Remote Sensing and Natural Resources Modelling

Society is nowadays facing unprecedented challenges for food and water security, ecosystem sustainability and resilience to major natural disasters. In addition, climate change represents an overarching and cross-cutting challenge exacerbating all these challenges. Remote Sensing and Earth Observations are necessary not only to monitor, to report and to model the climate change and to address these great societal challenges, but also to contribute to their solution.

The vision of the Remote Sensing and Natural Resources Modelling group is to conduct and to offer research and innovation of excellence, while contributing to the Luxembourg and European economies, the environment sustainability and the human welfare. This contribution is centred on the combination and exploitation of remote sensing information obtained by multiple and complementary sensors installed on spaceborne and airborne platforms, together with in-situ monitoring. The combination of physical and statistical modelling makes it possible to produce information ranging from local or regional to global scales, with unprecedented accuracy and spatio-temporal resolution.

research challenges


  • Develop scientific and technical EO&RS-based knowledge to better understand, protect and manage agroecosystems and forest, vegetation processes and roles, under global climate change
  • Derivation of EO&RS-based information and decision support tools for precision agriculture management and e2e business solutions


  • Develop scientific and technical EO&RS-based knowledge to better understand Land Surface Processes and biosphere-atmosphere interactions in multiple spatio-temporal scales under environmental and ecohydrological extremes
  • Integrating hydrological processes with societal hydrology


  • Improve large scale floods and droughts hazard monitoring, modelling and prediction
  • Develop scientific and technical EO&RS-based knowledge to better understand floods and droughts precursors, frequency, severity and their relations at global scale
  • Improve floods and droughts risks management and resilience by improving e2e early-warning systems and prediction tools based on EO&RS-based information


  • Develop scientific and technical EO&RS-based knowledge to better understand, protect and manage coastal environments
  • Develop EO&RS-based vessel and ocean monitoring techniques to ensure maritime safety and security


Complementarily to the available spaceborne sensors and with the objective to monitor terrestrial subsurface and surface water bodies, the hydro-ecological processes and their related impacts, the research group operates :

  • in situ sensors: field spectrometers ASD Field Spec and Spectral Evolution RS-3500 and sensors for crop state parameters Li-COR 2200 and Minolta SPAD,
  • a ground-based and airborne hyperspectral thermal sensor,
  • a UAV platform equipped with a thermal, multispectral and LIDAR sensors.

Main assets 

  • Biodiversity multiscale observation performance enhancer (BIOSCOPE2) / ESA, Artes 20-Integrated Applications Promotion, private partners : Terrasphere (NL), Aerovision BV (NL), Geoserve BV (NL), Dacom BV (NL), Wageningen UR (NL), Rikola Ltd (FIN) 
  • Monitoring and predicting urban floods using SAR interferometric observations (MOSQUITO) / FNR

  • Public information mapped to environmental events (PUBLIMAPE) / FNR

  • Mapping of crop nitrogen status from Sentinel-2 images through inversion of a canopy reflectance model – Collaborative (YPANEMA) / Partner: Agroptimize (LU/FR)

  • Vessel monitoring and kinematic modelling based on satellite Earth Observation and ground measurements (SKUA) / FNR - Partner: Luxspace (LU)
  • Use of SAR interferometric coherence for classification (SinCohMap) ESA project / Partners: Dares (ES), UA (ES), UPC (ES), Eurac (IT). 
  • Optical synergies for spatiotemporal SENsing of Scalable ECOphysiological traits (SENSECO) / COST - Partner: University of Valencia (ES)
  • Expand Demand - Disaster RIsk Financing and Transfer (EDRIFT) / ESA - Partners: CIMA Research Foundation (IT), DLR (DE), Deltares (NL)
  • Combining earth observation with a large scale model cascade for assessing flood hazard at high spatial resolution (CASCADE) - FNR.

Selected publications

Domaines de recherche
  • Environnement

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  • adwaïsEO,
  • AeroVision,
  • DARES,
  • European Space Agency (ESA),
  • Gent University
  • LuxSpace,
  • University of Trier, etc.



 Patrick MATGEN PhD
Patrick MATGEN PhD
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