:
    • Validation (led by the Validation Scientist (in conjunction with the Sentinel-3 Mission Performance Centre (MPC) ),
    • ATSR and SLSTR instrument calibration, performance, operation and health (interfacing with the Sentinel-3 MPC for SLSTR),
    • data product integrity and improvement (working through the ATSR Quality Working Group (QWG) and Sentinel-3 MPC),
    • data archives (led by the Natural Environment Research Council Earth Observation Data Centre (NEODC) in the UK, ESA and Eumetsat),
    • service providers using ATSR and SLSTR data such as the Copernicus Services (led by the PI),
    • future missions, beyond SLSTR (led by the SAG until formalised).
  • To be pro-active in the development and implementation of the AEP, both through their own research activities and through interactions with the wider communities, and to develop the concept of, and a work plan for, a scientific collaborative ground segment to exploit ATSR and SLSTR data.
  • The main instrument for developing and documenting the exploitation of ATSR data will be the AEP, which is a ‘living document’, led by the ATSR PI team, with significant contributions from SAG members; the AEP is the ATSR and SLSTR Exploitation Plan. In order to achieve this effectively, it is imperative that the SAG should represent as many as possible of the important areas of science served by ATSR data and SAG members should also be active users of ATSR data and be familiar with its capabilities. In this respect, the SAG will also act as a UK expert group for SLSTR.
  • The SAG will be convened and chaired by the ATSR PI and the PI Team will be responsible for minutes and other practical arrangements.
  • Membership of the SAG and of any sub-groups will be reviewed at each SAG meeting to ensure that the relevant scientific areas are appropriately represented.
  • The ATSR SAG will normally meet twice per year and will organise periodic science meetings for the wider community.


Current SAG Membership:

Chairman & Principal Investigator:
John Remedios, University of Leicester

Hugh Kelliher, Space ConneXions Ltd

Validation Scientist:
Gary Corlett, Eumetsat

Project Scientist:
Chris Mutlow, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Scientific Advisors:
Darren Ghent, University of Leicester
Ian Barton, CSIRO
Craig Donlon, ESA
Don Grainger, University of Oxford
Chris Merchant, University of Reading
Owen Embury, University of Reading
Adam Povey, University of Oxford
Peter Minnett, University of Miami
Peter North, University of Wales Swansea
Dave Smith, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Caroline Poulsen, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Michelle King, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Karen Veal, University of Leicester
Werenfrid Wimmer, NOCS
Herve Roquet, Meteo France
Roger Saunders, Met Office
Christoforos Tsamalis, Met Office
Martin Wooster, King's College London

Agency Representatives:
Alisdair Gow, UK Space Agency
Eleanor Webster, BEIS
Simon Kerley, NERC
Ruth Wilson, Space ConneXions
Steffan Dransfeld, ESA
Philippe Goryl, ESA
Pascal Lecomte, ESA
Nigel Houghton, ESA
Anne O'Carroll, Eumetsat
Pauline Cocevar, VEGA Space
Hannah Clarke, VEGA Space
Sian O'Hara, VEGA Space
Fay Done, Telespazio