Such a powerful earthquake can make current maps suddenly out of date, causing additional challenges to rescue workers on the ground. Earth observation satellite images can help rescue efforts by providing updated views of how the landscape and the infrastructure have been affected.
Following the event, the French Civil Protection authorities, the Public Safety of Canada, the American Earthquake Hazards Programme of USGS and the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti requested satellite data of the area from the International Charter on ‘Space and Major Disasters’. The initiative, referred to as ‘The Charter’, is aimed at providing satellite data free of charge to those affected by disasters anywhere in the world.
To meet the requirements of the rescue teams in Haiti, Very High Resolution imagery is needed from both optical and radar sensors. Through the Charter, the international space community is acquiring satellite imagery as quickly as possible. Currently, data are being collected by various satellites including Japan’s ALOS, CNES’s Spot-5, the U.S.’s WorldView and QuickBird, Canada’s RADARSAT-2 and ESA’s ERS-2 and Envisat.
Satellite imagery acquired immediately after the event is used to generate emergency maps to provide rescue services with an overview of the current state of the area. These can be compared with situation maps generated from archived satellite data to identify major changes on the ground caused by the disaster.Comparison of the maps from before and after the event allows areas that have been hit hardest to be distinguished and identify passable routes for relief and rescue workers. Additionally, they can help to identify areas which are suitable for setting up aid camps where medical support and shelter can be provided to people.
The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security’s SAFER project is collaborating with the Charter to provide a specialised capacity to produce damage maps over the area. SAFER’s value-adding providers SERTIT from Strasbourg and the German Aerospace Centre’s (DLR) centre for satellite-based crisis information (ZKI) from Munich are currently working on this.
Via the Charter mechanism, all of these agencies have committed to provide free and unrestricted access to their space assets to support relief efforts in the immediate aftermath of a major disaster.
The Charter also collaborates with other satellite damage-mapping initiatives within the UN such as the UNITAR/UNOSAT team who is receiving support from the U.S. government to analyse satellite imagery to be provided to the Haitian government, UN sister agencies and NGOs.
To learn more about the Charter and to find updated maps on the Haiti earthquake, please visit the links on the right.
Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute
Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine