At VanderSat, we live and breathe science

VanderSat stands for decades of scientific expertise in the remote sensing of soil moisture. Our sterling reputation is built on over 20 years of experience and more than 20,000 scientific citations.

VanderSat stands for decades worth of scientific knowledge in the field of Earth Observation, with a strong focus on the global water cycle. Through our collaborations with some of the world’s leading institutions e.g. ESA, NASA, TU Delft, TU Wien, Ghent University, VU Amsterdam, World Bank, etc, we have been able to not just be up to date, but also to remain highly involved in the latest scientific developments.

Our scientific activities include studies at different spatial scales with passive microwave observations as the main driver. These studies include the production and analysis of long term climate data records of soil moisture and vegetation for the climate research community.  But also the use of earth observation to determine evaporation at fieldscale, and the ability to detect and quantify the effect of waterlogging in the agricultural sector.


In 2010, soil moisture became an essential climate variable and a key component of ESA’s  Global Monitoring of Essential Climate Variables programme, better known as the Climate Change Initiative (CCI). The programme has gone on to produce an updated soil moisture product every year since its foundation. The ESA CCI soil moisture product has contributed to hundreds of hydrological and climatological studies worldwide, in addition to the American Meteorological Society’s yearly State of the Climate reports.

State of the Climate

Surface soil moisture covers only a miniscule amount of water compared to the total amount of available water on Earth, however due to its role as a key boundary condition in the interaction between the land and atmosphere, small changes therein can already have significant impacts. These impacts can be direct, like the available amount of water for plants to grow, or indirect, like the development of a heatwave. Think of topics like river run-off, floods, desertification, forest fires, droughts, vegetation health, evapotranspiration and precipitation. Or in other words, soil moisture is one of the primary drivers of the water, energy and carbon cycles. Therefore it is not surprising that soil moisture was officially recognized as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV) by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) in 2010.

Urgent and beneficial to society

To support climate studies related to these topics, which are both urgent and beneficial to society, our data is available in the form of a coarse scale dataset (~25 km) through two scientific programmes; the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) by European Space Agency and the Copernicus Climate Change Services (C3S) by the European Commission. With over 12.000 users, this dataset has already been a key resource for hundreds of climate studies across the globe. Among these are contributions to high profile publications like the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) reports and the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS)’s yearly State of the Climate reports.

ESA CCI Soil Moisture data

The ESA CCI Soil Moisture data records are available at the ESA CCI soil moisture website and provides the following benefits:


The C3S Soil Moisture data records are available at the Copernicus Climate website and provides the following benefits:


The active datasets are generated by EUMETSAT H-SAF (ASCAT-A and -B) and the Microwave Remote Sensing Group at TU Wien (ERS data). All passive datasets within ESA CCI/C3S Soil Moisture are processed using the LPRMv6 algorithms, designed and implemented by VanderSat. The merging of the active and passive datasets is mostly done by the Climate and Environmental Remote Sensing Group at TU Wien

For more information on our scientific research activities, please see the publications to view the scientific publications of our team.