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Satellite imagery to boost agro activity in Lithuania

Lithuania: The Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture will use RapidEye’s satellite images for monitoring agricultural land use and particularly for detection of abandoned agricultural land, according to RapidEye’s press statement. The company has recently delivered full coverage of Lithuania to the Institute of Aerial Geodesy (AGI) in Kaunas, Lithuania. This fulfills two-thirds of a multi-year, full coverage contract that was negotiated last year.

“Pan-sharpening of RapidEye’s multi-spectral five meter satellite imagery in combination with half meter aerial photography will enable detection of even smallest land cover changes,” commented Gintaras Rumšas, Technical Director of AGI. “This will be an important source of information for institutions responsible for implementation of strict EU requirements related to agricultural subsidies. Lithuanian authorities will implement targeted policy measures towards reduction of abandoned lands by flexible tax-compensation policy, so it is crucial to obtain regular updates on land use changes across the whole country.”

“Since Lithuania is above 54 degrees north and experiences quite wet summers, it’s a cloudy region,” commented RapidEye’s Market Manager, Clemens Stromeyer. “This is a situation where our system really shines. It can repeatedly return to an area, which allows for a combination of images to be used for generating full country coverages with very little or no cloud cover during the vegetation season. This is of great benefit to our customers.”

Environmental monitoring by the Environmental Protection Agency and maintenance of nature protection areas network will be yet another priority area for the use of high resolution satellite imagery.

AGI currently takes part in a ICT-PSP project “HLanData”, which – among other activities – is focusing on the development of practical solutions for implementation of an integrated land monitoring system in a trans-boundary pilot area of Latvia and Lithuania.

“Based on experience of the ongoing FP7 project ‘Geoland 2’, we are developing specifications and methodologies for production of a high resolution land cover database along with an interactive on-line analysis and reporting service, which will be presented as a prototype of land monitoring service to public authorities of both countries,” noted Dr. Gediminas Vaitkus, Head of AGI Applied Research Center. “RapidEye imagery will be used as the major source of information in this project, with a potential of becoming key element for a long-term land monitoring program in eastern Baltic.”

The third and final coverage of Lithuania to complete the contract is scheduled for delivery to AGI by this time next year.

Source: RapidEye