Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Greeks get space-based help in wake of deadly fires

24.09.2007
Cleanup and rebuilding teams responding to the devastation across Greece caused by this summer’s deadly fires are getting help from space. A series of crisis map products based on satellite acquisitions of affected areas are being provided to aid damage assessment efforts following the activation of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters.

More than 60 people were killed and thousands left homeless in the worst forest fires to hit Greece in decades. According to data from ESA’s ERS-2 and Envisat satellites, which continuously survey fires burning across the Earth’s surface with onboard sensors, Greece experienced more wildfire activity this August than other European countries experienced over the last decade.

In an effort to aid authorities responding to disasters such as this, ESA and other national space agencies established the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters in 2000 to provide rush access to a broad range of satellite data.

The Charter, activated by the Department of Emergency Planning and Response of the Greek Civil Protection Agency, processed this request and recruited the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the Strasbourg-based rapid mapping specialist company (SERTIT) to produce the maps using satellite images provided by the space agencies.

As a result, the Greek Civil Protection Agency received a series of Earth Observation (EO)-based crisis/damage mapping products generated using a variety of EO sensors. The first EO-based maps, delivered while the fires were still active, were overview products based on the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument aboard ESA’s Envisat satellite. French and German Civil Protections active in Greece to support fire fighting teams also received the maps.

These maps were used for fighting active fires across Greece, particularly those in the region of the Parnonas Mountains, which rise to almost 2000 metres on the eastern side of the Peloponnese peninsula that makes up southern Greece.

"These map products proved to be very helpful for managing the severe fires that Greece suffered," Fivos Theodorou, Director for Emergency Planning and Response of the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, said. "The General Secretariat for Civil Protection intends to use these maps for post-fire management purposes, such as burnt area mapping, reforestation and the construction of flood prevention projects and supply them to the Greek authorities, such as the Greek Forest Service, responsible for consequence management."

DLR performed this service under the scope of the Risk-EOS service network. Risk-EOS, part of ESA's initial Services Element of Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), offers EO-based operational services for rapid mapping of major disasters as well as other geo-information services to support risk management of hazards such as floods and forest fires.

The Risk EOS service network and its Greek partner, National Observatory of Athens (NOA), are now working closely with Greek authorities to consolidate further the work done by the Charter on the affected areas.

Other satellites used to produce the maps include NASA’s Landsat, the SAC-C (an international cooperative mission between NASA and the Argentine Commission on Space Activities (CONAE), CNES, the Brazilian Space Agency, the Danish Space Research Institute and the Italian Space Agency), CNES’s SPOT satellite and Taiwan’s FORMOSAT satellite.

Other Charter members currently include the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Argentine Space Agency (CONAE), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the British National Space Centre/Disaster Monitoring Constellation (BNSC/DMC), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMESYB1S6F_index_0.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>