May 2024 | No Comment

Melting ice, an expanding phenomenon

Arctic hydrography has undergone major transformations over the past two decades, with a marked decrease in sea ice extent and an increase in liquid freshwater content due mainly to melting glaciers and sea ice.

The new study, recently published in the journal Ocean Science, has integrated surface salinity measurements from the SMOS satellite to assess the Beaufort Sea freshwater content between the years 2011 and 2019 and compare it with estimates from in situ data. The results show an underestimation of freshwater content considering only the numerical model data, with the bias being reduced by 70% by incorporating the satellite measurements.

“Our research demonstrates the critical role that remote sensing of salinity plays in improving our ability to monitor Arctic freshwater content and understand the key processes that influence global climate systems,” states Eva de Andrés of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM).

However, the implications of the study extend beyond the Arctic, with possible repercussions on the global circulation system that regulates the Earth’s climate. Improved understanding of salinity variations and their relationship with freshwater content will allow better prediction and mitigation of the effects of climate change at both regional and global scales,” concludes the scientific team.

World’s Highest Res EO Satellite

SI Imaging Services (SIIS) in collaboration with its parent company Satrec Initiative, is preparing for the launch of a 100% commercial optical satellite with ultra-high resolution.

SIIS aims to innovate the domestic and international satellite data market by venturing into ultra-high-resolution (30cm) SpaceEye-T imagery in 2025, in addition to providing KOMPSAT imagery.

ICEYE signs deal with CDC

ICEYE has announced a new contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which provides the federal agency with access to ICEYE Flood Insights for events across the United States and its territories.

It will deliver flood impact data and analysis to teams at CDC’s Geospatial Research, Analysis, and Services Program (GRASP). GRASP is CDC’s leading geospatial unit, partnering with groups across the agency to analyze, visualize, and map complex data sets — leveraging GIS expertise to explore the link between location and public health.

NOAA awards Small Business Innovation Research Program Grant to Hydrosat

Hydrosat has been awarded a grant from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. It funds the development of innovative solutions that demonstrate excellent commercial potential.

Hydrosat collects, processes, and analyzes thermal infrared satellite images to provide a leading indicator for water stress, and provides irrigation and water management solutions to growers to help them farm more efficiently.

Planet Insights Platform

Planet Labs announced Planet Insights Platform, the all-in-one place for creating Earth insights. It is a milestone in the journey to unify Planet’s product portfolio and the power of Sentinel Hub, which Planet acquired last year.

China launches new remote sensing satellite

China successfully launched a new remote sensing satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on April 3, 2024. A Long March-2D rocket, carrying the Yaogan-42 01 satellite, blasted off at 6:56 a.m. Beijing Time and sent the satellite into its designated orbit.

SLU, TGI researchers use remote sensing to study permafrost

Saint Louis University is one of five universities working together to study permafrost using hyperspectral remote sensing, as part of a grant funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) as part of its Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program.

The project, Interdisciplinary Material Science for the Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Permafrost (I’M SHARP), will explore the physical and chemical properties of permafrost using remote sensing. The permafrost properties will be reviewed under current and potential environmental conditions.

The DoD awarded the highly competitive five-year, $7.5 million overall MURI grants to 30 teams at 73 academic institutions earlier this month after the Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and Office of Naval Research solicited proposals in areas of strategic importance to the Department.

Unlocking clearer views of our world’s water: A Landsat legacy

Satellite remote sensing is vital for monitoring marine and freshwater ecosystems, leveraging missions like SeaWiFS, MODIS, MERIS, Landsat, and Sentinel to track water parameters such as chlorophyll, sediment, and temperature. The dynamic nature of water bodies demands high-frequency observations for accuracy, with limitations highlighted by factors like clouds and sunlight.

Despite its longer revisit cycle, Landsat’s observations are invaluable for inland and coastal waters, emphasizing the need for more frequent data to monitor the dynamic changes in aquatic ecosystems effectively.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Remote Sensing, advancements in analyzing water environments via Landsat missions are revealed. For the first time, this research offers a global assessment of cloud-free observations (NCOs) from Landsat, emphasizing its critical contribution to environmental and hydrological studies, marking a significant leap in our capability to monitor and understand water bodies on a global scale.

The study embarked on an ambitious journey to unravel the intricacies of NCOs via the Landsat missions. By meticulously analyzing over 4.8 million Landsat images spanning from Landsat 5 through Landsat 8, they uncovered striking spatial and temporal variations in cloud-free data across the globe.

Their research illustrated Landsat-8’s superior performance, offering nearly double the mean annual NCOs compared to its predecessors. This leap in data quality is particularly pronounced in areas with orbital overlaps, especially above the 45°N latitude, where observation quality is significantly enhanced.

Furthermore, this work delves into the vital role of these overlaps in augmenting the quantity and quality of observations, presenting a game-changer in how we monitor and understand the dynamics of the Earth’s water environments.

The study’s lead researcher emphasized, “Our analysis not only showcases Landsat- 8’s superior capability in providing nearly twice as many mean annual NCOs as its predecessors but also highlights the importance of adjacent orbit overlaps in improving observation quality, particularly above 45°N latitude.”

The findings hold profound implications for enhancing the accuracy of long-term environmental change detection and monitoring. By leveraging improved NCOs, researchers and policymakers can make more informed decisions, particularly in managing water resources and addressing ecological challenges.

SPH Engineering launches Drone Show Software 4.3

SPH Engineering released its latest Drone Show Software update, version 4.3. This update introduces cutting-edge features to streamline preflight processes, enhance map visualization and sharing capabilities, and improve operational efficiency for drone professionals worldwide.

Remote sensing data can reduce the bias in Arctic melt estimates by up to 70%

As the effects of climate change continue to reshape the Arctic landscape, a new study led by the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC) in Barcelona in collaboration with the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) in Norway has revealed that data collected by satellites help reduce the bias of melt estimates made from numerical models by up to 70%.

Specifically, the paper discusses salinity measurements taken by the ‘SMOS’ (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) satellite, which has been sending data to the European Space Agency (ESA) antennas since 2009 to calculate ocean salinity and land moisture, key to better understand ocean circulation and the water cycle, deepening hurricane or fire prevention, and improving snowmelt estimates.

“By integrating satellite-derived surface salinity measurements with data from the TOPAZ Arctic numerical model, we were able to significantly improve our estimate of freshwater content and better monitor changes in the Beaufort Sea, a critical area within the Arctic affected by rapid environmental changes,” explains the ICM-CSIC researcher Marta Umbert, leading author of the study.

This highlights the ability of satellite data to contribute to the monitoring of freshwater dynamics in cold regions such as the Arctic, with significant implications for the understanding of global climate systems.


NASA, FAA partner to develop new wildland fire technologies

NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have established a research transition team to guide the development of wildland fire technology.

Wildland fires are occurring more frequently and at a larger scale than in past decades, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Emergency responders will need a broader set of technologies to prevent, monitor, and fight these growing fires more effectively. Under this Wildland Fire Airspace Operations research transition team, NASA and the FAA will develop concepts and test new technologies to improve airspace integration.

Current aerial firefighting operations are limited to times when aircraft have clear visibility – otherwise pilots run the risk of flying into terrain or colliding with other aircraft. Drones could overcome this limitation by enabling responders to remotely monitor and suppress these fires during nighttime and low visibility conditions, such as periods of heavy smoke. However, advanced airspace management technologies are needed to enable these uncrewed aircraft to stay safely separated and allow aircraft operators to maintain situational awareness during wildland fire management response operations.

Over the next four years, NASA’s Advanced Capabilities for Emergency Response Operations (ACERO) project, in collaboration with the FAA, will work to develop new airspace access and traffic management concepts and technologies to support wildland fire operations. These advancements will help inform a concept of operations for the future of wildland fire management under development by NASA and other government agencies. The team will test and validate uncrewed aircraft technologies for use by commercial industry and government agencies, paving the way for integrating them into future wildland fire operations.

ACERO is led out of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley under the agency’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.