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WALPHOT supports decision making in SEVESO-Type events management

WALPHOT is active in the Wallonia World Wide Space Application (3WSA) project. Within this project WALPHOT provides spaceborne/airborne-based services to support the responsible governmental institutions in industrial crisis prevention. Data derived from satellite observations and aerial platforms are made accessible to the whole project in standard formats. A first SEVESO test-case is analyzed in Engis (Belgium)

3WSA is a large project of the Skywin Belgian Aerospace cluster labelled by the Walloon Region Government. The project creates a center of services involving nine Walloon partners in order to implement new crisis management techniques combining existing communication and information technologies and space infrastructures.

Technological risks due to strong concentration of industrial activities and the often complex transportation and communication network should be taken into account by the responsibles in Security, Environment and Mobility. Even for small industries, local physical/environmental damage, pollution and potential victims could be much higher than expected because of the high density of population and vicinity of distribution channels (rivers, railways, airports …).

First outputs refer to the definition and prototypes of spaceborne or airborne geographical data information layers that are useful for crises response. The first step of prototypes development is an in-depth evaluation of legal framework, emergency plans and various users’ requirements. These users can be public authorities (Municipalities, provinces, regions and states), firemen, police officers, civil protection, army … The “Agence Prévention et Sécurité” (Marche-en-Famenne, Belgium) helps the consortium to define crisis experts’ needs in terms of spatial data. Some examples of products & services based on very high resolution remote sensing data or aerial photos are:

• detection & delineation of the SEVESO industry,
• land use/land cover maps (Figure 1),
• population density maps (Figure 2),
• indicators & statistics about accessibility.

Figure 1: Aerial orthophotos-based land cover products (1km and 10km) for a specific SEVESO-type industry in Engis (Belgium)

Real world entities may be modeled spatially either as continuous functions varying along some surface (called “field”) or as discrete entities with identifiable boundaries and identity (called “object”). The object/vector representations store geographic data in terms of points, lines and polygons (areas). Fields can be represented by “vector” but are often represented by a “raster” structure (or regular grid cells, called pixel). EO derived products are raster geo-referenced images. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) store and combine the different kind of data in a common format.

In 3WSA, demographic data provided by the National Institute for Statistics for each administrative unit are geo-referenced with a higher resolution (“upscaling”) by combination with Land Cover (LC) classes. The demographic data is “weighted” over the LC classification and converted to a grid format with a cell size of 100*100m. Each grid cell is attributed an estimation of the number of people living in that area. This information is then visualized in 3dimensions (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Spatial disaggregation of population data on the 10km area around a SEVESO-type industry in Engis (Belgium)

WALPHOT is a Belgian company specialized in the production and the use of geographical data from both airborne and spaceborne sensors since 1973. All services offered by WALPHOT are fully integrated within the company: aerial photography, photo interpretation, processing and interpretation of digital satellite images, cartography, environmental studies, Geographic Information Systems, and lots of other geo-related activities. For more information on these services, we refer to the following contact information:

Walphot s.a.
Address: Rue Van Opré 97 ; 5100 Namur, BELGIUM
Phone: + 32 (0) 81 30 24 01
Fax: +32 (0) 81 30 41 67