CNES and NASA to collaborate on global water and ocean surface survey

Current Satellite to be Launched to monitor Surface Water and Ocean Topography

The French Space Agency CNES and the US Space Agency NASA have come together in an agreement to conduct the first ever detailed global ocean mapping and surface water survey. The two agencies will be working together in all aspects of the life cycle of a water and ocean surface satellite mission from the design of the spacecraft, its launch and operation during the mission and decommissioning.

CNES and NASA initially began joint studies for the mission in 2009 and the preliminary design phase is scheduled to be completed by 2016 with a launch planned for 2020.


Publishing Date: 

Wed, 07/05/2014 - 11:05

US Tornado Outbreak seen from Space: NASA animation

Tracking Tornados

On 29 April 2014, a new animation of the storm system which spawned 31 tornados affecting seven states across the Central and Southern United States from 27 to 28 April 2014 has been released by NASA using data collected from a NOAA’s GOES East Satellite and NASA’s Aqua Satellite. This data coupled with local weather observations and computer models is able to give forecasters real time information about developing weather situations.

Publishing Date: 

Fri, 02/05/2014 - 17:47

Satellites show effects of long-term drought on the Congo rainforest

The studies analyzed the "greenness" of the Congo rainforest

A new analysis of data derived from various satellite sensors shows that Congo's rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has suffered from long-term drought over the past ten years. The study included data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite, the NASA/JAXA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, NASA's Quick Scatterometer (QuikScat), and NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, a joint mission with the German Aerospace Center.


Publishing Date: 

Tue, 29/04/2014 - 10:04

System to Track Drought Dynamics developed by University of Cincinnati Geographers

Geographers Develope System to Track Drought Dynamics

Researchers in the University of Cincinnati Department of Geography are hard at work tracking drought patterns across the United States implementing an Event-based Spatial-Temporal Data Model (ESTDM) tracing the dynamics of agricultural drought in order to detect, track and monitor these conditions.

Publishing Date: 

Thu, 24/04/2014 - 12:05

Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) status update

NASA and JAXA launched their joint GPM mission

The GPM Core Observatory is continuing its pre-programmed course and is communicating with the GPM Mission Operations Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The mission is a collaboration of NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and it was launched yesterday from Japan. In the next days the flight center will begin to communicate with the spacecraft – sending commands, receiving data, but also health and safety information from the satellite.

Publishing Date: 

Fri, 28/02/2014 - 11:19

USAID Administrator visits ICIMOD

Satellite image of the Himalayan region

Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), visited UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Nepal – the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) - to discuss the role of science and technology in monitoring the environment and in supporting the development of the region.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 26/02/2014 - 12:38

Referenced UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office: 

Landsat-8: First Year in Space

Lansat-8 image

A year ago NASA’s Landsat-8 satellite was launched into orbit. During this year scientists have been analyzing the data delivered by the satellite. They have calibrated the information against ground observations and information gathered from other Landsat missions.

The data files from the new satellite are larger than from the former Landsat missions. The researchers’ team will pre-process the data and create a Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) which will allow scientists to preview data before downloading.

Publishing Date: 

Tue, 11/02/2014 - 13:31

Precipitation monitoring: On-ground research complements satellite accuracy

Estimation map of climate change induced increase in precipitation

As UN-SPIDER reported, NASA is preparing for the launch of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite in the end of February. The Satellite will be mainly used for rain- and snowfall observation and forecasting.

Publishing Date: 

Fri, 07/02/2014 - 10:20

Alaska: Satellites show land surface temperature anomalies

Temperature anomalies in Alaska in January 2014

NASA's Terra satellite captured from Space land surface temperature anomalies for Alaska in the last week of January. Between 23 and 30 January 2014, Alaska has seen record-breaking warmth.

The data compiled by the MODIS sensor on Terra was processed into a map showing the differences in temperature between the 2014 temperatures and the 2001–2010 average for the same week. Areas with warmer than average temperatures are shown in red.

Publishing Date: 

Tue, 04/02/2014 - 15:33

Weather Forecasting: USA and Japan to launch Precipitation Satellite in February

Artist concept of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite.

The American and the Japanese Space Agencies, NASA and JAXA, will jointly launch a new Earth Observation satellite in February, as was announced on 26 December 2013. The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite will serve environmental research and weather forecasting. It will be launched on 27 February 2014 with a Japanese H-IIA rocket from JAXA's Tanegashima Space Center.


Publishing Date: 

Fri, 27/12/2013 - 09:41


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