Humanitarian Aids Using Satellite Technology


One of the main topics the remote sensing community is interested in regards the monitoring of informal settlements for humanitarian aids, as proved by a number of international projects like the European RESPOND in the framework of GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) or United Nations’ UNOSAT. This chapter discusses not only the possibility of employing remote sensing imagery to this aim, but above all the capability of semi-automated procedures to analyze such data and to assist the work of Administrations and NGOs. Test areas are located in Darfur region, Sudan, which became in 2003 the scene of one of the worst humanitarian crises of our age. Optical images of those territories were acquired by SPOT-5 and Quickbird satellites between 2003 and 2005, and high resolution radar data by the Japanese PALSAR sensor on board of the ALOS satellite in 2006, after refugee camps were built up for accommodating hundreds of thousands of displaced people. The proposed algorithms intend to provide land-cover/use maps that can be useful to keep changes under control and/or to update existing charts.


Satellite remote sensing Radar Optical sensors Data fusion Image processing 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of ElectronicsUniversity of PaviaVia FerrataItaly

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