Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Satellites help ensure safe sunning

13.10.2006
Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation is responsible for up to 60 000 deaths a year worldwide, according to a report released this summer by the World Health Organisation. Many of those deaths, however, could be avoided through simple preventive measures such as seeking shade when the UV Index is high, the report says.
Thanks to an innovative service called HappySun, the UV Index can be delivered directly to mobile phones via SMS or can be accessed on the Internet. HappySun calculates the UV Index throughout the day by using ESA satellite data on radiation, ozone and cloud coverage. The service has just completed its two-year-long test phase and has received positive feedback from users.

"HappySun is a tool for the primary prevention of skin cancer," Franco Marsili, Director of the Dermatology Clinic at the Versilia Hospital in Italy, said. "The aim is to educate people about the intelligent ‘use’ of the sun."

Users are able to personalise the service by completing an online questionnaire about skin sensitivity to UV. Once users specify the place and time of sun exposure, HappySun calculates the personal safe exposure time and suggests the adequate sun protection factor (SPF).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) report, ‘Global Burden of Disease of Solar Ultraviolet Radiation’, says of the 60 000 deaths annually an estimated 48 000 are caused by malignant melanomas and 12 000 by skin carcinomas.

The report also recognises that ultraviolet radiation has beneficial effects such as the production of vitamin D, which prevents diseases such as osteoporosis and rickets. The WHO says vitamin D levels are in most cases maintained with minimal UVR exposure and warns over-exposure to the sun’s radiation is much more dangerous than insufficient vitamin-D levels.

By using data from Envisat and Meteosat-8 satellites, HappySun is also able to offer the sea surface temperature and sea water transparency. Knowing the sea temperature allows tourists to make decisions on holiday destinations depending on their desire for cool or warm waters. Knowledge of the sea water transparency is useful for tourists wanting to dive in waters with good visibility in order to explore the marine environment.

The UV protection service is currently available in Tuscany, Italy, for APT Versilia and Sardinia, Italy, for Baja Hotels. The APT Versilia website shows the temperature of the Versilia sea, while the Baja Hotels’ website shows sea temperature implemented in a Google Maps interface.

"Tourists appreciate having a ‘satellite eye’ that takes care of their skin during sun exposure. Tourists, snorkellers and divers all appreciate having information on sea water in order to find the best conditions," Baja Hotels General Manager Marco Bongiovanni said.

"HappySun is an innovative service conceived in the scope of a European project with the aim of spreading the information regarding benefits and drawbacks associated to heliotherapy," Renato Baldi, APT Versilia Director, said. "We have hosted such a service on our website to promote Versilia as a place where people can sun safely."

These types of services are set to continue in the near future, as HappySun is following up the tourism aspects of the service with tour and hotel operators in preparation for next summer. In addition, the Global Monitoring of the Environment and Security (GMES) initiative – a joint initiative of the European Commission and ESA – is incorporating the public health aspects within its portfolio of services.

The HappySun service, provided by Flyby s.r.l., is backed by an ESA Earth Observation Market Development (EOMD) programme aimed at fostering the development of Earth Observation data within business practices.

Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMZAIV74TE_economy_0.html

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside
27.02.2017 | FernUniversität in Hagen

nachricht Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development
21.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New pop-up strategy inspired by cuts, not folds

27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Sandia uses confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance

27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Decoding the genome's cryptic language

27.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>