DMCii introduces first annual high resolution Africa satellite coverage

An unparalleled collection of high-resolution satellite imagery covering sub-Saharan Africa in a single season is now available in the DMCii image archive, providing an invaluable snapshot of more than 40 countries, including Cameroon, Congo, and Ethiopia for assessing phenomena such as deforestation, urbanisation and desertification.

Sub-Saharan Africa is a vast and diverse landscape with climatic extremes ranging from arid Ethiopian desert to the Congo rainforest. Satellite imagery is an invaluable tool for monitoring region-wide changes in land use and the environment. The DMCii coverage, acquired for the European GMES programme, captures a moment in time – providing an irrefutable marker for changes in the landscape against which future coverage can be compared. A second annual coverage of the Northern half of Africa including the Maghreb countries was also completed during the first three months of 2011.

Since the DMC satellites acquire very large images, up to 650km wide, such vast areas can be mapped quickly and in detail, using 22metre resolution imagers. Because the DMC imagers are accurately calibrated to Landsat, they enable detailed comparison with the past 30 years of imagery to identify changes in crops, forests, rivers and towns. Most importantly, because huge areas can be imaged by the DMC constellation within a short time-frame the images are acquired at a similar point in time, which is vital for effective change detection and monitoring. Processing is also minimised for the end-user – large contiguous images can be assembled to produce clear and accurate continental-scale maps with minimal image analysis and manipulation.

Tropical forests present specific challenges. Because rainforests are frequently obscured by cloud, single satellites often have to acquire images for a decade to map an area. In contrast, DMCii liberates forest management from this constraint by coordinating a constellation of satellites which, through daily imaging, acquire cloud-free images whenever there is a gap in the cloud. For the first time, annual and seasonal tropical forest maps are available, providing vital information for REDD+ monitoring of forest carbon resources.

About DMC International Imaging Ltd

DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) is a UK based supplier of remote sensing data products and services for international Earth Observation (EO) markets. DMCii supplies programmed and archived optical satellite imagery provided by the multi-satellite Disaster Monitoring Constellation. DMCii’s data is now used in a wide variety of commercial and government applications including agriculture, forestry and environmental mapping.

In partnership with the UK Space Agency and the other Disaster Monitoring Constellation member nations (Algeria, China, Nigeria, Turkey and Spain), DMCii works with the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ to provide free satellite imagery for humanitarian use in the event of major international disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes, fires and flooding.

DMCii was formed in October 2004 and is a subsidiary of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), the world leader in small satellite technology. SSTL designed and built the Disaster Monitoring Constellation with the support of the then British National Space Centre and in conjunction with the other Disaster Monitoring Constellation member nations listed above.

For more information, please see www.dmcii.com