"The main purpose of the ESA DUE Permafrost project is to define, demonstrate and validate, permafrost monitoring information service from local to large scale, mainly towards climate change studies and addressing the pan-boreal/arctic zone. The service is supposed to support the GCOS implementation plan with systematic satellite-based Earth Observations of global permafrost extent, change and related products. It should further support permafrost monitoring activities of national and intergovernmental bodies and scientific groups involved in climate change research.’

The goal of the Permafrost project is to demonstrate EO integrated services in the field of permafrost monitoring of the boreal zone with active participation of user organisations, mainly from the scientific world. The project shall act as a platform to users and service providers in order to harmonise information needs and develop a set of key tools to address them. The Permafrost project objectives are to:

  • Define EO based services for permafrost monitoring based on user re-quirements
  • Integrate the latest EO technology with state of the art ground based measurements
  • Demonstrate and validate the services with the user organisations
  • Develop mid to long term scenarios for boreal permafrost monitoring
  • Contribute to new scientific results in the domain of climate change detection, climate modelling and hydrological modelling" (ESA Statement of Work)

The consortium is led by the contractor I.P.F, Vienna University of Technology and supported by four partners (Gamma Remote Sensing, University of Waterloo, Jena University, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research) in order to meet the requirements set forward in the ESA Statement of Work.

The project has two phases. Phase 1 (June 2009 – May 2010) comprises all tasks for the development of the service design. Implementation and validation are covered in phase 2 (June 2010 – March 2012) after successful completion of phase 1.

The project is funded within the ESAs Data User Element.