Smos satellite tracks Pakistan floodsAugust 23, 2010 at 9:55 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment
by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty
Europe’s “water satellite” has provided a different perspective on the floods in Pakistan. The Smos spacecraft senses the wetness of soils, and its unique instrument has detailed how the earth became saturated in the monsoon rains. The floods, which began more than two weeks ago in the mountainous northwest, are the worst in recorded history.
Some 20 million people and 160,000 sq km of land – a fifth of the country – have been affected by the disaster. Data from the European Space Agency’s new Smos satellite has been processed to make a series of maps.
Satellite data is frequently used in the relief response to major disasters, and in the case of Pakistan the world’s satellite fleets were mobilised on 2 August to provide space-borne information under the International Charter [on] Space and Disasters. The charter was activated by US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance…more