The research project THERMOPOLIS 2009, aimed in an in-depth study of the urban heat island of Athens. The research expedition combined qualitative data collection based on geographical coordinates of hyper-spectral instruments that collect data from the air (flying aircraft), data from satellites and measurements from instruments on the ground (from fixed weather stations and mobile stations). With these data Athens was mapped and each micro-region was characterized based on the radiation balance and balance of energy flows. Also the phenomenon of surface urban heat island (thermographic images of Athens from the multispectral camera aircraft and satellite data) was studied as well as the corresponding atmospheric phenomenon (graphical isotherms, the surface measurements).
The main expected outcomes of the project from the extensive database can be summarized as follows:
I. Analysis of data required for the future establishment of an infrared detector adapted to a satellite with a sufficient number of passages from areas of interest. The satellite data are targeted in the future to provide sufficient spatial and temporal coverage of the surface temperatures in European cities.
II. Refinement algorithms that provide Air and Surface Temperature for urban areas and the neighboring countryside with high spatial resolution (5 to 90m), so as to allow the spatial variation of the phenomenon of urban heat island effect in cities.
III. Analysis of all data packets generated by the air-ground measurements, satellite data to qualitatively assess the contribution of each type of measurement to assess the phenomenon of urban heat island.
IV. Study of the energy balance of a big city (Athens) for a more effective energy policy.
V. Prognosis of heat episodes and proposals for actions to address them.

The campaign, called Thermopolis 2009 from the classical Greek terms for hot (thermo) and city (polis), was led and coordinated by Democritus University of Thrace. DRAXIS participated in the project as subcontractor.

The project has been implemented for the European Space Agency (ESA)