The online, shore-based Advanced Training on Ocean Synergy Remote Sensing course is designed to help students work with increasingly varied but complementary satellite data sets in synergy.  The course will use a combination of standard and interactive lectures, together with the SEAScope synergy analysis tool (available free of charge for students to use after the course). There will be a focus on The Greater Agulhas Current Region, which will be used as an ocean laboratory to put what you learn in theory into practice. The interactive lectures are focused on specific areas of ocean synergy, and will help prepare you to bring your own ideas together for the course on board the ship. 

The course objectives are to:

  • Train the next generation of Earth Observation Ocean Scientists,
  • Explain the theoretical principles and application of Ocean Colour Radiometry, Infrared and Passive Microwave Radiometry, Biogeochemical, Sea Surface Temperature, Sea Surface Salinity retrievals, Synthetic Aperture Radar and Radar Altimetry;
  • Introduce different satellites and their payload instruments;
  • Explore data through hands-on exercises using SAR, Optical, Infrared, Passive Microwave, and Altimeter data, tools/toolboxes and methods for the exploitation of EO satellite data in synergy over the ocean;
  • Stimulate and support the exploitation of the ESA Earth Explorer and Copernicus Sentinel Missions.
  • Apply knowledge of satellite measurements in synergy to understand the character and dynamics of the Greater Agulhas Current region 
  • Develop skills to interpret satellite ocean data together with in situ ocean measurements to characterize and understand the environmental and climate change of the oceans.
  • Develop a network of international students participating in the training course

Structure of the course

The timetable for the course is included below, it could be subject to further changes. A student handbook is under development with further details about the course.

Online Course Timetable
Date Module Theme Webex video Lecture A Interactive A Lecture B Interactive B




Link to recording

LA1: Introduction to the Training Course (Johnny Johannessen)

ILA1: What we expect from you (Craig Donlon)

LB1: Round Table Introduction from Students and Lecturer Team

ILB1: Round Table Introduction from Students and Lecturer Team



Students and student groups

Link to recording

LA2: Student projects and group work – working together.

ILA2: The Greater Agulhas Current Region Ocean Laboratory

LB2: Thermal Imaging of the Ocean From Space

ILB2: Measuring Sea Surface Temperature (SST) from Space

19/09 3 Mesoscale & sub-mesoscale structures 

(Thermal imaging)

Link to recording

LA3: Introduction to Syntool and Sea Scope Tools

ILA3: Using Syntool and SEAscope Tools

LB3: Mesoscale and Sub-mesoscale characteristics of the Greater Agulhas Current Region

ILB3: Investigating Thermal features and their dynamics in the Greater Agulhas Current Region

26/09 4

Mesoscale and sub-mesoscale Structures (OCR imaging)

Link to recording

LA4: Ocean Colour Radiometry (OCR) of the ocean from space

ILA4: Measuring Chlorophyll-a using OCR from Space

LB4: Bio-geo-chemical Measurements of the Greater Agulhas Current Region

ILB4: Investigating biological features and dynamics in the Greater Agulhas Current Region

03/10 5

Ocean Circulation: Sea Level from Altimetry

Link to recording

LA5: Satellite Altimetry of the Oceans from space

ILA5: Sea Level estimates from Satellite Altimetry

LB5: Estimates of Ocean Circulation from Satellite Altimetry

ILB5: Ocean Dynamics of the Greater Agulhas Current Region

10/10 6

Mesoscale Salinity & SST from Microwave Radiometers

Link to recording LA6: Microwave Radiometry of the Ocean from Space

ILA6: SST/SSS/wind observations from Microwave Radiometers

LB6: Salinity and extreme wind speeds using Microwave Imaging

ILB6: The Greater Agulhas Current Region from Microwave Imaging

17/10 7

Ocean Circulation from Synergy (altimeters)

Link to recording

LA7: Satellite Altimetry in synergy with other measurements

ILA7: Estimates of Ocean Surface Currents using Altimetry and SST

LB7: Overview of the Benguela Upwelling System

ILB7: SST-Chlorophyll correlation in the Greater Agulhas Current Region

24/10 8

Sea State measurements from Space (SAR+wave Scatterometry)

Link to recording

LA8: Estimating Sea State from Space using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)

ILA8: Exploring Sea State using SAR

LB8: Directional Wave Spectrum from space

ILB8: Waves in the Greater Agulhas Current Region (I)

31/10 9

Wave-current interactions from Space (SAR, Glitter)

Link to recording

LA9: Ocean Signatures from Optical Sun Glitter

ILA9: Using Sun Glitter Imagery to study Sea State

LB9: Ocean Sea State From Satellite Measurements in Synergy

ILB9: Waves in the Greater Agulhas Current Region (II)

07/11 10

Marine Inorganic Carbon

Link to recording

Link to papers

LA10: Marine Inorganic Carbon from Space

ILA10: Estimating CO2 Fluxes from Space

LB10: Ocean Acidification from Space

ILB10: Ocean Acidification in the Greater Agulhas Current Region

14/11 11

Climate Change and Polar Oceans

Link to recording LA11: The Southern Ocean from space

ILA11: Investigating the Southern Ocean from Space

ILB11: Earth's Ice Imbalance

ILB11: Ice Sheets and Sea level from Space

21/11 12

Air-sea interaction in the Greater Agulhas Current Region

Link to recording

LA12: How the Ocean is Connected

ILA12: Understanding Regional Climatology and its application

LB12: Observing Extreme Storm Events from Space

ILB12: Extreme Storm Events in the Southern Ocean

28/11 13

Ocean modelling of the Greater Agulhas Current Region

Link to recording

LA13: Ocean Models for the Greater Agulhas Current Region

ILA13: Comparing Ocean Model Output with Satellite Observations

LB13: The Multi- Dimensional Structure of the Agulhas Current System

ILB13: Estimating Indian Ocean Water Transport using Ocean Model Outputs

05/12 14

Preparing for the At-sea course

Link to recording

LA14: Using in situ and Satellite data: Simulating the Voyage from Maputo to Cape Town

ILA14: Demonstration of NRT data from St. Lehmkuhl

LB14: Practical information for joining the ship


Lecture: A formal lecture given to introduce the subject

Interactive Lecture: a more informal style using interactive tools to handle data in a laboratory environment


  • Sessions will be held every Monday between 16:00-19:00 CET.
  • Sessions will be held via WebEx, a link will be sent.
  • The first course session is planned on 5th September 5th 2022, then every week afterwards, with the final lecture on the 5th December. 
  • Lectures will be recorded and will be available online afterwards. 

Software and Tools

The course makes use of the Syntool Visualization Platform. This portal allows for highly attractive display and overlay of near real time satellite data together with in-situ data and model fields.  Key variables we are interested in include: sea surface temperature, ocean color, surface geostrophic current, near surface wind and ocean waves. The selection of variables to be displayed is controlled by the "Products" menu located to the left. The date and time of selection is controlled by the lower horizontal panel. The viewing options of the Visualization Platform range from global to regional and offers a wide span of variable collocations and overlaying possibilities. Here, the position of the Statsraad Lehmkuhl ship is visible on the portal, check under In Situ data to find it! Moreover, surface drifter trajectories can be displayed on top of the near coincident SST, ocean color, surface roughness and surface current maps, clearly demonstrating the strength of this visualization tool both for research and dedicated applications. The visualization portal will also routinely be used for planning and execution of data collection during the sail-voyage, including deployment of surface buoys. For the course, we will use the standalone training module of the platform, known as the SEAScope Viewer that each participant will need to download. 

Syntool visualisation platform