News

  • UNOOSA GEOSS Portal
    UNOOSA becomes data provider in the Group on Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS) Tue May 8 2018
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its UN-SPIDER programme, has become a data provider in the Group on Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS) Portal. Under the arrangement, selected resources from the UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal, such as data sources, are made available through the GEOSS platform. UNOOSA participated in the 3rd GEO Data Providers Workshop in...
  • FAO Report. Image: FAO
    FAO report highlights use of remote sensing in assessing the impact of disasters on agriculture Wed May 2 2018
    Climate-induced disasters have dramatically increased over the past three decades, with floods, droughts and tropical storms causing the most significant impact in the agricultural sector. To provide an update to their 2015 report, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has released its 2017 report on “The Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security”. The...
  • The Sentinel-1 RGB stack showing (in red) flooding on February 23, 2018. Image: Sentinel Playground
    Using new techniques in Greece to track the effects of flooding Mon Apr 30 2018
    Greek Geographic Information Systems company Geospatial Enabling Technologies (GET) has tested a new crisis management solution based on services rendered through the Copernicus Sentinel Hub after flooding in Farkadona, Greece. The Copernicus Sentinel Hub, set up by the European Commission and European Space Agency, is a service that provides quick and up-to-date satellite information to be used...
  • Asian Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction.
    UN-SPIDER participates in 2nd Asian Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction Fri Apr 27 2018
    In response to the increasing importance and role of science-based decision-making in disaster risk reduction, the Asia-Pacific office of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) established the Asian Science Technology Academia Stakeholder Group (ASTAAG) in May 2015. The group brings together academic, scientific and technological communities in support of the...
  • An image taken by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite on 28 September 2016 showing wildfires in the Russian Federation. Image: ESA/CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
    European Union launches latest Earth observation satellite able to track disasters Thu Apr 26 2018
    The European Union’s latest Earth observation satellite, Sentinel-3B, was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Russian Federation on 25 April. The satellite will monitor the Earth’s land, oceans and atmosphere. It will also be able to track disasters and provide up-to-date information to emergency response teams. With a primary focus on oceans, the Sentinel-3B satellite will ...
  • Satellite Earth Observation for SGDs Handbook. Image: CEOS
    CEOS publishes handbook on how Earth observation can support implementation of the SDGs Thu Apr 26 2018
    The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) has recently released a new handbook in support of using Earth Observation (EO) to help accomplish the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Established under the 1984 G7 Economic Summit of Industrial Nations, CEOS helps to facilitate the coordination and integration of the actions and policies of over 30 of the world’s leading...
  • The European Commission and Department of Space of India sign a Cooperation Arrangement to share satellite Earth Observation data. Image: European External Action Service (EEAS)
    European Commission and India to share satellite data Tue Apr 17 2018
    The European Commission (EC) and Department of Space (DoS) of India signed a Cooperation Agreement on 19 March that will enable them to share earth observation data from each other's satellites. This shared space-based information will be used to forecast natural and man-made disasters, to provide emergency response and rescue of people during such disasters, to gather land and ocean data, and...
  • The GPM core satellite found extremely heavy rainfall on 6 March on the east side of cyclone Hola. Image: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce
    Using GPM software to track cyclone rainfall Mon Apr 16 2018
    NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission core observatory satellite has been an integral asset in disaster risk management last month. This satellite is able to produce information on precipitation particles within cloud layers by using an active radar; information that is beneficial in monitoring, predicting, and tracking the progression of cyclones and other extreme weather...
  • Images via a Gaofen satellite which monitored a landslide in Guizhou, China, in September 2017. Image: Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (RADI/CAS)
    China launches satellites for disaster warning and emergency response Mon Apr 16 2018
    China launched three Gaofen-1 Earth observation satellites on 31 March. These high-resolution satellites will be used in a range of different fields, including disaster early warning and emergency response. The satellites were put into orbit via a Long March 4C rocket, which lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in China. These satellites will provide high-resolution images which...
  • India and France to strengthen cooperation on satellite missions Fri Apr 13 2018
    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) have signed a agreement to strengthen cooperation in the use of satellite technology on various joint missions. The Megha-Tropiques mission, which aims to study water cycles and energy exchanges to gain better knowledge of tropical weather systems and climate, will be one of the collaborative...
  • New tool for global severe index allows climate community to assess meteorological drought by terrestrial water storage Wed Apr 11 2018
    A new technique has been developed to help mitigate the effects of drought. The satellite-based drought severity index (DSI) has been created using terrestrial water storage changes from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) to help identify the timing, extent and severity of droughts for adequate relief efforts. The GRACE-DSI allows the comparison of data across regions and periods...
  • UN-SPIDER conducts Technical Advisory Mission follow-up and national training programme in Sri Lanka Mon Apr 9 2018
    At the request of the Government of Sri Lanka, through the Ministry of Disaster Management (MoDM), UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) follow-up activity to Sri Lanka to understand long-term capacity building needs and discuss joint activities in next three to five years. As a part of this TAM follow up mission, a one day workshop was organized under the guidance of MoDM on...
  • Lake in Kachalinskaya, Volgogradskaya oblast Russia.
    International Charter activated for Russian Federation flooding Thu Apr 5 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for flooding in the Volgogradskaya Oblast Region of the Russian Federation on 4 April, caused by vast amounts of melting snow causing river water levels to rise. Local authorities requested the activation of the emergency response to evacuate over 359 residents from 31 inhabited areas and to provide relief. The activation has...
  • Soil erosion due to droughts
    New geospatial dataset helps assess early signs of drought risks worldwide Wed Mar 28 2018
    The near real-time assessment of drought risks is crucial to enhance food security in vulnerable regions around the world. SERVIR, a joint venture of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), now provides a worldwide dataset for the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI), to analyse and visualize vegetation stress on a weekly...
  • Western Ghats mountain range
    Satellites detect multiple forest fires in India Wed Mar 21 2018
    Satellites detected multiple forest fires in India in the midst of a deadly forest fire which killed at least 14 trekkers in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu which began on 11 March. Satellite data analysed by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of India shows that between 6 and 11 March, as many as 32 forest fires were detected near Bodi Hills, Ahamalai, Kurangani and Kottagudi, all...
  • The salt marsh is a natural buffer to coastal floods and erosion. Photo: unefunge/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
    New tool uses Copernicus data to assess coastal flood and erosion risk Thu Apr 12 2018
    Coastlines provide a wide range of ecosystem services that favour societies in many ways. In the context of natural disasters, they can act as a natural buffer to flood risks. To integrate natural systems into flood protection, authorities and engineers are seeking quantitative information on key parameters that help foster cost-effective and sustainable mitigation strategies. For this purpose,...
  • 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...

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