Tag Archives: Copernicus

Floods in Italy by Sentinel-1

Torrential downpours have battered many parts of Italy this month, with extreme flooding wreaking havoc across northern Italy. The province of Alessandria is said to be one of the worst-affected areas according to Italian media, with around 200 people evacuated and 600 said to be left stranded.

This multi-temporal image uses two separate images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 missiom on 13 November and 25 November. The flooded areas can be seen depicted in red, the Po River in black, and urban areas in white.

Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar ability to ā€˜seeā€™ through clouds and rain, and in darkness, makes it particularly useful for monitoring floods. It can even easily differentiate water bodies, highlighting the difference between the Po River in black, and the extent of the flooding in red.
Around 500 people were evacuated further north in the Aosta Valley, where many roads were closed in fear of potential avalanches. Part of a viaduct serving the A6 motorway near Savona, in the northern region of Liguria, was washed away by a mudslide ā€“ leaving a 30 m gap in the road.

Images acquired before and after flooding offer immediate information on the extent of inundation and support assessments of property and environmental damage.

Earlier this month, the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated
to help respond to the floods in northeast Italy, where Venice saw record-breaking water levels and the worst flooding in 50 years.

Sentinel 6 – cooperation masterpiece

Anna van Densky from Ottobrunn The European space agency (ESA) and industry officials assembled at the IAGB engineering company venue in Ottobrunn, near Munich, Germany, on November 15 to start the countdown of the satellite Sentinel-6 launch.

The consturciton of twin Sentinel6 satellites ensures the observation of world oceans, reflecting the highest level of the European science, and technology, but not only. Producing Sentinel-6 in framework of Copernicus programme is a fruit of engagement of 57 companies in 17 countries, acting in Europe and abord. However it is the cooperation between ESA and the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), that is the most significant element of success Josef Aschbacher, the Director of ESA underlined. NASA will take charge of launching both Sentinel6 satellites in the next decade.

In countdown to Sentinel-6 launch which is scheduled in one year time on November 2020, the ESA opened a floor debating the future implications of the European space programmes, contributing the EU economies, safety and security, and especially addressing the climate change challenge.

One might think that a year countdown is an exaggeration, but considering the Sentinel-6 spectrum of implications in different endeavours, 12 month long period of introduction of the capabilities and benefits of the new satellites is definitely right period of time to engage investors and beneficiaries.

The tremendous positive effect of Sentinel-6 on communities, and societies, can be released at full through communication, and explanations to the ensemble of multiple potential users of their benefits, and advantages.

Space is a innovative endeavour, responding to civilian and strategic interests, enhancing progress worthy of long-term investments, especially at present when the European space sector is increasingly challenged by the emergence of new players like China, India, Japan and South Korea. This international competition in services requires support of European autonomy in venturing space, in view of its paramount impact on economies of the EU member-states.

The Copernicus services address six major areas: land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management, and security. Offering a support a wide range of applications, including environment protection, management of urban areas, regional and local planning, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, health, transport, climate change, sustainable development, civil protection, and tourism, – the Copernicus programme creates a modern framework for European societies, directly benefitting from science and innovation.

From mid-November France Airbus started series of tests of Sentinel6, A satellite at the Space Test Centre of IABG in Ottobrunn to confirm its readiness for exploitation in space for five years. During the test period, lasting until spring 2020, the Airbus experts will examine its ability to survive the severe conditions of launch and the space environment.