Instant Tasking

Emergency Response Imagery of Fire at Libyan Oil Facility

July 29th

Two fuel tanks housed within Libya’s largest fuel storage facility caught fire and burned “out of control” during the ongoing conflict between the region’s rival militant groups. According to the BBC, the fire, which had spread between two tankers within hours, was threatening to cause a humanitarian and environmental disaster, making the need to respond quickly essential. 

Pléiades Satellite Image - Tripoli, Libya

Pléiades Satellite Image - Tripoli, Libya - 07/30/2014 © CNES 2014 - Distribution Airbus Ds


In response, Airbus Defence and Space’s Instant Tasking service was utilised to immediately task a satellite, providing high-resolution imagery of the specific area of interest. Its online imagery portal, GeoStore, was used to task the next satellite that passed over the fuel storage facility located in Libya’s capital, Tripoli.

Pléiades satellite was tasked with top priority to deliver the highest resolution satellite imagery of the fire.

As soon as the tasked satellite’s orbit passed over the selected area, a quick look image became available through the user’s GeoStore account. The full high-resolution product was available for download after just 1h 35min.


With the site still too dangerous to access, the high-resolution imagery provided a highly accurate overview of the situation on the ground and crucial information to enable a timely response, as well as to minimise the risks to the rescue team.



    Fire at Libya’s biggest fuel storage facility was at risk of causing a humanitarian and environmental disaster.
    Instant Tasking service provided rapid high-resolution imagery to plan the emergency response
    High-resolution imagery was available 1h35 after acquisition, providing a near real-time view of the ground situation.

Emergency Response Imagery of Fire at Libyan Oil Facility