South Africa is currently battling its worst drought in decades. The drought disaster has a negative impact on social, environmental and economic stability and continues to pose a major threat to food security throughout the world.
The ultimate knock-on effect could see farmers closing their farms which will subsequently lead to labour lay-offs.
Maps depicting change in vegetation overtime in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
For the purpose of monitoring agricultural drought, remote sensing data and various field indicators are required to provide a comprehensive depiction of the drought phenomena and its adverse impacts on agriculture and food security.
In response to the drought situation, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) put together a team of remote sensing scientists to form SANSA Drought Observatory (SANSA-DO).
The team has developed a vegetation change visualization showing the temporal and spatial progression of vegetation stress during the 2014/2015 growing cycle. The visuals are presented using animated maps which gives quick insight into the development of drought disaster currently being experienced across the country. The benefits of using this technology will assist decision makers in identifying areas that are extremely affected and prompt instant response. It also indicates areas that are more prone to drought which will aid future planning.
The technology has the ability to further provide an effective means for mapping the location, extent and changes of surface water over-time which will assist in assessing water availability across the country.
It was a red carpet affair at last year’s SANSA Earth Observation (EO) Excellence Awards. The award ceremony was held on 04 December 2015 at Lombardy Boutique Hotel located in Lynwood, Pretoria.
|Lombardy Boutique Hotel||Thando & Nomnikelo on arrival|
The ceremony kicked off with a vibrant speech from the EO Managing Director, Dr Jane Olwoch. She reflected on SANSA’s achievements, where to improve and what to look forward to in the following year.
In an effort to harness the benefits of the ocean economy the South African (SA) government initiated a programme called Operation Phakisa. The programme is designed with an aim of unlocking the economic potential of SA oceans. With SA’s large ocean jurisdiction, effective governance that protects ocean environment from illegal activities and promote multiple socio-economic benefits is critical.
The South African National Space Agency (SANSA)’s high resolution satellite imagery has considerable potential to effectively contribute to the marine protection and governance goals of Operation Phakisa through the synoptic and repetitive monitoring of the oceanic environment.
The high resolution SPOT 6/7 satellite imagery currently being received and distributed by SANSA is capable of ship detection and surveillance of the maritime environment. SPOT 6/7 is effective in discerning vessels from its high spatial resolution panchromatic spectral band of 1.5m.
The vessels are quite vivid on the pansharpened image that results from the fusion the panchromatic band with the 5m blue, green, red and near-infrared multispectral spectral bands.
The above SPOT 6 imagery shows ships around the Cape Town harbour on the 25th of March 2015. In addition to the Automatic Identification System (AIS) information available to maritime authorities, geospatial information derived from SPOT 6/7 imagery can be used by maritime authorities for vessel surveillance.
SANSA in partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency will be hosting a training workshop on analysis of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite data for Maritime safety. The training will take place on the 15 March - 17 March 2016.
The SAR technique detects and monitors vessels in the sea; its imagery allows monitoring of large portion of the earth. This imagery is generated using an active sensor which makes use of radar pulses to observe areas under any weather conditions, day or night.
Page last updated: 2015-12-22
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