Rome 24 August 2016 16:30
In the early hours of this morning the operating centres in Rome and Matera of e-GEOS, the joint venture between Telespazio (Leonardo - Finmeccanica/Thales) and the Italian Space Agency, which leads the team of European companies operating in the Copernicus program (Emergency Management Service - Copernicus - Rapid Mapping), were activated to support the Italian Authorities and Civil Protection in managing the aftermath of last night’s earthquake in central Italy.
The e-GEOS Emergency Room is working to produce maps and detailed data of the areas affected by the earthquake, using all available aerial and satellite technologies. These images will provide useful information about damage to support rescue operation activities.
Images from the COSMO-SkyMed satellite constellation are part of the Copernicus dataset and have already been used with proven effectiveness to support disaster relief following previous natural emergencies such as the earthquakes in L'Aquila in 2009 and Haiti in 2010, typhoon Haiyan which devastated the Philippines in 2013, and in other situations where radar technology guarantees images at night and during cloud cover.
The Copernicus program is coordinated and managed by the European Commission to provide Europe with its own Earth Observation capability. The e-GEOS Matera Space Centre is one of three stations belonging to the Core Ground Segment of Copernicus. e-GEOS provides the European Commission with geospatial information and satellite maps of the areas affected by natural disaster, providing the relevant EU authorities and international humanitarian organizations with the necessary data to manage the aftermath of catastrophic events. The service, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, has a data production capacity dedicated to crisis situations (floods, earthquakes, fires, technological disasters) and is managed by e-GEOS, which leads a consortium formed by the German subsidiary GAF, the Italian company Ithaca and French company SIRS within the Copernicus Program.
Telespazio, the joint venture between Leonardo-Finmeccanica (67%) and Thales (33%) is one of the main industrial partners of the program, contributing to the development of the ground segment and operations; operating (through subsidiaries e-GEOS, GAF and Telespazio VEGA UK) in emergency management activities, land and maritime security, the management of land resources and monitoring of climate change; lastly, providing the Copernicus program with the Earth observation data from the COSMO-SkyMed and IRS missions.