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International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’

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Presentation on theme: "International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’"— Presentation transcript:

1 International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’
Yana Gevorgyan, NOAA & Stephen Briggs, ESA

2 International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’
Introduction and History Stephen Briggs, ESA

3 Purpose An international collaboration among EO mission owners/operators to provide space-based data and information in support of relief efforts during emergencies caused by major disasters. More than 30 satellites from space agencies and commercial providers provide data

4 Disaster Types Supported
The International Charter executes priority tasking of different EO missions in a rapid fashion; it is designed to address requests concerning major disasters caused by: Natural events Man-made events Earthquakes Oil spills Fires Industrial accidents Floods Ice jams Landslides Tsunamis Ocean storms Volcanic eruptions A major disaster is a large, often sudden event with high impact in terms of lives and/or infrastructure & environment. (slow-onset disasters, such as droughts, are not covered by the Charter) Covers immediate disaster response (& isn’t designed to service INSAR data) 4

5 Mandate of the Charter The Charter only supports the phase of immediate response to a disaster. Charter activations generally last for about 1-4 few weeks.

6 Charter History Following UNISPACE III in Vienna in July 1999, ESA (European Space Agency) and CNES (Centre national d'études spatiales) initiated the International Charter in July 1999. CSA (Canadian Space Agency) signed the Charter on October 20, 2000. Charter declared operational as of November 1, 2000 after formal rehearsals and qualification tests. Many other space agencies subsequently joined the Charter, the latest being ROSCOSMOS (Russian Federal Space Agency) in The Charter is now composed of 15 members. Over 400 disasters covered to date in 110 countries worldwide. First activation: Slovenian landslide November 11, 2000.

7 Charter Members CSA Canada DLR UKSA/DMC ROSCOSMOS Germany UK Russia
Europe ESA EUMETSAT KARI Korea CNES France NOAA USGS USA JAXA Japan CNSA China ISRO India INPE Brasil 15 members today; correspond to 11 non European countries plus CNES, UKSA, DLR, ESA and EUMETSAT. The countries of Charter member states are 11 plus European countries (ESA has 20 member states and EUIMETSAT has 27 european member states plus Turkey). In total countries from Charter member states are 11 plus EU states (28) which the facto makes 39 countries with direct access through Aus (more users today thanks to Universal Access). CONAE Argentina

8 Activations by Disaster Type

9 As of August 8, 2013 – 381 Activations
Activation Distribution As of August 8, 2013 – 381 Activations

10 Some examples of recent

11 Impact of Typhoon Haiyan which hit the Philippines on November 8 2013 (Call 466)
Tacloban photographed on 13 Nov 2013 by a Pléiades satellite, which had captured images of the same zone on 7 Apr 2013. Requestors: OCHA via UNITAR/UNOSAT plus the Aus from France Germany and Russia and UK DFID Pléiades Satellite Images - Resolution: 50 cm; Copyright: CNES 2013, Astrium Services - Spot Image

12 Floods and Landslides in India, June 2013.
Product created by the Indian National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO based on Indian and American optical imagery

13 Fires in Australia, October 2013.
The 2013 New South Wales bushfires were a series of bushfires in Australia across the state of New South Wales primarily starting, or becoming notable, on 13 October 2013; followed by the worst of the fires beginning in the Greater Blue Mountains Area on 16 and 17 October High fuel loads, coupled with warm, dry and windy weather, provided dangerous conditions which fuelled the fires. At the peak of the fires, on the morning of 18 October, over 100 fires were burning across the state. The Premier of New South Wales Barry O'Farrell declared a state of emergency on 20 October, empowering firefighters to evict residents and demolish fire-affected buildings. The fires are the worst in New South Wales since the 1960s. As of 19 October 2013, 248 houses and other structures were destroyed across the state.Two fatalities were attributed to the fires.It was estimated that claims will exceed A$94 million. Product generated by Geoscience Australia using Rapideye imagery of 23 Oct First activation by Australian authorities.

14 International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’
Implementation and Universal Access Yana Gevorgyan, NOAA

15 Charter operational loop
Authorised User sends a request for Charter activation Direct link to the user/response community who will use the maps ~6/8hrs ~3hrs 24/7 operators respond to requests by quickly tasking satellites Satellite images received and turned into useful maps ~24/48hrs

16 Mechanisms to activate the Charter
Direct activation by an Authorised User (AU) Activation via an Authorised User on behalf of a user from another country without AU Activation via the UN for UN users Activation for Asia Pacific users via Sentinel Asia (Asian Disaster Reduction Centre)

17 Universal Access Since its inception, the Charter has demonstrated a strong commitment to expanding its number of users. Initiatives include collaboration with the UN and Sentinel Asia. 2007: GEO requested direct access for its Member states. 2008: the Charter Board adopted the principle of ‘universal access’ to support worldwide emergency response activities. 2011: Charter Board adopted Universal Access resolution: “Any national disaster management authority will be able to submit requests for emergency response support to the Charter. Proper procedures will have to be followed, but the affected country will not have to be a Charter member.” September 2012: launch of the Universal Access process. The collaboration with the UN (UNOOSA and UNITAR/UNOSAT) allowed to provide access to UN users globally. The collaboration with Sentinel Asia allowed to provide access to national users from 32 countries of the Asia Pacific region (via Sentinel Asia’s partner ADRC) 17

18 Universal Access Criteria
The following criteria must be met by an entity requesting to become a new Authorized User: The entity must be a national disaster management authority or its delegated agency in that country. The entity must have the capacity to download and utilize maps*. The entity must be able to submit and pursue its activation requests in English**. * Typically Charter products are either remotely sensed imagery or crisis or damage assessment maps (Value Added products). ** The request indicates the date/time of disaster occurrence, the affected area with geographic coordinates (Latitude/Longitude), the type of hazard, and the name of the contact person for any communication with the Charter. The complete process will validate the ability of national authorities to access and use Charter assets for disaster response, in accordance with Charter operational procedures.

19 Universal Access Registration
A registration form is available for national authorities to express interest in participating in the Charter. The candidate fills in the questionnaire providing all required information. The questionnaire – with a cover letter of the organisation – has to be sent to The request is assessed by the Charter members. The form may be downloaded together with the UA Information brochure from the Charter website:

20 Charter Website: UA Documents

21 Conclusion Space technologies can deliver key information that brings benefit to the definition, planning, implementation, monitoring & assessment of disaster relief operations. The Charter is focused on the immediate response phase and services of national disaster management centres and the International Humanitarian community (e.g. UN). It is growing: 400 disasters covered since 2000 in over 110+ countries worldwide. Building on a decade of success in making satellite data available to users for disaster response, the Charter is now opening its doors even wider with Universal Access. Universal Access benefits national users in countries beyond those of the Charter members, who were previously unable to make direct requests to the Charter during emergency situations.

22 Subscribe @DisastersChart Newsletter Follow the Charter on Twitter
Contact the Charter Webmaster at

23 General requests for information should be addressed to
Emergency enquiries from users requiring direct access to Charter resources should be addressed to: General requests for information should be addressed to

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