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Sky Sentinel
IDEA BY: Vikas Nath LOCATION: Canada CATEGORY: Environment/Sustainability


Sky Sentinel
IDEA BY: Vikas Nath
CATEGORY: Environment/Sustainability


Climate change catastrophes including cloud outbursts, landslides, flooding are on the rise causing damages to life, property and livestock. Automated monitoring and analysis of satellite imagery would immediately trigger relief and rescue operations to mitigate damages.

NASA and its international partners, including ESA, JAXA operate several Earth-observing satellites to measure vegetation cover, greenhouse gas emissions, cloud cover, natural fire spread and volcanic emissions. A significant group of satellites is the A-Train or the Afternoon Constellation. This coordinated group of 6 satellites are in a polar orbit, crossing the equator northbound at about 1:30 p.m. local time, within seconds to minutes of each other. This allows near-simultaneous observations of a wide variety of parameters which can be used for better monitoring of natural and climate change triggered disasters from Space. Data from A-Train is publicly available to up to 10 m resolution. We plan to integrate it in an algorithm, which will automatically measure sudden change in parameters, including vegetation cover, smoke and aerosol levels, water circulation and wind speeds and will compare them to baseline data. Over time the system will build up sufficient learning to improve its reliability in making accurate conclusions from comparing data.. This would then be fed into governments and private sector disaster mitigation machinery to launch rescue and relief efforts. These would include automatic issuance of relief payments by Governments, or payout of house or livestock insurance by private companies. As more and more population starts to experience climate change related catastrophes, this system will ensure better planning and execution of relief efforts, and will be especially useful for people in developing countries and those living in remote areas and where local infrastructure is damaged. Some companies including Sky Watch in Waterloo, Canada are already making it easier to access satellite data and we plan to build up on what is available to quickly create a prototype of Sky Sentinel. We have already started to gather Satellite and local data for Toronto for testing purposes.