CESBIO  is a joint laboratory of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (UPS), and the Institut pour la Recherche et le développement. There are 65 permanent and roughly 60 non permanent staff (contractors, post doc, trainee, graduate and post graduate students), amounting to roughly 125 employees over two permanent sites (Toulouse and Auch) and temporary sites in Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon.
The 3 major axes of CESBIO are:
• 3D integrated modeling of continental surfaces: radiative transfer (for remote sensing simulation and 3D radiative budget), vegetation growth, hydrology.
• Remote sensing space missions.
• Observatories (Regional Space Observatories in South Western France and Morocco delivering web map services).
For that, CESBIO is organized in 2 research teams: Functioning modeling and remote sensing of continental surfaces and Observing systems.
Functioning modeling and remote sensing of continental surfaces team is participating in URBANFLUXES. The team is developing and improving models that describe the process of exchanging energy and matter at the interface Soil – Vegetation – Atmosphere and simulate remote sensing measurements. The approach relies on the collaboration of research in physics and ecology, and collaboration with CESBIO projects and preparation of space missions.
The models (simulation of landscapes and / or physical and biological processes involved) are based primarily on “mechanistic” approaches, which depends on the complexity of these processes and the structure of landscapes. Thus, it will be one-dimensional (1D), two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) depending on the objectives and environments studied.
Two types of modeling are developed and implemented. (1) Radiative transfer modeling to simulate remote sensing data and radiation budget. (2) Integrated modeling of all processes (water flow, photosynthesis,…), which determine the functioning of land surfaces. A key point is that the 2 modeling approaches are complementary. The heterogeneity of the environment is a major concern.