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The German radar satellite TerraSAR-X
© EADS Astrium / 2006
Germanyís TerraSAR-X helps relief efforts in Myanmar, China

June 04, 2008

On May 2-3, 2008, Cyclone Nargis swept over Myanmar and left behind a path of destruction. The tropical storm left 2.4 million people in need of aid, according to United Nations estimates. With official information being restricted, the full extent of the damage was unclear for a long time.

The pictures taken from German radar satellite TerraSAR-X helped in international relief efforts. Using data from the newly-launched TerraSAR-X and ALOS/PALSAR, the DLR Centre for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) has been producing maps of the affected areas. These maps are used for preparation and coordination of relief.

The exclusive commercial exploitation rights for TerraSAR-X, launched on June 15, 2007 are with Infoterra GmbH. This enables the company to provide weather-independent, high-resolution, new-quality radar data as well as reliable data access services.

Satellite images for rescue organisations in China

Emergency response operations following the recent earthquake in the province of Sichuan, China, was supported through the rapid provision of high-quality radar and optical satellite imagery as well as detailed evaluations of this data by Infoterra and France’s Spot Image SA.

In a joint effort, the two companies provided Chinese government agencies and rescue organisations with satellite imagery, interpretation support, maps, and rapid evaluations depicting the conditions of urban areas, infrastructure, and landscapes.

Infoterra and Spot Image had tasked their respective satellites, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X and the French optical satellite SPOT 5, to acquire data of the affected areas.

Imagery and maps are used for the recognition and assessment of damages, identification of focus areas, resource scheduling and route planning, or an efficient setup of coordination centres and camps.



by Sakshi Arora
© German Information Centre New Delhi
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