International Charter: December Newsletter now available
Tue Jan 8 2013
The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" published the fourth issue of their newsletter. The publication is available online on the Charter's website and covers the following topics:
CNES takes over chairmanship of International Charter (incl. an article from the CNES Ethics Adviser)
The International Charter promotes Universal Access
JAXA leadership for the Charter from...
GMES renamed Copernicus
Tue Jan 8 2013
On 11 December, the European Union's Commission announced the renaming of the European Commission’s Earth Observation Programme, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security). GMES is now called Copernicus.
In a world facing an increased risk of natural and other disasters Copernicus aims to monitor the state of the environment on land, at sea and in the...
Károly Róbert University College establishes new Remote Sensing Laboratory
Mon Jan 7 2013
A scientific workshop about finishing the project “Establishment of an environmental monitoring and remote sensing laboratory at Károly Róbert University College” was held at the College at the end of 2012. This new laboratory provides an excellent opportunity for students to get information about the most recent Remote Sensing technologies and methods. Students working...
Weather forecasts can save thousands of lives
Fri Jan 4 2013
In a recent article in Nature, Peter J. Webster, professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, underlines the importance of regional weather forecasts to avoid losses of live and property.
Hurricane Sandy was not as fatal as it could have been, thanks to accurate and long-range meteorological data and satellite imagery. However, the state of affairs is...
HOT looks back on a successful year 2012
Thu Jan 3 2013
Over the last two and a half years the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) has been continuously ensuring access to geodata in order to foresee and respond to natural disasters and crises. By coordinating and communicating with responders and data providers, the HO-Team helped to fill gaps in geographic data, which supported the response to crises in the Philippines, the Democratic Republic of...
SUPARCO/FAO issue study on rapid crop damage assessment in Pakistan in 2012
Mon Dec 31 2012
Pakistan faced floods and tormenting rains during the last three consecutive monsoons from 2010 to 2012. Experts from UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office SUPARCO in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) started generating data on a daily basis on flood extent, damage to households, infrastructure crops and undertaking detailed Damage Need Assessment (DNA).
International Workshop on flood risk mapping using spatial technologies
Fri Dec 28 2012
Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) - host of one of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Offices - conducted a five-day training/workshop on “Flood Risk Mapping Using Spatial Technologies” from 5 to 10 December, 2012.
The workshop was jointly organized by SUPARCO and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with...
ESA monitors water resources in the Mediterranean from space
Fri Dec 28 2012
The effects of climate change, population growth and economic development in the Mediterranean are posing a threat to the water supply in the region. As part of ESA’s TIGER initiative, satellite data are supporting water management by identifying water resources. The demand for water is growing around the Mediterranean and is especially crucial in areas that do not receive regular rainfall...
NASA to launch next-generation communications satellite
Thu Dec 27 2012
NASA's newest Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, known as TDRS-K, arrived on 18 December 2012 at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for a Jan. 29 2013 launch. TDRS-K arrived aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 from the Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems assembly facility in El Segundo, Calif.
For almost 30 years, the TDRS spacecraft have provided a reliable communications...
International Charter activated for flooding in England
Sat Dec 22 2012
Heavy rain swept across the UK over the weekend of 22 and 23 December. This resulted in flooding across the country, particularly affecting south-west England and Wales. The activation of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" was requested on 21 December 2012 with the Environment Agency (of England and Wales) being the project manager.
As of 24 December, the Environment...
NASA: Earth at Night imagery reveals wildfires in Australia
Thu Dec 20 2012
A new map of the Earth at night that NASA published two weeks ago showed the footprint of human civilization on the planet, as revealed by the lights we use to brighten the darkness. The map was built by Earth Observatory designers together with colleagues at the National Geophysical Data Center and made possible by a new NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)...
EUMETSAT: Dissemination of Meteosat-10 satellite data has started
Wed Dec 19 2012
On 12 December 2012, EUMETSAT's MSG-3 satellite was declared ready to support the Meteosat operational services and renamed Meteosat-10. On 18 December, the dissemination of Meteosat-10 SEVIRI data and meteorological products has started to the wider user community via EUMETCast-Europe. This is in addition to the National Meteorological Services in EUMETSAT’s Member and Cooperating States...
Fiji: International Charter again activated in the context of Cyclone Evan
Tue Dec 18 2012
After two activations of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" to provide satellite imagery for the impacts of Tropical Cyclone Evan, the Charter was today again activated in the context of this Cyclone; this time for Fiji. It was activated by UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA.
Tropical Cyclone Evan hit Fiji at Category 4 strength on 17 December. It is reported to have...
Hyperspectral data plays important role in environmental monitoring
Tue Dec 18 2012
In cooperation with Galileo Group, UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Hungary, the Karoly Robert University College, participated in an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) flight operations and hyperspectral data collections for a NASA sponsored project to map sea grass beds and coral reefs in the Florida keys. Hyperspectral data collections can play a crucial role in environmental mapping and...
International Charter activated for Cyclone Evan
Mon Dec 17 2012
In the context of Tropical Cyclone Evan, the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" was activated twice to provide satellite-based emergency maps.
The first activation was initiated by UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA for Samoa. Tropical Cyclone Evan struck Samoa on 13 December 2012, and made landfall as a Category 1 storm before intensifying to Category 3. The cyclone...
NASA satellites track Tropical Cyclone Evan over Samoa
Fri Dec 14 2012
NASA satellites have been monitoring Tropical Cyclone Evan and providing data to forecasters who expected the storm to intensify. On Dec. 13, Evan had grown from a tropical storm into a cyclone as NASA satellites observed cloud formation, height and temperature, and rainfall rates.
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed above intensifying tropical storm Evan in the South...
Hurricane Sandy: Polar-orbiting satellites were key in pinpointing landfall
Fri Dec 14 2012
According to a new study by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the NOAA forecasts of Hurricane Sandy’s track could have been hundreds of miles off without information from polar-orbiting satellites. Rather than identifying the New Jersey landfall location within 30 miles five-days before landfall, the models would have shown Sandy remaining at sea.
Asia: Floods the most frequent disaster in 2012
Thu Dec 13 2012
An early view of disaster trends in 2012 across Asia, the world's most disaster-prone region, shows that mortality from flood events continues to decline but economic losses remain a major cause of concern. In 2012 so far, floods were the most frequent disaster occurring in Asia (44%) and had the highest human and economic impact. They accounted for 54% of the death toll in Asia, 78% of people...
Turkey to launch Earth Observation Satellite
Wed Dec 12 2012
The launch of Turkey's Earth Observation Satellite Göktürk-2 is scheduled for 19 December 2012, 18:13 Turkey time. Turkey’s first domestic observation satellite, Rasat, was successfully launched into space in August 2011. The second satellite Göktürk-2 has three times as high a resolution as the first one and is of a mass four times that of Rasat. It will be launched from the Jiuquan base in...
NASA satellite captures Typhoon Bopha seen from space
Wed Dec 12 2012
In early December 2012, Bopha made landfall in the southern Philippines as a powerful typhoon. Bopha weakened to a tropical storm after passing over the southern Philippines, but regained typhoon strength over the South China Sea on December 7. On December 8, Unisys Weather reported that Bopha was headed back toward the Philippines.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on...