On 13 March 2017, Somali pirates hijacked the Aris 13 oil tanker along with its eight Sri-Lankan crew members, whilst transporting bunker oil from Djibouti to Mogadishu. Once on-board, the armed pirates cut off all the communication and positioning equipment including the Automatic Identification System (AIS) emitter, which regularly transmits the vessel’s identity, position and course. When the CSO Alliance (a maritime community countering maritime crime on a global scale) lost Aris 13’s AIS signal they needed immediate high-resolution imagery to identify the vessel’s location.
The high-resolution Pléiades sensor was charged, with the OneDay tasking option, to obtain high-priority satellite images within 24 hours.
SOLUTION & RESULTS
The high-resolution Pléiades sensor was charged, with the OneDay tasking option, to obtain high-priority satellite images within 24 hours. The first image was taken near the port of Alula, on the north coast of Puntland. The ship was expected there due to the European counter-piracy operation EU NAVFOR (Op Atalanta), which initially indicated that pirates had hijacked the vessel. However, it was not possible to identify Aris 13 in the image taken on the 15 March 2017. A new acquisition was tasked with OneDay to capture the north west of the Port of Abo, in which Aris 13 was visible the next day. The detailed image allowed clear identification of the tanker’s length, width, shape and technical characteristics, and the crane on the middle deck.
- Very simple and fast satellite tasking process and imagery delivery through the online GeoStore
- Satellite images saved time and cost, whilst providing timely visibility of the remote and dangerous area
- High-resolution imagery enabled clear remote identification
The same night that the images were delivered, the Puntland coastguards began negotiations with the pirates and the vessel was released.
The 2015 Hindu Kush earthquake struck South Asia on the 26th October with a 7.5 magnitude, 260km North-East of Kabul, Afghanistan. The deadly earthquake caused hundreds of deaths and heavy damage in one of the world’s most impoverished and war-torn regions. The Pakistan National Space Agency (SUPARCO), was requested to provide damage assessment maps of the area to inform emergency decisions and rescue operations. The freshest imagery, delivered in high resolution and in the shortest timeframe was needed to produce the maps.To view map click here
The deadly earthquake caused hundreds of deaths and heavy damage in one of the world’s most impoverished and war-torn regions.
The Pléiades images were delivered just two and a half hours after acquisition, due to a fully automated process.
THE SOLUTION & RESULTS
Shortly after the earthquake, SUPARCO’s team placed 5 One Tasking, OneNow emergency requests through the GeoStore online portal at 8:45pm. The Pléiades images were delivered just two and a half hours after acquisition, due to a fully automated process. The near real-time performance allowed SUPARCO’s teams to immediately start their analysis, before rapidly providing 4 detailed damage assessment maps, based on the 50cm Pléiades product. These value-added maps were distributed to all concerned disaster management agencies, providing operational teams on the ground with the intelligence to effectively manage their relief and rescue activities, and to manage the early recovery phase.
- The 24/7 GeoStore web service enabled the immediate request of Pléiades images, and the rapid delivery of damage assessment maps
- Providing detailed damage maps, field team ground operations were efficiently managed
- Operational effectiveness was achieved due to a collaborative relationship with SUPARCO
SUPARCO teams are very grateful to deal with Airbus Defence and Space not only as a data provider but above all as a dedicated partner. Imran Iqbal, Member (SAR), SUPARCO
On the 25th April 2017, the first new generation Airbus A400M airlifter, destined for the Spanish Air Force, arrived at Santa Lucía Air Base in Mexico, ready to be displayed at the FAMEX 2017 exhibition. The Airbus Intelligence team was tasked with capturing an image of the event from the air, using Airbus’ advanced earth orbiting satellite constellation. With only one day to secure the required imagery before the aircraft returns to its home base in Zaragoza, Spain, the Airbus team needed to act fast and task a high- resolution sensor capable of capturing the event in fine detail.
The team used One Tasking OneDay option, which enables customers to specify the exact day on which an image needs to be acquired, as well as the resolution.
To meet their objective, the team used One Tasking OneDay option, which enables customers to specify the exact day on which an image needs to be acquired, as well as the resolution. The tasking was booked using the intuitive online tasking system, GeoStore, which can be accessed by anyone with a GeoStore log in. Pléiades was identified as the best satellite for this task, due to the constellation’s high resolution 50cm-product. The constellation consists of two identical satellites, orbiting 180 degrees apart, which increases the revisit rate and capability to capture images on the daily basis.
On the event day – as soon as the first Pléiades satellite passed over Santa Lucía, the area was collected; From then on, the process is really fast: about 2 hours after collection, an acquisition notification is sent to the customer; at the same time, the image automatically goes into our production system to be delivered and ready to be used approximately 30 minutes after.
Marie Hakova from GISAT comments on One Tasking
“We’ve been using GeoStore for the past 2 years and the ease of both tasking new imagery and accessing archive satellite data from Airbus Defence and Space, has been highly appreciated by my clients. GeoStore is an easy way to order archived data that can be received within two hours or less – making product delivery quick and efficient. Tasking the satellites has never been easier, and now includes the option of getting feasibility studies within GeoStore and offers more programming services with Pléiades One Tasking – containing four options:
- Pléiades OneDay
- Pléiades OneNow
- Pléiades OnePlan
- Pléiades OneSeries
Computer programmers did an excellent job and impressed potential clients within the defence-intelligence market, in particular. This is due to the extraordinary ability to programme data one day and getting the next available image (depending on cloud cover, of course). Clients receive the data within two hours of their acquisition, thus being able to assess critical security threats immediately.”
I am personally very pleased that such service is now available. Over the years, being able to communicate users’ needs back to satellite data providers (and vice versa) confirms the Airbus Defence and Space GeoStore online database is a really great solution.
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.