Remote Sensing

Remote Sensing

Sep 2011 | No Comment


1,145 satellites to be launched in next decade

Euroconsult, a research and analyst firm specialising in the satellite and space sectors, forecasted that approximately 1,145 satellites will be built for launch during the next ten years (2011-2020), 51 percent more satellites than the previous decade. These projections came from Euroconsult’s just-released Satellites to be Built & Launched by 2020, World Market Survey.

According to the report (now in its 14th edition), revenues from the manufacture and launch of these 1,145 satellites will be worth USD 196 billion worldwide, of which 70 percent can be attributed to government demand. “Governments continue to dominate the space market, as satellite systems are critical infrastructure for communications and geo-information solutions for civilian and military users” said Rachel Villain, Director for Space for Euroconsult and editor of the report.

“The government market is worth more than double the commercial market, but is largely closed to non-domestic manufacturers. However export opportunities for manufacturers exist with governments in countries with no space industry.”

Government agencies from 50 countries will launch a total of 777 satellites in the decade ahead, though more than 80 percent of these satellites will come from the six major space powers (i.e. the United States, Russia, the European countries, Japan, China and India). Accounting for this 80 percent is the fact that established space countries are replacing systems that have already been operational, in addition to launching new satellites, whereas newcomers are only building and launching new systems, as they are not yet at the stage of replacing existing satellites.


Asia Pacific EO market to grow threefold by 2018

The Asia Pacific Earth observation (EO) market earned over USD 70.1 million revenue in 2010 and will reach USD 220.5 million in 2018, according to a new market research report, Asia Pacific Satellite-based Earth Observation Market, by Frost & Sullivan, a business research & consulting firm. The report stressed that the Asia Pacific remote sensing market is poised for a growth upswing in the future with the expanding participant base, growing technological capabilities and an improved political environment. Earth observation satellite capabilities have advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years. The enormous quantity of high-resolution, multi-spectral, and hyper-spectral data available in a short span of time has improved decision-making processes for several commercial and government users. Policy makers in this region are ramping up government spending for space and satellite imagery endeavors.

First 3D video transmission live from space

Half a century after humankind entered outer space, an ESA-developed camera produced live-streaming 3D images for the first time in the history of space travel – showing the International Space Station like never before. On 6 August, NASA astronaut Ron Garan operated the Erasmus Recording Binocular (ERB-2) camera to open a new window on the ISS through stereoscopic eyes, in high-definition quality. As Flight Engineer for Expedition 28 and a video blogger himself, Garan set up the futuristic-looking camera in Europe’s Columbus laboratory. While talking about the work on board the ISS, he enhanced the sense of depth and presence by playing with an inflatable Earth globe. Not much bigger than a shoebox, with high-definition optics and advanced electronics, the ERB-2 is the second generation of ESA’s stereoscopic camera family developed by Cosine BV (Leiden, the Netherlands) and Techno System (Naples, Italy).

On the ground at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, viewers wore polarised glasses similar to those used in cinemas and were amazed by the quality of the images. These near-real 3D images not only change the whole viewing experience, but can also be used in supporting science operations on the Station.

Remote sensing technologies employed to conduct rapid damage assessment after the 2011 US Tornadoes

Within days after devastating tornadoes struck Alabama and Missouri, the damage experts at ImageCat and New Light Technologies produced a rapid building damage assessment database to estimate losses from the event. This work was done through the use of high-resolution pre- and post- event NOAA aerial photography, Google Earth satellite imagery and engineering expertise.

Over 400 sq miles of area was analyzed in Tuscaloosa (Alabama), Birmingham (Alabama) and Joplin (Missouri). 17,000 + properties were identified with damage ranging from limited to catastrophic. The results from this damage assessment were intended to provide actionable information that FEMA could use in its Individual Assistance (IA) Program.

Icebergs detached from Antarctica after passing tsunamis

The effects of the strong earthquake that hit Japan last March is visible to the Antarctic. Satellite images reveal new icebergs be detached after the arrival of tsunamis in the Gulf Sulzberger. Images taken by satellite of ESA , Envisat , scientists have used NASA to detect icebergs, of which the largest has dimensions of 6.5 to 9, 5 km, while its thickness was estimated to be approximately 80 feet. The new findings of Kelly Brunt , Special to the cryosphere from the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland in the United States and its partners, which correlate with tidal waves of detachment icebergs were published in the Journal of Glaciology Monday. After the earthquake measuring 9 on Richter scale Richter , giant tidal waves swept literally coast of Japan. Then, having traveled a distance of 13,000 km, the waves came up the bay Sulzberger in Antarctica, which caused the detachment of large bits and pieces of ice.The tidal waves were estimated at just 30 centimeters when they arrived in the Gulf Sulzberger , but coordinated action resulted in the creation of such tension created cracks in coastal glacier.

ISRO’s eyes in the sky to watch climate change

National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has also planned to launch some sophisticated satellites to keep a watch on climate change. Director of NRSC V K Dhadwal, who came calling to the Regional Remote Sensing Centre in the city, spoke about the importance of keeping a watch on the changes in climate and the role remote sensing can play in it. The most ambitious projects include Megha-Tropiques, INSAT-3D, Saral Altika and SCATSAT among others. He said not just ISRO but other national and international space bodies including NASA and United Nations’ Environment Programme (UNEP) had been taking serious actions in this regard too.

SSTL announces launch date of Nigerian EO satellites

SSTL, a satellite company, announced that it will launch NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X satellites on behalf of the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) on August 17, 2011. The satellites will be launched by a Dnepr launch vehicle from Yasny, Russia. Both satellites will assist disaster relief and global environmental monitoring campaigns alongside satellites from other consortium members ASAL (Algeria), BLMIT (China), Deimos Space (Spain) and SSTL (UK).

Source: SSTL

Pakistan to expand RS satellite network

Pakistan is considering working with China, Japan and Europe to expand its network of remote sensing (RS) satellites for use in environment monitoring and natural resource surveys, reported. Recently, Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) announced to launch six homemade, high-resolution RS satellites by 2014. In addition, on August 11, Pakistan launched a communication satellite Paksat-IR from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province of China.

Ukraine launches RS satellite Sich-2

Ukraine launched a remote sensing satellite Sich-2 from the Yasny launch base in the Orenburg Region, Russia. The Ukrainian satellite was carried by Dnepr along with the American satellites AprizeSat-5 and AprizeSat-6, Italy’s EduSat, Nigeria’s NigeriaSat-X and NigeriaSat-2, and Turkey’s RASAT.

Built by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau, Sich-2 is based on the MS-2-8 satellite bus. It weighs 169 kilograms, and is expected to operate for five years. The satellite carries optical and infrared imagers, which will be used to produce images for agricultural and development planning, mapping, and monitoring natural disasters.

Turkey launches first EO satellite

Turkey successfully launched its first Earth observation satellite, RASAT, from the Yasny Base of Russia at the Kazakh border by the Dnepr space launch vehicle. The satellite was designed and manufactured by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey – Space Technologies Research Institute (TUBITAK-UZAY).

Flood Hazard Zonation Maps

In addition to the flood response services through Decision Support Centre (DSC), NRSC/ISRO has taken up development of Flood Hazard Zonation Maps using satellite data towards Disaster Risk Reduction, under ISRO-DMS Programme. Towards this, as a first step, NRSC has generated Flood Hazard Zonation Maps for Assam state based on 10 years of satellite data. With the support of Editorial Board consisting of NDMA, CWC, IMD, ASDMA and others, NRSC / ISRO has initiated the task of development of Flood Hazard Atlas for Assam State. This is the first time in the country to have a flood hazard atlas with much detail. Similar efforts are on the way for other states like Bihar, Orissa, etc.

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