TIMELY IDENTIFICATION OF HAZARDS AND RISKS
Monitoring, early identification and timely verification of natural hazards and related risks to the population and the environment are the main pillars of mitigation strategies.
Natural disasters and health epidemics present risks to communities. Our team helps to target and minimize risks such as wildfires, malaria and flooding, by means of informative predictions, spatial monitoring and reporting.
DETECTION OF WILDFIRES
Fire management and fire control rely on the ability to precisely detect the origin and spread of active fires. This improves the planning of fire control and helps identify ecological consequences. Satellite technology plays an important role in detecting large-scale, active fires, especially in areas difficult to access such as forests. We use innovative satellite sensors, such as those from the FireBIRD mission to identify active fires, track the propagation of fire fronts and measure fire intensity.
SUPPORTING FIRE MANAGEMENT
Fire is a natural and ecologically important process in many ecosystems. Anthropogenic land use intensification has led to a large, global increase in fire frequency and fire propagation, which has disturbed the natural balance in many ecosystems. Fire-related greenhouse gas emissions are major contributors to climate change. This holds especially true for fires in tropical forests. Mitigation measures related to fire management and fire control can be substantially supported by new Earth Observation products such as fuel load maps.
FIRE HISTORY ASSESSMENT
Planning fire management measures requires a detailed, spatio-temporal analysis of the fire regime in any given country/region. By using historical satellite data, burned areas that occurred in the last decades can be identified and measurable parameters such as historical fire frequency and fire interval per unit area can be derived. Fire-related emissions can be estimated from these parameters for the observation period. These „fire baseline“ parameters can form a basis for planning spatially-adjusted fire management measures.
FUEL LOAD MAPS
One of the main goals of Integrated Fire Management (IFM) is to reduce the negative impacts associated with uncontrolled, high intensity fires in the late dry season. To achieve this, controlled early dry season burning can be applied to pre-empty fuel loads and mimic natural fire regimes in the landscape. Dry vegetation is the main determinant of fire propagation, making the mapping of fuel load distribution and accumulation fundamental to planning prescribed burns. RSS is specialized in providing fuel condition and fuel load maps over large areas. The maps prove to be very effective tools for IFM, as they allow priority areas for prescribed burning to be identified more efficiently, and also provide a means by which to evaluate fire and its management.
CLIMATE- & WEATHER-
Drought adversely affects vegetation conditions and agricultural production which in turn impact food prices, food security and livelihoods, often of the most vulnerable communities. In spite of recent advances in modeling drought risk factors and their impacts, coherent and spatially explicit information on drought hazard, vulnerability and risk is often lacking. RSS developed a spatially explicit drought hazard, vulnerability, and risk modeling framework that operates on a higher spatial resolution than most available drought models while also being regional transferable.
More extreme flood events occur in the context of climate change. Earth Observation technology along with geographic information system have become the key tools for flood monitoring. EO is not only valuable for the rapid assessment of flood events, but has proven its value for flood prevention and management. EO is also an effective method to communicate potential risks, hence to influence the dialogue with the stakeholders to convey the importance of prevention/mitigation efforts.
We provide maps on maximum flood extent, flood duration, flooding frequency per area as well as inundation depth.