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DMC International Imaging Wins Contract To Monitor Amazonian Rainforest

The Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has placed a contract for a second year with DMC International Imaging to acquire high-resolution satellite images of the entire 5 million square kilometres of the Amazon rainforest.

In 2005 DMC rapidly acquired images of the whole Amazon Basin in 6 weeks to provide Brazil with vital information for the annual programme to monitor deforestation and combat illegal logging. The programme is now repeated in 2006.
Imagery is provided by the five-satellite international Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC). The Earth Observation micro-satellites use wide area cameras to capture the high-resolution images. The latest satellite, built for China, was launched into the DMC on 27 October 2005.
Dr. Joao Vianei Soares, Director of Earth Observation at INPE said, “The DMC has achieved a significant new step in remote sensing through coordination of five nations in space. The unique constellation of low cost micro-satellites enables rapid imaging of large areas at high resolution. This opens up many new possibilities in remote sensing, especially in cloudy areas, because of the ability to re-image an area almost daily if needed.”
Paul Stephens, Marketing Director, DMCii said, “We are proud to supply DMC data to INPE for the important DETER programme monitoring the vital resources of the Amazon rainforest. The recent drought in Brazil highlights the need to collect good information to help understand changes in the environment and their consequences for both the local people and the global climate.”
The Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) INPE‘s mission is to make it possible for Brazilian society to benefit from new developments in space science and technology, mainly focusing on:
+ Increasing Brazil‘s autonomy in a number of strategic areas;
+ Providing the means for Brazilian industry to participate and become competitive in the space area;
+ Encouraging the development and dissemination of space technology;
Deforestation rates in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America have remained constant or have increased over the past two decades, altering global carbon emissions and climate while elevating the need for frequent and accurate assessment of forest loss. In the Brazilian Amazon alone, where the growth of cattle ranching and cropland agriculture are the primary causes of forest clearing, about 20,000 square kilometres of forest are clear-cut and burned each year.
INPE has developed a near or almost real time monitoring application for deforestation detection known as the Real Time Deforestation Monitoring System (DETER) system. High-resolution imagery is needed when estimating the total area of deforestation and when identifying small clearings.
DMC International Imaging Ltd. (DMCii) is a UK supplier of remote sensing data products and services for international Earth Observation (EO) markets. DMCii supplies programmed and archived optical satellite imagery provided by the multi-satellite Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC). DMC data is now used in a wide variety of commercial and government applications including agriculture, forestry and environmental mapping.
The small satellites of the DMC provide daily revisit in combination with an unmatched 600km imaging swath width at 32 metre ground sample distance (GSD) for frequent broad area coverage. DMC data products are calibrated and processed to a variety of levels according to customer requirements.
In partnership with the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and the other DMC member nations (Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey) DMCii uses the commercial exploitation of the DMC small satellite constellation to fund co-ordination of the DMC for humanitarian use in the event of major international disasters. DMCii works with the UN, the European Space Agency and The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters during disasters such as Tsunami, Fire, Flooding and Hurricanes.
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