Action Group on Remote Sensing

Terms of Reference

The SCAR Action Group on Remote Sensing has been established with the full name "Development of a satellite-based, Antarctic-wide, remote sensing approach to monitor bird and animal populations", initially for three years, with the aim to address the topic of "Animal monitoring via remote sensing". A number of publications on that topic, several published in 2012, indicate that the importance of satellite-based remote sensing for monitoring purposes is currently growing. In these various publications, different methodological approaches have been proved and discussed.

As a first step, the following revised Terms of Reference are proposed:

  1. Goals: Defining what are the goals/objectives of the proposed monitoring programme. What are the questions we want the programme to answer? What are the key parameters we need to define in order to answer these questions? What are the temporal and spatial ranges and scales we have to consider to get the necessary information?
  2. Present state of species: Formulating the present state of available knowledge for individual species, specifically on the distribution, population and on-going monitoring programmes.
  3. Gaps: What are the important gaps? What do we need to understand better? What are the most important research demands we should work on? How can we work on them?
  4. Methodology/technology: Which methodologies and technologies are available to fill the gaps? What is the role of different remote sensing techniques in this setting? Which new approaches look promising regarding result quality and research effort? Compiling the methodical state of the scientific knowledge in terms of a satellite-based, remote sensing approach. Keeping an eye on technological advances.
  5. Monitoring strategy: Designing a monitoring strategy that optimizes the relationship between outcome and long-term monitoring effort. Maximizing the resources of the participants.
  6. Input data access: Organizing data access. Who has access to which data? Which of these could be shared? Consulting data providers.
  7. Output data access: Designing an easy and open access for the scientific community to the monitoring results. What are the outcome parameters to be produced and how can they be stored, exchanged and published? Solving questions on standards, formats, media and metadata for the database/geo-database.