eOsphere are very pleased to be a part of the EASOS consortium, which will provide monitoring and alerts for the Malaysian Government focussed on three main themes: flooding, maritime pollution and deforestation. eOsphere’s core role will be in providing access to satellite earth observation imagery, working in collaboration with the ANGKASA Malaysian National Space Centre. EASOS (Earth and Sea Observation System) is being led by the Satellite Applications Catapult and is supported by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP).
eOsphere were strongly represented at the European Space Agency Living Planet Symposium held in Prague, Czech Republic from 9-13 May 2016. The following 4 papers all included contributions from eOsphere.
- POLAR ICE: integrating, distributing and visualising ice information products for operators in polar waters.
- Comparison and validation of four Arctic Sea ice thickness products of the EC POLAR ICE project.
- Colour tables and sea-ice information products and forecasts: flexibility versus consistency. Allowing polar mariners to understand multiple ice products within a common visualisation system.
- On the feasibility of space-based radar ice sounding of the Antarctic ice sheet at P-band.
Nick Walker took part in a demonstration with the Norwegian Coast Guard to test the feasibility of using satellite derived sea ice information at high latitudes in the Arctic Ocean for navigation purposes. The icebreaker, KV Svalbard, travelled north into the sea ice reaching a latitude of over 82 degrees. A key factor was the timeliness of getting data to the vessel in these conditions. Sea ice is constantly moving because of winds, currents and tides. So the position of the ice may have changed from that shown in a product if it has taken several hours to arrive. The development of the data integration and visualisation system has been supported by the European Commission funded project, POLAR ICE, led by eOsphere.
Dominic Flach has just returned from Shanghai Ocean University where he was upgrading the eOsphere ground station to receive data from China’s Fungyun-2 series of weather satellites.
Dominic Flach has recently completed an upgrade of the Cotopaxi ground station in Ecuador. This involved a new ingest and processing system for Modis data.
The Vietnam National University ground station in Hanoi was completed just in time for Christmas. The eOsphere ground station is designed to receive data from Aqua, Terra, NPP, FY3 & future JPSS satellites and will form a part of an integrated geospatial information system for monitoring natural disasters, such as: forest fires, flooding and tropical cyclones.
eOsphere’s intern student, Hannah West, won a best poster award at the SepNet 2014 Expo, presented by Prof. Sir William Wakeham.
eOsphere are pleased to be working on a new project to improve maritime safety in the Baltic through enhanced situational awareness. The Baltic Sea is one of the busiest and most heavily trafficked areas in the world and with every year that passes it becomes even more busy. Oil tanker traffic has particularly increased significantly during recent years, and is expected to grow even more over the next years. With the growth in vessel traffic, in combination with the narrow straits and shallow water, archipelagos, the high incidence of fog and the coverage of ice for a long period, the risk of shipping accidents will increase. The Isabelia project will focus on new techniques for improved safety for ships operating in the Baltic, especially with regard to the northern Baltic waters which become frozen during the winter.
Isabelia will be led by VTT in Finland and is supported by ESA’s IAP programme. Other project partners are the Finnish Meteorological Institute, CGI (previously Logica Finland), Polar View Earth Observation and Kongsberg Satellite Services.
Dominic Flach has recently returned from Athens after completing an X-band radio frequency (RF) survey at the National Observatory of Athens. Before building a ground receiving station it is necessary to make sure there aren’t high levels of contaminating RF signals (e.g. from mobile phone networks) that might interfere with the signal down-linked from the satellite.
The ground station will form a part of the BEYOND project, which is building a centre of excellence for monitoring natural disasters using satellite Earth observation data. The ground station will receive data from the EOS Terra & Aqua (MODIS), NPP & JPSS (VIIRS, ATMS, CrIS, OMPS) satellites and derive products that will help monitor a range of parameters, but particularly atmospheric pollution caused by fires and emissions, which can have serious effects on public health.
eOsphere’s Dominic Flach and Chris Williams have recently returned from Balikpapan on the east coast of Borneo, Indonesia, where they installed a new X-band EOS Aqua & Terra, NPP & JPSS satellite ground station for BMKG; the Indonesian government agency for meteorology, climatology, and geophysics. The BMKG staff made the eOsphere team very welcome, which facilitated a very successful installation. The resulting satellite imagery will be used in weather forecasting and the monitoring of forest fires, flooding and other natural disasters.