The data can be processed into applications such as flood mapping, crop monitoring, fire assessment, water quality assessment, front mapping, and hailstorm prediction and disaster early warning among others. It also helps in forest fires monitoring especially in areas where human surveillance cannot reach without performing Ariel photography.
Nairobi, July 10, 2014: The Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), has today unveiled a new satellite tracking system called Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) that enables acquisition of direct real-time data which can be processed into different products for a variety of applications.
MODIS is a key instrument aboard the NASA owned Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth's surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths necessary to improve the understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere.
With MODIS, RCMRD will play vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment.
Terra's orbit around the Earth is timed such that it passes from north to south across the equator in the morning, while Aqua passes south to north over the equator in the afternoon.
With the Earth Observing System-Front End Server (FES), RCMRD manages all the automation and management tools needed to control the ground station antenna such that RCMRD is capable of scheduling tracking, monitoring real-time status, and ingesting and demodulating multiple EOS satellites efficiently.
The Director for Remote Sensing Dr. Tesfaye Korme said ‘We have started receiving data from MODIS Aqua and Terra, NPP, METOP, Fengyoung3, NOAA18 and 19.The ground coverage is so huge that 75 per cent of Africa is covered by our receiving station alone.”
The ground coverage by the Satellite Tracking system is so huge that 75 per cent of Africa is covered by the receiving station alone.
To give an idea about its ground coverage, Dr. Tesfaye Korme says to the West, the antennae reaches up to Nigeria (Atlantic Coast), to the East it reaches up to Yemen, Seychelles and Mauritius (Indian Ocean), to the North up to Egypt and to the South up to Johannesburg, South Africa.
RCMRD received several requests from its member States in the area of crop monitoring, pasture and water condition mapping using various satellites sensors. Similar requests were also made in regard to disaster early warning and rapid mapping.
In this regard, RCMRD with the funding support from Google Foundation, the Centre purchased the MODIS satellite data receiving station to address the above requests and challenges.
The Satellite Receiving Station, installed at the Centre in May, is used to collect data from several Earth Observation satellites and distributed for use in RCMRD member States.
Hon. Charity Ngilu, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development applauded RCMRD on this achievement, noting that the installation of MODIS at the Centre will enable RCMRD to provide better services in areas of vegetation and crop monitoring, flood and forest fires monitoring and application in water resources.
“These are important areas for the sustainable development of our countries,” said Hon. Ngilu in speech read on her behalf during the launch by Mariam El Maawy, Principal Secretary at the Ministry.