Implementation phase

MOSES is a novel “system of systems” for Earth observation, made up of newly developed, improved and adjusted observation infrastructures. To build and to manage such a complex system requires expertise in all areas of the Earth system thereby necessitating the involvement of all centres of the research domain “Earth and Environment”. Due to their complexity, the individual observation systems are operated by and remain under the management of each centre. As the operational mode is focused on event-driven campaigns, a joint governance and data management structure is applied.

Building and development of the new observation systems will last approximately from 2017 to 2018. During this period, the testing phase of single observation systems as well as their interactions within the modules will begin. This period will last until approximately 2019. To implement and test operation procedures, small campaigns may start in 2018. These test series must continue until approximately 2021 with increasing complexity until full event chains can be covered. The regular MOSES operation, which comprises planning and performing event-driven campaigns, will start in 2022. During the implementation phase, the scientific and technical personnel of the centres need to be trained in campaign operations.

National and international scientists are invited to participate in the implementation phase within the scope of the numerous research collaborations established by the Helmholtz Observatories and the manifold interlinkage with international earth observation networks.

MOSES event-oriented data sets will be analyzed in combination with large-scale and long-term monitoring data to unravel the impacts of stochastic events on Earth and environmental systems as well as possible feedbacks. The “events and trends” concept depends on the availability of largescale data sets, which will be primarily retrieved from:

  • The Helmholtz Observatories. They provide high quality, long-term data sets that are a prerequisite for the MOSES implementation phase. The observation systems and campaigns will be primarily tested at sites with available long-term data records. The Helmholtz Observatories were selected because they represent sensitive areas for global change impacts and thus remain key areas throughout the entire operational phase of MOSES.
  • The global observation networks and long-term measurement platforms such as FLUXNET, ICOS, LTER, GOOS and EuroGOOS, IAGOS, AERONET, ACTRIS, GCW, GTNP, etc. observe long-term trends of state variables such as GHG concentrations, temperature, soil moisture, ozone, aerosol, sea water density, pH and changes in biota. They also observe flux measurements of, for example, water, energy and GHGs. The Helmholtz Observatories are members of most of these networks, ensuring a bilateral data exchange that is in line with the MOSES Data Policy, which provides open access to quality controlled event chain data sets.
  • Satellite Missions will provide large-scale reference data. The most relevant ongoing missions for MOSES are SMAP, MODIS, TerraSAR-X, Sentinel I and II. Furthermore, the next suite of missions like Sentinel III-VI, EnMAP, GRACE-FO or the planned TANDEM-L and ATMO-SAT missions will be integrated into MOSES activities.

MOSES will deliver several advancements in observation techniques: (1) spatially and temporally highly resolved data sets on the extents of events and their direct impacts on trends in the surrounding compartments, (2) supplementary measurements within existing monitoring networks to significantly improve the spatial and temporal coverage during events, (3) supplementary measurements with multi-parameter observation modules for comprehensive in-depth process investigations.

MOSES combines scientific objectives with goals to build a unique and capable infrastructure, to foster capacity building and to support a new structure for the Helmholtz “Earth and Environment” research area with its eight research centres.