Earth observation technologies offer a variety of datasets that go far beyond what you might you from Google Maps. Some sensors see a lot more than the human eye. Orbiting our planet in an altitude of several hundreds to tens of thousands of kilometers they are able to detect different parameters, such as rainfall, temperature, soil moisture or the vegetation status. Depending on the technology and wavelength, our planet’s surface can be monitored independent from sunlight or weather conditions.
However, scientific datasets do not necessarily mean viable information to end users such as humanitarian aid organizations. The added value of earth observation is often unclear. Consequently, many users rely on generic information that does not entirely meet their requirements.
SATIDA (SAtellite Technologies for Improved Drought-Risk Assessment) was developed to decrease the gap between what researchers consider necessary and what end users actually need. Funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) Scientists from different fields of researchers collaborate with Doctors without Borders, the largest private humanitarian aid organization, to improve the monitoring and forecasting of food insecurity that is caused by agricultural droughts.
From all natural disasters drought ranks first regarding its complexity, the number of people affected, duration and spatial extent. It is vital to link frequent updates about environmental anomalies (deviations from “normal”) to climate forecasts and to information about the socio-economic conditions of people at risk. How that is possible? Please find the answers under The Project.