AusCover is the remote sensing data facility of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN). AusCover provides a national expert network and data delivery service for provision of Australian biophysical remote sensing data time-series, continental-scale map products, and selected high spatial resolution datasets (such as LiDAR and hyper-spectral imagery) over TERN sites supported by field data collection. Coordinated by a network of nodes from each state, AusCover supports a nationally consistent approach to the delivery and calibration/validation of key current and future core satellite-derived datasets. The primary goal is to assist in the generation of ecosystem science data products designed specifically for Australian conditions.
Each AusCover node has different responsibilities and contributions to the overall AusCover network. The Brisbane node is represented by the Remote Sensing Research Centre at The University of Queensland and the Remote Sensing Centre at the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation. The current responsibilities of the Brisbane node are focussing on maintaining, updating and further validating the existing national Landsat based Fractional Cover and Persistent Green Vegetation Fractional products. A related additional task will result in a national Fractional Cover and a Persistent Green Vegetation Fractional product based on a time-series of all existing Landsat-8 data, which will allow assessment of seasonal variation of fractional cover and woody vegetation across Australia.
The validation of the Landsat based products will be further extended by including new validation data sets, including field data collected by TERN’s AusPlots facility. This will allow users to access nation-wide information on vegetation cover and extent, which may further improve planning and land management practices by landholders, scientists, industry and government across Australia.
Another major focus of the Brisbane node is to update and upload all existing field and airborne LiDAR and hyper-spectral image data to the AusCover portal along with associated metadata. Before this is possible, several of the recently collected airborne LiDAR and hyper-spectral image data will be quality assessed by the Brisbane node and further processed by other AusCover nodes. Access to these data sets will provide detailed spatial information for a number of important biomes around Australia, which may be linked to existing and future ecosystem science data and research.