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Latest Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Stories

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2010-06-08 11:50:00

The Berlin Air and Space Show, ILA, one of the world's largest aerospace trade shows, opens next week. Organized every two years by the German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI), it will be taking place at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport on June 8-13. ESA, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the BDLI have jointly designed a special pavilion, "ËœSpace for Earth', in the International Space Village (Hall 9), in which visitors can learn more about European space programs and...

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2010-05-05 14:15:00

As fears grow that the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico could soon catch the oil slick and drag it south towards coral reefs in the Florida Keys, scientists are monitoring the situation closely with ESA's Envisat radar data. By combining surface roughness and current flow information with Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) data of the spill, SAR image analysts are able to detect the direction in which the spill boundaries can drift. In these two ASAR images for April 29...

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2010-04-21 10:55:00

Originally designed to monitor Earth for just three years, ESA's veteran ERS-2 satellite is still in orbit and going strong after 15 years of delivering essential data to improve our understanding of Earth and climate change. ERS-2 was launched on 21 April 1995 to follow on from the first European Remote-Sensing mission, ERS-1, which had been in orbit since 1991. At the time, these two satellites were the most sophisticated European Earth observation spacecraft ever developed, delivering...

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2010-04-01 10:19:38

Despite the hardest winter in the UK for the last 30 years, and the heavy snow-falls of the last few days in Scotland, there are signs from space that spring is finally on its way. Data from Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) are being used to generate daily maps that show exactly how plants are responding to the coming season, marking a significant improvement for 'phenology'. Phenology is the study of how the life-cycles of plants are closely tuned to seasonal change....

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2010-03-31 14:00:54

ESA has awarded a contract worth &eur;105 million to Astrium to build the second Sentinel-2 satellite. Once both are operational, this pair of satellites will provide global coverage every five days, delivering high-resolution optical imagery for GMES land and emergency services. Marking another milestone in Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, this contract follows hot on the heels of the agreement between ESA and Thales Alenia Space to build the second,...

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2010-03-25 09:48:40

Having a large-scale boreal forest biomass inventory would allow scientists to understand better the carbon cycle and to predict more accurately Earth's future climate. However, obtaining these maps has been wrought with difficulty "“ until now. A new processing algorithm has been developed using stacks of images from the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) on ESA's Envisat satellite that allows for the retrieval of boreal forest biomass well beyond the levels that have been...

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2010-03-12 10:16:20

Marking another significant step in the GMES initiative, ESA and Thales Alenia Space recently signed a contract worth &eur;270 million ($372 million USD) to build the second Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3 satellites. Led by the European Commission in partnership with ESA, the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program will provide a unique tool to monitor the environment. This initiative will fulfill policy-makers' growing needs to access accurate and timely information to...

2010-02-27 07:56:41

As ESA's Mission Scientist for CryoSat, Mark Drinkwater's role in supporting the preparation of the mission has been to ensure that the satellite and data processing systems are compatible with achieving the mission's objectives of deriving accurate measurements of ice-thickness change. Mark Drinkwater, a British national, trained as a geophysicist and performed early pioneering research in the use of altimeter measurements over polar ice. He currently heads the Mission Science Division at...

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2010-01-15 11:39:07

As rescue workers scramble to provide assistance to hundreds of thousands of people following Haiti's earthquake, Earth observation satellite data continues to provide updated views of the situation on the ground. Following the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, international agencies requested satellite data of the area from the International Charter on 'Space and Major Disasters'. The Charter, an international initiative aimed at providing satellite data free of charge...

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2010-01-14 14:22:59

A major magnitude 7 earthquake struck the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on January 12, causing major casualties and damage. The quake was followed by several aftershocks with magnitudes over 5.0. Such a powerful earthquake can make current maps suddenly out of date, causing additional challenges to rescue workers on the ground. Earth observation satellite images can help rescue efforts by providing updated views of how the landscape and the infrastructure have been affected. Following the...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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