UN-SPIDER Training Course on Space Technologies for Drought Monitoring
Tue Sep 23 2014
Back to back with its United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management "Multi-hazard Disaster Risk Assessment" in Beijing, the UN-SPIDER Beijing Office offered an international training course on Drought Monitoring and Assessment Using Space Technology from 18 to 22 September, 2014. The participants included expert from Member States with which UN-...
UN-SPIDER hosts joint Workshop on Remote Sensing and Multi-Risk Modeling for Disaster Management
Tue Sep 23 2014
On September 19 and 20 2014, the UN-SPIDER hosted a joint workshop with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Tohoku University, International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) on the UN Campus in Bonn. The topic of the workshop was "remote sensing and Multi-Risk Modeling for Disaster Management" and aimed to serve as a platform for researchers to exchange ideas and...
Arab States discuss post-2015 disaster risk reduction
Mon Sep 22 2014
From 14 to 16 September 2014, 19 Arab States met in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, for the 2nd Arab Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. They discussed the way forward for disaster risk reduction in the region and their recommendations for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction which will be adopted next March in Sendai, Japan, at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction....
German Aerospace Center develops satellite-based volcanic ash tool
Mon Sep 22 2014
Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have developed a satellite-based prediction tool for volcanic ash distribution. It generates detailed images of areas with both heavy and light ash loads.
"The eruption of the Icelandic volcanoes Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 and Grimsvötn in 2011 demonstrated the vulnerability of the air traffic system in the event of volcanic eruptions and exposed...
Floods in France: International Charter activated
Fri Sep 19 2014
Several people have died after torrential rains and subsequent floods in southern France on 17 and 18 September 2014. The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated on 18 September by Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile et de la Gestion des Crises (COGIC) in order to obtain satellite-based maps of the flood and its impacts. SERTIT will be the Project Manager for this...
Disaster statistics: 22 million people displaced in 2013
Thu Sep 18 2014
According to a report from the International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council, almost 22 million people were forced to flee their homes due to disasters triggered by natural hazards in 2013. These numbers could increase as urban populations grow, the report says.
The majority of displaced people were in Asia (19 million) because of floods, storms and...
IGAC: Development of Forest Fire Detection and Classification App
Wed Sep 17 2014
The Research and Development in Geographic Information CIAF of IGAC, UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Colombia, is working on the development of tools for disaster management and disaster relief.
One of its products is an application called SEMARK (Forest Fire Severity Markov Classification), which is the result of research conducted within the framework of a PhD thesis on the use of remote...
Singapore sets up regional disaster relief centre
Tue Sep 16 2014
Singapore is setting up a new regional Disaster relief centre that will facilitate the coordination among military responders in Asia serving as an information clearing house. This was reported by the website Channel News Asia. The Changi Regional Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre (RHCC) will be operational round-the-clock from next year. In the event of a large scale disaster...
Floods in Pakistan: International Charter activated
Mon Sep 15 2014
Following heavy floods and landslides in Pakistan's Punjab and Kashmir provinces, the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated to provide satellite-based Disaster maps. The mechanism was triggered by UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA.
The International Charter reported: "The Punjab and Kashmir Provinces, on the border with India, have suffered the worst of the...
UAE: Remote Sensing Applications Competition
Fri Sep 12 2014
The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) announced last week the launch of the Remote Sensing Applications Competition 2014 (RSAC 2014).
The competition is open for all governmental sectors, educational and research institutes in the UAE, will be to conduct scientific research and comprehensive studies in designing and implementing state-of-the-art applications for the...
Satellites capture exceptional 2014 floods in Bangladesh
Thu Sep 11 2014
Bangladesh is one of the most flood-prone countries in the world. However, a combination of heavy monsoon rainfall and the arrival of meltwater from the Himalayas has led to exceptionally heavy floods in Bangladesh in the summer of 2014. NASA's Terra satellite has captured a scene in late August showing flooded areas along the Brahmaputra River and the Tanquar hoar wetlands.
Ethiopia plans to launch own satellite
Wed Sep 10 2014
Ethiopia aims to launch its first own satellite within the next five years. It will be a "medium research satellite" as the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency EBC reported. "ET-SAT" will be a 20-25 kg small satellite (CubeSat).
The Entoto Observatory and Research Center (EORC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 31 August 2014 with Finland-based Space Technology and...
Russia: Unique satellite image database with 3.5 mln scenes
Tue Sep 9 2014
The Russian SCANEX Research and Development Centre announced that it has build a database of remote sensing satellite imagery covering Russia containing more than 4.5 million scenes. The data has a volume of 400,000 gigabytes including a significant amount of SPOT 5/6 data.
According to a representative of SCANEX, the company started archiving its Earth Observation data in 2004. SCANEX is the...
DMCii upgrades its data centre
Mon Sep 8 2014
The satellite imagery provider DMC International Imaging (DMCii) has upgraded its data centre now hosting satellite data covering five billion square kilometres; that is ten times the Earth's surface.
According to the website GIM International, "the introduction of the newest generation of market-leading hardware infrastructure from EDS and others has heightened the company’s...
Russia to cooperate with China on satellite navigation
Fri Sep 5 2014
The Deputy Chief of the Russian Space agency ROSCOSMOS announced that Russia plans to sign an agreement with China this year on the issue of installing GLONASS and Beidou stations in China and Russia, respectively. GLONASS is the Russian satellite navigation system, Beidou is the Chinese navigation system.
On 4 September, "the chief of Roscosmos held a meeting with the head of China’s...
Small Island Developing States: Strengthening partnerships for disaster risk management
Thu Sep 4 2014
The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States is currently being held in Samoa. The goal of the four-day conference which will conclude today, is to focus attention on Small Island Developing States - a group of countries that remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities. One of the main topics addressed is...
First high res satellite images of Icelandic Bardarbunga volcano activity
Thu Sep 4 2014
Early this week, NASA satellites were first able to capture infrared images from space of the active Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland. Up until now, "satellite imagery has been scarce because of persistent cloud cover and a relatively small number of spacecraft that collect images at high latitudes," as NASA reported.
NASA elaborated: "Overnight on September 1, the Advanced Land...
Swiss Re: Insured disaster losses in first half of 2014 relatively low
Wed Sep 3 2014
In a recent press release, the re-insurance company Swiss Re announced that global disaster-related insurance losses were relatively low in the first half (H1) of 2014 as per preliminary estimates. They amounted to USD 21 billion. Of these, losses related to disasters triggered by natural hazards are estimated at USD 19 billion for H1 2014.
Total economic losses from disaster events (both insured...
UN establishes Independent Expert Advisory Group on Data Revolution
Tue Sep 2 2014
The United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on 29 August 2014 the establishment of an Independent Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) on the data revolution for Sustainable Development. He expects the group to provide him with inputs to shape “an ambitious and achievable vision” for a future development agenda beyond 2015 to succeed the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs...
Radar Images: Sentinel-1A maps California earthquake
Tue Sep 2 2014
The European radar satellite Sentinel-1A has captured the rupture of the recent major earthquake in Napa Valley, California, USA. The quake on 24 August 2014 was the biggest one in 25 years.
The European Space Agency ESA explains on their website how Sentinel-1A was used: "By processing two Sentinel-1A images, which were acquired on 7 August and 31 August 2014 over this wine-producing region, an...