UT and Regio to Use Radar Satellite Data to Map Floodings
Based on data provided by the European Space Agency (ESA), the University of Tartu and AS Regio, an Estonian cartographic company, have jointly developed a web application which uses a radar satellite in orbit to map areas affected by flooding in near real time. After a successful pilot project in Estonia, Regio hope to take their product to international markets.
According to Kaupo Voormansik, coordinator of the project and engineer of the UT Work Group for Space and Military Technologies, radar imaging is highly effective in detecting flat and wet surfaces, including bodies of water and flooded land. "The advantage of this method over aerial photography lies in its ability to capture a very large area instantly and to yield results in a very short time,” Voormansik added. The radar beam of ESA’s ENVISAT satellite, which was used in the pilot project, covers a swath 400 kilometres wide, allowing the whole territory of Estonia to be mapped in a matter of minutes.
Currently, the areas mapped by the service, which is still in development phase, include the wetland region of Soomaa and the flooded areas around the rivers Emajõgi, Kasari and Keila. In future, Regio hopes to create a fully functional flood information system, which will provide real time information on flooded areas to the Estonian Rescue Board, the police, the Road Administration and other government agencies, for whom such information is of vital importance.
After a successful pilot project in Estonia, Regio hope to find an international market for their product. “For example, the service could also be of interest to government agencies in other countries,” Kaupo Voormansik said. “It may also benefit insurance companies, who may need to verify if a property has suffered flood damage or not.”
Regio is an Estonian company specialized in geographical maps and related software. The company has four fields of activity: mapping, geospatial data, geographical information systems (GIS) and mobile positioning. Regio was founded in 1990 as a Tartu University spin-off and has currently 80 employees.
Try the BETA version: http://kaart.otsing.delfi.ee/index.php?id=1&type=3
Silver Lätt, engineer of the UT Work group of Space and Military Technologies, telephone +372 50 28237, silver.latt [ät] ut.ee
Kaupo Voormansik, PhD student of the UT Work Group of Space and Military Technologies and space technology specialist for AS Regio, telephone +372 56 669225, kaupo.voormansik [ät] ut.ee
University of Tartu
Phone+372 737 5683
Cellphone+372 58 104 946
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