Geohazards mapping and monitoring
Risk assessment require up-to-date information about hazard status and insight into its evolution in space and time.
Human and material losses caused by disasters are a major obstacle to sustainable development. Hazards occur across different time and area scales and each is in some way unique, but their frequency is expected to even increase in the future related to extreme weather events due to climate change.
Earth observation supports regular monitoring of hazards prone areas, accurate forecasts and warnings as well as people's awareness and overall preparedness against such hazards, before they become disasters. We provide solutions to support such regular monitoring, forecasting and assessment of hazards and associated risks. Thus resilience of particular areas can be increased, mitigation planes prepared and disaster impacts reduced with lives and properties effectively protected.
Multitemporal satellite interferometry allows the detection of subtle ground displacements with millimetric precision. Our scalable solution provides insight into spatial patterns and intensity of ground motions related to various driving phenomena: ground subsidence, active slope instabilities, displacements and deformations of buildings and infrastructure assets
Nowadays, commercial and non-commercial satellite-borne radar sensors provide a range of spatial resolutions, wavelengths, acquisition directions and measurement frequencies. Retrospective mapping based on archived InSAR images shows historical or current displacements. Monitoring using measurements on a continual basis with high frequency reveals emerging threats indicated by changes in deformation trend. We help our clients to choose a sensor and tailored interferometric solution to provide the best performance and cost-benefit for their application, domain, and deformation phenomena characteristics.
We strive to address landslide hazard mapping by a holistic approach by utilising a scalable mix of satellite data and earth observation techniques. Satellites are used to identify historical or recent landslide sites. SAR data and the InSAR technique facilitate the assessment of slope stability by detecting slow slope motions by retrospective mapping or monitoring in proactive mode.
Flood mapping and monitoring
Flood management and design of flood protection & mitigation actions require geospatial intelligence applicable from city to regional scale. Our solution supports the clients with flood inundation maps to identify the extent, intensity and also evolution of the hazard and its impacts. Flood water extent is extracted from optical or SAR imagery acquired during the flood event. Analysis of time series of archived satellite images coinciding with past flooding events allows us to assess flooding evolution, dynamics, frequency or flooding peak intervals. In addition, flooding depth is derived from a digital terrain model or by hydraulic modelling.
Associated hazard levels represent input into flood risk models. Together with vulnerability and resilience, the hazard component is substituted into a risk formula to estimate relevant impacts for land use classes, population or infrastructure assets.
Drought that can be understood as a prolonged dry period caused by a lack of rainfall has a direct negative impact on the environment. Compounding factors, such as inappropriate land use, poverty and altered weather patterns due to climate change increase the vulnerability to drought. Drought affects water sources, soil, land as well as health of wildlife, plant and man communities. The decrease in available water can lead to a reduction of wetlands, loss of biodiversity, groundwater depletion and even impact water quality.
EO based vegetation canopy indicators enable regular monitoring of drought risk and the assessment of its spatial-temporal distribution and severity. Also, tailored services can be provided for monitoring damages to crop production caused by the drought or other meteorological events.
Burnt area detection
Forest fire, both natural or caused by human carelessness, presents a destructive event with a severe impact on the vegetation cover and soil. Change detection between pre-event and post-event satellite imagery allows fast and reliable detection of the burnt area extent. A relative damage grading is derived using specialized vegetation indexes to better quantify the vegetation loss caused by the fire event, and supplementary Land Cover data are used to assess environmental impact. Vegetation regeneration processes can be assessed from a time series of post-event satellite data.