2nd ISWG

Lisboa Portugal

Joint Workshop of the 2nd International Surface Working Group (ISWG) and 8th Land Surface Analysis Satellite Application Facility (LSA-SAF)

We are delighted the 2nd International Surface Working Group (ISWG) will be held jointly with the 8th Land Surface Analysis Satellite Application Facility (LSA-SAF) Workshop in Lisbon, Portugal on the 26-28 June, 2018 at Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) This workshop will be joint with the 8th LSA-SAF Workshop, we welcome your participation in this joint workshop event.

The aim of the International Surface Working Group (ISWG) is to gather requirements specific to surface observations to enhance both our understanding and ability to monitor the components of the Earth system including land, vegetation, snow, ice, and coastal and open waters. The EUMETSAT Land Surface Analysis Satellite Application Facility (LSA SAF) aims to increase the benefits accrued from satellite data, specifically for terrestrial processes, land-atmosphere interactions and biospheric applications. One of the target applications of the LSA SAF product is to assess and improve the quality of land surface models.

Focus of the Meeting

  • Assimilation of surface observations derived from: IR/MW, active/passive remote sensing data relevant to terrestrial surfaces, land-atmosphere interactions, and related applications;
  • Land surface assimilation schemes: state of the operational land surface modelling systems and recent developments; sensitivity studies of surface model parameters to remotely sensed data; outcomes of assimilating SMOS, GPM, SMAP observations; calibration issues, variable transforms or PDF matching techniques;
  • Radiative transfer and emissivity/reflectivity model development: VIS/IR/MW, all surface types, review of current parameterization for forward modelling surface boundary; description of available land emissivity databases/atlases (MW and IR); intercomparison/validation of physical models and retrieved emissivity (MW and IR, including land, ocean, and ice surfaces);
  • Retrievals of surface parameters: product characteristics and performances and expected evolutions including land surface temperature, albedo, vegetation state, soil moisture, snow water equivalent, water-body extent, sea surface wind, salinity, canopy parameters, vegetation water content, sea-ice concentration, etc. and the resulting surface emissivity/reflectance spectra;
  • Other relevant topics: model-data comparison efforts involving EO dataset and shared experiences from ongoing surface monitoring systems, use of multi-sensor/ multi-platform, multi-temporal approaches to maximize information over heterogeneous or rapidly changing surface types.


Registration and submission of abstracts has now closed.

Important Dates

  • 16 April 2018: Deadline for Abstracts and Registration
  • 01 June 2018: Final Program
  • 26-28 June 2018: ISWG workshop
This focused meeting will have no parallel sessions, but will include both oral and poster sessions. The prefered poster size and orientation is A1 portrait. The workshop format is chosen to encourage open discourse with ample time for questions, and discussions.

Expected Outcomes

This workshop aims at reviewing capabilities of existing technology and the capacity for their use in surface monitoring, data assimilation and modelling applications. This in turn should be used to provide expert recommendations and coordination guidance for surface observations. The International Surface Working Group will:

  • provide recommendations to further the coordination and exploitation of Earth Observation data of terrestrial surfaces and land-atmosphere interactions;
  • provide recommendation as to the evolution of existing satellite systems and how to fill potential gaps in future observations;
  • formally propose itself to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Coordinated Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) as a new international science working group.

Special Issue

Contributors are invited to contribute to the journal Remote Sensing for a special issue:
"Advancing Earth Surface Representation via Enhanced Use of Earth Observations in Monitoring and Forecasting Applications"

Directions and Hotels

Please refer to this map for some useful links. It includes the hotels there are closest to IPMA and the airport. These hotels are not in the city centre, but have easy access to the centre via the subway. IPMA is in the airport vicinity and is easily reachable with a 10 minute walk by foot. The subway station closest to IPMA is that for the airport.

Background for the workshop

The group was formed from an effort of a sub-group (Remote Sensing and Modelling of Surface Properties - RSMSP) of the ITWG and has organised four workshops over the past decade. The ITWG has hosted a website for the RSMSP. The RSMSP group reports directly to the ITWG, and thus indirectly to CGMS via ITWG. However the new group has a much clearer focus on the land surface, rather than as a boundary to better enable atmospheric sounding. Due to this growth we successfully convened the 1st International Surface Working Group in July, 2017 in Monterey Bay, CA. From this meeting we prepared recommendations and action items which were presented at the 21st International TOVS Study Conference (ITSC-21). Further, both at this workshop and in other opportunities we have conferred with representatives of the WMO and CGMS as to the possiblity of making a call for this group to establish itself with Coordinated Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) as a partner group. The ITSC is organized by the International TOVS Working Group. And is one of five current International Science Working Groups, which are recognized by the CGMS. The others are Precipitation (IPWG), Clouds (ICWG), Radio Occultation (IROWG), and Winds (IWWG). The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a member of the CGMS and works closely with satellite operators in the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) to get global meteorological and related user needs for satellite data addressed by satellite operators. We believe the Earth surface community has recognized the opportunity of a sister group addressing surface Earth Observations (EO) and we believe the effort and support from this group can be directed to a proposal for creation of such a body to the CGMS.

This workshop is being sponsored by the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) and the EUMETSAT Land-SAF, following a recommendation from the International TOVS Working Group.