SpaceDataHighway Starts Full Copernicus Service

The Airbus-operated SpaceDataHighway has begun regularly relaying data from the Sentinel-2A satellite, after the successful end of the commissioning period. This marks the start of the SpaceDataHighway service using all four Copernicus Sentinel satellites and the beginning of a new era for space-based imagery users. The first two sets of Earth-observing Copernicus Sentinels-1A and -1B and -2A and -2B are signed up to this service as SpaceDataHighway’s anchor customers under an agreement between the European Union and the European Space Agency (ESA) as owners of the Copernicus programme, and Airbus as the owner and commercial operator of SpaceDataHighway. Increased amount... (read more)
2018-03-20 11:42:02

Copernicus Sentinel-2B Delivers First Images

Just over a week after being lofted into orbit, the European Union’s Sentinel-2B satellite delivered its first images of Earth, offering a glimpse of the ‘colour vision’ it will provide for the Copernicus environmental monitoring programme. With a swath width of 290km, the satellite’s first acquisition began over the Baltic Sea and made a strip-like observation through eastern Europe, ending in northern Libya. The data was relayed in real time to the Matera ground station in Italy, where the images were then processed. While eastern Europe was mostly cloudy, Italy’s sunny skies allowed the teams to get their first glimpse of... (read more)
2017-03-16 10:04:25

ESA's CryoSat Reveals Antarctica in 3D

Around 250 million measurements taken by ESA’s CryoSat over the last six years have been used to create a unique 3D view of Antarctica, offering a snapshot of the undulating surface of this vast ice sheet. CryoSat’s radar altimeter detects tiny variations in the height of the ice across the entire continent, including on the steeper continental margins where the vast majority of ice losses occur. Importantly, the satellite’s orbit takes it to latitudes within 200 km of the north and south poles – closer than other Earth observation satellites. Naturally, the mission is also used to map changes in... (read more)
2017-03-27 10:35:06

Monitoring Earth's Skin to Advance Farming and Climate Knowledge

A bright-red twin-engined aircraft, equipped with ultra-high-resolution thermal imaging technology, has been scouring the agricultural heartlands of Europe this summer. It was no search and rescue exercise, but an initial step towards building a proposed new satellite system capable of recording the temperature of Earth’s skin in intricate detail. The objective is to work towards increasing the resilience of agriculture to future water scarcity and variability, but it will also deepen our understanding of Earth’s climate system. The instrument on board, called HyTES, is an advanced thermal imager built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It has been surveying agricultural and... (read more)
2019-07-24 10:41:55

Australia Launches Space Agency

The Australian Space Agency has been formed as of 1 July with the goal of tripling Australia’s space economy by 2030, launching a new era for extraterrestrial Australian endeavors. The Space Agency will initially focus on developing international partnerships, and serve as a coordinating body for industry and government. This announcement has been welcomed by Australia’s spatial professionals, with Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) characterising the development as ‘a renaissance of Australian leadership in space-borne Earth observation.’ “Australia’s spatial and other professionals have long been leading figures in space programs around the world. Despite this, we have – until now... (read more)
2018-07-05 10:06:26

Teledyne Optech Titan Lidar Discovers Extended Mayan Ruins

Teledyne Optech’s Titan sensor was used by the University of Houston’s National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) to reveal extensive Mayan ruins in Guatemala. Lidar technology was able to identify hundreds of previously unknown structures, including raised highways, and complex irrigation and terracing systems. After the collapse of the Mayan civilization, their cities and monuments were quickly covered by thick rainforest, hiding the ancient civilization from airborne observation and making it very difficult to survey on foot. Flying high above the rainforest, Titan’s lasers penetrated the canopy to collect almost a million data points per second from the forest... (read more)
2018-02-09 10:29:14

Planet Signs Deal with Thailand's Space Agency to Serve National Monitoring

Planet, a leading geospatial data and analytics company, has signed a deal with the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), an agency under Thailand's Ministry of Science and Technology, to provide satellite imagery to enable frequent monitoring in the country. Planet will provide GISTDA with Planet Basemaps over the country on a quarterly basis. These basemaps will provision the government with the most recent and cloud-free imagery for use by several ministries, including Agriculture, Rural Development, and Water and Irrigation. "With persistent monitoring and analysis from Planet, Thailand will gain unprecedented insights, which will guide national priorities like sustainability and resource management, urban planning, food security,... (read more)
2018-07-13 02:11:57

DMC Constellation Strengthens Wide Area Monitoring Capabilities

Airbus Defence and Space is now offering new capabilities for wide area monitoring through the DMC Constellation, bringing increased resolution (12 to 24m) and extra spectral bands, including Red-Edge, Blue, Coastal Blue and Panchromatic. These new assets will boost key capabilities for agriculture, environmental monitoring and disaster management applications. Complementing existing DMC Constellation satellites, this expansion of imaging capability is possible through exclusive commercial imagery agreements for the Alsat-1B satellite mission with the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL), and for the KazSTSAT satellite mission with Ghalam LLP. This ensures partners leverage Airbus’ expertise in end-to-end mission operation services, while improving Airbus... (read more)
2019-03-06 10:09:28

Geospatial Intelligence for National Security - DGI Conference 2018

The DGI conference, held in London, attracts military personnel and others, mainly from Europe and USA, interested in geospatial intelligence (GEOINT). The conference has been held annually for many years now and is an important event to discuss unclassified issues relating to GEOINT. The emphasis in DGI 2018 was on meeting the challenges of a rapidly changing military situation and technological changes in GEOINT. A number of presentations focused on fairly general issues which included defence requirements, crowdsourcing, open data and issues of trust in data. Throughout the conference, speakers raised issues which are not directly related to geospatial information,... (read more)
2018-05-09 03:26:36

UK Radar Satellite NovaSAR Returns First Images

The first all-UK NovaSAR radar satellite, developed jointly by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Airbus, has sent back its debut images which feature Sydney Harbour and the Egyptian pyramids. The images are being assessed for use in diverse applications, including crop analysis, flood and forestry mapping, and maritime surveillance. The satellite was launched in September 2018, with the intention of having a constellation of NovaSAR satellites. Such a network would enable repeat images of locations to be acquired more quickly - something that is important if changes detected in a scene require a rapid response. (e.g. reacting to an oil spill).... (read more)
2018-11-28 10:38:50
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