Monday, May 26, 2014

Satellite boosts risk monitoring

Yuki Matsuoka in the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction: The launch of a new satellite to conduct ‘health checks’ on some of the earth’s most vulnerable and exposed regions marks a new era of disaster risk monitoring.

Japan’s DAICHI-2 will monitor disaster risks as well as the impact of disasters such as floods and landslides for disaster management activities. The satellite will also collect data related to deformation of the Earth's crust, tropical rain forests and snow and ice conditions in polar areas.

The launch of the satellite, the name of which means ‘The Earth’ or ‘The Vast Land’ in Japanese, comes as the role of space technology in the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction is gaining more focus.  The President of The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Mr. Naoki Okumura, said that satellite technology is an increasingly important part of international cooperation in disaster risk reduction.

“JAXA and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a partnership agreement with the objective to promote collaboration to contribute to solving various development challenges, including disasters, for developing countries,” Mr Okumura said.

...DAICHI-2, which was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center, in Kagoshima Prefecture, can provide higher spatial resolution observation data (3 meters) and can observe up to 2,320km of the earth’s surface at any one time through night and day and in all weather conditions...

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