TERN AusCover Facility

The AusCover Facility is a national expert network that provides remote sensing data time-series and satellite based biophysical map products for Australia. AusCover also provides associated field calibration and validation data at continental scales.

The Facility comprises a portal for data archive and access, and field instrumentation that makes calibrated satellite data and ground-validation information directly available online to the terrestrial ecosystem research community. AusCover is also developing a consolidated repository and meta-database, including standard processing and validation methods for specific biophysical land cover products and basic processed time-series biophysical image maps. This will involve processing of medium resolution satellite data from national archives, as well as data from current and future satellite acquisition, supported by a national system of instrumented field validation sites.

Coordinated by CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, AusCover supports a nationally consistent approach to delivering and calibrating/validating key current and future core satellite datasets. The primary goal is to assist with producing ecosystem science data products designed specifically for Australian conditions. This is done by connecting relevant remote sensing science groups and their activities, providing infrastructure to make the connection and support data collection, calibration, validation and documentation.

Linking with field activities in other TERN Facilities and the TERN Data Discovery Portal, AusCover is providing researchers with data to answer the following questions:

  1. How do key environmental variables change over space and time?
  2. What environmental variables drive change in ecosystems, how can they be quantified?
  3. What are the optimum scales of observation for linking cause-and effect changes in ecosystems?
  4. How reliable are the AusCover data sets, and what image and ground-based measurements are needed to make them useful for identifying, attributing and quantifying environmental change?
  5. What are the key drivers of diverse ecosystems, both natural and impacted, and how can we further our understanding of the terrestrial nutrient cycles and the maintenance of biodiversity, water quality and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions?

The data sets served by AusCover at continental and site scales represent key environmental variables required by the ecosystem science and management communities in Australia.

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