The eOsphere team working on the SIBELIUs project were very grateful to have the opportunity to meet the inspirational all-women team, building Kyrgyzstan’s first satellite.
The SIBELIUs project, being led by eOsphere, has expanded into Kyrgyzstan. The project’s aim is to produce and distribute new and upgraded pasture products, derived from satellite Earth Observation data, to key stakeholders who are supporting the herding communities.
In January 2020 the SIBELIUs Kick-Off meeting was held at Mercy Corps’ central offices, where Uma Kandalaeva, Mercy Corps’ Kyrgyzstan Country Director, gave a warm welcome to the meeting’s participants. The meeting covered several key topics, including an overview by Nick Walker of the project’s aims and an introduction to some of the main technical concepts, including how satellite earth observation can be used to achieve our objectives in Kyrgyzstan and the role and benefits of the Open Data Cube approach.
Great to meet up with Zuzanna Skorniewska again at last week’s SEPnet Expo. Lots of people were keen to hear how satellite data can be used for wildlife conservation in Mongolia.
eOsphere are very grateful to Information and Research Institute of Meterology, Hydrology and Environment at the National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring (NAMEM) for hosting the SIBELIUs Workshop, which took place over two days on 25th and 26th, June 2019. And many thanks also to all the 45 participants who came and took part in the wide-ranging discussions about how satellite earth observation data can be used to help improve the dzud resilience of the Mongolian herding community.
In addition to the staff from NAMEM, the main Mongolian institutions represented at the workshop were the Agency for Land Administration and Management, Geodesy and Cartography, Mercy Corps, the Center for Nomadic Pastoralism Studies, Mongolian Reinsurance JSC, The Mongolia Geospatial Association, The National Emergency Management Agency and the Inter-Aimag Otor Pasture Use Administration.
We are especially grateful to the local governors from the project’s test sites (Delgerkhaan soum in Khentii aimag, Khishegundur soum in Bulgan aimag and Airag soum in Dornogovi aimag) who attended the workshop. Their participation in the workshop was particularly valuable for making sure that the perspective of people from the countryside was kept in focus.
International participants included UN-FAO and the World Food Programme, who were able to present their new project based in Mongolia, which they have recently initiated.
In addition to eOsphere, the UK participants were from the University of Leicester, the UK Space agency and Caribou Digital. The British Embassy based in Ulaanbaatar was also represented.
The Workshop contained a mixture of presentations to update participants on the progress that has been made on the project, especially regarding the Mongolian Open Data Cube and new pasture, snow and drought products. A series of updates were also provided from key Mongolian institutions about the importance of their activities with respect to serving the herding community. However, the most important feature of the Workshop were the many discussions that took place throughout the two-days, plus dedicated feedback gathering sessions, where requirements were collected regarding which environmental products are needed for each institution and what additional training is required.
Several members of the eOsphere team, presented work from the SIBELIUs IPP project at the ESA Living Planet Symposium held in Milan, Italy in May 2019. We were very pleased to be joined at the Symposium by Nasanbat Elbegjargal from NAMEM, who is working collaboratively with the eOsphere team to develop new environmental products using the Mongolian Data Cube.
Three SIBELIUs papers were presented: (1) discussing how satellite Earth Observation data can be used to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, within a Mongolian context, (2) on the monitoring of Mongolian Rangelands and (3) on monitoring Mongolian infrastructure such as gers, livestock shelters and tracks and roads.
The European Space Agency’s Living Planet Symposium is one of the biggest Earth observation conferences in the world. The event attracts scientists from around the world and has a strong focus on Earth observation’s role in building a sustainable future and a resilient society.
The SIBELIUs project will make extensive use of data from European Space Agency satellites, particularly from Sentinel-2, so this Symposium will provide an excellent forum for the team to discuss their results with other scientists and engineers, to ensure we are up to date, with the latest ideas algorithms and technology.
eOsphere are very pleased to welcome Jack Lidgley and Filippo Contenta to their team.
eOsphere are pleased to be leading SIBELIUs, a new project which will deliver improved resilience for Mongolian herding communities using satellite derived services.
Some 30% of the Mongolian population is dependent on livestock herding. These herding communities can be devastated by extreme weather events known as “dzuds”, usually comprising a dry summer, adversely affecting pasture growth, followed by a cold winter with deep snow. A typical dzud can impact many tens of thousands of herders, often leaving them in extreme poverty, with associated impacts for the wider economy.
SIBELIUs will provide greater dzud-resilience for herders by developing and providing Mongolia’s National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring with new and upgraded satellite-based environmental products and improving their capacity for distributing products to key stakeholders supporting herding communities.
SIBELIUs is supported by the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme and the project’s UK partners are: Deimos Space UK, the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment at the University of Leicester and MIRCUK.
The ground receiving station at the Cuban Meteorological Institute (INSMET) installed in 2017 was put through its paces by a tremendous natural force. During September 2017, as Hurricane Irma swept into Havana, average wind speeds were measured at approximately 110 km/h with gusts peaking at 131 km/h. As it moved through the region and closer to INSMET, researchers feared the worst for their technology.
The station continued operating as the hurricane approached – but as it reached its peak over Havana, the antennae had to be switched off for safety reasons. The next morning, it was clear that the antenna and dish had not only survived unscathed but continued working as normal, despite the battering they had taken from this incredible storm.
Antonio Rodríguez Alayón, Computer Science Specialist at INSMET, said: “It was almost providential that we had this new system in our country right at the beginning of the hurricane season in Cuba in June of last year… The system not only helped us observe these devastating giants in detail, but helped us to better forecast their trajectory and intensity… For the national weather service of Cuba, having a system like this is something valuable.”
For environmental agencies, meteorological offices and fishing and coast guard services, accessing accurate and timely information is of the upmost importance to keep the damage created by natural disasters to a minimum. Data collected from their new eOsphere satellite technology is also being used in Cuba to provide an early warning system for floods and forest fires.
eOsphere and Satellite Applications Catapult staff had very productive meetings discussing how satellite Earth Observation data can support agriculture, potato production and irrigation with farmers based in the Artemisa Province of Cuba.
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).