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Environmental research wins big in DMCii satellite image giveaway

DMCii has announced the selection of 5 science projects that will receive free satellite imagery from the DMC satellite constellation.

Satellite imaging is a powerful tool for monitoring land use. It offers a valuable “eye in space” for monitoring and recording environmental change on a global basis. The winning projects cover a wide range of important topics: from monitoring changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet and the UK wetlands and forests, to pioneering new techniques for integrating satellite Earth observations with computer models to improve measurements of how the Earth’s vegetation ‘breathes’ carbon dioxide.

DMCii Managing Director David Hodgson said “At a time of significant global change we are very pleased to be able to support the research community in increasing our understanding of our changing environment.”

In December 2008, scientists were invited to compete for the opportunity to use the DMC multi-spectral satellite image data in their research projects. Applications were judged on their contribution to international environmental research by a panel of scientists chaired by Professor Alan O’Neill from the UK’s National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), Dr Arwyn Davies, Head of Earth Observation at the British National Space Centre (BSNC), Dr Paul Aplin (Chairman of RSPSoc and Associate Professor Nottingham University), Dr Steve Mackin, Chief Scientist DMCii and David Hodgson, Managing Director DMCii.

The successful projects are:

- Monitoring Dynamic Change in the Greenland Ice Sheet: A. Luckman (Swansea University).

- Testing Data Assimilation Schemes: JJ Settle (University of Reading), P North (University of Swansea), T Quaife (University College London).

- Assessing Seasonal Water and Restoration Status of Wetland Habitats: Dr G Smith (Specto Natura Ltd), Dr F Hughes & Dr P Stroh (Anglia Ruskin University), Dr P Aplin (University of Nottingham).

- Validation of MODIS NPP (Net Primary Productivity) Product for Tropical Areas: Dr M Cutler (University of Dundee), Prof A Cracknell, Assoc Prof AL Ibrahim, Dr K Haron.

- Monitoring of Vegetation Phenological Change and Health: Dr R
Guisa (University of Surrey), Dr R Pitman (Centre for Forestry & Climate Change (FR)).

The DMC constellation of five satellites provides a unique earth observation resource that enables daily revisit anywhere in the world. As the satellites and their respective owners (Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey, UK) cooperate together, the constellation can image a given geographical location frequently to identify changes or make the most of cloud-free periods. This unique combination makes the constellation highly effective for monitoring changes in land use.
The free satellite data will be provided by next generation DMC satellite UK-DMC2 which is scheduled for launch next month, July 2009.
The new satellite will enhance the DMC constellation’s ability to gather higher spatial resolution imaging (22m versus the previous 32m DMC standard) and also increase the amount of imagery that can be stored and downloaded in any given time using new satellite technology.

Spanish company, Deimos Imaging, that is also part of the DMC Consortium, is planning to offer a similar research opportunity for Spanish researchers. They intend to provide imagery for five Spanish science projects from their new Deimos-1 satellite which will be launched at the same time as UK-DMC2.

About DMC International Imaging Ltd

DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) is a UK based 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.

In partnership with the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and the other DMC member nations (Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey and Spain), DMCii works with the International Charter: ‘Space and Major Disasters’ to provide free satellite imagery for humanitarian use in the event of major international disasters such as tsunami, hurricanes, fires and flooding.

DMCii was formed in October 2004 and is a subsidiary of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, the world leader in small satellite technology. SSTL designed and built the DMC with the support of the BNSC and in conjunction with the DMC member nations Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey and Spain.

Notes to editor:
This press release can be downloaded from

Press contacts:
Robin Wolstenholme, Ballard Communications Management
Tel: +44 (0)1306 882288

Paul Stephens, Sales & Marketing Director, DMC International Imaging Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0)1483 804299