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Archive for September, 2009

Satellite Images and GIS Aid in Tsunami and Earthquake Disaster Recovery

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Coastal satellite images and aerial photography incorporated with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), can give coastal resource managers and emergency officials a wealth of information for assessment, analysis and monitoring of natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes and typhoons.

Remote Sensing gives state and government agencies the ability to view the damage from multiple vantage points. The spatial resolution of an image determines the ability to view individual features such as buildings, bridges and homes. It also affects the ability to monitor and assess damage conditions, and depends on the nature of the hazard itself.

Latest News

On Tuesday the 29th of September a devastating  tsunami hit Samoa Islands after a massive earthquake measuring between 8.0 and 8.3 struck Lalomanu, Pago Pago, and Tonga a section of the Samoa islands that is home to 65,000 people.

satellite image america samoa pago pago tsunami

GeoEye-1 Satellite Image Pago Pago, Samoa Islands

Death toll is expected to climb into the hundreds and many are still missing. Four tsunami waves 15 to 20 feet high hit American Samoa about 15 minutes after the quake, reaching up to a mile inland. The tsunami may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicenter and could also have been a threat to more distant coasts.

samoa islands

Two color-coded perspective views of the Independent State of Samoa (left) and American Samoa (right), generated with digital elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, illustrate the varying topography of the islands. Image Credit NASA

satellite image indonesia tsunami-sri-lanka-

QuickBird Satellite Image Kalutara Beach, Sri Lanka

Click on Image for a high resolution view

Image Copyright: DigitalGlobe

satellite image sumatra tsunami

Satellite Images of Pre and Post Tsunami Sumatra, Indonesia – 2004

Click on image to view animations

Image Copyright: Space Imaging/CRISP-Singapore

The above satellite image are before and after satellite images of the tsunami that hit Indonesia in 2004 and killed 150,000 people, this tsunami was 10 times stronger then the tsunami that hit Samoa Islands.

To view a Video of the Samoa Tsunami.

To view photo gallery from Washington Post.

About Samoa Islands

American Samoa is a group of six Polynesian islands in the South Pacific located between Hawaii and Australia. Fourteen degrees below the equator, it is the United States’ southern-most territory. It is known as the heart of Polynesia. If you drew a triangle from Hawaii, New Zealand and Tahiti you would find Samoa in the middle. Western Samoa is a neighboring independent country that shares the same culture. American Samoa became an unorganized U.S. territory in 1900.

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), a privately held technology company, provides global satellite imaging and processing services for a number of industries, including oil and gas, mining, cadastre, tax mapping, construction, environmental, forestry and agriculture.

The company specializes in mono and stereo satellite imaging technology producing seamless orthorectified Satellite Imaging mosaics DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using CAD and GIS applications including, flight simulations, terrain modeling, engineering and construction using high and medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data.

For more information contact:

Satellite Imaging Corporation
12777 Jones Road, Suite 370
Houston, Texas 77070-4671
U.S.A.

Toll Free (866) 283-2952 (US and Canada only)
Tel: (1) 832-237-2900
Fax: (1) 832-237-2910
Website: www.satimagingcorp.com

Satellite Image of Typhoon Ketsana Heading for Taiwan After Devastating Philippines

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Satellite image of Typhoon Ketsana heading towards Taiwan after hitting the Philippines which in a matter of hours, dropped a month’s worth of rain on the capital of Manila. Streets resembled rivers, covered by water that was chest high. The flooding is the worst in more than 40 years.

satellite image Ketsana

Satellite Image Typhoon Ketsana
Image Credit: NOAA

The storm left more than 200 hundred dead or missing and forced thousands to stay at relief operations centers. Many buildings, establishments, animals, cars and other things were destroyed due to Typhoon Ketsana. With more casualties expected and search and rescue efforts continued.

To view video on damage from Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines go here.

satellite image rainfall Ketsana

Image Credit: NASA

This satellite image acquired by multiple satellites, are calibrated with rainfall measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite in the Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis. The highest rainfall amounts—more than 600 millimeters (23.6 inches)—appear in blue. The lightest amounts appear in pale green. Gray shading indicates island topography of the Philippines.

Satellite Imagery and Mapping of Natural Disasters

Emergency managers use remote sensing and mapping tools such as satellite imagery and GIS can facilitate critical decision-making before a disaster impacts an area.  In the early, crucial stages of a disaster or emergency and throughout the disaster process, managers use satellite imagery and GIS products because they provide important information, in quick and easy-to-understand formats.

Remote Sensing gives state and government agencies the ability to view the damage from multiple vantage points. The spatial resolution of an image determines the ability to view individual features such as buildings and bridges. It also affects the ability to monitor and assess damage conditions, and depends on the nature of the hazard itself.

About Satellite Imaging Corporation:

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), a privately held technology company, provides global satellite imaging and processing services for a number of industries, including oil and gas, mining, cadastre, tax mapping, construction, environmental, forestry and agriculture.

The company specializes in mono and stereo satellite imaging technology producing seamless orthorectified Satellite Imaging mosaics DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using CAD and GIS applications including, flight simulations, terrain modeling, engineering and construction using high and medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data.

For more information contact:

Satellite Imaging Corporation
12777 Jones Road, Suite 370
Houston, Texas 77070-4671
U.S.A.

Toll Free (866) 283-2952 (US and Canada only)
Tel: (1) 832-237-2900
Fax: (1) 832-237-2910
Website: www.satimagingcorp.com

Sentinel-3 ESA’s Next Generation Satellite Scheduled to Launch in 2013

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Sentinel-3 satellite which is scheduled to launch in 2013 is the third in a series of five space missions European Space Agency (ESA) is developing for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. The missions main objective is to determine the parameters of sea surface topography, sea and land surface temperature as well as ocean and land surface color.

sentinel 3 satellite

Sentinel 3 Satellite Sensor

Image Credit: ESA

Sentinel-3 will support services related to the marine environment, such as maritime safety services that need ocean surface-wave information, ocean-current forecasting services that need surface-temperature information, and sea-water quality and pollution monitoring services that require advanced ocean color products from both the open ocean and coastal areas.

Sentinel 3 Technical Overview

The mission’s optical sensors will comprise an Ocean Land Color Instrument (OLCI), which is based on Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS), and a Sea Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR), which is a successor to Envisat’s Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR). Sentinel-3 will serve numerous land, atmospheric and cryospheric application areas such as land-use change monitoring, forest cover mapping and fire detection.

The high-inclination orbit of Sentinel-3 brings the added benefit of routine altimetric observations of marine and land ice in the Arctic and Antarctic high-latitude regions. GMES Sentinel-3 shall provide continuity to the high-resolution along track marine and land ice surface measurements of CryoSat, and shall result in the continued ability to derive sea-ice thickness and ice sheet topography from elevation profiles.

Satellite Image Data for Sea Floor Mapping and Coastal Management

Remote sensing data from satellite sensors, aerial photography and LIDAR for coastal management has been highly effective in acquiring information for marine habitat mapping, water quality monitoring, oil spill detection, emergencies, environmental impact, red tide monitoring, and mapping of reclamation activities for many years.

Satellite images from high resolution satellite sensors and moderate resolution sensors can provide researchers and scientists with data for assessment and analysis of water temperature, salinity, phytoplankton, hydrology, shoreline changes, bathymetry, soil moisture and potential threats to our coasts. Assessments and predictive capabilities through satellite imagery from satellite sensors incorporated with GIS mapping are needed to predict onset of events that may significantly affect human health, critical wetlands and ecosystems, and economic development.

About Satellite Imaging Corporation:

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), a privately held technology company, provides global satellite imaging and processing services for a number of industries, including oil and gas, mining, cadastre, tax mapping, construction, environmental, forestry and agriculture.

The company specializes in mono and stereo satellite imaging technology producing seamless orthorectified Satellite Imaging mosaics DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using CAD and GIS applications including, flight simulations, terrain modeling, engineering and construction using high and medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data.

For more information contact:

Satellite Imaging Corporation
12777 Jones Road, Suite 370
Houston, Texas 77070-4671
U.S.A.

Toll Free (866) 283-2952 (US and Canada only)
Tel: (1) 832-237-2900
Fax: (1) 832-237-2910
Website: www.satimagingcorp.com

Oceansat-2 Satellite by ISRO Launched Successfully!

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched the Oceansat-2 and six nano-satellites into a 720 km. intended Sun Synchronous Polar Orbit (SSPO) on September 23, 2009.

Oceansat-2 satellite will help identify potential fishing zones, monitor the ocean, climate studies and provide inputs for weather forecasting.

oceansat-2 satellite sensor

Image Credit: Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

Six nano satellites were riding on the the back of Oceansat-2; Rubin 9.1 and Rubin 9.2 nano satellites from Germany, the four Cubesats lined up for the mission on board India’s workhorse rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle are: Beesat, built by Technical University Berlin, UWE-2 (University of Wuerzburg Germany), ITU-pSat (Istanbul Technical University Turkey) and SwissCube-1 (Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne, Switzerland.

RUBIN-9 weighing 8kg. each will primarily be used for the Automatic Identification System (AIS) for Maritime applications.

CUBESATs are educational satellites from European universities, each weighing around one kg. and developed to perform technology demonstration in space.

Oceansat-2 will carry an OCM (Ocean Colour Monitor) and a Ku-band pencil beam Scatterometer. In addition, it will carry Radio Occultation Sounder for Atomospheric studies (ROSA), developed by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The Scatterometer has a ground resolution of 50km x 50km is expected to provide accurate information on wind speed and direction. The eight-band OCM with 360 metres spatial resolution and a swath of 1,420 km will provide information about the same area every two days.

More Technical data on Oceansat-2

The designed life span of Oceansat-2 will be five years but the actual usage may go beyond that as happened with Oceansat-1, which was launched in 1999.

Satellite Images for Oceans and Coastal zones

Satellite images from high resolution satellite sensors and moderate resolution sensors can provide researchers and scientists with data for assessment and analysis water temperature, salinity, phytoplankton, hydrology, shoreline changes, bathymetry, soil moisture and potential threats to our coasts. Assessments and predictive capabilities through satellite imagery from satellite sensors incorporated with GIS mapping are needed to predict onset of events that may significantly affect human health, critical wetlands and ecosystems, and economic development.

About Satellite Imaging Corporation:

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), a privately held technology company, provides global satellite imaging and processing services for a number of industries, including oil and gas, mining, cadastre, tax mapping, construction, environmental, forestry and agriculture.

The company specializes in mono and stereo satellite imaging technology producing seamless orthorectified Satellite Imaging mosaics DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using CAD and GIS applications including, flight simulations, terrain modeling, engineering and construction using high and medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data.

For more information contact:

Satellite Imaging Corporation
12777 Jones Road, Suite 370
Houston, Texas 77070-4671
U.S.A.

Toll Free (866) 283-2952 (US and Canada only)
Tel: (1) 832-237-2900
Fax: (1) 832-237-2910
Website: www.satimagingcorp.com

CRYOSAT Satellite Sensor Scheduled to Launch in 2010

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

ESA’s CryoSat satellite is scheduled to launch February 2010. CryoSat will acquire accurate measurements of the thickness of floating sea-ice so that seasonal to inter-annual variations can be detected. Its primary objective is to test the prediction that Arctic sea ice is thinning due to global warming.

Cryosat

ESA’s CryoSat-2

Image Credit: ESA

The question of whether global climate change is causing the polar ice caps to shrink is one of the most hotly debated environmental issues we currently face. ESA’s Earth Observation Program main aim is to improve our understanding of how the Earth system works and the effect that human activity is having on natural Earth processes.

The CryoSat satellite will carry the first all-weather microwave radar altimeter optimized for detecting changes in the elevation of both types of ice. The core instrument is called SIRAL, short for SAR Interferometric Radar Altimeter it has two radar antennas and exploits synthetic aperture processing.

CryoSat will also survey the surface of continental ice sheets to detect small elevation changes. CryoSat’s high spatial resolution radar altimeter is capable of operating in a number of modes, optimized for measurement over different surfaces.

For some years, satellites such as Envisat, ASTER and Landsat 7 +ETM have been mapping the extent of ice cover. However, in order to understand how climate change is affecting these sensitive regions, there is an urgent need to determine how the thickness of the ice is changing.

Watch Video: Short Tour of the Cryosphere

The altimeter makes a measurement of the distance between the satellite and the surface of the Earth. This measurement can not be converted into the more useful measurement of height of the surface until the position of the satellite is accurately known. This requires that CryoSat-2 carry some specific equipment.

CryoSat Technical Overview

Satellite image data contributes to a wide array of global change-related application areas for vegetation and ecosystem dynamics, environmental monitoring, land surface climatology, hydrology, land cover change, and the generation of orthorectified Digital Elevation Models (DEM’s).

Landsat Satellite Image of Antarctica

About Satellite Imaging Corporation:

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), a privately held technology company, provides global satellite imaging and processing services for a number of industries, including oil and gas, mining, cadastre, tax mapping, construction, environmental, forestry and agriculture.

The company specializes in mono and stereo satellite imaging technology producing seamless orthorectified Satellite Imaging mosaics DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using CAD and GIS applications including, flight simulations, terrain modeling, engineering and construction using high and medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data.

For more information contact:

Satellite Imaging Corporation
12777 Jones Road, Suite 370
Houston, Texas 77070-4671
U.S.A.

Toll Free (866) 283-2952 (US and Canada only)
Tel: (1) 832-237-2900
Fax: (1) 832-237-2910
Website: http://www.satimagingcorp.com

Satellite Images from MODIS Sensor Cover Southern California Forest Fires

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Triple-digit temperatures, extremely low relative humidity and dense vegetation that have not burned in decades with years of extended drought are all contributing to the explosive growth of wildfires throughout Southern California.

This satellite image of The Station Fires in Los Angeles from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image around 1:55 p.m. local time on September 2, 2009. Puffy white clouds hover in the east, but dingy gray smoke lingers in the west and south.

ca fires 2009

Photo Credits: MODIS Satellite Image provided by NASA

Satellite Image

The Station Fire had cost more than $27 million to fight, according to the Los Angeles Times. According to September 3 report from California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the fire had burned 160,000 acres, and had damaged or destroyed more than 70 homes, three commercial properties, and more than 30 outbuildings or other structures. Hundreds of commercial properties and thousands of homes remained under threat, but the fire was 38 percent contained on September 4th, 2009.

Monitoring and Mapping Fire Disasters

Fire and emergency applications are one of the strongest uses for GIS and remote sensing, particularly fire mapping, responding to emergency situations, hazardous fuels reduction, community assistance, firefighting, rehabilitation, and restoration.

Forest fires have an important influence on the vegetation cover, animals, plants, soil, stream flow, air quality, microclimate, and even general climate. The loss of timber is obvious and so is the damage to life and property. The loss of recreation value of the forest and the destruction of wildlife habitat are also consequences of forest fires.
Researchers and scientists have long been trying to predict the behavior of a forest fire.

aster satellite image station fires california

ASTER Satellite Image of Station Fire, San Gabriel Mountains, CA, USA

Image credit: NASA

September 6, 2009, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this simulated natural color image of the Station fire, burning in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles.

Computer modeling has been the effort of many scientists using high resolution satellite imagery and GIS. In order to model a forest fire, the techniques for obtaining, analyzing and displaying spatial information in a timely and cost-effective manner are needed which has proven not only to be possible, but incredibly efficient and effective.

About Satellite Imaging Corporation:

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), a privately held technology company, provides global satellite imaging and processing services for a number of industries, including oil and gas, mining, cadastre, tax mapping, construction, environmental, forestry and agriculture.

The company specializes in mono and stereo satellite imaging technology producing seamless orthorectified Satellite Imaging mosaics DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using CAD and GIS applications including, flight simulations, terrain modeling, engineering and construction using high and medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data.

For more information contact:

Satellite Imaging Corporation
12777 Jones Road, Suite 370
Houston, Texas 77070-4671
U.S.A.

Toll Free (866) 283-2952 (US and Canada only)
Tel: (1) 832-237-2900
Fax: (1) 832-237-2910
Website: http://www.satimagingcorp.com

WorldView-2 Satellite Scheduled to Launch October 8

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Worldview-2 satellite is scheduled to launch October 8, 2009, aboard a Delta II rocket procured from United Launch Alliance (ULA). The launch is scheduled for 11:38 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. WorldView-2 is the third satellite Ball Aerospace has built for DigitalGlobe’s constellation of commercial remote sensing satellites. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation successfully completed and passed environmental testing for the Worldview-2 satellite. To watch launch go here.

The WorldView-2 sensor will provide a high resolution Panchromatic (0.46m) band and eight (8) Multispectral bands; four (4) standard colors (red, green, blue, and near-infrared 1) and four (4) new bands (coastal, yellow, red edge, and near-infrared 2), full-color images for enhanced spectral analysis, mapping and monitoring applications, land-use planning, disaster relief, exploration, defense and intelligence, and visualization and simulation environments.

worldview-2

Image Copyright © Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation

WorldView-2 environmental testing included thermal vacuum, electromagnetic compatibility, electromagnetic interference, vibration, shock, and acoustic testing to confirm the design integrity of the spacecraft, according to the company. The Ball Aerospace BCP 5000 spacecraft, utilized for both WorldView-1 and WorldView-2, is designed to handle both next-generation optical and synthetic aperture radar remote sensing payloads and is reportedly meeting or exceeding all performance specifications on the operational WorldView-1 satellite. The high performance BCP 5000 has a design life of more than seven years.

To view Worldview-2 Technical Data click here.

DigitalGlobe currently operates the QuickBird satellite launched in October 2001, which can collect panchromatic images with 0.61-meter resolution and multispectral (BGRN) images with 2.44-meter resolution at Nadir. It is expected to operate until 2009. DigitalGlobe further operates the WorldView-1 high-capacity, panchromatic imaging system launched on September 18, 2008 providing Mono and Stereo half-meter resolution imagery (0.46- meter) to the Geospatial Industry. Operating at an altitude of 496 kilometers, WorldView-1 has an average revisit time of 1.7 days and is capable of collecting up to 750,000 square kilometers (290,000 square miles) per day of halfmeter imagery. The satellite also is equipped with state-of-the-art geo-location accuracy of <2m without GCP’s while with one (1) or two (2) GCP’s the geospatial position accuracy can be improved to <1m and further exhibits stunning agility with rapid targeting and efficient in-track stereo collection.

About Satellite Imaging Corporation:

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), a privately held technology company, provides global satellite imaging and processing services for a number of industries, including oil and gas, mining, cadastre, tax mapping, construction, environmental, forestry and agriculture.

The company specializes in mono and stereo satellite imaging technology producing seamless orthorectified Satellite Imaging mosaics DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using CAD and GIS applications including, flight simulations, terrain modeling, engineering and construction using high and medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data such as GeoEye-1, Worldview-1, QuickBird and IKONOS.

For more information contact:

Satellite Imaging Corporation
12777 Jones Road, Suite 370
Houston, Texas 77070-4671
U.S.A.

Toll Free (866) 283-2952 (US and Canada only)
Tel: (1) 832-237-2900
Fax: (1) 832-237-2910
Website: http://www.satimagingcorp.com