As shown by the image above, warmth can be found in winter, and beauty often comes out of the fog. And in matter of fog, this beginning of 2022 seems to be a great millesim. I took this picture at sunset on the 31st of december, in Hendaye, right in the South West corner of France in the Basque Country.
I was very optimistic at the beginning of last year, but it turns out that this start of 2022 is looking gloomy once again. We sincerely hope that Covid19 did not affect you too much in 2021, and that this new wave will leave us, and you, with no more troubles than the obligation to work from home, once again, for a couple of weeks only.
2021 was not entirely bad at CESBIO. Even if we did not have all the celebrations we planned at the beginning of the year, we were lucky enough to celebrate the first birthday of CESBIO’s 25th birthday, as well as Gérard Dedieu’s retirement. In 2021 also, our director, Mehrez Zribi, turned out to be persuasive enough to open a few permanent positions in the lab :
- Karin Dassas, who used to care for the on-board software of astronomy instruments, joined the radar and GNSS team at CESBIO
- Alexandre Bouvet has been hired at CESBIO, as a research engineer to use radar remote sensing data to monitor deforestation and plant growth, and to increase scientific collaboration with South-East Asia.
- Ludovic Arnaud joined us as a research engineer to estimate carbon fluxes in the soil using optical data.
- Rémi Fieuzal joined us to work on the integration of different types of remote sensing data in vegetation growth models
François Cabot also left us in 2021, to participate to the great adventure of European launchers in French Guyana. François Cabot was an essential part of the SMOS team, in which he was in charge of the Level 1 products and of the instrument calibration. If the SMOS products allowed the publication of so many articles and useful products, this is largely due to the excellent work of François. He was also the PI of a nanosat mission, ULID, that aimed to test the technologies necessary for a future enhanced SMOS mission on which the antennae would be placed on different satellites, and the cancellation of this missionAs a side effect also, the quality of the famous CESBIO BBQs will also decrease a lot with François far from here, and someone else will have to learn how to sing « où sont passés les tuyaux ». François will be in charge of avoiding that rocket debris fall on your head in case of a failure during a launch. With him there, you can get out of your house without checking the lauch planning of ESA.
And for 2022 ?
We were expecting the Biomass satellite to be launched in 2022, but this has been postponed to the end of 2023, which will give us a little more time to prepare the processing methods. In 2022, VENµS will start acquiring data every day on more than 50 sites. The VM5 period will start in a few weeks, and we are in the last optimizations of the programming to get the most sites possible. In a few days, we will also have an important change in the Sentinel-2 data format. In 2022, CNES will renew the 5 year plan for Theia, and we are expecting a large increase of the budget dedicated to this data centre.
Of course, at CESBIO, we will continue our work on the definition of new missions (SMOS-HR, Sentinel-HR, Sentinel2-NG), the preparation of the arrival of the decided missions (Biomass, Trishna), or the processing of the missions in operation (Sentinel, SMOS, VENµS…), and to help us understand all these observations, the in situ data acquisition and the modeling activities will continue.
In our immediate environment, CNES has just reorganized. The CNES researchers of CESBIO are now attached to a huge technical direction, and within this direction, to a new sub-direction focused on data processing, the « data campus », led by Simon Baillarin, a former CESBIO student, some time ago. Until now, we were attached to a sub-direction focused on instrumentation and image quality, and led by Philippe Kubik, whom we thank for his unfailing support. This reorganisation is thus an important change of orientation for the CESBIO which relies on two pillars, the observation instruments and the processings. We will now be closer to the latter. It will be a little easier for us to get our processing methods into operation at CNES, but we will have to be more convincing to support the missions we propose, and to get help from our instrumentalist colleagues.