GEO applauds JAXA data on Haiti, Chile earthquakes
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has provided essential ALOS/PALSAR satellite data to international scientists whose analyses support the emergency teams responding to the major earthquakes in Haiti, on 12 January, and Chile, on 27 February. During a recent symposium on climate observation in Tokyo, Dr José Achache, Director of the GEO Secretariat, handed a special letter of appreciation to Dr Masanori Homma, Executive Director of JAXA, while emphasizing that JAXA’s contribution demonstrated the powerful cross-cutting value of GEOSS.
Haiti interferogram map derived from PALSAR satellite data - by JAXA
By making its extremely valuable satellite images and data available via GEOSS, Japan contributed to the international effort to understand and manage the risks posed by these two tragic events. JAXA is the unique provider of L-band SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) observations worldwide, and it made these SAR data available in a timely manner at no cost at the request of the GEO “Supersite” teams. The provision of these data, together with other space and in-situ data made available through the efforts of the European Space Agency, was a breakthrough for the full and open sharing of data within GEOSS.
"These two experiences confirm that the space-observation technologies used by JAXA have a great potential to support geohazards research as well as operations for disaster management," said Dr Achache. "The instruments carried by JAXA’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) provide invaluable information on ground deformation to allow scientists to assess stress redistribution following a major earthquake. Such early analyses of the main earthquake event offer critical information on the distribution of upcoming aftershocks. This is of enormous benefit to both scientists and rescue operations in the field."
Dr José Achache, Director of the GEO Secretariat, hands a special letter of appreciation to Dr Masanori Homma, Executive Director of JAXA