More than
a technology

It helps gather information about the Earth and lately has been broadly employed to map the impacts of natural hazards. Copernicus Emergency Management System, in particular Rapid Mapping, is a solution that has been established to support emergency responders in improving emergency management through the exploitation of satellite data. The service provides maps of damage assessment and pre-event situations based on satellite images. The maps are ready for use within hours or days after an emergency. The delivery time depends on how quickly the satellite collects the imagery of the affected area. The imagery processing part generally takes a few hours.

Benefits of using EOs data (product)
CoverageAcquire location information that is difficult to access.
Size matterLarge areas can quickly be assessed.
Condition AdaptableRadar satellites (such as Copernicus Sentinel-1) can acquire imagery at night and irrespective of weather conditions.
Watch the changeIt is possible to monitor an area over a period of time to observe changing phenomena (expansion of urban areas).

Automatic delineation and classification of affected areas, mainly rely on indexes that can be deterministically computed using satellite data products: Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) is used to map burned areas Normalized Difference Water Index(NDWI) and Modified NDWI (MNDWI) are used to map flooded areas.

delineation process

A demonstration of the potential of the technology used in the Overwatch project.

Flood in Marche
and Umbria Regions, Italy

Pre-event image: ESRI World Imagery © DigitalGlobe (acquired on 09/08/2021, GSD 0.5m, approx. 0% cloud coverage in AoI).
Post-event image: Pléiades-1A/B © CNES (2022), distributed by Airbus DS (acquired on 18/09/2022 at 10:20 UTC, GSD 0.5 m, approx., 0% cloud coverage in AoI, 32.5° off-nadir angle), provided under COPERNICUS by the European Union and ESA, all rights reserved.

Reference: Copernicus Emergency Management Service.