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News on … Operational GMES Data Supply from the DMC Satellites, CEOS Calibration & Validation Task Force led by DMCii

Operational GMES Data Supply from the DMC Satellites

The GMES programme of the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA) has stepped up a gear, and is now providing access to imagery for projects from a variety of ESA’s Third Party Missions including the DMC. Following a consultation process with projects across Europe and associates around the globe, DMC imagery has been selected for a variety of datasets. The datasets will be used for monitoring many different environmental and man-made phenomena including land cover, floods, forest fires, disaster events, desertification and deforestation.

DMCii is acquiring up-to-date high resolution imagery of the majority of the land area of Africa for GMES. Imagery is being acquired over a period of only 12 months, with low cloud cover. Previous attempts to perform such an ambitious data collection have failed, with useable datasets spanning over three years or more. The cloud cover in tropical areas renders conventional optical satellite systems ineffective and requires the rapid revisit of a constellation to achieve regular annual rather than decadal datasets. This coverage will provide a much needed snapshot of the land cover conditions of Africa, and will reveal important information about our climate and environment.

DMCii is interfacing its systems with ESA to allow for quicker and more efficient imagery ordering and delivery, and to provide advanced cataloguing facilities for the benefit of all European users. The GMES initiative has important benefits for all Earth Observation data users and will put into place services moving towards self-sustainability. Data will be made available to the ESA to licensed users and can also be purchased from DMCii. The North African countries will also be imaged to complete the dataset in the DMCii catalogue Image: 1 DMC coverage of sub-Saharan Africa since Oct 2009

CEOS Calibration & Validation Task Force led by DMCii

Dr Steve Mackin, DMCii Chief Scientist, leads the CEOS Task Force for calibration of satellite imagery.

The annual Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) working group meeting for Calibration and Validation (WGCV) appointed Dr. Mackin to run a small task force (including members from India, China and the United States) to help explore elements of how to endorse quality assurance and quality control to meet the guidelines given within the Quality Assurance for Earth observation (QA4EO) framework. The ultimate aim being to provide quantitative quality estimators on every earth observation product.

DMCii manages the quality of DMC data across the constellation through a regular calibration programme and a campaign of continuous improvement.

The latest data review analyzed large numbers of DMC images from:
•Annual vicarious calibration campaigns over instrumented test sites in RailRoad Valley, Arizona and Tuz Golu, Turkey.
•Winter relative and cross calibration campaigns over Antarctic DOME C site.
•Monthly acquisitions over CEOS endorsed stable sites (Libya, La Crau) for calibration trending
The results of the review of DMC data show that:
•Radiometric procedure achieves less than 5% uncertainty in absolute radiometry.
•Cross calibration between DMC satellites delivers <1% uncertainty between the different satellite systems for all spectral bands.
•Relative band-to-band ratios very stable over three years (< 0.34% r.m.s error) for the UK-DMC-1 satellite.
•Noise Equivalent Radiance (NER) approaches Landsat.
•Orthorectified 32-metre data achieves 10-25 metres r.m.s. error with respect to reference data.

DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii)

DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) is a UK company which supplies satellite imagery products and services to a wide range of international customers. DMCii supplies both programmed and archived optical satellite imagery from the multi-satellite Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC).
DMCii provides imaging and mapping services to meet specific customer and application needs. DMC images are used in a wide variety of commercial and government applications, including agriculture, forestry and environmental mapping. DMC imagery is used by organisations such as the European Commission, Brazilian Space Agency, United Nations and the US Geological Survey, as well as private precision-agriculture and other applied remote sensing organisations.

The small satellites of the DMC provide daily revisit capability combined with an unmatched 660km imaging swath width for frequent broad area coverage. Multispectral image products offer a resolution of 32-metres GSD and 22-metre GSD.
Panchromatic image products feature a very high-resolution 4-metre pixel GSD, from Beijing-1. All DMC images are calibrated and processed to a variety of product levels according to customer requirements.

DMCii provides imagery from the two satellites it owns and operates, UK-DMC (32metre gsd) and UK-DMC2 (22metre gsd) and also coordinates the commercial activity of the DMC satellite constellation. The DMC satellites are independently owned and operated by a cooperating consortium of organisations representing member nations:
• Centre National des Techniques Spatiales, Algeria
• Beijing Landview Mapping Information Technology Ltd, China
• National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigeria
• Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, United Kingdom
• Deimos Imaging S.L., Spain

The DMC Consortium members work together through DMCii for commercial sales and for collaborative Earth observation campaigns.
_Contact DMC International Imaging Ltd. by email at or Tel +44 1483 804299
See our web site to access the DMCii catalogue and price lists._