Temporary position OT-11576

Research Engineer or PostDoc in remote sensing (M/F)

84000 Avignon

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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France. The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

  • The P2S2 project (Products for SENTINEL-2) consists in developing and validating a processing chain to characterize crops from images acquired by the SENTINEL-2, LANDSAT-8 and Venµs satellites. The computed variables are: the leaf area index (LAI), the soil cover fraction or the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by the vegetation (fAPAR). A first version of the prototype has been validated and the satellite image processing chains are now put into production by the THEIA continental surface data and services cluster to provide continuous images over France. Your mission will be twofold: validate THEIA products and prototype the next version of the biophysical variables estimation algorithm.

You will be hosted in the CAPTE (CAPTeurs et TElédetection) Joint Technology Unit of UMR EMMAH, at the INRAE PACA center in Avignon. You will work in close collaboration with researchers and engineers of the UMT, as well as with its CNES contacts.

  • More specifically, you will be in charge of:
    • Intercomparing and validating products from the operational processing chain of data from the three satellites by exploiting an existing database of ground-based data (P2S2 database).
    • Prototyping and evaluating the version 2 crop specific algorithm based on machine learning trained on P2S2 data. You will make comparisons with version 1 (neural networks trained on a database simulated thanks to the PROSAIL radiative transfer model) and evaluate the validity and limitations of the algorith

This 9 month CDD can be extended for two years with CNES funding for the DECADAY project (DECAmetric resolution for DAYly Observations) which aims to provide daily time series of biophysical variables from SENTINEL-2 & LANDSAT-8 optical data using SENTINEL-1 to improve gap filling in case of cloud cover (funding accepted).

For more information on the P2S2 project:  

Weiss, M., et al  (2019). The P2S2 Project: a validation database for SENTINEL-2 GAI and Chlorophyll products for crops In E.S. Agency (Ed.), Living Planet Symposium 2019. Milan, Italy

Weiss, M., et al  (2019). The p2s2 validation database for decametric resolution crop products: green area index, fraction of intercepted light, green fraction and chlorophyll content. In, IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS 2019) (pp. 4588-4591). Yokohama, Japan

Training and skills

Master's degree/Engineering degree
  • Background: Digital science engineer with knowledge in remote sensing, image processing, model inversion, artificial intelligence, radiative transfer
  • Skills : good knowledge in computing langages  (Python, Matlab, C++) and remote sensing and image analysis. Dynamic and collaborative team player, autonomy, good English oral and written communication

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from (depending on the type of contract and its duration):

- up to 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: trainingcareer advise;
social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

How to apply

I send my CV and my motivation letter

Offer reference

  • Contract: Temporary position
  • Duration: 9 Months renewable 2 years
  • Beginning: As soon as possible
  • Remuneration: INRAE salary grid, depending on experience
  • Reference: OT-11576
  • Dealine: 20/06/2021