A new 400kg mini-satellite with small-size high resolution radar onboard will appear on orbit in 2013 which will open new possibilities for operational detailed imagery of emergency situations. The small radar satellite has been developed at the British company SSTL since 2009, as Luis Gomes, SSTL RS Department Head, reported at the last 13th MDDC Meeting in February.
National operators of small satellites allocate part of free resources in behalf of UN and International Charter for Space and Major Disasters for imaging emergencies, for example the Indian Ocean tsunami consequences (2004), Katrina hurricane (200), Haiti (2010) and New Zealand earthquakes (2011). DMC Imaging International (DMCII) commercial company was established in the interests of commercial use of DMC satellites' resources that was contracted to undertake activities to delineate areas of felled Amazonian forests, opium poppy plantations in Afghanistan, to evaluate productivity of agricultural regions.
The February conference summed up the results of the past decade of the DMC Consortium operations and discussed the vision for the next decade of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation. Simon Wright, the vice-chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee and Dave Williams, the chief executive of the UK Space Agency, opened the meeting, noting that thanks to SSTL, Great Britain became a leader in small satellite systems. National operators of DMC satellites also took the floor, as well as space data users and developers of geo-information technologies.
SSTL's activity demonstrates new innovation approach to remote sensing based on the application of private capital and new forms of international cooperation along with the reduction of financial expenses.
Published by: GIM on March 14, 2011
Full article: http://www.gim-international.com/news/id5585-Microsatellites_for_Emergency_Monitoring_and_Response.html