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Envisat monitoring China floods as part of Dragon Programme

China's rainy season has led to serious flooding in the north-east and south of the country. A joint Chinese-European team is gathering Envisat radar imagery of the developing situation to give the authorities a way to swiftly assess affected areas and plan their responses.

Summer flooding is nothing new in these regions of the People's Republic of China (PRC), though this year it is proving particularly severe, with more than 800 casualties countrywide and 2.45 million people forced to evacuate their homes. However this season's flooding is being monitored in near real-time by ESA's Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) sensor, which can acquire imagery in both day and night and in all weathers.

This activity is taking place as part of ESA's Dragon Programme of cooperation with the National Remote Sensing Centre of China (NRSCC) within the Ministry of Science and Technology of the PRC. These Envisat images are a means for the authorities to identify floodwater extent and coordinate mitigation efforts, and should be a foretaste of things to come next season the aim is that a full near real-time monitoring service should be operational.

Flood Rapid Mapping is a dedicated Dragon thematic area. A short notice acquisition and delivery procedure exists within it, enabling Chinese partners to request ASAR acquisitions ahead of the satellite overpass. The processed images are available to download from ESA servers within eight hours after acquisition.

Strasbourg-based company SERTIT, specialising in rapid satellite mapping, has been cooperating with a team of Chinese researchers led by Professor Li Jiren of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR) of the Ministry of Water Resources in Beijing. "We have been working to evaluate this procedure with our Chinese partners," explained Herv Ysou of SERTIT. "We carried out our first testing in February, then in early June we carried out a rush acquisi
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Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
mariangela.dacunto@esa.int
39-694-180-856
European Space Agency
3-Aug-2005


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