The global flood monitoring product shall be based on a systematic, automated delineation of flooded areas and water bodies using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites, with observed flood events extracted as the difference between observed water extent, mapped by Sentinel-1 SAR data and a reference water mask (i.e. permanent and seasonal water), derived from an appropriate consistent, historical Sentinel-1 SAR time-series. The scope of the service includes setting up and operationally implementing facilities and processes for:
— downloading worldwide Sentinel-1 Level 1 Ground Range Detected (GRD) imagery from (for example) the Copernicus Services Data Hub,
— application of the required SAR pre-processing steps and storage of the resulting image stacks or ‘data cubes’ spanning the required time-series of Sentinel-1 data,
— application of a mature, state-of-the-art, fully automated flood mapping algorithm, suitable for intensive computations and extracting the desired information from Sentinel-1 data in near real time,
— generation of the required global flood monitoring output layers, including observed flood event, observed water extent, reference water mask, exclusion mask and uncertainty values,
— global flood monitoring product storage, dissemination and user support,
— quality assurance including product timeliness and accuracy and service reliability and accessibility.
The global flood monitoring product shall operationally deliver NRT Sentinel-1 SAR-based output layers of flood information that are state-of-the-art, i.e. the best that can be obtained given the current state of research and production possibilities.