MSc Geo-information Science, Wageningen University, Netherlands, 2013; BSc Telecommunication Engineering, University of Trento, Italy, 2010. 

Simone is experienced in designing and developing tools and methods to monitor the Earth’s surface from remotely sensed data, including radar, optical and lidar, by using open-source programming and geo-spatial software. Simone’s background largely focused on estimating forest structural parameters from space, and monitor vegetation changes over time.

Between 2015 and 2016, under the BRACED programme, Simone supported the LTS team in the application of the in-house developed tool RaVeN (Rangeland Vegetation NDVI), which is based on freely available optical and radar satellite imagery, and provides vegetation maps in remote rangeland ecosystems. RaVeN is now being used by the BRACED programme to monitor the impact of the project interventions on pasture quality in rangeland areas in Afar Region, Ethiopia.

Between 2013 and 2015, Simone worked at the University of Edinburgh, in close collaboration with LTS, on the development of FoRAsT, the Forest Radar Assessment Tool, that uses high resolution L-band radar imagery to monitor and quantify forest aboveground carbon changes, from which deforestation and forest degradation can be quantified, in dry woodland ecosystems. FoRAsT was tested and applied in Malawi and Sierra Leone, within two international development projects.

Simone’s key skills include:

  • The development of project-specific methods and tools that use Earth Observation (EO) data, from the design to the final implementation;
  • Processing, analysing and interpretation of EO imagery;
  • Multi-sensors (e.g. radar, optical, LiDAR) and multi-temporal data fusion;
  • Examples of applications: forest biomass (and carbon stock) quantification, deforestation and forest degradation mapping, land cover classification, tree modelling, statistical analysis, 2D & 3D plotting for data visualisation.

Forast Radar Tool


Publications: Vaccari, S.; Ryan, C.; Gou, Y.; Lincoln, P.; Abbot, P., 2014. A tool for monitoring woody biomass (change) in woodland ecosystems, 15th International Radar Symposium (IRS), 16-18 June 2014, 1, pp.1,5, Vaccari, S., van Leeuwen, M., Calders, K., Coops, N. C., and Herold, M., 2013. Bias in lidar-based canopy gap fraction estimates, Remote Sensing Letters 4(4), pp. 391-399


M&E of the Earth and Sea Observation System Sustainable and Thriving Environments for West African Regional Development Spatial Planning for Sustainable Land Use Planning M&E Support to the Market Approaches to Resilience (MAR) Project Background Paper and Analysis of Country Data to Support Development of Comprehensive Landscape Methodological Approach Satellite Monitoring for Forest Management




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