Celebrating 7 Years of Multispectral Imaging
On the 29th July 2009, the Earth observation satellite mission UK-DMC2 was successfully launched as part of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC).
With 22m resolution multispectral satellite imagery and the option for very wide area monitoring, adjustable up to 620km swath, the DMC delivers valuable geospatial information for agriculture, forestry, land cover mapping, disaster monitoring and environmental sciences, coordinated and specialised in rapidly programmed campaigns. In addition, thanks to daily revisit capacity coupled with rapid data delivery, the DMC is able to deliver up-to-date imagery and rapid whole country coverage.
Who Benefits from This Satellite Data?
Satellite data is a critical part of agriculture management. Every year North Africa is subject to plagues of locust, and the risk of losing crops becomes a genuine threat to food security. The Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) uses data from the DMC Constellation to assess vegetation conditions. When combined with weather data, locust forecasts can be created and used to focus the application of pesticides, which in turn can help prevent the spread of locust swarms.
The multi-temporal datasets from the DMC constellation can be used for the mapping of agricultural areas, crop identification, estimation of biophysical variables, carbon sequestration and flux estimation, and monitoring the impact of beneficial management practices on a variety of crop types.
FruitLook project uses data of the DMC Constellation for mapping and analysing the efficiency of water and nitrogen use amongst fruit yielding crops in South Africa.
Since years, we have provided multiple coverages of the Amazon Basin to the Brazilian Government and the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) in order to monitor annual changes in the forest cover and to detect newly cut areas.
Theoretically, legal logging in the Amazon is controlled through strict licencing, but illegal logging still occurs throughout Brazil. In 2014 the Amazon had lost 5,831km² of rainforest due to illegal logging, soy plantations, cattle ranching and other human activities. This was an increase in destruction by 16% compared to the previous year.
Deforestation is not restricted to the Brazilian rainforest and is a major issue across all continents. The DeforestAction project is used for monitoring tropical forests such as those found in Indonesia and Argentina, and the United Nations REDD+ programme aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from developing countries through enhanced forest management. Both of these initiatives rely on accurate, regular and reliable satellite data in order to monitor forest changes.
Land Cover Mapping
We have a comprehensive archive of high resolution, multi-temporal DMC Constellation data covering the world. With the DMC Constellation’s rapid revisit and capabilities for wide swath imaging, annual and seasonal maps are available. This makes the dataset ideal for change detection analysis. Such land cover evolution maps can be vital for applications including climate change, ecology and conservation, urban and landscape planning, along with health and hazard assessments.
Natural and man-made disasters affect millions of people every year. Thanks to the DMC Constellation we have acquired and analysed data over many types of disaster events, including droughts, floods, earthquake, hurricanes, tsunamis, industrial accidents … This information can help inform the decision makers and rescue teams who can then respond accordingly and efficiently. Due to our seasonal and annual land cover mapping, Airbus Defence and Space is able to analyse both pre and post event data.
UK-DMC was the UK’s first commercial Earth observation satellite, followed by UK-DMC2, and these missions have been providing data to researchers, scientist and commercial entities around the world. The DMC Constellation will continue with its operational success into the foreseeable future.