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Image courtesy of USGS, ShakeMap.

In the early morning of the 24 August 2016 an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 occurred in the central area of the Italian Republic, affecting the regions of Lazio, Abruzzo and Umbria.  

More than 4,300 rescuers have been called to come to the assistance of the population. The Copernicus Emergency Management Service has been activated. The Italian Civil Protection is operating at the moment while the death toll rose to 247 on the 25 of August, including many children.

Click here for the Copernicus EMS activation website and to have access to all the maps... read more

Publishing Date: 25/08/2016
Republic of Portugal, image courtesy of NASA by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) detected and captured images of numerous fires occurring in the western region of Portugal on the 6th of August.

Strong winds spread the flames on the west coast and hundreds of fires were then noticed on the 11th of August. Three people... read more

Publishing Date: 12/08/2016
Copernicus Emergency Management Service (© activation_2016 European Union), [EMSR174] Map Title: Delineation Map.

Skopje, the capital city of the Republic of Macedonia, was impacted by heavy rains on the 7th of August which led to floods in various parts of the city especially in the northern suburbs.

The COPERNICUS programme of the European Union gathered some information about the floods and provided maps of the flooded area. Around 157 hectares of the city are flooded and the most affected areas are the villages of Stajkovci and Haracinovo, as well as Skopje's suburbs of Butel, Cento and upper Lisice.   22 fatalities were confirmed by the authorities and more than 1000 residents were displaced. The water level reached 1.5 meters above its normal level in some areas.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated on the 8th of August and a team has been deployed to Skopje to assist in... read more

Publishing Date: 09/08/2016
Floods in France. Image with courtesy of Philippe Derrien

Massive floods recently affected Europe and the United-States. In the case of the United States, the Integrated Multisatellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) system - using data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and from the Japan Aerospace Agency (JAXA) - recorded rainfalls triggered by tropical depression Bonnie. 

Excessive rainfall affected different regions of Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina in the United States. On the 31st May 2016, the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters was activated at the request of the U.S. Geological Survey on behalf of the Texas... read more

Publishing Date: 13/06/2016
Catalonia Forest Fire. Image courtesy of jordi_martos Pixabay website

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR) has developed a system called PHAROS (Project on a Multi-Hazard Open Platform for Satellite... read more

Publishing Date: 20/05/2016
This year El Niño is the strongest since 15 years (Image: NASA).
During a news conference in Geneva on 16 November 2015, the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Mr. Michel Jarraud, commented that the “Severe droughts and devastating flooding being experienced throughout the tropics and sub-tropical zones bear the hallmarks of this... read more
Publishing Date: 17/11/2015
Representatives of the autumn IWG-SEM meeting 2015 participated in-person as via web (Image:Fabio Giulio Tonolo/ITHACA).
On 9 and 10 November 2015, UN-SPIDER hosted the autumn meeting of the International Working Group on Satellite-based Emergency Mapping (IWG-SEM). The meeting included representatives of the German Aerospace Center (DLR); the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC); the UN Cartographic Section; the Service Régional de Traitement d'Image et de Télédétection (SERTIT); the Information Technology for Humanitarian Assistance, Cooperation... read more
Publishing Date: 10/11/2015
These days, the Champs-Elysées in Paris hosts a Climate Cube (Image: ESA).

These days, the Champs-Elysées in Paris hosts a Climate Cube presenting information on the contribution of space for studying climate change, right before the upcoming COP21 climate change conference in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015.

The Climate Cube presents a high-... read more

Publishing Date: 27/10/2015
The World Disasters Report 2015 will be a key publication for the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit 2016 (Source: UNIS).

On October 5 2015 the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Austrian Red Cross, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Norwegian Embassy launched the 2015 World Disasters Report in Vienna. 

The annual World Disasters Report addresses current and future challenges, trends and innovations in disaster risk reduction and crisis management, by using... read more

Publishing Date: 23/10/2015
Cyclone Koppu over the Philippines (Image: NASA).

In the last days the Copernicus Emergency Management Service was activated by the Philippines affected by the tropical cyclone Koppu, Croatia affected by floods in the Karlovac region and Italy affected by floods and landslides in the Campania region. 

On October 17 the Republic of the Philippines was struck by the powerful tropical cyclone Koppu, causing severe damages in many provinces of the Philippines. The cyclone provoked landslides and floods, damaging trees and... read more

Publishing Date: 21/10/2015
Stephen O’Brien says that satellite communications are the only technology immune to natural disasters (Image: UN Geneva).

On 14 October at the World Humanitarian Summit Global Consultation in Geneva, the satellite operators Eutelsat, Hispasat, Inmarsat, Intelsat, SES, Thuraya and Yahsat signed the Crisis Connectivity Charter in partnership with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC).

In the past years global natural disasters showed an increasing need for safe... read more

Publishing Date: 16/10/2015
TerraSAR-X satellite monitoring Europe (Image: ESA)

Airbus Defence and Space and ESA have signed an agreement that enables Copernicus Data Warehouse to continue receiving TerraSAR-X satellite information until the end of 2020. This space artifact offers data used for addressing emergency and security related issues, reliable monitoring needs, and land cover change with high reliability and accuracy to European public institutions.... read more

Publishing Date: 30/07/2015
Satellite image of Europe (Image: NASA)

EuroGeographics has signed a four-year agreement with the European Commission to provide geospatial information to the European Union’s statistical office, Eurostat. Thus, the company gives access to the European Commission’s staff to information through its geographical information service, GISCO.

The geographic data will support policy making related to protection against natural hazards, agricultural and environmental monitoring, transport, and economic growth at a regional and national level, according to Ekkehard Petri, Team Leader ‘Geographical Information’ at Eurostat.

The data includes administrative units and statistical regions as well as 1:250 000 scale topo-geographic information from National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities, such as EuroBoundaryMap and EuroRegionalMap. 

“Confidence that the information provided is consistent and comparable... read more

Publishing Date: 29/07/2015
French Riviera processed through infrared spectral channel, one of the first images captured by Sentinel-2A satellite (Image: ESA)

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on July 15 between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Environmental Agency (EEA) in order to share scientific expertise and technical data in the fields of Earth Observation and environmental monitoring through satellite imagery.

One of the novelties is the agreement on the employment of the brand-new Sentinel-2A satellite, developed and launched by ESA,... read more

Publishing Date: 23/07/2015
Artistic representation of the Meteosat Third Generation (Image: ESA)

Arianespace will be in charge of the first launch services for the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) series of geostationary satellites after the signature of a contract with EUMETSAT.

The agreement has been signed few days following the successful launch of MSG-4. It has fixed the launches of MTG-I1 and MTG-S1 and proposed the option of MTG-I2 for the time period 2019-2023.

Arianespace will use the Ariane 5 ECA launchers placed in the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, to set into space the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) program.  It will significantly improve the services of forecasting high impact weather over Europe and Africa, currently delivered by the Meteosat Second... read more

Publishing Date: 21/07/2015
MSG-4 being launched from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou (Image: ESA)

European Space Agency’s (ESA) latest weather satellite has been successfully launched and put into orbit from Ariane 5 launcher at the Kourou Space Station (French Guiana) on July 15. The space artifact, called MSG-4, is part of the Meteosat Second Generation series that offers meteorological information over Europe and Africa every 15 minutes and a ‘rapid scan’ imagery over Europe every five minutes.

Forty minutes after the launch, the satellite separated from the launcher and was set into orbit, but it would take 10 days until it will be raised into a geostationary orbit some 36 000 km above the equator, where its speed... read more

Publishing Date: 16/07/2015
The new arrangement between China and EU will enhance remote sensing activities (Image: NASA)

China has signed an agreement with the European Union to enhance collaborative research in the field of remote sensing.

During the 17th bilateral summit between the European Union and the People's Republic of China that took place on Monday 29 June in Brussels, officials representing Europe’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Remote Sensing arranged a deal to closely cooperate in the area of remote sensing.

“Under this new agreement, the co-operation will be reinforced and extended to promising areas, such as air quality, human settlement detection and characterisation, land and soil mapping, land cover mapping,... read more

Publishing Date: 02/07/2015
Iberian Peninsula satellite image (Image: ESA)

Deimos-2, Spain’s first Very High Resolution Earth Observation satellite launched on the 24th of June 2014, celebrates its first successful year in orbit. It has travelled more than 230 million km and recorded 18,000 images, covering an area of 3.2 million square km.

Its imagery can be applied to several activities, mainly to agricultural and environmental monitoring, water administration and ... read more

Publishing Date: 25/06/2015
Sentinel 2A on the point of being launched (Image:ESA)

Sentinel 2A, the new satellite developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus, was successfully launched from the European Spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana) on 23 June 2015 at 01:52 GMT. It separated from the stage into flight 54 minutes after the launch, its solar panel has already been deployed but it will only begin its missions in three or four months.

Sentinel 2A is the second satellite of the European Union’s Copernicus programme, weights 1.1 tonnes and was developed with a budget of 7.500 million euros, the highest for a civil Earth Observation satellite. It is specifically designed for environmental... read more

Publishing Date: 23/06/2015
The IASON project aimed to implement Earth observation in the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions (Image: NASA)

The IASON FP7 project has reached all its objectives and came to an end in May after its last event on April 22.

This project, a joint effort within the FP7 ENV programme had the main goal of implementing the usage and application of Earth observation in the fields of climate change, resource efficiency and raw materials management. The scope of the project was determined by two geographical areas, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions. The IASON project aimed to establish there a fixed network of scientific and non-scientific institutions, stakeholders and private sector enterprises.  

As described in its website: “IASON aims to build on the experiences gained by 5 FP7 funded projects... read more

Publishing Date: 08/06/2015
Sentinel-2A in the cleanroom at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana (Image: ESA/F. Gascon)

The European Copernicus programme is ready to launch its second satellite on 23 June.

The date for the Sentinel-2A to be launched was confirmed during an ESA and industry advisory board meeting over the past few days related to an investigation into Vega’s fairing separation and the replacement of a gas pressure sensor on the vehicle.

The new satellite that will be launched on 23 June at 01:52 GMT (03:52 CEST 23 June; 22:52 local time 22 June), from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. It will carry an innovative wide-swath, high-... read more

Publishing Date: 04/06/2015
Satellite image of UAE by DubaiSat-1 (Image: EIAST)

Deimos Space UK and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in the UAE have joined in a year-long project to get more valuable data from their satellites DubaiSat and Deimos.

As an article on Arabian Aerospace online news service reported, the “Smart Application for Feature extraction and 3D modelling using high resolution satellite Imagery” (SAFIY) project will use Earth observation (EO) data to monitor... read more

Publishing Date: 03/06/2015
According to the preliminary yield forecasts, significantly lower wheat yield are expected in 2015 (Image: SRI/NAS)

The Space Research Institute (SRI/NAS) in Ukraine and SSA Ukraine in cooperation with the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office in Ukraine and Integration-Plus Ltd. have used satellite data to deliver geoinformation services for agriculture needs, including winter wheat yield preliminary forecast for 2015.

According to this preliminary yield forecast, based on satellite data as of 28 April 2015, significantly lower wheat yield compared to 2014 are expected in 2015. The yield reduction is expected to be in the range from 5% (Kyivska oblast) to 38% (Luhanska oblast). Wheat yield will be relatively low in regions that are the main wheat producers in Ukraine which can possibly lead to a significant... read more

Publishing Date: 01/06/2015
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Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 mission to measure ocean's surface topography with high-precision (Image: NASA)

The development and production contract for the Jason-CS/Sentinel-6A satellite has been signed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, at the 36th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment in Berlin.

Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 is a mission allowing to measure ocean surface topography with high-precision and to create a global map. The cycle of observations is repeated every 10 days with an accuracy of few centimetres from the oceans’surface. The Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 satellites will ensure that measurements are carried out on a continuous basis from the years 2020 and 2026 respectively.

The... read more

Publishing Date: 13/05/2015
London/UK (Image: ESA)

On 18 March, the European Space Agency ESA and the UK Space Agency have signed an arrangement at ESA’s Headquarters in Paris, that establishes access to data from the Sentinel satellites, marking a significant step in their exploitation.

The agreement aims to facilitate Sentinel data exploitation in the UK. The UK Space Agency will coordinate ground segment activities in the UK – such as hosting, distributing, ensuring access and archiving Sentinel data  – and act as an interface between ESA and national initiatives. This will be done through a ‘national mirror site’ at the Harwell Science, Innovation and Business Campus in Oxfordshire, where ESA’s space applications centre, ECSAT, is also based.

The Sentinel-2 mission will provide ‘colour vision’ for Europe’s Copernicus... read more

Publishing Date: 24/03/2015

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