Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata


ESA Summer of Code in Space (SOCIS) is a pilot program run by the Advanced Concepts Team of the European Space Agency that offers student developers stipends to write code for various space-related open source software projects. Through SOCIS, accepted student applicants are paired with a mentor or mentors from the participating projects, thus gaining exposure to real-world software development scenarios. In turn, the participating projects are able to more easily identify and bring in new developers. Students can apply through the SOCIS Webpage.

Please look at the BEAM SOCIS IDEAS and get to know your mentors

About BEAM

BEAM is an open-source toolbox and development platform for viewing, analysing and processing of satellite remote sensing raster data (also called Earth Observation data). Originally developed to facilitate the utilisation of image data from ESA's Envisat optical instruments, BEAM now supports a growing number of other raster data formats such as GeoTIFF and NetCDF as well as data formats of other Earth Observation sensors such as MODIS, AVHRR, AVNIR, PRISM and CHRIS/Proba. Various data and algorithms are supported by dedicated extension plug-ins.

Software Components

  • VISAT - An intuitive desktop application to be used for visualization, analyzing and processing of remote sensing raster data. To get an impression of how VISAT looks and feels like, please take a look at the related screenshots page.
  • A set of scientific tools running either from the command line or invoked by VISAT, also entirely written in Java.
  • A rich Java API for the development of new remote sensing applications and BEAM extension plug-ins.
  • The Graph Processing Framework (GPF) for development of scientific data processors

Feature Highlights

  • Very fast image display and navigation even of giga-pixel images
  • Advanced layer management allows adding and manipulation of new overlays such as images of other bands, images from WMS servers or ESRI shapefiles
  • Rich region-of-interest definitions for statistics and various plots
  • Easy bitmask definition and overlay
  • Flexible band arithmetic using arbitrary mathematical expressions
  • Accurate reprojection and ortho-rectification to common map projections,
  • Geo-coding and rectification using ground control points
  • Store and restore the current session including all opened files, views and layers
  • A standard set of scientific data processors which includes
    • Level 3 Binning and Mosaicing
    • Collocation
    • EM and K-Means Clustering, Linear Spectral Unmixing
    • Radiance-to-Reflectance, Smile Effect Correction, Cloud Probability, SMAC Atmospheric Correction, Case 2 Water Constituents (for MERIS on ENVISAT)
    • Sea Surface Temperature (for AATSR on ENVISAT)
    • FLH/MCI, NDVI (for all sensors)

Open Source Development

The BEAM Development is currently mainly driven by a group of key developers at Brockmann Consult and external contributors, including but not limited to:

  • University members (e.g. Swansea University, UK; Mississippi State University, USA; University Valencia, Spain; Free University Berlin, Germany)
  • NASA staff (Ocean Biology Processing Group)
  • companies (Array Systems, Canada; ASRC, Romania; Infoterra, UK)
  • ESA ESRIN and ESTEC staff
  • None