LIMA’17 – Reliable Acquisition on the Event’s Day

The Langkawi International Maritime And Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia represents Asia’s premier maritime and aerospace event. Airbus was one of the key exhibitors at the exhibition, which ran from the 21st until the 25th of March 2017. To promote Airbus’ attendance, it tasked its OneDay service to capture and deliver high-resolution images of the event location during the course of the exhibition. Situated close to the equator, Malaysia’s cloud coverage can make the acquisition of crisp satellite images a challenge. However, due to OneDay’s unique nature, imagery acquisition has now become risk-free. Customers are able to postpone or confirm a booked acquisition up to 12 hours before the acquisition date due to any change in requirement or if a weather report suggests the results will be compromised by cloud coverage.


Understanding Landslides with Satellite Images and Field Mapping

THE CHALLENGE

In May 2016, Serbia experienced some of its heaviest rainfall in a generation. Over the course of just three days, the equivalent of three months’ worth of rain fell, causing devastating floods and landslides. 51 people lost their lives and over 30,000 people had to be evacuated, with extensive damage caused to homes and infrastructure.

One significant challenge for responders was the lack of information about the landslides and that the total number of landslides was understated, which resulted in an inaccurate ‘national landslide inventory’. These inventories typically provide valuable information about the location and severity of a landslide, which then allows for risks to be assessed and for the planning of an appropriate response. In Serbia, there was no national landslide inventory available prior to the disaster and no institutional consensus between governmental and scientific stakeholders responsible for landslides. To facilitate a more systematic response, the BEWARE project commenced, which fused landslide data acquired from field data and satellite imagery. The project’s objective was to assess the damage and to compare it with previous events to assess and prevent risks more efficiently, whilst preparing the local population.

SOLUTION & RESULT

The BEWARE team (Beyond Landslide Awareness) needed detailed satellite based intelligence to produce an accurate assessment of the situation on the ground. One Tasking’s OneNow product was selected as the right imaging product for job, offering instant tasking of a satellite with a high priority. In a first project stage, different scales were used for field mapping and satellite analysis. Over pilot areas, high-resolution Pléiades, as well as the wide-swath SPOT6 satellite were used to acquire images of the area just after the disaster. Based on Pléiades’ high-resolution imagery, an effective method for the data collection was developed, which was validated through field surveys in specific areas. The results were then extrapolated with SPOT6 images, which covers a wider area than the Pléiades images. In a next stage vulnerable areas were identified, which supported the preparation of the local population and risk management to prevent future disasters, where possible.

BENEFITS
  • Pléiades and SPOT6 images provided a quick and clear picture of the impacted areas
  • The remote satellite imagery acquisition lowered the project’s overall expenses and time, in contrast to field mapping costs
  • The multi-scale approach using high-resolution Pléiades and wide- swath SPOT images lowered the overall expenses
  • The provided data enabled satellite data pooling and sharing, which will be used to prepare municipalities when facing future landslides and to prepare civil agencies, as well as emergency services to react quicker

Detailed Coverage of Etna’s Eruption

Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano dramatically erupted in March 2017, causing ‘phreatic explosions’, which occur when molten lava touches snow. These explosive reactions caused hot stones and steam to be sent into the air at speed, injuring several people with some needing to be evacuated by rescue teams.

Timely coverage of Etna’s eruption

Just before the event, with the eruption expected within hours, Airbus’ Pléiades constellation was tasked to retrieve high-resolution satellite images of the volcano on the day of the eruption; indeed, 50cm products are perfectly suitable to understand the extent of the area affected and perform an impact analysis. Tasked just one day before the eruption, Airbus’ OneNow option, specifically designed to respond to emergency needs, was identified as the most appropriate solution; The Pléiades satellite resource was booked for a high priority acquisition over the volcano on the 18th of March.

Total visibility

Shortly after acquisition, the acquired images were immediately delivered to the customer. On the images, the lava flow and smoke could be easily identified on the collected images providing the client with most suitable information to assess the situation on the ground.


Supporting Nearshore Pipeline Construction with Satellite Imagery

THE CHALLENGE

Saipem S.p.A, an Italian oil and gas industry contractor, subsidiary of Italian energy company ENI, had planned to design and construct pipelines in the Caspian Sea. However, this type of work entails intensive dredging, which involves moving underwater sediments from one place to another and thus disturbing water quality.

Traditional water quality monitoring techniques, such as sampling at sea and laboratory analysis, present logistical and operational inconveniences as well as long processing times. This is often incompatible with a company’s need to obtain real-time information. In addition, field observations and measurements, while frequent, are not able to provide a complete and exhaustive spatial answer to describe all the phenomena in progress. Solutions to monitor water quality and compliance – also known as sea turbidity – rely more and more on satellite imagery.

Planetek logo

Planetek Italia, a company specialising in geospatial value-added products, deliver water quality reports to Saipem. They contacted Airbus Defence and Space as they needed to get very detailed information, at random and unforeseeable times, in the shortest timeframe.

 

Sergio Samarelli, Planetek CTO

“We are proud to be able to offer near-real-time services thanks to the fast and reliable tasking service offered by the Airbus Defence and Space satellite constellation. The availability of these capabilities really boosts the opportunities for value-added service providers to offer real solutions to customer needs.”

SOLUTION & RESULTS

Airbus Defence and Space had to guarantee daily and flexible access to imagery. Pléiades OneDay tasking option was the ideal and cost-effective solution. Planetek placed 5 OneDay orders through GeoStore. Thanks to a fully automatic process, all the images were delivered in just 2.5 hours after acquisition!

Planetek quickly extracted the information needed from the imagery and delivered an analysis report to the end-user, Saipem. The result was a quantitative and spatial definition of the dispersion of sediments during dredging operations. Saipem was thus able to receive near-real-time overviews of the dredging impact during the execution of their work.

The satellite imagery based information was used by the company to report their compliance with environmental norms to authorities as well as to increase their efficiency in monitoring all ongoing events during the execution of works.

BENEFITS
  • Efficient Time Management: 24/7 OneDay Tasking service availability through GeoStore, Pléiades guaranteed acquisitions and rapid deliveries.
  • High Accuracy: Saipem benefited from reliable water quality monitoring thanks to Pléiades high resolution, enabling detailed dredging activity assessment by Planetek.
  • Cost-Efficient: OneDay tasking option enabling access to information without sending people on site.

Airbus_Share_Your_Story_Planetek_Italia_Sea_Turbidity_IMG_2-min (1)

Organisation Involved

Planetek Italia is a company specialised in geo-informatics, Space solutions, and Earth Observation. They provide solutions to exploit the value of geospatial data through all phases of data life cycles, from acquisition, storage and management to analysis and sharing. They operate in many application areas ranging from environmental and land monitoring to Open Government and smart cities, including defence and security, as well as scientific missions and planetary exploration.


Supporting Polio Eradication with Pléiades Satellite Imagery

THE CHALLENGE

In Nigeria – one of only three polio-endemic countries left in the world – 122 new polio cases were identified in 2012. Only prevention can help make a lasting difference. To achieve full eradication of this disease, an exhaustive vaccination programme needed to be implemented across the entire country within a very short timeframe. To reach every child, vaccination campaigns can benefit from using satellite imagery. Indeed, mapping all types of settlements using satellite imagery can help foster more efficient deployment of health professionals and ensure no village is missed.

That was the challenge undertaken by GIM, a Belgian company specialised in processing VHR imagery for urban applications, in partnership with eHealth Africa, an NGO that has their headquarters in Nigeria and works across West Africa. This mapping effort took place as part of the framework of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, with active participation from the World Health Organisation and UNICEF together with the Nigerian local government authorities.

To achieve its ambitious goal, GIM leveraged their partnership with Airbus Defence and Space to collect spatial data over 225,000 sq.km in Nigeria. The objective was to create a fresh and accurate map of all human infrastructures in order to have a comprehensive view of places and people to target. Within the project’s defined timeframe fresh imagery needed to be acquired to develop the map and implement GIM’s ambitious mission.

Polio satellite imagery
Nigeria Polio Eradication, 8 March 2014

Within the record timeframe of 30 days, an immense area of 50,000 sq.km was acquired.

SOLUTION & RESULTS

1st stage: fresh and highly detailed data

From single huts to large cities, including roads and rivers, all features had to be visible on the end-users’ map. OnePlan was identified as the most appropriate One Tasking option to acquire high-resolution images using the 50cm resolution Pléiades sensor to cover the extensive area within the project’s defined timescale. One challenge was to meet GIM’s need for extremely detailed, but also fresh data to make a most accurate assessment.

In September 2013, Pléiades satellites were tasked over the Nigerian region. Within the record timeframe of 30 days, an immense area of 50,000 sq.km was acquired. This collection was then further extended to meet GIM requirements.

 

2nd stage: An Updated map, perfectly matching GIM’s needs

 GIM leveraged its in-depth expertise in Object-Based Image Analysis (OBIA) to process the orthorectified and pansharpened imagery. This data was processed in record time and the end-user, eHealth Africa, provided with a constant flow of information supporting the vast immunisation campaign.

The spatial imagery offered very high-quality visual information to establish an updated map covering an area of 100,000 sq.km depicting 500,000 buildings, 20,000 villages, 1,500 cities and many roads, tracks, lakes and rivers; contributing to not missing a single child at risk of catching polio.

 

3rd stage: Speculative tasking for optimising local interventions

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declares a country cleared of the disease only after three full years with absolutely no trace of the virus, whether among the population or in the environment.

Airbus Defence and Space therefore launched speculative acquisition over Northern Nigeria, where the virus used to be active, and Pléiades has covered 178,000 sq.km over this region. Local organisations are now able to optimise their physical interventions by using this fresh data as soon as needed and with a high standard of support.

BENEFITS
  • OnePlan increased efficiency of the vaccination planning: Employing Pléiades through OnePlan facilitated the reliable delivery of the right qualified coverage within the specified timeframe, which perfectly matching project milestones and was completed on time and on quality.
  • Systematic extraction of all human features: Pléiades 50 cm mapping product is an efficient solution to create comprehensive mapping.
  • Guaranteed of a genuine partnership: the collection plan was initiated hand in hand with GIM from the beginning in order to determine the level of priorities fully consistent with the vaccination planning and roll out. The speculative acquisition also anticipates – and guarantees immediate availability of the updated basemap whenever needed – and at a reduced cost.
APPLICABILITY

 

By contributing to map all types of settlements in record time, the use of Pléiades satellites can help create a map and thus foster a more efficient organisation of massive deployments of resources on the ground.

AT A GLANCE

THE CHALLENGE:

Optimise polio vaccination campaigns by collecting very-high-resolution images across an entire country in a short time.

SOLUTION & RESULTS:

Rapid delivery of the freshest basemap information to produce accurate maps.

BENEFITS:

Increased efficiency of the vaccination planning and great support to polio eradication.