News

  • The European Commission and Department of Space of India sign a Cooperation Arrangement to share satellite Earth Observation data. Image: European External Action Service (EEAS)
    European Commission and India to share satellite data Tue Apr 17 2018
    The European Commission (EC) and Department of Space (DoS) of India signed a Cooperation Agreement on 19 March that will enable them to share earth observation data from each other's satellites. This shared space-based information will be used to forecast natural and man-made disasters, to provide emergency response and rescue of people during such disasters, to gather land and ocean data, and...
  • The GPM core satellite found extremely heavy rainfall on 6 March on the east side of cyclone Hola. Image: NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce
    Using GPM software to track cyclone rainfall Mon Apr 16 2018
    NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission core observatory satellite has been an integral asset in disaster risk management last month. This satellite is able to produce information on precipitation particles within cloud layers by using an active radar; information that is beneficial in monitoring, predicting, and tracking the progression of cyclones and other extreme weather...
  • Images via a Gaofen satellite which monitored a landslide in Guizhou, China, in September 2017. Image: Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (RADI/CAS)
    China launches satellites for disaster warning and emergency response Mon Apr 16 2018
    China launched three Gaofen-1 Earth observation satellites on 31 March. These high-resolution satellites will be used in a range of different fields, including disaster early warning and emergency response. The satellites were put into orbit via a Long March 4C rocket, which lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in China. These satellites will provide high-resolution images which...
  • India and France to strengthen cooperation on satellite missions Fri Apr 13 2018
    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) have signed a agreement to strengthen cooperation in the use of satellite technology on various joint missions. The Megha-Tropiques mission, which aims to study water cycles and energy exchanges to gain better knowledge of tropical weather systems and climate, will be one of the collaborative...
  • New tool for global severe index allows climate community to assess meteorological drought by terrestrial water storage Wed Apr 11 2018
    A new technique has been developed to help mitigate the effects of drought. The satellite-based drought severity index (DSI) has been created using terrestrial water storage changes from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) to help identify the timing, extent and severity of droughts for adequate relief efforts. The GRACE-DSI allows the comparison of data across regions and periods...
  • UN-SPIDER conducts Technical Advisory Mission follow-up and national training programme in Sri Lanka Mon Apr 9 2018
    At the request of the Government of Sri Lanka, through the Ministry of Disaster Management (MoDM), UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) follow-up activity to Sri Lanka to understand long-term capacity building needs and discuss joint activities in next three to five years. As a part of this TAM follow up mission, a one day workshop was organized under the guidance of MoDM on...
  • Lake in Kachalinskaya, Volgogradskaya oblast Russia.
    International Charter activated for Russian Federation flooding Thu Apr 5 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for flooding in the Volgogradskaya Oblast Region of the Russian Federation on 4 April, caused by vast amounts of melting snow causing river water levels to rise. Local authorities requested the activation of the emergency response to evacuate over 359 residents from 31 inhabited areas and to provide relief. The activation has...
  • Soil erosion due to droughts
    New geospatial dataset helps assess early signs of drought risks worldwide Wed Mar 28 2018
    The near real-time assessment of drought risks is crucial to enhance food security in vulnerable regions around the world. SERVIR, a joint venture of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), now provides a worldwide dataset for the Evaporative Stress Index (ESI), to analyse and visualize vegetation stress on a weekly...
  • Western Ghats mountain range
    Satellites detect multiple forest fires in India Wed Mar 21 2018
    Satellites detected multiple forest fires in India in the midst of a deadly forest fire which killed at least 14 trekkers in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu which began on 11 March. Satellite data analysed by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of India shows that between 6 and 11 March, as many as 32 forest fires were detected near Bodi Hills, Ahamalai, Kurangani and Kottagudi, all...
  • The salt marsh is a natural buffer to coastal floods and erosion. Photo: unefunge/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
    New tool uses Copernicus data to assess coastal flood and erosion risk Thu Apr 12 2018
    Coastlines provide a wide range of ecosystem services that favour societies in many ways. In the context of natural disasters, they can act as a natural buffer to flood risks. To integrate natural systems into flood protection, authorities and engineers are seeking quantitative information on key parameters that help foster cost-effective and sustainable mitigation strategies. For this purpose,...
  • International Charter activated for New Caledonia cyclone Wed Mar 14 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for cyclone in New Caledonia on 8 March. Local authorities have pre-warned the public about a tropical cyclone that is expected to affect Loyalty Islands, Ouvéa, Lifou and Tiga and lastly Maré on 9 March. In the north of Vanuatu archipelago, rainfall exceed 300mm following with strong winds. The New Caledonia government has...
  • European Commission signs Earth observation cooperation arrangements with Colombia, Chile and Brazil Wed Mar 14 2018
    The European Commission has signed Cooperation Arrangement with Colombia, Chile and Brazil. Under the arrangements, the three countries will gain access to the wide range of applications of the Copernicus Earth observation programme and data provided by the European Sentinel satellites using connections between data centres. With the arrangements, the European Commission aims to grant access to...
  • Collapsed building after the Kumamoto earthquake, Japan. Photo: Hyolee2/CC BY-SA 3.0
    Study highlights uses of LiDAR for earthquake damage assessments Mon Mar 12 2018
    A study conducted by engineers from Tohoku University in Japan sees promising opportunities for LiDAR applications in the context of informing responders after earthquakes. The team investigated the use of LiDAR for earthquake damage assessments following two earthquakes which hit the Island of Kyushu within in 28 hours in April 2016. Laser support monitoring of city structures LiDAR, which...
  • Hurricane Irma Haiti September 2017
    UNOOSA activation privileges for International Charter augmented to include national disaster risk management agencies Fri Mar 9 2018
    The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" has augmented the activation privileges of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Under the new arrangement, UNOOSA can request the activation of the Charter on behalf of national disaster risk management (DRM) organizations in the framework of the Universal Access Trial Initiative. UNOOSA is a Cooperating Body of the...
  • Image of Hurricane Joaquin over the Atlantic Ocean north of Bermuda taken by GOES East on October 5, 2015.
    Satellite technology improves tracking of hurricane wind speed Thu Mar 8 2018
    A new satellite remote sensing technique has been proven effective in measuring ocean wind speed in order to better track hurricanes and cyclones. This technique uses GPS technology to send signals to Earth’s surface and gather data via Global Navigation Satellite Systems-Reflectometry (GNSS-R) and is expected to lead to better forecasts in the future. For this study, a GNSS-R instrument was...
  • Disaster Management Center of Sri Lanka becomes Authorized User of International Charter Thu Mar 8 2018
    The Disaster Management Center (DMC) of Sri Lanka has become an Authorized User (AU) of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters. In 2005, DMC was established to act as the main organization for planning, coordination, and execution of natural and other forms of disasters. Among the fundamental functions of DMC is to assist and take responsibility in planning and implementing the...
  • Wildfire in California in October 2017
    New NOAA satellite aims to better predict severe weather, save lives Mon Mar 5 2018
    An advanced weather satellite to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, coastal fog and other hazards was launched by NASA from the United States of America on 1 March. The new Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) represents the second in a series of next generation of weather satellites which will be operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (...
  • New Spanish Earth observation satellite launched Thu Mar 1 2018
    The Spanish Earth Observation satellite PAZ, was launched on 22 February on-board a Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States. PAZ will be situated on the same orbit as the German TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X radar satellites. For the first five days of the Paz mission, DLR’s German Space Operation Center (GSOC) will take control of the satellite and put it at...
  • MOBILISE workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
    UN-SPIDER participates in MOBILISE event in Colombo Tue Feb 27 2018
    UN-SPIDER has been invited to participate in a workshop and conference organized by the MOBILISE project in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The project, conducted in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia, brings together academic institutions from the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia as well as government agencies involved in disaster risk reduction and emergency response efforts. More than fifty...
  • Satellite image from the Naval Research Lab are overlaid with lightning strokes (shown as black circles) of Hurricane Mathew on 4 October 2016. Image: WWLLN-TC
    New tool combines lightning and satellite data to improve forecasts of tropical cyclones Fri Feb 23 2018
    A group coordinated by the University of Washington in Seattle has developed a tool to facilitate continuous monitoring of tropical cyclones through the combination of lightning and microwave satellite data. The World Wide Lightning Location Network's (WWLLN) tropical cyclone (WWLLN-TC) platform is publicly accessible and visualizations of the global data are updated every three hours. Lightning...
  • Floods in Uttarakhand, India, in 2013.
    ISRO to support Indian state of Uttarakhand with satellite-based forecasting and monitoring Thu Feb 22 2018
    The Indian state of Uttarakhand has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Ahmedabad on 15 February. This understanding gives the Uttarakhand Disaster Mitigation & Management Centre (DMMC) access to the satellite imagery data produced by ISRO to put to use in forecasting potential issues for better disaster management and monitoring...

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