Entire Airbus Defence and Space constellation aids firefighters as wildfires neared Cape Town

Airbus Defence and Space in partnership with Southern Mapping Company assisted the Volunteer Wildfire Services in their battle to stop the raging wildfires around Cape Town. The Earth observation satellite constellations were tasked to provide comparison maps in record time. 

Pléiades Satellite Image - Cape Town, South Africa

The fires around Cape Town, which started on Sunday 1th March, have destroyed more than 4,000 hectares of vegetation so far”

City of Cape Town Wednesday, March 4th 2015

Cape Town's Fire and Rescue Service, along with various other agencies, were continuing to ’actively manage‘ the fire in the South Peninsula. On Tuesday night, fire fighters worked to contain the fire.

All Airbus Defence and Space sensors TerraSAR-X, SPOT6, SPOT 7, Pleiades 1A and 1B, were tasked over an ROI as defined by local responders actively involved in the management of the incident.  Archive images from TerraSAR-X as well as SPOT 7 were used as pre-assessment baseline data to enable a comparison study with the current collected imagery to determine the fire scar damage over the area. Southern Mapping Company contributed to the derivative works and the distribution of the spatial information to various relevant role players involved in fighting the wildfire.

The reactive response in the activation of the Airbus Defence and Space satellite constellation over the wildfire affected area, and the initiating of the Southern Mapping Company processing chain to produce the geo-information maps to the fire-fighting community, demonstrated the valuable contribution of earth observation satellite technology during disaster management scenarios. Continuous collection of satellite imagery will take place over the next few days, enhanced with TerraSAR-X radar data and associated geo-information.

Comparison false colour map between Spot 7, 7 February 2015 and  Pléiades1A 5 March 2015

A: Spot 7 ©Airbus DS 2015
B : Pléiades 1A ©CNES 2015, Distribution Airbus DS 

Entire Airbus Defence and Space constellation aids firefighters as wildfires neared Cape Town