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Latest MERIS Stories

Global Vegetation Being Mapped By Miniature Satellite
2013-02-11 12:34:37

ESA [ Watch The Video ] The French Spot satellites have been charting the world´s vegetation since 1998. This important task soon falls to ESA´s Proba-V, which, despite being only a little larger than a washing machine, will provide sharp views of Earth´s plant life every two days. Keeping a close check on the health of vegetation is not only essential for monitoring environmental change, but also for numerous practical applications — importantly, those related...

Earth Observation Summer School Comes To An End
2012-08-10 12:52:00

The sixth ESA Earth Observation Summer School wraps up today. The two-week course saw 70 students from more than 20 countries worldwide convene at ESRIN, ESA´s centre for Earth observation in Frascati, Italy. The students, mostly PhD students and young postdoctoral scientists, attended daily lectures covering issues related to remote sensing, Earth system modelling and data assimilation. Jean-Noël Thépaut, Head of Data Division at the European Centre for...

ESA Under Press To Launch Sentinel Missions
2012-06-08 03:22:58

The loss of the Envisat satellite is affecting services by Europe´s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program. Efforts are being coordinated with other space agencies to fill some of the gaps, but the situation adds further urgency to launch the Sentinel missions. Carrying an array of sophisticated instruments, Envisat provided a continuous stream of information about the state of our planet for 10 years. Envisat not only advanced science, but also supplied data for...

Envisat Celebrates 10th Birthday
2012-03-01 10:28:16

[ Watch the Video ] In the early hours of 1 March 2002, the largest Earth observation satellite ever built soared into orbit from ESA´s launch base in Kourou, French Guiana. For a decade, Envisat has been keeping watch over our planet. The eight-ton satellite has doubled its planned five-year lifetime, circling Earth more than 50 000 times. With ten sophisticated optical and radar sensors, the satellite is continuously observing and monitoring Earth´s land, atmosphere,...

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2011-05-03 09:56:16

Since 2006 ESA has been making satellite images of Earth available to anyone wanting to explore the planet in near-real time. ESA has now added nearly 13 000 radar images to the service, bringing the number of viewing possibilities to about 58 000. The MIRAVI service tracks ESA's Envisat satellite around the globe, generates images from the raw data collected by its instruments and provides them online free of charge within two hours.  "We have been very pleased with the number of...

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2011-02-09 11:40:00

Our growing reliance on coastal waters for food, trade and tourism means that these delicate ecosystems need to be more closely monitored to guarantee their future sustainability. ESA's CoastColour project is helping scientists develop techniques to take full advantage of the unique capabilities of the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) sensor on its Envisat satellite. With a resolution of 300 m, MERIS provides the sharpest view of coastal waters to date, and includes spectral...

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2010-12-22 08:17:12

ESA's 2009 global land cover map has been released and is now available to the public online from the "ËœGlobCover' website. GlobCover 2009 proves the sharpest possible global land cover map can be created within a year. The map was produced using 12 months of data from Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer at a resolution of 300 m. ESA and Belgium's Universit© catholique de Louvain created the map using software developed by Medias France and Germany's Brockmann...

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2010-10-14 08:24:46

Our view of Earth is set to become even sharper with new instruments to be carried on ESA's Sentinel-3 satellites. In many ways, it will be like looking at Earth through a new pair of glasses. Sentinel-3 is one of the five missions that ESA is developing for Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative. Primarily, Sentinel-3 will deliver data for GMES services related to the marine environment, such as ocean-current forecasting services that need...

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2010-09-02 12:26:25

Devastating around a third of the country, it is estimated that the floods in Pakistan have affected up to 20 million people. As part of the effort to support humanitarian relief, satellite data are being used to generate essential maps of the flooded areas. Pakistan's floods are arguably the worst in living memory, leaving many hundreds dead and millions homeless or marooned as villages and infrastructure have washed away. The fear now is that more will die from water-borne diseases. The...

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2010-05-07 11:45:00

New eruptions from Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull volcano have produced a 1600 km-wide ash cloud over the Atlantic. The brownish plume, travelling east and then south, is clearly visible in stark contrast to white clouds framing this Envisat image from 6 May. The volcano began emitting steam and ash on 20 March, wreaking havoc on European aviation last month. Renewed activity earlier this week caused some flights to be suspended to and from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Authorities are...