SaVoir: Trajectory Regions for Hurricane Monitoring Using Sentinel-1

Sometimes it is not so easy to know all the possibilities that a software like SaVoir can offer, so we would like to share a success story made possible with the use of this tool.


Copernicus Sentine-1 reveals new insight on tropical cyclones 

This is the title of the article that is on the ESA Sentinel website showing how the Sentinel program can be useful for hurricane monitoring.
"Getting access to high resolution surface observations within tropical storms and cyclones in all basins would certainly most valuably complement existing data and help to issue more accurate analyses and forecasts on tropical cyclones, in particular their direction and intensity".
In 2016, experts from IFREMER and CLS decided to start a campaign called SHOC (Satellite Hurricane Observation Campaign) in collaboration with ESA with the objective to provide Copernicus Sentinel-1 acquisitions of hurricanes.

tropical cyclone Florence

After two years, SHOC efforts have proven to be extremely decisive, enabling acquisitions of some of the strongest tropical cyclones.

“To do this, the team’s experts are following hurricanes throughout their entire lifespan (from Category 1 and above), thanks to dedicated “late-programmed” Sentinel-1 acquisitions by ESA’s Mission Planning team.”

It is at this point that SaVoir comes in handy: in fact the ESA’s Mission Planning team uses SaVoir to prepare and plan image acquisitions.

When a cyclone starts to materialise, precise track forecasts available from WMO (World Meteorological Organisation) Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre are provided by IFREMER/CLS to ESA’s mission planning team which, in return, identifies and plans the most suitable Sentinel-1 observations intersecting the expected location of the hurricane’s eye over the next 5 days.
However, depending on both the evolution and duration of the phenomenon, updates on track forecasts are expected every 3 days and, consequently, the planning loop needs to be repeated to capture the new trajectory.

trajectory as area of interestA trajectory area of interest was created with track forecasts available from WMO, selecting Sentinel satellites and a time period of 5 days. The results allow to identify the best acquisitions along the hurricane track.

Since track forecast is updated every 3 days, the ESA's Mission Planning team must repeat the procedure by refining the trajectory area of interest and generating new updated results: the planning loop needs to be repeated to capture the new trajectory.

The results of the SHOC campaign will be presented in the following events:

Hurricane Monitoring Using Sentinel-1 High-Resolution Ocean Surface Wind Field Measurements,  Joint Satellite Conference, 28 Sep 2019, American Meteorological Society, (Boston, USA).


Sentinel-1 contribution to tropical cyclones observations at high resolution, Geoscience and Remote Sensing (IGARSS), IEEE International Symposium, Yokohama (Japan), July-August 2019