A conference of geological and scientific experts met in the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas last week to discuss using the TerraSAR-X satellite system to assist Chile in predicting volcanic eruptions. The satellite, which has been in orbit for nearly a year, could provide Chile with significantly advanced warning of volcanic activity and tsunamis.
The crater of the Chilean volcano Puyehue displays a striking, circular outline in this image from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) TerraSAR-X satellite – so this was not the culprit when a volcano in the southern Andes erupted on 4 June 2011.
The SPIDER Global Thematic Partnership (SPIDER GTP) which was launched in 2009 was again present in the 3rd Session of the Global Platform, which was organized and conducted by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) from 9 to 13 May 2011 on the premises of the Geneva International Convention Center.
Up-to-date geodata is essential if rescue services are to reach the disaster-struck regions and provide help as fast as possible. After all, the regions affected need to be accessible for sufficient material and supplies to be provided in good time.
The Disaster Management Tool (DMT) is a mobile field system that allows field workers and control center officers to interactively enter and retrieve information about the areas of interest. It uses sensors (like GPS receivers) for automatic data collection. It also allows an easy and fast flow of the situation information, also across organizational and jurisdictional boundaries.
After the severe earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ was activated on the morning of the 11 March 2011. All participating institutions were asked to provide satellite imagery of the affected area.