NERC Field Spectroscopy Facility

Welcome to the FSF home page. The NERC Field Spectroscopy Facility is located in GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh and its management is now overseen by NCEO on behalf of NERC.

Included in this site are links to all relevant loan application and user information. Please follow the links in the above menu. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or require any further information not available on this site.

We look forward to seeing you in Edinburgh at some time... The FSF Team

Vicarious Calibration 

News items:

Environmental Physics Group Annual Meeting on May 16th 2017 (posted 10/05/2017) The Environmental Physics Group Annual Conference Day will be held in the Grant Institute, Edinburgh this year, with a theme of the Copernicus earth observation programme. More information can be found at The Institute of Physics.

Introduction to Field Spectroscopy workshop! (posted 2/2/2017) A 2½-day intensive course for post-doctoral researchers and PhD students. Dates 25-27th April 2017. Register through our Eventbrite site . 2017 programme.

FSF 1st November 2016 application deadline has closed! (posted 22/10/2016)
The next round of FSF loan applications will be the summer of 2017. However, please contact us if you have an emergency requirement or wish to take advantage of an opportunistic event.

Dear FSF community, the application deadline for the next loan round for the Field Spectroscopy Facility is near. In fact you only have just over a week to get your applications to us, in time for the November 1st deadline. This application round is for loans from March/April 2017 through to September/October 2017. Your application to FSF must detail how FSF instruments will be used and your proposed methods of data analysis as well as making the science case. If you have loans rolled over from previous years, you must inform us by email that you wish the loans scheduled for the coming period and request the dates required. Please note that loan guidelines and the application forms are available from the FSF website: click here. There are some example applications on the web site to indicate the level of detailed required for a highly graded application. Please note that the new application form must be used. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to receiving your applications!

NERC FSF Review outcome (posted 11/05/2016) We were advised late last week of the outcome of the latest NERC review of FSF. We exceeded NERC's requirements in two categories "Need to be supported by NC including impact and training" which we hope will be significant and met requirements in the other seven categories assessed. This is clearly a good basis for going forward. and many thanks to all that responded to questionnaires and requests for feedback NERC will now establish a Services and Facilities Allocation Advisory Group to conduct a review of National Capability strategic needs in consultation with the NERC Research Centres and others. We hope the FSF and wider uk science will be consulted in this process and we will keep you informed of progress.

Request for list of FSF supported publications for 2016 calendar year (posted 26/10/2016) It is that time of year again when we need to justify our continued existence to NERC - this year is particularly important as NERC will announce opportunities for the commissioning of facilities to support national Capability. Could you please return this to FSF@nerc.ed, by end of January at the latest. Your publications (our output performance measures) are the primary matrix used by NERC to assess the performance of (and need for!) FSF. Could you also check we have a complete list of you publication from preceding years. Click here to go to the current publications list.

A request from FSF (Updated October 2016) The Field Spectroscopy Facility's instruments are owned by NERC and NERC fully funds the 2 FTE posts required to staff FSF. To justify continued funding the Facility is required annually produce evidence of the support it gives to the UK research community and the scientific benefit to the UK that is derived from that support. NERC regard publications as the prime indicator of science supported by FSF. Publications, therefore, are the primary means by which the value of the Facility to the scientific community is judged. Any investigator in receipt of a NERC FSF loan is required to supply bibliographic references and if possible copies of all publications (including PhD theses, non refereed publications, conference presentations and proceedings and any other publicity relating to their work) which discusses or describe results obtained through the use of Facility equipment. It is a NERC requirement that support given by NERC and FSF be acknowledged in all such publication. In addition, when substantial and detailed advice is given by FSF staff, when FSF post processing templates and when FSF calibration services are used this assistance should also be acknowledged or cited as appropriate in any subsequent publications.

FSF Post Processing Matlab Toolbox updated to version 1.3.8 (Updated 23/12/2015) The Facility's Matlab post processing Toolbox version 1.3.9 has been released and is now fully functional under Matlab 2015b. The FSF Matlab Toolbox can be added to the Matlab Toolbox path and functions useful for post processing field spectroscopy measurements, made using a wide range of commonly used field spectroradiometers, are available. The Matlab Help functions and a FSF Toolbox User Guide can then also be found from within the Matlab Help dialogue. The Toolbox includes filter functions to convolve high spectral resolution field acquired spectra with the spectral response functions of a number of satellite sensors. These filter functions have been compiled from the data published by Stevens, M. Matlthus, T. (2003) Inter calibration of vegetation indices from different sensor systems, IJRS. 88 2003 412-422. A link to download the Toolbox can be found here. From the FSF User Group web page you can download macros, programmes and scripts to aid the extraction, processing and analysis of field spectrometer measurements. If you have any open-source field spectroscopy utilities that you have developed and would like to make available to the community please contact Alasdair Mac Arthur at FSF and we will try to develop this resource further. Click here to go to the FSF User Group web page.

An inter-calibration Workshop (Posted 1/07/2015) for the Foreshore Assessment using Space Technology, (FAST) project was hosted by the Field Spectroscopy Facility in June with groups from Universities of Cambridge, Cadiz and NIOZ participating in laboratory calibration and performance assessment measurements of their spectroradiometers together with inter-comparison of field data and methodologies. flickr images

Reporting requirement and 'costs' for applicants borrowing instruments from FSF (Updated 13/11/2014) At the time of loan a NERC FSF Loan Agreement form will be supplied to the PI listed on the application. This form will detail the main instruments being lent with serial numbers, the instrument capital values, the daily financial value assigned by NERC to the loan and the agreed loan period. The total value of the loan will be recalculated on return of the instruments to FSF and this value used by NERC in the RAE. A sample of the new Loan Agreement form can be down loaded from here.

Within 1 month of completion of a loan investigators must provide a Loan Report detailing any problems encountered while using FSF instruments and indicating the success of field data acquisition. Within one year of completion of a loan investigators must supply an Interim Science Report to FSF and within 2 years of completion of a loan a Science Report. Sample report forms indicating what is required can be found on the FSF web site. Copies of these report forms will also be included on the memory stick supplied with FSF instruments at time of loan. Applicants may also be requested to present your work at a FSF users seminar to be held at a future date.

Note. NERC FSF recommends and in some cases requires that users insure equipment for 'all risks' the duration of the loan, duration of the loan being from receipt of the equipment at the delivery address until it is received back at FSF.

Python front ends for 6S and ProSAIL, written by Robin Wilson of U. of Southampton, are available through the FSF User Group (Posted 24/04/2013) Py6S is a Python interface to the respected 6S atmospheric Radiative Transfer Model which makes it significantly easier to use and adds useful new functionality. All of the functionality of the 6S model is supported, and various helper methods are provided to make common operations - such as running a simulation for a number of angles, or for all of the bands of a satellite sensor - very easy. Field spectroscopy data can also be imported and used to configure the ground reflectance of the model, allowing simulations of the at-sensor radiance that would be measured for a set of field spectral measurements. Py6S is fully integrated with the Python NumPy, pandas and Matplotlib modules to allow easy plotting of results and import/export of data and can be accessed from the FSF User Group web page here. PyProSAIL is a very simple Python interface to the ProSAIL combined leaf and canopy reflectance model. In a similar manner to Py6S, it provides a far nicer interface to the model, and allows easy plotting of the results. PyProSAIL can also be integrated very easily with Py6S, for example, to simulate how changes in leaf properties, and thus the reflectance of the canopy, would be manifested in the radiance received at a satellite.PyProSAIL can be accessed from the FSF User Group web page here.

Microtops software for retrieval of AOT available for download. (Updated July. 2012) Microtops Inverse, developed by Vitchko Tsanev and Tamsin Mather, is designed to allow the retrieval of columnar aerosol optical thickness, concentrated in plumes, from Microtops II measurements. Plumes can result from volcanoes, fires or industrial plants. The Facility's Microtops instruments have been used to study plumes resulting from an eruptions of Mt Etna in 2006 and the 2005 Buncefield Oil Depot fire. For more information and to download the software please 'click' here

New software resources written by Dr J. Hedley is available. (Updated July 2012) The PlanarRad software package for calculating radiative transfer in plane-parallel shallow-water environments was developed by Dr John Hedley at the University of Exeter and is now available. Click here to access the PlanarRad web pages. A report summarising the results obtained during the demonstration at RSPSoc 2009 conference is available to download. In addition, WLTool, a software routine to extract and merge data acquired by the Facility's AC-S and HyperOCR suite of instruments is now also available. Please click here to access the WLTool web pages.

Solar Eclipse 2015 The solar eclipse of March 2015 was visible across most of the UK with parts of Scotland experiencing almost 98% coverage of the sun. We setup our illuminance (Lux) photometer near to the facility in Edinburgh to record the change in the light levels from approximately 08:50 till just after 10:00. The sky was clear in the early morning but cloud cover increased throughout the eclipse. The data in an Excel spreadsheet and an image of the plot are available for download.

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