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Remote Sensing Data Acquisition for Disaster Management

Vladimir Gershenzon
R&D Center,
Email: [email protected]

R&D Center ScanEx has developed an integral solution for reliable and fast access to Earth observation satellite data for disaster management in Russia. It consists of the universal UniScan™ ground station (www.scanex.com) with a small-size antenna system for receiving various Earth observing data, archiving of local imagery data and processing in near real-time mode. The UniScan™ ground station is capable of receiving data in X-band with a rate of up to 170 Mbps (in one channel) from 14 different international remote sensing satellites, such as Terra/Aqua, IRS, EROS, RADARSAT-1, Monitor-E, SPOT-2/4, LANDSAT-5, Envisat-1 and others.
Relevant satellite remote sensing programs allow acquisition of real-time low-resolution data and detailed identification of objects and processes with the aid of medium- and high-resolution data. We use several types of data in order to design an integrated system of satellite monitoring, such as:
– Low-resolution (0.25-1 km) TERRA/AQUA data (MODIS satellite) acquired in real-time with the aid of our EOStation program assist with rapid identification of fires, as well as seasonal floods, springtime river ice break and ice movement. These data are analyzed and the final product is made available through our web server (https://eostation.irk.ru)
– Medium-resolution data from satellites SPOT-2/4 (10 and 20 m resolution), LANDSAT-5 (30 m resolution), and IRS (6-56 m resolution), which are available through a web-based catalogue, are used for a detailed assessment of problems and the development of appropriate solutions.
– Radar data from RADARSAT-1 (8-100 m resolution) allow the detection, regardless of weather conditions, of oil spills, seasonal floods, springtime ice break and ice movement.

The images from SPOT 2/4 and LANDSAT-5 satellites are received in broadcast mode and are actively used for the rapid assessment of disaster impacts. The web-based catalogue service makes it possible to find images or order new ones.
We have also developed a portable receiving station based on our Uniscan-24 technology for use in regions with poorly-developed infrastructure. The station can be deployed and made ready for use in 1-2 hours.
One of the largely unresolved problems is the issue of acquisition of real-time high-resolution data for disaster regions. An agreement between leading remote sensing operators, aimed at the rapid programming of satellites for delivery of data to receiving stations in disaster regions, could lead to a significant improvement in this area. We hope that such an agreement would be incorporated within the Space and Major Disaster Charter.