Satellite techniques in early warning systems for large towns and megacities

Yu A. Kravtsov1, Efim B. Kudashev2
Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Profsoyuznaya 84/32, Moscow, Russia.
Tel. : 1+7-095-333 52 79, 2+7-095-333 12 34, Fax: +7-095-333 10 56,
E-mail: 1kravtsov@asp.iki.rssi.ru, 2eco@iki.rssi.ru

The problem under consideration is Russian operational practice concerning the use of remote sensing, the access to satellite date and global communications technologies (especially the World Wide Web) for Megapolis Moscow Environmental Management. Environmental space monitoring and global communications technologies are vital in early warning systems and pollution mitigation. Earth observation by remote sensing from space should be considerated as essential part of the Early Warning Systems for megapolises like Moscow. The Space Research Institute developed the mega-city environmental monitoring based on space data from US meteorological satellites of the NOAA series and from Russian meteorological satellites of RESURS series.

The latter are equipped with opto-electronical scanners of two types:

  • Scanner MSU-E of high-resolution: spatial resolution - 35x45 m, swath width - 45 km.
  • Scanner MSU-SK of moderate resolution: spatial resolution - 150x250 m, swath width - 600 km.

Currently satellite information is used in the Space Research Institute for following purposes: complementary meteorological data; measurements of the land temperature; observation of cloud pattern, determination of type of cloudiness; observations of the dynamics of the atmospheric fronts; detection of hurricanes; spectral measurements to reveal technogenic influences on the state of vegetation in the city and in suburban forest areas; revealing of interseasonal changes along highways in suburban areas; detection of strong fires in forest around the city; revealing of smoke traces from industrial plants; observations of snow cover dynamics and forecast of flood danger; detection and estimation of large floods. All these data are supplied by optical and IR observations.

Ground stations for receiving of satellite information perform demodulation of satellite signals, carry out their primary processing and prepare the information for PC. The stations work continuously. Images of the Earth from NOAA satellites contain an information on cloudiness and on the Earth surface in the visible and IR-bands. Flux of digital information, say, from NOAA satellite is obtained on frequency 1.7 GHz (S-band, regime HRTP) with a rate of 100 kbit/s. Software provides complete processing of data, including satellite orbit calculations; data reception; archiving of data; topical processing within a few hours after receiving the signal.

Every station possesses a program for automatic providing the observation of a satellite. Other functions of software are: receiving and deciphering data; primary processing and fragmentation of data; matching with geographic maps; meteorological analysis of AVHRR data; spectral and correlation analysis of data; classification of multiband data; processing of images. Besides Moscow, regional centres of space monitoring were established also in Irkutsk, Valdivostok, Yakutsk, Kransoyarsk, Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraina), Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan). These stations provide processing and transferring to users data both from NOAA satellites, and from Russian meteorological satellites RESURS. Satellite information processed by such stations may form a basis for operative environmental monitoring of large territories in Russia. They might be helpful for local authorities in solving of environmental problems.

Implementation of early warning systems is best done by exploiting the network of small ground-based regional HRPT stations and the open system for on-line access to NOAA meteorological satellites. The station installed in the Moscow Space Research Institute (IKI RAN) covers the entire European Russia and Western Siberia. the paper also discusses the specifics of remote access to data. The remote access system is based on the Internetís World Wide Web information service, using the computer hypertext concept.

The Moscow Space Research Institute Project consists of a centre of processing, archiving and exchange of space information, and a centre for information support of reasonable and ecological research.