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Disaster response imagery available to all

After 13 years of providing imagery for disaster response to its members, the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ is now making its imagery free for all countries to access during natural emergencies - whether they are members or not.

The move, announced last month by the UK Space Agency (UKSA), was instigated when the UK led the charter in 2011. Any country, regardless of whether they are a Charter member, will now be able to request imagery thereby speeding up the response to disasters and ultimately, helping to save lives and property.

UK-DMC2 Image of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, USA (C) DMCii, 2010. All rights reserved.
UK-DMC2 Image of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, USA (C) DMCii, 2010. All rights reserved.

The Charter is a unique collaboration between space agencies throughout the world, coordinating the acquisition and distribution of satellite images over regions affected by disaster.

The UK Space Agency holds a seat on the Charter’s Board, and SSTL subsidiary, DMCii, provides the UK operational contribution. DMCii coordinates the Disaster Monitoring Constellation, made up of five satellites, built by SSTL and owned independently by the 5 members but used collectively to provide free satellite imagery for humanitarian use. DMCii also supplies 24/7 Emergency on-Call Officers in the event of a disaster to co-ordinate the provision of imagery from the Charter’s fleet of on-call satellites.

UK-DMC2 Image of Arizona Fires (C) DMCii, 2011. All rights reserved.
UK-DMC2 Image of Arizona Fires (C) DMCii, 2011. All rights reserved.

The Charter has used imagery acquired by the Disaster Monitoring Constellation to provide responders with information on the extent of the damage and where to target relief efforts for many emergencies, including the Asian tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the UK floods in 2007, and the Japanese earthquake in 2011.

Since its formation, the Charter has helped in more than 300 disasters.

 

 
 

 

 

11 October 20120 Comments1 Comment

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