Project No. POIG.01.01.02-22-011/09-00 “The Satellite Monitoring of the Baltic Sea Environment (SatBałtyk)” was recommended to receive financial backing from European Commission funds following a competition for “scientific research or the construction of a knowledge-based economy”, organized by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education within the framework of the Innovative Economy Operational Programme (priority 1: Research and development of modern technologies, subaction 1.1.2).
In order to enhance the project’s effectiveness, the Institute of Oceanology PAN (IO PAN) invited teams of research scientists from the following institutions to cooperate in this research: the Institute of Oceanography of the University of Gdańsk (IO UG), the Institute of Physics of the Pomeranian Academy in Słupsk (IF AP) and the Institute of Marine Sciences of the University of Szczecin (INoM US). All these institutions had already been working together in the Science Network, which was laying the scientific foundations for the satellite monitoring of the Baltic environment. As a result, a contract was drawn up on 14th February 2010 in Sopot to establish the SatBałtyk Scientific Consortium, involving the University of Gdańsk, the Pomeranian Academy in Słupsk, the University of Szczecin and the Institute of Oceanology PAN, and signed by the Vice-Chancellors of the three universities and the Director of IO PAN.
The main aim of the SatBałtyk project is to prepare and set in motion the technical infrastructure and practical operational procedures for the efficient, routine monitoring of the states of the Baltic environment, that is, the production of maps of the sea’s structural and functional characteristics, including the inflow of energy (PAR1 , UV2 ) and its characteristics, temperature distributions, the dynamic state of the sea surface, the concentrations of chlorophyll and other phytoplankton pigments, blooms of toxic algae, the occurrence of upwelling events, the appearance of slicks of oil and other pollutants, and the characteristics of the primary production of organic matter. Examples of maps can be found here.
We also anticipate the development and, where possible, the implementation of remote sensing techniques for assessing the ice cover of the Baltic Sea. The project’s ultimate objective is to run an operational system for the rapid and effective determination of all the above-named characteristics of the Baltic in the form of maps of their distributions in the Baltic Sea region.
The infrastructure and the procedures will operate on the basis of information arriving from accessible satellite teledetection systems embracing the Baltic Sea region, in particular, the Polish economic zone, e.g. TIROS N/NOAA, Meteosat 9, EOS, AQUA and ENVISAT, as well as information obtained from previously derived mathematical models of the sea and atmosphere.