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Archive for October, 2009

Mineral Exploration Using Satellite Images for Geological Applications

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Satellite Remote Sensing has been a standard first step for the mineral and petroleum exploration industry. Satellite imagery from satellite sensors such as GeoEye-1, WorldView-2, QuickBird, IKONOS, ASTER and LANDSAT 7 +ETM have benefited geologists, scientists and exploration managers in earth sciences due to the advantage of large scale mapping and the sensors containing multiple band colors which allows them to interpret wavelengths that cannot be seen by the human eye, such as near infrared, short wave infrared and thermal infrared to identify the difference in structural features of the earth’s surface.

ikonos satellite image nevada-mining

IKONOS Satellite Image of Mining Operations in Nevada

Multispectral imaging and thematic mapping allows researchers to collect data of reflection and absorption properties of soils, rock, and vegetation. This data could be utilized to interpret actual surface lithology to identify clays, oxides and soils from satellite images.

The use of satellite imagery in mineral exploration, generally a combination of panchromatic and multispectral image data has been used in mineral and petroleum industries over the last decade. With higher resolution satellite sensors increasing over the last decade such as GeoEye-1 (0.41m) and WorldView-2 (0.46m) both providing panchromatic and multispectral full color imagery that is used to utilize enhanced spectral analysis for mapping, monitoring and analyzing landcover classification and extraction of culture data, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) classification and mapping, lithological classification, change detection, environmental monitoringdevelopment, land-use planning, visualization and simulation environments such as digital elevation models (DEMs) and 3d terrain modeling.

aster satellite image mining escondida chile

ASTER (15m) Satellite Images of Escondida open-pit mine in Atacama Desert, Chile

aster satellite image mining escondida chile

This ASTER image covers 30 by 37 km in the Atacama Desert, Chile and was acquired on April 23, 2000. The Escondida Cu-Au-Ag open-pit mine is at an elevation of 3050 m, and came on stream in 1990. Escondida is related geologically to three porphyry bodies intruded along the Chilean West Fissure Fault System. A high grade supergene cap overlies primary sulfide ore. The top image is a conventional 3-2-1 RGB composite. The bottom image displays SWIR bands 4-6-8 in RGB, and highlights lithologic and alteration differences of surface units. Imagery Credit: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.

Geologists and Geoscientists have used satellite images to serve as databases from which they can do the following:

  • Pick out rock units (stratigraphy)
  • Study the expression and modes of the origin of landforms (geomorphology)
  • Determine the structural arrangements of disturbed strata (folds and faults)
  • Evaluate dynamic changes from natural events (e.g., floods; volcanic eruptions)
  • Seek surface clues (such as alteration and other signs of mineralization) to subsurface deposits of ore minerals, oil and gas, and groundwater.
  • Function as a visual base on which a geologic map is drawn either directly or on a transparent overlay.

digital elevation model argyle_view_diamond_mine_3d

ASTER Satellite Image of Argyle Diamond Mine, Australia- DEM

A well collated and structured data base integrated into a powerful GIS project can be used to collect and create valuable data for the planning and exploration program for:

  1. The advantage of creating large scale area maps which allows them to examine in single scenes or in mosaics the geological portrayal of Earth on a regional basis.
  2. The ability to analyze multispectral bands quantitatively in terms of numbers permits them to apply special image processing techniques to discern and enhance certain compositional properties of Earth materials.
  3. The capability of merging different types of remote sensing products (e.g., reflectance images with radar or with thermal imagery) or combining these with topographic elevation data (DEMs) and with other kinds of information bases (e.g., thematic maps; geophysical measurements and chemical sampling surveys) enables views of existing or planning of proposed mines.
  4. Mapping subregional surface geology.
  5. Creating field exploration maps with detailed views of access roads.

Remote sensed data and GIS for mineral exploration is a key to management, planning and monitoring programs requiring on accurate information about the land cover in a region. Methods for monitoring vegetation and land change range from intensive field sampling with plot inventories to extensive analysis of remotely sensed data which has proven to be more cost effective for large regions, small site assessment and analysis.

About Satellite Imaging Corporation;

Satellite Imaging Corporation provides high resolution satellite imagery from satellite sensors such as GeoEye-1, WorldView-2 Worldview-1, QuickBird, IKONOS, SPOT-5 and other remote sensing products for analysis and mapping applications such as Geographic Information System (GIS).

The company specializes in mono and stereo satellite image processing techniques and produce seamless orthorectified satellite imaging mosaic DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using GIS applications including, flight simulations and terrain modeling for your specific project needs.

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

WorldView-2 Captures First High Resolution Full Color Satellite Images!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

WorldView-2 satellite captured its first pan-sharpened, multispectral images at (0.46 meter resolution) from almost 500 miles above the Earth. These images supply unprecedented detail and geospatial accuracy, further expanding the applications for satellite imagery in both commercial and government markets. Added spectral diversity provides the ability to perform precise change detection and mapping.

WorldView-2 Dallas Texas Love Airfield Satellite Image

WorldView-2 Satellite Image (0.5m) of Dallas Love Airfield, Texas USA

WorldView-2 First Image-San Antonio, Texas

WorldView-2 Satellite Image (0.5m) of San Antonio Conference Center, Texas USA

WorldView-2 sensor provides a high resolution Panchromatic 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, visualization and simulation environments.

worldview_2_spectral_bands

DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-2 was launched successfully on October 8, 2009 11:52 am at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S.A. With its improved agility, WorldView-2 is able to act like a paintbrush, sweeping back and forth to collect very large areas of multispectral imagery in a single pass. WorldView-2 alone is able to collect nearly 1 million km2 every day, doubling the collection capacity of our constellation to nearly 2 million km2 per day. And the combination of WorldView-2’s increased agility and high altitude enables it to typically revisit any place on earth in 1.1 days. When added to the satellite constellation, revisit time drops below one day and never exceeds two days, providing the most same-day passes of any commercial high resolution constellation.

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

Satellite Images and Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) Help Monitor Global Warming and Climate Change

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

The Earth, our home in space, is a varied and dynamic place. Since the beginning of human history we have sought a better understanding of the world around us. With the new technology of the aerospace age and satellite image technology, we can look back and appreciate the diversity and the beauty of the Earth in a way not possible until the 20th century.

geoeye-1 satellite

Geoeye-1 Satellite Sensor – Panchromatic and Multispectral Imaging

Copyright GeoEye

Since 1990′s a new generation of satellite sensors with powerful capabilities have been launched to collect massive amounts of data about our planet and the many changes it has experienced.

There are dozens of remote sensing satellites orbiting the Earth collecting invaluable information about the Earth’s surface, oceans and the atmosphere and how they interact. Satellite images have been collected for scientific and technical purposes as well as just appreciating its simple beauty. These satellites collect information that our eyes cannot, collections from 30M to 0.5M resolution is now available.

Satellite images provide important land coverage information for mapping and classification of land cover features, such as vegetation, soil, water and forests for monitoring and managing Earth’s vital natural resources and the current global climate changes.

satellite image typhoon morakot Taiwan

Typhoon Morakot, Tawain – QuickBird Satellite Image (0.61m)

Copyright DigitalGlobe

The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. From glacial periods (or “ice ages”) where ice covered significant portions of the Earth to interglacial periods where ice retreated to the poles or melted entirely – the climate and the Earth has continuously changed.

The shallow end of the Glaciers are melting swiftly. Glaciologists have determined that areas of the glacial lobe were 98 feet lower in 2004 than they were in 2000. That’s double the rate of pre-1999 thinning.

landsat satellite image

Landsat Satellite Image of Antarctica

The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.

Scientists have been able to piece together a picture of the Earth’s climate dating back decades to millions of years ago by analyzing a number of surrogate, or “proxy,” measures of climate such as ice cores, boreholes, tree rings, glacier lengths, pollen remains, and ocean sediments, and by studying changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

To view a Tour of Our Cryosphere (Glacial Melting) go here.

Deforestation in Bolivia, SA from 1975 to 2000

San Bernadino, CA Wildfires

Deforestation of Rondonia, Brazil from 1975 to 2009

Five-Year Average Global Temperature Anomalies for 1888,1918,1948,1978, 2008

Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. Studying this data collected over many years reveal the signals of a changing climate.

Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will increase during the next century unless greenhouse gas emissions decrease substantially from present levels. Increased greenhouse gas concentrations are very likely to raise the Earth’s average temperature, influence precipitation and increase in storm patterns as well as raise sea levels. The magnitude of these changes, however, is uncertain.

Digital Elevation Models

Satellite images allow scientists to remove vegetation, water and geological cover from the image data which allows them to produce the most detailed available Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of landscape topography. The creation of DEMs will revolutionize geological applications, land-use studies, soil science, and much more to better understand the global climate changes occurring around the world.

eritrea africa dem

Eritrea, Africa – IKONOS Satellite Image over 6m IKONOS Stereo DEM

Digital elevation models provide details about landscape features which in result, will allow us to clearly make out the shape of our landscape and understand how water, ice, and  soil might move across its surface, how it came to be its present shape and how rapidly the changes are occurring.

About Satellite Imaging Corporation

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC) delivers 3D terrain models with posting intervals from 3m to 90m. The high resolution <1m Satellite imaging mosaics and 3m-5m DEMs provide operators with the appropriate planning tools to reduce the risk of environmental impact during operations and improve on safety procedures. SIC provides a large amount of satellite remote sensing data at different spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions from sensors such as GeoEye-1, Worldview-1, QuickBird, IKONOS, SPOT-5, LANDSAT and ASTER, by using the appropriate combination of bands to bring out the geographical and manmade features that are most pertinent to your project for detecting and monitoring changes.

Satellite Imaging Corporation combines orthorectified satellite images and digital aerial photography mosaics with extracted vector and client-supplied attribute data to create single, data-rich images for GIS and other mapping applications to achieve a multi-layered result for many types of analysis.

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

Worldview-2 Satellite Launched Successfully!

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

WorldView-2 was launched successfully on October 8, 2009 11:52 am at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S.A. Worldview-2 is the first 8-band multispectral satellite sensor commercially available. Operating at an altitude of 770 kilometers, WorldView-2 will provide half-meter panchromatic resolution and 2.0 meter multispectral resolution for non-US Government customers.

To watch launch go here.

worldview-2 satellite

Image Credit: DigitalGlobe

WorldView-2 will have an average revisit time of a day and will be capable of collecting up to 975,000 square kilometers (376,450 square miles) per day, doubling the DigitalGlobe collection capacity. The WorldView-2 system, offering unsurpassed accuracy, agility, capacity and spectral diversity will provide high resolution satellite imagery of 0.5 meters.

Worldview-2 will provide highly detailed imagery for precise map creation, change detection and in-depth image analysis and will have the ability to perform precise change detection, mapping and analysis at unprecedented resolutions in multispectral imagery.

Worldview-2 imagery will allow the creation of accurate maps in remote areas, maximizing the utility of whatever resources are available.

Frequent revisits increase image collection opportunities, enhance change detection applications and enable accurate map updates.

To view Worldview-2 specifications 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 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:

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

Satellite Images and GIS Aid in Disease Mapping and Surveillance

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Satellite images and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can provide public health officials with vital information needed to detect and manage certain disease outbreaks. In order to properly plan, manage and monitor any public health system, it is very important to have up to date, relevant information available to decision-makers at all levels throughout all regions of the world.

H1N1 Swine Flu Mapping

Satellite Imagery and GIS Epidemiology Mapping for Swine Flu

Image Credit FluTracker

Also known as Landscape Epidemiology, which involves the identification of geographical areas where disease is transmitted. By knowing the vegetation and geologic conditions necessary for the maintenance of specific pathogens in nature, one can use the landscape to identify the spatial and temporal distribution of disease risk. Key environmental elements, including elevation, temperature, rainfall, and humidity, influence the presence, development, activity, and longevity of pathogens, vectors, zoonotic reservoirs of infection, and their interactions with humans.

Vegetation type and distribution are also influenced by the environmental variables mentioned above, and can be expressed as landscape elements that can be sensed remotely and whose relationships can be modeled spatially. For the past 29 years, satellite sensors have proved to be valuable tools for describing the earth’s landscape. Since the launch of Landsat 7 and ASTER, NASA has initiated programs to integrate these technologies into the areas of forestry, agriculture, geology,  and public health.

vegetation land cover

Landsat Satellite Image – Vegetation Cover

aster hydrology

ASTER Satellite Image – Hydrology

Satellite images can greatly enhance a GIS mapping project. Imagery is a powerful visual aid and serves as a source of derivative information such as planimetrics and classification schemes to derive such information as land cover and change detection or vegetation classification.

The use of GIS has many implications for landscape epidemiology because it provides users the ability to store, integrate, query, display, and analyze data from the molecular level to that of satellite resolution through their shared spatial components. Field observations and vector data retrieved on environmental conditions, including vegetation, water (hydrology), and topography, can be combined in a GIS mapping environment to direct interpretation of remote sensed data and facilitate characterization of the landscape in terms of vector and pathogen prevalence.

geospatial gis

GIS Epidemiology

Example of GIS Epidemiology for Malaria

Image Credit World Health Organization (WHO)

The associations between disease risk variables (e.g., vector, pathogen, and reservoir host abundance and distribution) and environmental variables can be quantified using the spatial analysis capabilities of the GIS. Landscape pattern analysis, combined with statistical analysis, allows us to define landscape predictors of disease risk that can be applied in larger regions where field data are unavailable. This makes remote sensing and GIS a powerful set of tools for disease surveillance, predicting potential disease outbreaks, and targeting intervention programs.

The analysis and mapping of data using GIS include:

  • The spread of diseases over time
  • Spatial patterns of outbreaks
  • Population groups at risk
  • Availability and access to health care
  • Program intervention planning and assessment

Examples of Interactive Disease Maps

Health Map on Virus Alerts

2009  Swine Flu Outbreak Map

Satellite Imaging Corporation

Satellite Imaging Corporation combines orthorectified satellite images and digital aerial photography mosaics with extracted vector and client-supplied attribute data to create single, data-rich images for GIS and other mapping applications to achieve a multi-layered result for many types of analysis.

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 GIS applications including, flight simulations, terrain modeling, engineering and construction using high and medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data from satellite sensors such as GeoEye-1, Worldview-1, QuickBird, IKONOS, Landsat 7 and ASTER.

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