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Vexcel Corporation has been awarded a contract to supply software and services that will support environmental cleanup and protection efforts of eight countries in the Middle East. The countries working together as the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) share shorelines of the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and part of the Strait of Hormuz to Kuwait Bay. Vexcel’s remote sensing ground system will provide ROPME with marine environment information that is necessary to comprehensively address problems with contamination and pollution.

Population growth in the ROPME region has led to increased urbanization and industrialization – factors that contribute to environmental overload. One of the biggest environmental threats to the ROPME sea area is oil pollution. The region maintains a high concentration of petrochemical industries, oil transportation, offshore installations and tanker terminals.

ROPME has selected satellite remote sensing as the means of collecting data about its shared waters. The data is downlinked from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor onboard Terra and Aqua – the first two of NASA’s Earth Observing Systems (EOS) satellites. These satellites daily record the interaction of the Earth’s atmosphere, lands, oceans and solar radiation on a global scale. Among other things, the MODIS sensor provides sophisticated measurements of ocean life – measurements that indicate environmental quality of the waters. Vexcel’s Apex Ground StationTM for EOS is turning the satellite data into usable information.

Vexcel’s low-cost Apex Ground Station for EOS, specifically designed for the MODIS sensor, is a complete data acquisition and processing system. The monitoring system will provide ROPME with information about its marine environment over a period of years. ROPME will use the data to create and support comprehensive cleanup, protection and education programs.

ROPME was established in 1979 to implement the Kuwait Regional Convention, its Protocol and the Kuwait Action Plan. The objective of the Convention is to prevent, abate and combat pollution of the marine environment in the region.