Africa starts using the potential of space technology

Horn of Africa and Gulf of Aden from the International Space Station (Image: NASA)

In recent years, many African countries have started using the potential and usefulness of space technology more and more, as an article in The Conversation points out. In sub-Saharan Africa, these are mostly Nigeria and South Africa.


Publishing Date: 

Tue, 12/05/2015 - 13:56

New satellite to extend NASA and USGS Landsat programme

Moving out on Landsat 9 is a high priority for NASA and USGS (Image: NASA)

NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have started work on Landsat 9, planned to launch in 2023, to continue the observing programme of Earth’s land cover. Since 1972 one of the eight satellites in the Landsat program has photographed the entire Earth every 16 days and provide accurate measurements of Earth’s surface.  


Publishing Date: 

Fri, 24/04/2015 - 11:12

New system uses satellites to support rescue missions in the Alps

1780 people in the Austrian Alps had to be rescued last year

The European Space Agency ESA and TeleConsult Austria have developed a new internet-based system Sarontar to support rescue missions in the Alps combining satellites and hybrid technologies.

The Sarontar application along with a satellite modem replaces the traditionally used FM radio as it provides more reliability in mountainous regions than the FM radio. The application is able to track, instruct, monitor and record the whole rescue operation and displays all information on a map accessible also for other team members.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 25/02/2015 - 14:06

New satellite can capture entire dayside Earth

Earth from Space (Image:NASA)

The first satellite capable of watching the entire diurnal side of Earth continuously, DSCOVR, was launched into space earlier this month. Unlike current satellites that can only look at a single point on Earth once per day, the Deep-Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has a camera that can sweep across an entire hemisphere – from the North Pole to the South Pole – which will allow researchers to compare conditions in different regions simultaneously. Furthermore, it is able to survey regions for a long period of time, from sunrise to sunset.

Publishing Date: 

Mon, 23/02/2015 - 14:14

ALOS-2/CIRC data is now open to the public

The ALOS data is accessible via the CIRC observation data search

After the calibration and validation of ALOS-2/CIRC, the Japanese Space Agency JAXA confirmed that the data quality of ALOS-2/CIRC is adequate. All ALOS-2/CIRC data is therefore now available to the public. The data can be obtained via the CIRC observation data search. The only requirement is that the user follows the CIRC data policy.

The ultimate goal of the CIRC project is to minimize the damage and impact caused by forest fires, as well as contributing to urban planning and the management of volcanic disasters.


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 09/02/2015 - 15:59

Over 17 years in service: Meteosat-7 is longest-serving Eumetsat satellite

Global observation of swells in the Indian Ocean on 09 December 2008

The seventh of the Meteosat First Generation series of satellites was launched in September 1997 and is currently the longest-serving operational Eumetsat's satellite. Meteosat-7 had a designed life prospect of five years. 

In 2006, Meteosat-7 was relocated to provide Indian Ocean Data Coverage (IODC) in support of the tsunami early warning system.

Located above the Equator at longitude 57.5 °E, and 35,800 km away from the Earth, it relays data from Data Collection Platforms with a frequency of 30 minutes.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 28/01/2015 - 09:32

CartoSat-2 detects flood risk caused by landslide in Northern India

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 detected the landslide debris in Northern India on 18 January 2015

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) analysed satellite images collected from the CartoSat-2 satellite in order to evaluate the damages caused by a landslide in the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir.

The landslide, which occurred on 31 December 2014, is blocking the Tsarap River which may lead to a damaging flood downstream. According to ISRO's evaluation, the earthen dam is about 600 meters long and about 60 meters high.


Publishing Date: 

Tue, 27/01/2015 - 10:59

Satellite data help assess historic volcanic eruption in Cabo Verde

Image of Cabo Verde collected for NASA's Global Volcanism Program 12 June 2009

The German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ is currently conducting research to better assess the evolution of the largest and most damaging eruption on the archipelago of the Cabo Verde Islands of the last 60 years, which started on 23 November 2014.

The GFZ Hazard and Risk Team (HART) is acting to support local partners by observing the volcano eruption and providing significance assistance on data acquisition and interpretation.


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 19/01/2015 - 11:31

Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite to be launched in 2020

NASA/Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales TOPEX/Poseidon oceanography satellite

The French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) is developing the oceanography satellite SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography), that will incorporate unprecedented technological innovations to observe the ocean surface and underlying physical processes. CNES has contracted the company Thales Alenia Space with the construction of the satellite.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 14/01/2015 - 10:07

Japanese government to develop disposable disaster response satellite

Tsunami Damage near Ishinomaki, Japan March 15, 2011

The Japanese government is currently planning the development of an operationally responsive small observation satellite to be launched in case of a disaster or military emergencies.

The creation of this disposable satellite is part of the draft Basic Plan on Space Policy, released by the Japanese government's Committee on National Space Policy.

As per the Basic Plan, a pre-assembled satellite, measuring 70 centimeters in length, width and height, and weighing between 100 and 150 kilograms, would be sent into orbit in case of an emergency.


Publishing Date: 

Tue, 13/01/2015 - 15:43


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