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ALSAT-1 maps forest fires

Algeria is celebrating the 5th birthday of its first satellite, ALSAT-1 this week. Last summer, a heatwave struck Algeria bringing with it temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsuis. This dryed out the North African landscape, leading to forest fires in several forests. The Batna region, which has some of the most densely forested regions in Algeria, was one of the worst affected areas. In particular, places like Djebel Belezma and Beni Fedhla were stricken by severe conflagrations accented by sirocco winds blowing at more than 80 kph.
Fire damage in the Bliza area
The fire has destroyed a significant part of the forests in the Batna region. For example, only this summer, fires have destroyed over 8000 hectares in Djebel Kimmel and in the area of Arris. Forest fires: astronomical figures Algeria used the SSTL-built ALSAT-1 satellite in a study to monitor forest fires and evaluate the damage caused and assess the forests’ ability to regenerate.
Fire damage surrounding Tipaza
The location referenced (geospatial) images from Algeria’s own satellite were supplemented where required with additional Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) data where required. How satellite imaging is applied The images were acquired from areas of interest are first pre-processed using the ENVI image processing software, these are then analysed and finely processed for later use. This results in cartographical (maps) that are easy to read with the human eye. The maps are then used to identify the various forest formations and the impact that this summer’s (2007) fires have had on them. Both supervised classification and the vegetation index (NDVI) methods were used to determine the different forest formations and to deduct the fire impact on them. This methodology has allowed the Centre National des Techniques Spatiales (CNTS) to accurately assess the destruction of forest fires in the north of Algeria during this year’s (2007) campaign.





29 November 20070 Comments1 Comment

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