News

  • International Charter activated for New Caledonia cyclone Wed Mar 14 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for cyclone in New Caledonia on 8 March. Local authorities have pre-warned the public about a tropical cyclone that is expected to affect Loyalty Islands, Ouvéa, Lifou and Tiga and lastly Maré on 9 March. In the north of Vanuatu archipelago, rainfall exceed 300mm following with strong winds. The New Caledonia government has...
  • European Commission signs Earth observation cooperation arrangements with Colombia, Chile and Brazil Wed Mar 14 2018
    The European Commission has signed Cooperation Arrangement with Colombia, Chile and Brazil. Under the arrangements, the three countries will gain access to the wide range of applications of the Copernicus Earth observation programme and data provided by the European Sentinel satellites using connections between data centres. With the arrangements, the European Commission aims to grant access to...
  • Collapsed building after the Kumamoto earthquake, Japan. Photo: Hyolee2/CC BY-SA 3.0
    Study highlights uses of LiDAR for earthquake damage assessments Mon Mar 12 2018
    A study conducted by engineers from Tohoku University in Japan sees promising opportunities for LiDAR applications in the context of informing responders after earthquakes. The team investigated the use of LiDAR for earthquake damage assessments following two earthquakes which hit the Island of Kyushu within in 28 hours in April 2016. Laser support monitoring of city structures LiDAR, which...
  • Hurricane Irma Haiti September 2017
    UNOOSA activation privileges for International Charter augmented to include national disaster risk management agencies Fri Mar 9 2018
    The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" has augmented the activation privileges of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Under the new arrangement, UNOOSA can request the activation of the Charter on behalf of national disaster risk management (DRM) organizations in the framework of the Universal Access Trial Initiative. UNOOSA is a Cooperating Body of the...
  • Image of Hurricane Joaquin over the Atlantic Ocean north of Bermuda taken by GOES East on October 5, 2015.
    Satellite technology improves tracking of hurricane wind speed Thu Mar 8 2018
    A new satellite remote sensing technique has been proven effective in measuring ocean wind speed in order to better track hurricanes and cyclones. This technique uses GPS technology to send signals to Earth’s surface and gather data via Global Navigation Satellite Systems-Reflectometry (GNSS-R) and is expected to lead to better forecasts in the future. For this study, a GNSS-R instrument was...
  • Disaster Management Center of Sri Lanka becomes Authorized User of International Charter Thu Mar 8 2018
    The Disaster Management Center (DMC) of Sri Lanka has become an Authorized User (AU) of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters. In 2005, DMC was established to act as the main organization for planning, coordination, and execution of natural and other forms of disasters. Among the fundamental functions of DMC is to assist and take responsibility in planning and implementing the...
  • Wildfire in California in October 2017
    New NOAA satellite aims to better predict severe weather, save lives Mon Mar 5 2018
    An advanced weather satellite to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, coastal fog and other hazards was launched by NASA from the United States of America on 1 March. The new Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) represents the second in a series of next generation of weather satellites which will be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (...
  • New Spanish Earth observation satellite launched Thu Mar 1 2018
    The Spanish Earth Observation satellite PAZ, was launched on 22 February on-board a Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States. PAZ will be situated on the same orbit as the German TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X radar satellites. For the first five days of the Paz mission, DLR’s German Space Operation Center (GSOC) will take control of the satellite and put it at...
  • MOBILISE workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
    UN-SPIDER participates in MOBILISE event in Colombo Tue Feb 27 2018
    UN-SPIDER has been invited to participate in a workshop and conference organized by the MOBILISE project in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The project, conducted in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia, brings together academic institutions from the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia as well as government agencies involved in disaster risk reduction and emergency response efforts. More than fifty...
  • Satellite image from the Naval Research Lab are overlaid with lightning strokes (shown as black circles) of Hurricane Mathew on 4 October 2016. Image: WWLLN-TC
    New tool combines lightning and satellite data to improve forecasts of tropical cyclones Fri Feb 23 2018
    A group coordinated by the University of Washington in Seattle has developed a tool to facilitate continuous monitoring of tropical cyclones through the combination of lightning and microwave satellite data. The World Wide Lightning Location Network's (WWLLN) tropical cyclone (WWLLN-TC) platform is publicly accessible and visualizations of the global data are updated every three hours. Lightning...
  • Floods in Uttarakhand, India, in 2013.
    ISRO to support Indian state of Uttarakhand with satellite-based forecasting and monitoring Thu Feb 22 2018
    The Indian state of Uttarakhand has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Ahmedabad on 15 February. This understanding gives the Uttarakhand Disaster Mitigation & Management Centre (DMMC) access to the satellite imagery data produced by ISRO to put to use in forecasting potential issues for better disaster management and monitoring...
  • SARSAT
    Satellites aid in rescue of 275 lives in the United States of America in 2017 Wed Feb 21 2018
    275 people were rescued within the United States of America and its surrounding waters in 2017 with the help of satellites operated by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Of the 275 rescues, 186 were in water, 15 were from aviation incidents and 74 were on land using personal locator beacons (PLBs). The COSPAS-SARSAT system NOAA satellites are part of COSPAS-SARSAT (...
  • International Charter activated for Cyclone Gita in Tonga Mon Feb 19 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for Cyclone Gita in Tonga. Cyclone Gita, a Category 4 storm, hit Tonga on the evening of February 12th. Acting prime minister Hon. Semisi Sika declared a state of emergency for the whole region, while 108 evacuation centres housing nearly 4,000 people were set up on Tonga’s main island of Tongatapu. A further 12 centres were...
  • New operating system bundles free and open SAR processing programs for easy installation Wed Feb 14 2018
    A new plug’n play operating system bundles freely available Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) processing software for easy installation to help users start processing data. SARbian has been developed by the SAR-EDU Remote Sensing Education Initiative team at the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena and from the EO College online platform. The free software suite is a Linux live system based on Debian...
  • Port au Prince, Haiti, January 12, 2010
    Earthquake early warning focus for new Chinese-Italian satellite Fri Feb 9 2018
    A satellite to study seismic activity including earthquake precursors was successfully put into orbit on 2 February as part of a joint Chinese-Italian project. The China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES) - also known as the Zhangheng 1 - was launched via a Long March 2D rocket which lifted-off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. CSES is the first Chinese space-based platform for...
  • International Charter activated for floods in Argentina and Bolivia Thu Feb 8 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for floods in Argentina and Bolivia. River burst its banks in Salta Province Heavy rains in the region caused the Pilcomayo river to overflow, leading to displacement of the local population and widespread damages. The river rises in the Andes in Bolivia and flows along the border between Argentina and Paraguay before joining...
  • Soyuz-2.1a lifts off from Vostochny Cosmodrome on 1 February.
    Satellites to monitor emergency situations launched by Russian Federation Thu Feb 8 2018
    Satellites which will be used for the real-time monitoring of emergency situations were successfully put into orbit by the Russian Federation on 1 February. The remote-sensing Kanopus-Vulkan (or Kanopus-V) satellites No.3 and No. 4 were launched via a Russian Soyuz-2.1a rocket which lifted off from Vostochny Cosmodrome. They are designed to assist in the detection and management of natural...
  • International satellite data aids France flooding analysis Mon Feb 5 2018
    Data from the Global Precipitation Measurement mission (GPM), a joint undertaking of NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), has helped determine where the largest rainfall leading to the recent floods in France occurred. The data was examined using NASA's Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) algorithm and an IMERG-derived map for the Seine River flooding is...
  • UNESCO World Water Quality Portal
    New UNESCO tool uses remote sensing data to monitor global water quality Tue Jan 30 2018
    Water quality is essential when it comes to health, food production, ecosystem functions, poverty reduction, gender equality, and socio-economic development. Poor water quality leads to environmental, social and economic problems. The condition of the water, including its chemical, physical and biological characteristics, defines water quality, which could be affected by substances such as...
  • 55th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee. Photo: UNOOSA.
    Fifty-fifth session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee opens in Vienna Mon Jan 29 2018
    The Scientific and Technical Subcommittee (STSC) of the Commitee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Spacer (COPUOS) convened on 29 January in Vienna for its fifty-fifth session. STSC is one of the two subcommittees of COPUOS and will meet until 9 February. During the upcoming session, the Subcommiteee will consider topics such as remote sensing of the Earth by satellite, space weather, recent...
  • Himawari-8 in orbit
    Scientists aim to improve weather warnings using satellite-based infrared luminance data Mon Jan 29 2018
    A group of scientists from the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science has undertaken a new project that aims to improve weather forecasting. The project makes use of data from the Japanese Himawari-8 satellite and combines it with a supercomputer programme at the Riken science institute. The project aims to significantly improve weather predictions, particularly in the case of extreme...

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