Enabling the public sector to save money, innovate and make more effective policy decisions by using space technology and data

Case Study: Rezatec – Space Applications for Precision Plant Health Information, Response & Evaluation (SAPPHIRE) (Phase 2)

General Information

  • Provider: Rezatec
  • Technology utilised: Earth observation (EO) Satellite Navigation
  • Thematic area: Environment Local Authorities and Devolved Administrations
  • End user(s): Central Government, Defra, Forestry Commission
  • Website: http://www.rezatec.com


  • 2016-2017. Project due to finish in March 2017.

This project is a phase 2  follow on project from Rezatec’s phase 1 project.

In Phase 1, Rezatec worked with the government organisation Forest Research (FR), to explore the feasibility of differentiating tree species of interest and their typical annual phenological pattern. The effort focussed on mapping the distribution of different broadleaved species within selected study sites, afflicted with newly-introduced forest pests. Rezatec utilised various Earth Observation (EO) sensors (e.g. Sentinel 1 C-band SAR, Sentinel 2 multi-spectral sensor, Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager) to map the distribution and abundance of these species. These EO data sets were complemented with ground-based data collection and accessory data sets (e.g. LiDAR, National Forest Inventory) and the data was integrated into data mining approaches including statistical clustering methods and classification post-processing algorithms.

In their Phase 2 project, Rezatec will create a productised, market-ready, demonstrator to identify and classify an expanded set of tree species of interest and their typical annual phenological pattern with specific focus on:

  • Identifying limiting issues with optical capabilities and applying SAR (used in Phase 1) to help address the challenges of the more obscure species and also addressing  linear features like trees lining infrastructure
  • Tree stress: validating stress against known scenarios and discounting them against false positives.  Identifying natural stress (versus an additional factor) will save time and cost to the end user community
  • Employing Sentinel 1 data sets to demonstrate the effective capability of SAR data in monitoring tree phenology, with standard EO multi-spectral imagery being used to complement the SAR imagery via data fusion techniques.

Click on the following links to see Rezatec's presentation and video from Phase 1 of the project.