This was made possible thanks to the creation of a unique for Russia process flow that covers reception to proprietary ground stations, processing and interpretation of spatial data, geoportal and GIS technology and own software to handle Earth remote sensing data. Customers of ScanEx RDC are large private and public entities, non-profit organizations, educational and research institutions. ScanEx carries out projects in various industries and constantly develops its products.
UniScan™ satellite data reception and processing stations can receive data from a variety of remote sensing satellites – from Terra, Aqua or FY-3 to such as Spot-6/7, Kompsat-3 or Landsat-8. This feature has already been appreciated not only in the national, but also in foreign markets – UniScan™ stations are used in the U.S., Spain, Vietnam, UAE, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Belarus.
In June 2014 a subsidiary of ScanEx – “SPUTNIKS” company – opened a new direction in business, launching Russia’s first private remote sensing satellite – “TabletSat-Aurora”. Satellite’s weight is 26 kg; the minimum expected lifespan is 1 year. The spacecraft’s payload is the optical camera to capture images of the Earth from space with a resolution of 15 meters per pixel and a swath width of 45 km. Data from this micro-satellite are to be received by a network of Uniscan™ ground stations and will be used in commercial, scientific, educational, and environmental projects. The satellite platform, most of the systems and equipment have been developed by “SPUTNIKS” company alone with the financial support of the Skolkovo Foundation and ISC “Kosmotras”. Currently, the company is considering “TabletSat” as a universal platform for installation of scientific and applied payload and for low-orbit communications solutions. Aurora project’s budget is USD1 million. The company aims at the creation of a constellation of very high resolution SSVs (small-size satellite), delivering 1 meter resolution images.
The largest private customer of ScanEx RDC is Yandex – the leader of the Russian market in search engine technology and Internet services. Starting in 2007, ScanEx is the sole provider of satellite imagery to Yandex. In addition to the direct supply of space images, ScanEx agrees with world RS Operators the required legal issues and carries out data processing, customizing it to the Yandex.Maps service requirements.
One of the biggest public clients of ScanEx RDC is the EMERCOM of Russia, with which the company has been cooperating for more than 15 years already. One of the most advanced systems of emergencies monitoring from space (Emergency Space Monitoring System), having no parallel both on the national and international levels, has been created at the EMERCOM based on the ScanEx’s technology. The unique feature of this system is that it is integrated into the work of the Operational Department of the National Center for Crisis Management and the results of its operation are used for real time decision-making. The main tasks of the Emergency Space Monitoring System are routine monitoring of the country territory with high frequency and low resolution, as well as optical and an all-weather radar imagery of an area of interest using space vehicles of medium, high and very-high resolution for emergency forecasting and response. Most of the data for this project is supplied by ScanEx RDC. One of the most topical applications of the Emergency Space Monitoring System in Russia is monitoring of fire situation, of spring floods on Russian rivers, as well as monitoring of critical flood situations occurring as a result of heavy rains. One of the main sources of impartial information are the operational monitoring data from EROS B, SPOT 5, SPOT 6 and RADARSAT-2 satellites. Their detailed analysis allows detecting the exact area of the flooded areas, arranging urgent evacuation of the inhabitants of the affected residential areas, assessing the damage as a result of flood and planning response and further flooding preventive actions.
Below are the examples of the work carried out by ScanEx RDC in 2014 for EMERCOM of Russia:
- imagery of the railway accident in Kirov Region;
- near-real time imagery of the landslide on the North Caucasus Railway;
- near-real time imagery and analysis of the flood situation in the Republic of Komi, Tomsk Region, Altai Territory and other regions of the Russian Federation.
Another unique project of the company in the field of operational monitoring from space is the “Kosmosnimki – Fires” service (http://fires.kosmosnimki.ru). This is an open interactive portal with on-line display of natural fires on the territory of Russia and neighboring countries, indicating their square area and coordinates. A fire alert service has been recently launched and tested. Operability of the “Kosmosnimki – Fires” service on Russian territory is higher than that of the FIRMS system, because ScanEx RDC uses its own “UniScan™”: http://www.scanex.ru/en/stations/default.asp?submenu=uniscan&id=index network of stations for satellite data reception and processing. The service will soon integrate data acquired from Suomi NPP and FengYun (3A, 3B, 3C) satellites. Fires are detected automatically via infrared bands. On average, the “Kosmosnimki -Fires” service enables to visualize open fire sites and smoldering fires covering the square area starting from 1/10 acres. Alert service clients determine the boundaries of “their” territory, which requires monitoring, and if a fire occurs within this outlined area or around it (for example, when a “buffer” radius is specified), the information about the fire and its coordinates is promptly delivered in the form of a report.
Information about fires is free for access to the public. The commercial part of the project – additional alerts broadcasting channels, such as SMS, API for programmatic access to information about fires, as well as the guaranteed technical support. Currently, the components of the “Kosmosnimki – Fires” system are used in the “Kosmoplan” geoportal of EMERCOM, in the geoportal of the Murmansk Region Department for Civil Defense and Emergency, by the administrations of Russian strict nature reserves; projects of the RF Ministry of Natural Resources and of other environmental organizations such as WWF have been implemented as well based on this system.
Popularity of ScanEx’s proprietary software for space data handling keeps growing. In particular, the ScanEx Image Processor (SIP) software has found new customers in the markets of Middle East and Asia. In May ScanEx RDC and the Lebanese company GeoMasters Middle East signed a dealer agreement, according to which the latter becomes the official distributor of ScanEx Image Processor software (SIP) in the Middle East countries. Starting from June 2014, the ScanEx Image Processor software (SIP) began to be distributed and used in Nepal. Four Nepalese companies at a time became new users of this software for satellite images processing. The software was supplied through an Indian dealer – SATPALDA
One of the strategic directions of the ScanEx RDC activities is the operational monitoring of ice situation along the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic Region. Application of near-real time satellite data on ice conditions enables to reduce time of a caravan transit by optimizing the shipping routes and, ultimately, to improve the safety of navigation through severe northern seas. Images are acquired using RADARSAT-2 radar satellite (in both Standard and Fine modes) and TerraSAR-X (ScanSAR and StripMap modes), as well as using optical EROS B satellite data available in near real-time. This was made possible thanks to the direct reception of satellite images to own network of Uniscan™ ground stations and the use of the geoportal technology for data visualization. The following customers build up the list of ScanEx’s clients in the Arctic: FSUE “Atomflot”, “Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) public agency, oil companies and other commercial and scientific organizations.
In general, the specialists of the ScanEx mark a rapid growth of interest on the market of Russia and CIS countries to Earth remote sensing data and to opportunities that they offer.