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Keep an automatic eye on seismic zones

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 twin radar satellites combined with cloud computing are monitoring Europe’s earthquake zones by searching for ground shifts as small as a millimetre. 

Radar was developed in the last century to pick up aircraft moving at hundreds of kilometres per hour. Today’s satellite radar can reveal otherwise invisible shifts in the ground taking place as slowly as the growth of your fingernails.

The new, automatic radar service covers Europe’s seismic regions, monitoring an area of three million square kilometres in 200 m blocks.

Once any motion of interest has been identified, more detailed checks can be made through ESA’s Geohazards Exploitation Platform.

“The quick-browse service has been under way across European tectonic regions since January, harnessing automated processing developed by the DLR German Aerospace Center,” explains Fabrizio Pacini of Terradue, overseeing the Platform. 

[...] Read full article here.

 

The GEP is one of six ‘Thematic Exploitation Platforms’ (TEPs)' being developed by ESA in the frame of the Earth Observation ground segment evolution strategy. The TEPs aim at fostering the exploitation of EO data by providing an online environment for users to access information, ICT resources, and tools.

The TEPs are contributing to the creation of an European EO data ecosystem for research and business, one of the overarching objectives of ESA Earth Observation Envelope Programme.

 

Fish farms guided by Sentinels and the cloud

A new service harnesses three decades of satellite observations of coastal zones made available through a cloud-based system to provide a rich information source for fisheries, one of our fastest growing sources of food.

SAFI (Supporting our Aquaculture and Fisheries Industries) is a prototype information service supported by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. It uses Earth observation data to support the fishing industry.

Ensuring ease of use, SAFI accesses the powerful capabilities of the ESA-backed Coastal Thematic Exploitation Platform (C-TEP), a cloud-based ‘one-stop shop’ that gathers coastal-zone satellite data, processing algorithms and computing power.

[...] Read full article here.

 

The CTEP is one of six ‘Thematic Exploitation Platforms’ (TEPs)' being developed by ESA in the frame of the Earth Observation ground segment evolution strategy. The TEPs aim at fostering the exploitation of EO data by providing an online environment for users to access information, ICT resources, and tools.

The TEPs are contributing to the creation of an European EO data ecosystem for research and business, one of the overarching objectives of ESA Earth Observation Envelope Programme.

Earth's most active volcanoes on satellite watch

 As hundreds flee lava and ash spewed from Mexico’s Colima volcano, its continuing eruption is being tracked not only by ground instruments but also from space. Starting last month, Colima is one of 22 active volcanoes worldwide being monitored by satellites.

The latest observations by Europe’s Sentinels and the US Terra and Landsat satellites are being processed automatically for the rapid delivery of key parameters to geohazards researchers.

“Within the geohazards arena, this kind of systematic service is really something new,” explains Fabrizio Pacini of Terradue, which operates the new service through ESA’s online, cloud-based Geohazards Exploitation Platform, or GEP.

“Researchers already use Earth observation data, of course, but usually on an on-demand basis from a single sensor. We make use of a range of sensors to cover multiple sites on a continuing basis.”

The service is based on automated processing chains developed by GEP research partners, running on the GEP itself, then made available through it.

 

[...] Read full article here.

 

The GEP is one of six ‘Thematic Exploitation Platforms’ (TEPs)' being developed by ESA in the frame of the Earth Observation ground segment evolution strategy. The TEPs aim at fostering the exploitation of EO data by providing an online environment for users to access information, ICT resources, and tools.

The TEPs are contributing to the creation of an European EO data ecosystem for research and business, one of the overarching objectives of ESA Earth Observation Envelope Programme.

TEPs at EO Open Science 2016

Coastal, Forestry, Geohazards, Hydrology and Urban TEPS presented updates on their activities at EO Open Science 2016.

If you weren't able to attend you can replay here, it's the platforms session C2 on Wednesday 14th at 14:00

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Watch_live_EO_Open_Science

Conference papers will be available soon on http://eoopenscience.esa.int/index.php

 

GEP response to Central Italy Earthquake

On 24 August, an earthquake struck central Italy, claiming at least 290 lives and causing widespread damage. Satellite images are being used to help emergency aid organisations, while scientists have begun to analyse ground movement.

The Geohazards TEP is providing access to EO data collections and to processing results produced by services hosted on the platform. 

Following the request from INGV, the GEP is providing access to EO data from CEOS Contributors to authorised users. See first collections of ALOS-2 as well as Sentinel-1A and 1B data.

More datasets from Pleiades, Sentinel-2, Radarsat-2, TerraSAR-X and COSMO Skymed will follow soon, as well as results generated by GEP partners.

See on the GEP some of the measurements generated by the Community using the platform, including:

  • The interferogram created by INGV using Sentinel-1 acquisitions of 14 and 26 August. The product was generated using the DIAPASON chain of the French Space Agency, CNES. DIAPASON is one of the hosted processing chains of the GEP. 
  • Sentinel-1 T117 co-seismic interferogram (wrapped) of Amatrice earthquake (Italy), using Sentinel-1 acquisitions of 15 and 27 August. The product was generated by CNR-IREA using their own InSAR web tool, designed for exploitation on the Geohazards TEP and currently available as an initial prototype in ESA’s Grid Processing On Demand (G-POD) infrastructure.

 

Working Group Session on Data Sourcing for TEPs

A working group session took place on April 13, 2016 in ESRIN, Frascati and was attended by representatives of five European commercial data providers, representatives of the six TEPs consortia (some remotely connected) and ESA colleagues responsible for the TEP projects and data sourcing in general.

The workshop was organised by ESA to address potential technical solutions of data access in the TEPs, (i.e. data mirroring on TEP infrastructure, caching, remote access, linking to external catalogues, data ordering, interfacing to external cloud processing infrastructures etc.) and the related organizational and legal concepts.

The objective was to start a dialogue between TEP projects and commercial data providers on future data provisioning agreements.

The Executive Summary from the workshop can be accessed here.

 

 

Global Urban Footprint from UTEP

Scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the prime contractor for the Urban TEP have succeeded in using a newly developed method to map the world’s built spaces at an unprecedented spatial resolution, resulting in the ‘Global Urban Footprint’ (GUF), a global map of human settlements at a spatial resolution of 12 meters per grid cell (aggregated to 75m for public use).

In light of the potential development applications of GUF, DLR will soon release the data set to be used free of charge at full spatial resolution for any scientific use, and at 75m resolution for any non-profit use. Currently available by request from DLR, by the middle of 2016, the data set will also be accessible on the World Bank’s PUMA platform, as well as the European Space Agency’s Urban Thematic Exploitation Platform.

Full details at http://blogs.worldbank.org/sustainablecities/global-urban-footprint-map-nearly-every-human-settlement-earth

 

Thanks Prague, you were great.

Thanks to all those who attended the LPS in Prague last week, listened to the TEP presentations, picked up a brochure or stopped by at our booth for a demonstration. We had a lot of interest in what the Geohazards platform is offering now (see http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Complex_data_made_easy) and in the other TEPS under development.

If you missed out, the LPS proceedings will be published shortly by the organisers and you can keep an eye on our events list for where we will be appearing next.

TEPS at Living Planet Symposium

We have two sessions dedicated to the TEPS at the Living Planet next week, to catch up on all the progress and plans.

Both are on Day 1 (Monday) afternoon, and you can find the full LPS programme here

In addition, we will be exhibiting and doing demonstrations at the Applications and Platforms stand on Floor 2, so if you have a specific point of interest then please come along and ask.

Geohazards TEP@EGU 2016 wrap-up

 The EGU General Assembly 2016 was held in Vienna from 17 to 22 April with great success, with 4,863 oral presentations given, 10,320 posters, 947 PICO sessions and a total of 13,650 scientists from 109 countries taking part.

The Geohazards Exploitation Platform (GEP) featured in the interesting discussions of the Geoscience community, being subject of five presentations and a training session during the first three days.

 

 

On Monday, the new functions built into the GEP to support results publication ad sharing were presented to the GEO Supersites community.  All appreciated the clear contribution the GEP will make to enable Open Science for the Geoscience community, a key element of the GEO Supersite initiative.

New processing results of the GEP were also presented, including:

  • A preview of the new InSAR Browse Services developed by German Aerospace Center (DLR) in the context of their GEP pilot (more information on this service will follow on the GEP blog).
  • A continental scale map showing 12-days Interferometric Coherence of almost all of Europe, processed by scientists of CNR-IREA.
  • Sharing of results with an example from the 2015 earthquake in Chile (see yourself on GEP)

On Tuesday, examples of the SBAS processing chain and time series analysis were shown, with availability of per-pixel time series over Campi Flegrei, the Gargano area and Mount Etna.  The second presentation focused on the integration of the SBAS algorithm into processing services through the GEP, and described how the GEP makes it possible to realize a wide spectrum of service modes, like an on-demand mode and a surveillance mode systematically updated at each new acquisition.

On Wednesday, the GEP “Optical Image Correlation” pilot project was presented.  The project is led by University of Strasbourg and the team is implementing a processing chain on the GEP cloud-based (Hadoop, MapReduce) environment, which will enable analysis of surface displacements at local to regional scale (10-1000 km2), targeting in particular co-seismic displacement and slow-moving landslides. 

A training course for the GEP SBAS-DInSAR web tool was held. The course provided a short overview on the DInSAR processing methods allowing retrieving mean surface deformation maps and displacement time series, with a specific focus on the SBAS-DInSAR technique. Secondly, the GEP and G-POD environments were introduced and the P-SBAS web tool presented. Finally, the advanced features as well as some main results achieved via the web tool were shown.

In all of these presentations, we saw geoscience research and IT coming together in the GEP as geoscientists manage to introduce new concepts coming from the evolving IT world into their algorithms, leading to reduced execution times and new processing scales that allow for previously unfeasible analyses.  This development is being warmly received.  For instance, when the current scenario of growing satellite data was discussed at the “Integrated Research Infrastructures and Services in Geosciences” session in presence of  representatives from the European Plate Observing System (EPOS), the TEP model was presented as an answer to manage the concerned challenges.  The general consensus among the EGU audience was that we are living interesting times, in which the needs of the research infrastructures are shaping the evolution of the ICT and  governance is being negotiated by user communities in view of solutions that are sustainable in the long term.

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Urban TEP aims to promote new opportunities to enable the creation and safeguarding of liveable cities.