Forestry Forecasts To Be Aided By DMCii’s Sats

Forestry Forecasts To Be Aided By DMCii’s Sats

1 June 2009

published by

United Kingdom —

The objective of this project is to demonstrate the benefits of a multi-sensor approach for systematic wide area monitoring of tropical forests at high resolution, exploiting the unique capabilities of the DMC constellation along with complementary data from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites which have all-weather acquisition capabilities. Systematic monitoring of tropical forests over wide areas is currently only done at low resolution. Many aspects of forest management and monitoring require high resolution products, for example to detect selective forest degradation (as opposed to large-scale clearcuts) and the appearance of new logging tracks, and this is why the project will showcase the powerful combination of wide area coverage (each image up to 650km wide) and high resolution (20-32m pixel size) provided by the DMC constellation. The project will demonstrate the ability to detect annual changes (and just as importantly the absence of change) in forest cover associated with logging, protection, re-afforestation schemes and other causes of change.

DMCii leads a team comprising the University of Leicester and the World Resources Institute (WRI) to demonstrate the integration of EO products with non-EO data and expert knowledge to provide a service that integrates with existing users’ systems. The team has a wealth of experience: the experts from Leicester University have a long track record of research into peat fires in Indonesia and the World Resources Institute is active in tropical forest monitoring through its Global Forest Watch program. DMCii has coordinated imaging campaigns over the rainforests of the Amazon Basin, the CongoBasin and South East Asia, and temperate forests in Siberia, Scandinavia, Europe and North America. Satellite imagery from the DMC constellation of five small earth observation satellites will be an integral part of the campaign. The constellation, which is soon to gain three new 20m class satellites, is ideally suited to regular and wide area imaging because it has the capability to image a wide image swath (650km) at high resolution (32m) on a daily basis which has not been previously available with Landsat ETM data. The three new DMC satellites will further increase the achievable resolution to 20m, offering much more detailed imagery. This project focuses on private sector and NGO users such as forest management, certification and carbon trading but the results will also be relevant for various public sector initiatives.

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