CESBIO (Centre d’Études spatiales de la Biosphère)

Logo du Centre d'Etudes Spatiales de la BIOsphère

CESBIO - UMR 5126 | UPS Toulouse III - CNRS - CNES - IRD

18, avenue Edouard Belin - BP2801- 31400 Toulouse Cedex 9
 Tél. : 33 (0) 561 558 501 - Fax : 33 (0) 561 558 500

Director : Yann Kerr

CESBIO investigates how continental surfaces function and interact with the climate and human activities, mainly through the use of satellite data. The aim is to build explanatory models which may also provide scenarios for the evolution of such surfaces and their properties, under the constraints exerted upon them.

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Physics and remote sensing of continental surfaces

  • Signal and image processing
  • Radiative transfer modelling, simulation of natural and urban landscape remote sensing images
  • Natural and urban landscape energy balance modelling
  • Novel methods for the use of data from existing space-based sensors
  • Conceiving and conducting space missions meeting the requirements of the surfaces
  • Conceiving and developing ground-based instruments as a complement to space-based ones (data coupling, integrated models)

Ecohydrological modelling of surfaces

  • Integrated and spatially explicit modelling of the functioning and evolution of surfaces and their exchanges with the atmosphere, according to the use of land at local, landscape-level and regional scales
  • Building ground-segment models for space missions
  • Novel methods for feeding coupled ground/satellite data into such models (inversion, assimilation)
  • Experimental and theoretical analysis of changes and transfers of space and time scales (aggregation, disaggregation, emerging properties)
  • Conceiving and setting up new experimental schemes

CESBIO campaigns

  • "Sud-Ouest": Functioning of continental surfaces and sustainable land management
  • "MEDMEX" (Modélisation et Données multi-sources pour la Gestion des Eaux en Zone aride): modelling and multisource data for water management in dry areas
  • "Sahel": multiscale approach to the workings and dynamics of Sahelian surfaces
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Observation Services

CATCH (Couplage de l’Atmosphère tropicale et du Cycle hydrologique), in collaboration with LTHE Grenoble

Monitoring of climate variability related to West African monsoon, in interaction with the water cycle and vegetation dynamics.

This observatory operates 3 sites in Benin, Mali and Niger. CESBIO is in charge of the Malian site, and takes part in space-based remote sensing on all 3 sites.

OSR (Observatoire spatial régional)

Functioning and evolution of Southwestern France territories at the landscape- and region-level. Developing an environmental information system and a hub for the application of space techniques.

Instrument development


Access to sensible and latent heat fluxes through measuring the alteration of the turbulent structure of the air along a definite trajectory (horizontal, above heterogenous landscapes).

- Developing more robust, more sensitive, more affordable instruments. Measuring sensible heat fluxes with more accuracy and smoothness than traditional scintillometers.

- Developing field-ready microwave radiometers

- Technological research on the application of the principle to CO2 flux estimation


Space missions

Proposal, monitoring and scientific support for space missions. CESBIO is PI on the following missions:

 L-band interferometric radiometer designed to track ground-surface humidity and ocean salinity, launched mid-2009. ( http://www.cesbio.ups-tlse.fr/fr/indexsmos.html)

 French-Israeli mission aimed at high-repetitivity and high space resolution data acquisition for a fine survey of the biosphere, launched 2010.  ( http://www.cesbio.ups-tlse.fr/fr/indexvenus.html)

 P-band radar for biomass tracking, selected by ESA for phase A. ( http://www.cesbio.ups-tlse.fr/fr/indexbiomass.html)

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