Archive for the 'Earth Sciences' Category

First images from SPOT 7 satellite within three days after launch

First images from SPOT 7 satellite within three days after launch

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SPOT 6/SPOT 7 constellation in place now, designed for unparalleled high-resolution national coverage

Airbus Defence and Space has published the first images obtained from the SPOT 7 satellite, a mere three days after its launch on 30 June. Over the last few hours, the entire chain – from satellite programming and image acquisition to telemetry reception and processing – was successfully put into operation to deliver these first spectacular images.

These images show highly diverse landscapes, revealing SPOT 7’s full potential in terms of natural resource and urban zone mapping and agri-environmental monitoring.

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SPOT 7 Satellite Image – Fiji

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SPOT 7 Satellite Image – La Reunion

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SPOT 7 Satellite Image – Sydney, Australia

The SPOT 6/7 constellation is now in place and considerably improves the capabilities and performance offered by SPOT 5, which has been in operation since 2002 and which is scheduled to be decommissioned from commercial service during the first quarter of 2015. This new constellation offers a higher resolution, greater programming reactivity and a much higher volume of images acquired daily (in monoscopic or stereoscopic mode).

SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 mark the dawning of a new era for the SPOT family in forming a constellation of high-resolution Earth observation satellites phased at 180° in the same orbit. This means that each point on the globe can be revisited on a daily basis and wide areas covered in record time, all with an unparalleled level of precision. With both satellites in orbit, acquisition capacity will be boosted to six million square kilometres per day – an area ten times the size of France.

With the very-high-resolution twin satellites Pléiades 1A and 1B, SPOT 6 and now SPOT 7, Airbus Defence and Space’s optical satellite constellation will offer the company’s customers a high level of detail across wide areas, a highly reactive image programming service and unique surveillance and monitoring capabilities.
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SPOT 7 Satellite Image – Baku, Azerbaijan

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SPOT 7 Satellite Image – Mecca, Saudi Arabia

The first SPOT 7 images can be downloaded via FTP

ftp.astrium-geo.com/SPOT7

 

Source:http://www.astrium-geo.com/en/5928-first-images-from-spot-7-satellite-within-three-days-after-launch

NASA Airborne Research Focuses on Andean Volcanoes

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NASA’s C-20A crew is shown preparing for flight from Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, Panama. The aircraft was deployed to Central and South America for a research study using JPL’s UAVSAR located in an underbelly belly pod (note red cover).

Image Credit: 

NASA / Stu Broce

Volcanoes in Central and South America were the primary focus of a four-week Earth science study in late April and early May 2014 using a NASA-developed airborne synthetic aperture imaging radar.

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The synthetic aperture radar developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory mounted on NASA’s C-20A research aircraft captured this image of Peru’s Ubinas volcano on April 14, 2014, during its Latin American research mission. The false colors represent different polarizations in the image.

Image Credit: 

NASA JPL UAVSAR / Ron Muellerschoen

The Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar, or UAVSAR, developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, was carried in a specialized pod on NASA’s C-20A. The 29-day deployment ended May 6 when the aircraft returned to its base in Palmdale, California after 19 flights totaling 97 hours in the air.

This is the second consecutive year the UAVSAR team has conducted a campaign to study sites in Central and South America. Many of the flights imaged the Andean volcanic belt located in western South America.

“By combining images acquired in 2013 with the 2014 images, researchers will produce detailed surface motion measurements to improve volcanic deformation models,” said Naiara Pinto, the UAVSAR science coordinator from JPL’s Suborbital Radar Science and Engineering group.

In coordination with the volcano studies, the agency’s C-20A gathered data over Amazonian forests in Peru, agricultural sites in Chile and glaciers in the Chilean/Argentinian border region. These data will aid in algorithm development and sensor calibration activities, improving scientists’ ability to monitor and study Earth’s carbon and water cycles. All of these research projects involve Latin American institutions, including universities and hazard monitoring agencies.

NASA’s C-20A, the military designation for the Gulfstream III aircraft, features a high-precision autopilot designed and developed by engineers at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, allowing the aircraft to fly the same flight lines this spring as those flown in 2013.

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The Ubinas Volcano, located in southern Peru, is the country’s most active volcano. This image was captured from NASA’s C-20A as it flew UAVSAR flight lines during a study of Central and South American volcanoes.

Image Credit: 

NASA / David Fedors

The Precision Platform Autopilot guides the aircraft by using a kinematic differential Global Positioning System developed by JPL in concert with the aircraft’s inertial navigation system to enable it to fly repeat paths to an accuracy of 15 feet or less. With the precision autopilot engaged, the synthetic aperture radar is able to acquire repeat-pass data that can measure land-surface changes within centimeters.

This mission was conducted under NASA’s Airborne Science Program.

NASA and its partners monitor Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing. The agency shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet.

For more information about NASA’s Earth science activities in 2014, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/earthrightnow

For more information about the UAVSAR, visit:

http://uavsar.jpl.nasa.gov/

Beth Hagenauer, Public Affairs
NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

 

Source:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/Features/C-20A_studies_andean_volcanos.html

 

 

Photogrammetric Computer Vision – PCV 2014

ISPRS Technical Commission III Midterm Symposium

5th – 7th September 2014, Zurich, Switzerland, In Conjunction with the European Conference on Computer Vision

PCV 2014

The Midterm Symposium of Technical Commission III takes place every four years in between ISPRS Congresses. The Symposium is an important event of ISPRS Technical Commission III and is to provide an inter-disciplinary forum for scientists, researchers and practitioners in the field of “Photogrammetric Computer Vision and Image Analysis”. The participants of the Symposium will present the latest developments and applications, discuss cutting-edge technologies and exchange research ideas.

Call for Papers

PCV 2014 is the mid-term symposium of ISPRS TC III “Photogrammetric Computer Vision and Image Analysis”.

We are looking forward to welcoming researchers in photogrammetry, remote sensing, computer vision, image analysis and related fields, to present and discuss their work. A single-track program with keynote talks, oral and poster presentations shall provide ample opportunities for scientific exchange and discussion.

PCV 2014 invites submissions of high-quality research results as either full papers or abstracts.

Full-paper submissions will undergo a selective double-blind peer-review process, normally by three members of the international reviewing committee, and will be published in the ISPRS Annals. Submitted papers will be refereed on their scientific originality and relevance, presentation and empirical results. The deadline for full-paper submissions is April 13, 2014 and it will not be extended. For details on formatting, submission and paper policies please see the instructions for authors.

Abstract submissions provide an opportunity to discuss late-breaking results and research in progress, and will be published in the ISPRS Archives. Abstracts shall also report original scientific or applied research, and will be subject to a simplified screening process. The deadline for submissions is June 19, 2014. For details on formatting, submission and paper policies please see the instructions for authors.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • sensor orientation and surface reconstruction
  • integrated sensor modeling and navigation
  • 3d point cloud processing
  • image sequences and multi-temporal analysis
  • scene analysis and 3d reconstruction
  • graphics and visualization techniques for remote sensing
  • pattern analysis for remote sensing and mapping

For further keyword and topics, see the terms of reference of TC III working groups.

A Best Paper Prize and a Best Student Paper Prize will be at the conference.

As organizers of PCV 2014 we are looking forward to your contributions and to welcoming you in Zürich.

Konrad Schindler
Nicholas Paparoditis
Wilfried Hartmann

Registration

The PCV 2014 Symposium runs from September 5 (~13:00) to September 7 (~17:00). It is co-located with ECCV 2014, which runs from September 8 to September 12. Attendees are encouraged to attend both conferences. We offer a reduced rate for joint registration (25-30% discount).

The registration website is not yet available, and is expected to be launched beginning of June.

Source: http://www.igp.ethz.ch/photogrammetry/pcv2014/index.html

 

The State of Rain

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The U.S. Geological Survey has released a satellite-based rainfall monitoring dataset specifically designed to support the early detection of drought around the world. The State of Rain: http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/the-state-of-rain/?from=title

Developed as a partnership between the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) Climate Hazards Group, this new dataset allows experts who specialize in the early warning of drought and famine to monitor rainfall in near real-time, at a high resolution, over most of the globe (from 50°N to 50°S).

Read more at: http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/the-state-of-rain/?from=title

 

Source:

http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/the-state-of-rain/?from=title

 

Wearable system can map difficult areas

U.S. engineers say their wearable mapping system can create physical maps of locations where GPS is not available, such as in underground areas and on ships.

Developed by the Applied Physics Laboratory at John Hopkins University, the Enhanced Mapping and Positioning System captures a floor-plan-style map of an area traversed by a person carrying the portable backpack system, as well as 360-degree photos and sensor readings of the area using a combination of lasers and sensors.

The system based on algorithms once developed for robots — which are not practical in some environments — has a built-in allowance for normal human movement like walking, a Johns Hopkins release reported Wednesday.

Designed mainly to detect and map environmental threats on ships and in other tight, enclosed locations, EMAP can associate critical environmental data, such as radiation or radio frequency signal levels, with map locations.

“EMAPS virtually takes pictures with every step,” researcher Jason Stipes said. “Using this technology, we can map almost every nook and cranny of targeted locations, capture that intelligence, and store it. Sensors can also detect threats, such as radiation or chemicals, and include them in our map.”

In testing EMAPS has collected of mapping data from a wide variety of GPS-denied environments including ships, underground storage facilities, Army training areas and buildings such as the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Stipes said.

 

Source:

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Technology/2013/03/27/Wearable-system-can-map-difficult-areas/UPI-19011364427702

Australian Earth Observation Group launches new site

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The Australian Earth Observation Coordination Group is pleased to announce the official launch of its new website, located at www.aeocg.org.au.

This group has been formed to enable all of the people who collect and use earth observation data to have a forum to present and discuss their activities and define their needs for support from industry, academia and government.

This group is meant to span all disciplines, and provide an inclusive and collaborative resource to improve access to and use of earth observation data for Australia.

To get things started you are invited to:

  • visit the AEOCG website for more information about the group and planned activities,
  • take part in a national short-form survey on EOS data use and priority needs. Click here to take the survey.  Survey results will be used to inform the first AEOCG Whole of Community Meeting which will be held on 19 April 2013 by live webinar.

Feedback and questions on the new site are invited at aeocg@uq.edu.au

 

Source:

http://www.spatialsource.com.au/2013/03/26/australian-earth-observation-group-launches-new-site

A Closer Look at LDCM’s First Scene

 

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Turning on new satellite instruments is like opening new eyes. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) released its first images of Earth, collected at 1:40 p.m. EDT on March 18. The first image shows the meeting of the Great Plains with the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado. The natural-color image shows the green coniferous forest of the mountains coming down to the dormant brown plains. The cities of Cheyenne, Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Boulder and Denver string out from north to south. Popcorn clouds dot the plains while more complete cloud cover obscures the mountains.

LDCM is a joint mission of NASA and the Department of Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey.

“It’s a really great day,” said Jeff Pedelty, an instrument scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., who worked on the LDCM Operational Land Imager, or OLI instrument, that took the natural color image. He’s very impressed with the level of detail they can see with the advancements to the sensor. “It’s wonderful to see, there’s no doubt about it, and it’s a relief to know that this is going to work wonderfully in orbit.”

The natural color image showed the landscape in the colors our eyes would see, but Landsat sensors also have the ability to see wavelengths of light that our eyes cannot see. LDCM sees eleven bands within the electromagnetic spectrum, the range of wavelengths of light. OLI collects light reflected from Earth’s surface in nine of these bands. Wavelengths on the shorter side include the visible blue, green, and red bands. Wavelengths on the longer side include the near infrared and shortwave infrared.

LDCM’s second instrument, the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) detects light emitted from the surface in two even longer wavelengths called the thermal infrared. The intensity of the emitted light at the longer wavelengths measured by TIRS is a function of surface temperature. In the black-and-white image of the first thermal band on TIRS, warmer areas on the surface are brighter while cooler areas are dark.

The first thermal images seen by Dennis Reuter, TIRS instrument scientist at Goddard, were forwarded to him from the data processors. “To say it was exciting was an understatement,” said Reuter, who was blown away by the data quality. “Wow! This is beautiful!” he wrote in an email. “Look at those amazing clouds! And the detail!”

Clouds in the colder upper atmosphere stand out as black in stark contrast to a warmer ground surface background. The TIRS images were collected at exactly the same time and place as the OLI data, so all eleven bands can be used together.

The infrared bands on both TIRS and OLI complement the visible bands, said Reuter. “You’re seeing things in the visible that you don’t necessarily see in the infrared, and vice versa,” he said.

 

Source:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/landsat/news/first-images-feature.html?goback=.gmp_4538605.gmr_4538605.gde_4538605_member_225103056

 

China to Launch Earth Observation Satellite this Month

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China is planning to launch a high-resolution Earth observation satellite this month, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SATIND).

The government agency revealed details about the launch on Thursday, which was carried by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The satellite will be the first to provide high-resolution observation data of the Earth. It will be launched using a Long March 2D carrier rocket, the SATIND said, and examinations of both the satellite and its carrier rocket have been completed.

China plans to launch five to six satellites by the end of 2015 in order to build a complete spatial, temporal, and spectral high-resolution observation system, Xinhua reported.

Data collected by the satellites will be used by the Ministry of Land and Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Environmental Protection for disaster management, geographic and oceanic surveys, urban transportation management, and national security, the agency said.

 

Sources:

http://www.asianscientist.com/topnews/china-launch-earth-observation-satellite-month-2013

Are Tropical Forests Resilient to Global Warming?

Tropical forests are less likely to lose biomass — plants and plant material — in response to greenhouse gas emissions over the twenty-first century than may previously have been thought, suggests a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience.

In the most comprehensive assessment yet of the risk of tropical forest dieback due to climate change, the results have important implications for the future evolution of tropical rainforests including the role they play in the global climate system and carbon cycle.

To remain effective, programmes such as the United Nation’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation+ scheme require rainforest stability, in effect locking carbon within the trees.

The research team comprised climate scientists and tropical ecologists from the UK, USA, Australia and Brazil and was led by Dr Chris Huntingford from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in the UK.

Dr Huntingford and colleagues used computer simulations with 22 climate models to explore the response of tropical forests in the Americas, Africa and Asia to greenhouse-gas-induced climate change. They found loss of forest cover in only one model, and only in the Americas. The researchers found that the largest source of uncertainty in the projections to be differences in how plant physiological processes are represented, ahead of the choice of emission scenario and differences between various climate projections.

Although this work suggests that the risk of climate-induced damage to tropical forests will be relatively small, the paper does list where the considerable uncertainties remain in defining how ecosystems respond to global warming.

Lead author Dr Chris Huntingford, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in the UK, said, “The big surprise in our analysis is that uncertainties in ecological models of the rainforest are significantly larger than uncertainties from differences in climate projections. Despite this we conclude that based on current knowledge of expected climate change and ecological response, there is evidence of forest resilience for the Americas (Amazonia and Central America), Africa and Asia.”

Co-author Dr David Galbraith from the University of Leeds said, “This study highlights why we must improve our understanding of how tropical forests respond to increasing temperature and drought. Different vegetation models currently simulate remarkable variability in forest sensitivity to climate change. And while these new results suggest that tropical forests may be quite resilient to warming, it is important also to remember that other factors not included in this study, such as fire and deforestation, will also affect the carbon stored in tropical forests. Their impacts are also difficult to simulate. It is therefore critical that modelling studies are accompanied by further comprehensive forest observations.”

Co-author Dr Lina Mercado from the University of Exeter and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, “Building on this study, one of the big challenges that remains is to include, in Earth system models, a full representation of thermal acclimation and adaptation of the rainforest to warming.”

The research team came from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK), National Center for Atmospheric Research (USA), The Australian National University (Australia), CCST/Inst Nacl Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) (Brazil), James Cook University (Australia), University of Leeds (UK), University of Oxford (UK), University of Exeter (UK), University of Sheffield (UK), Met Office Hadley Centre (UK), University College London (UK), and the University of Edinburgh, (UK).

 

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, via AlphaGalileo.

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=129167&CultureCode=en

Science for Environment Policy: FUTURE BRIEFS

Future Briefs are a series of horizon-scanning policy briefs, which provide an accessible overview of emerging areas of science and technology as part of the European’s Commission for Science for Environment Policy.

The following briefs are available for free via: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/future_briefs.htm

Earth Observation’s Potential for the EU Environment

Earth observation from space by satellites can provide a wealth of data relating to the land, oceans and atmosphere. This Future Brief examines how the data can inform Europe’s environmental policy.

Bioelectrochemical Systems

This Future Brief examines the examines the use of bioelectrochemical systems, such as microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), to treat wastewater and generate electricity, hydrogen and valuable chemicals.

Green Behaviour

This Future Brief examines the role that policy can play in supporting and encouraging the public’s pro-environmental behaviour. The report explores different policy methods to reward green behaviour, such as financial incentives.

Offshore Exploration and Exploitation in the Mediterranean

This Future Brief examines the impacts of exploration on marine and coastal environments. Focusing on oil, gas and mineral exploration as well as renewable energy schemes, the report considers evidence from recent scientific research, including reports following the Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010.

 

Source: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/future_briefs.htm


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