Australian satellite imagery, image processing, and geospatial services provider, Geoimage, recently signed a distribution agreement with BlackBridge to market and sell RapidEye products throughout the world.
The five-satellite RapidEye constellation combines large area coverage, frequent revisit intervals, high-resolution, and multispectral capabilities for a range of uses, including environmental monitoring. In particular, mapping of deforestation and forest degradation has become quite a priority, and with the RapidEye constellation, Geoimage are now able to offer clients a large area solution, especially over cloudy areas such as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
The red edge band together with the broad area coverage and regular capture time is ideal for assessing change detection of land based features, assessment of current land use, disaster response & reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
Deforestation in Indonesia has had a massive environmental impact on the country, which is home to some of the most biologically diverse forests in the world. It has been estimated that all the tropical rainforests in Indonesia would be logged out in another 10 years and that it annually loses around the same amount of forest as Brazil, despite being only a quarter of the size. Large areas of forest in Indonesia are being lost as native forest is cleared by large multi-national pulp companies and replaced by plantations. A similar story occurs in Papua New Guinea where an extensive amount of tropical forest is being lost annually. Deforestation in Papua New Guinea is mainly a result of illegal logging, which contributed to 70-90% of all timber exports.
RapidEye satellite data has also been used to enforce environmental law in Brazil. Through continual monitoring with RapidEye satellite data, the hope is that it will assist identify forest degradation, slow down illegal deforestation and in time, put an end to both in these countries.