NEWSLETTER VII
 
 
 

Dear Reader,
 
BEYOND Center of Excellence for EO-based management of natural disasters has succeeded in establishing useful services and deriving value-added information relating to the monitoring of catastrophic events and the support of decision-making processes, in several Emergency Response and Emergency Support situations across Europe.
The current issue of the BEYOND newsletter highlights the Center’s activity during the last 8 months. This activity was greatly supported by hosting and successfully operating the Hellenic National Sentinel Data Hub (the Greek Mirror Site), providing near-real-time access and ingestion of S-1 and S-2 images to operational processing chains.
Our future plans about the usage of the NOA Collaborative Ground Segment are to enrich the capabilities for satellite data access and redistribution of larger volumes of satellite data with the support of partners GRNET S.A., SERCO (DHuS SW developer), and ESA. We hope you will enjoy reading this newsletter as much as we enjoyed writing it.
 
With Best Regards,
Haris KONTOES
 
Scientific Responsible of the BEYOND Center
Research Director of NOA
National Delegate of H2020 SPACE Program Committee - EC DG ENTR, National Delegate of the Copernicus Integrated GS (IGS) Task Force, National Contact Point for Data Sharing within GEO Member Governments
BEYOND Services
New version of the Hellenic Mirror Site
We are pleased to announce that the Hellenic National Sentinel Data Mirror Site, which is operated by the Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing (IAASARS) of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), and powered by GRNET S.A. (Greek Research and Technology Network), is entering a new era making one step forward towards the recommended architecture for the Copernicus GS, the so-called "Copernicus Integrated Ground Segment Data Access". The new Greek Mirror Site was overall upgraded, offering to its users a new and more friendly environment for browsing, discovering, previewing and downloading Sentinels data. The new version of the Greek Mirror Site is fully aligned and synchronized with the data hub's architecture of the European Space Agency (ESA). It offers high interoperability and fast online access (1GBps) to the Sentinels data of the last 30 days (currently to Sentinel 1 & Sentinel 2, and in the near future to Sentinel 3 and 5P) for the regions of Mediterranean, South-Eastern Europe, Balkans, Middle East & North Africa. For additional information please contact the Development and Administration Team of the Hellenic National Sentinel Data Mirror Site .

Sentinel Inteferogram of Seismic Events
SENTINEL INTERFEROGRAM OF THE 13/11/2016 SEISMIC EVENT IN NEW ZEALAND
The main earthquake event, Mw=7,8, occurred just after midnight on Monday 13/11/2016, near the coastal community of Kaikoura - New Zealand, 93 kilometers NE of the city of Christchurch. A series of powerful aftershocks jolted New Zealand's South Island, triggering a tsunami and sending aftershocks across the country with at least two, officially reported, casualties. Shortly after the earthquake, four successive ascending Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar images were acquired, two before (3/11/2016) the devastating earthquake and two after (15/11/2016). The mapping unit of the BEYOND/NOA mosaicked the two SAR frames of the pre-event phase, and the two SAR frames of the post-event phase, in order to produce the full deformation pattern.
SENTINEL INTERFEROGRAM OF THE 26/10/2016 AND 30/10/2016 SEISMIC EVENTS IN CENTRAL ITALY
A series of major earthquakes struck central Italy between the Marche and Umbria regions, in October 2016. The magnitudes of the 26th and 30th of October 2016 earthquakes were -respectively- Mw=6.1 and Mw=6.5, and considered to be the most powerful earthquakes to hit Italy since 1980. According to the authorities' reports, there were about a dozen injuries, with one person described as being in serious condition, but no casualties reported. The destructive shock on 26 October was preceded by the foreshock by two hours, causing people to leave their homes in order to be safer, when the larger shock occurred. On the 30th of October, emergency services pulled three people from the rubble in Tolentino, a town in Marche. Main roads to the affected areas were closed, some impassable due to large boulders falling to the ground in the rocky, mountainous terrain. Shortly after the earthquake that occurred on the 30th of October 2016, two successive descending Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar images were acquired, one before (20/10/2016) the devastating earthquakes and one right after (1/11/2016).The mapping unit of the BEYOND/NOA calculated the full deformation pattern, which is associated with both the earthquake events of October 2016.
 
SENTINEL INTERFEROGRAM OF THE 24/08/2016 SEISMIC EVENT IN AMATRICE, ITALY
In the early hours of August 24th, a 10km-deep earthquake of 6.2-magnitude struck the Apennine regions of central Italy, near the town of Accumoli, in the province of Rieti. Around 200 aftershocks followed over the next several hours, including a 5.5 magnitude tremor. The death toll confirmed rose to 292 people, while the majority of the victims were from Amatrice town and hundreds more were injured. The quake caused serious damage to a number of towns and villages, with the worst affected towns being Accumoli, Amatrice, Posta and Arquata del Tronto. Shortly after the earthquake, several descending and ascending Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B Synthetic Aperture Radar images were acquired, via ESA's Geophysical Exploitation Platform. They were combined by the mapping unit of BEYOND/NOA to form interferograms that depict ground deformation due to the earthquake.
Emergency Management Service Risk & Recovery Activations
Risk assessment and Mitigation measures - Madeira Island, Portugal

The BEYOND Center of Excellence has been actively involved together with partners Geoapikonisis SA, Tre Altamira SA, and CIMA Foundation in the EMSN-031 activation launched in the framework of the EMS Risk & Recovery Activity of the Copernicus. The BEYOND team contributed with its know-how and expertise to a service request from the Serviço Regional de Proteção Civil, IP - Região Autonoma da Madeira, Portugal, for producing landslide risk assessment maps, considering the post-event situation of forest fires starting on 08/08/2016 on the island of Madeira. The area of interest is composed of two sites, comprising of Calheta and Funchal municipalities.
 
Mapping and monitoring sinkhole risks - Solotvyno, Ukraine
The BEYOND Center of Excellence, has been actively involved together with partners Geoapikonisis SA, Tre Altamira SA, and CIMA Foundation in the EMSN-030 activation launched in the framework of the EMS Risk & Recovery Activity of the Copernicus. The BEYOND team contributed with its know-how and expertise to a service request from the National Directorate for Disaster Management, Hungary, for producing ground deformation maps covering the area of salt mines of Solotvyno, in Zakarpattya region, Ukraine. In this context BEYOND employed advanced interferometric techniques exploiting ERS, Envisat and Sentinel-1 data. The scope of the EMSN-030 activation has been to monitor the ground deformation dynamics of the area, for three historical periods, namely 1997-2001, 2003-2010 and 2014-2016 and assess the current subsidence and landslide risk zones, considering the historical velocities in the period 1997-2016.
 
Industrial Accident Risk - Spain
The BEYOND Center of Excellence team contributed with its know-how and expertise to the service request for post-disaster assessment of toxic cloud dispersion, following an industrial accident on February 12th 2015 in the industrial complex of SIMAR, Igualada / Catalonia, Spain.
The assessment included the progression/pathway of the toxic cloud, from the explosion to the time it can be considered harmless for human health or undetectable. It referred to the mapping of cloud concentration and altitude from 9:30 a.m. to 14:00 p.m., local time (30 min time intervals). Relevant parameters conditioning the cloud dispersion/progression, such as wind direction, wind speed, atmospheric pressure, topography, etc. were considered in the analysis. Moreover, impacts on population/assets at the time of exposure were assessed. The key user of the map series is the General Directorate of Civil Protection - Government of Catalonia.

 
Forest fire damage assessment- Greece
The BEYOND Center of Excellence team contributed with its know-how and expertise to the service request of Forest fire damage assessment – Planning and Recovery, for six forest fire incidents during the summer of 2015 in Greece. The analysis refers to six individual sites; Samothraki, Rhodes and Lesvos islands and three continental sites at Monemvasia (Lakonia), Dirfys (Evia) and Vyronas (Attica).The scope of the service request EMSN-025 was the generation of post-fire damage delineation and grading, biomass loss and loss of biodiversity (flora and fauna) products. Moreover, towards adequate disaster preparedness and efficient support of informed decision making concerning planning and recovery activities of the involved stakeholders, the potential and extent of occurrence of secondary risks, namely, flash floods, landslides and soil erosion are also evaluated and risk-specific mitigation measures were proposed. The key user of the map series is the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks Natural Disasters Recovery Directorate, Department of Planning, Coordination and Research.
 
Pilot Mission with UAV flights
BEYOND pilot mission with UAV flights for fire damage assessment 
in Thassos  island 
The Natural Disasters Recovery Directorate, Department of Planning, Coordination and Research, Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks assigned BEYOND “Centre of Excellence for EO-based monitoring of Natural Disasters” a pilot mission for the recording of damages caused by the fire in Thassos island on 10.09.2016. The mission included UAV flights to capture the affected areas and properties with high resolution digital photos and to deliver photo-interpreted orthomosaics of the areas.
Five flights within three days covered 16.188 km2 at the areas of Kazaviti (Mikros and Megalos Prinos), Aliki and Thimonia. A 7-member team conducted the flights using a UAV fixed-wing (eBee) for the digital photo collection and processed the data using specialised software, i.e. ArcGIS and Pix4D, to produce georeferenced ground control points; aero triangulation of the photos; and, finally, the orthomosaic output following the Greek Geodetic Reference System (GGRS87). An example of the final product is shown in the picture, where damages on properties are georeferenced in comparison with recent orhtophomaps provided by NationalNational Cadastre & Mapping Agency S.A.

 
BEYOND Exploitation
Launch of the MARINE-EO project
NOA is one of the partners of the MARINE-EO project "Bridging Innovative Downstream Earth Observation and Copernicus enabled Services for Integrated maritime environment, surveillance and security", and also Leader of WP2 "User Requirements". This H2020 PCP project focuses on maritime awareness, a top priority for Europe, sought both for sea-basins of traditional interest like the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, as well as for basins currently trending like the Arctic. The project started on 01/01/2017 and has a duration of 47 months. The Kick-off Meeting took place in Athens, Greece, on 12/01/2017, kindly hosted by Project Coordinator National Centre for Scientific Research "Demokritos", Institute of Informatics & Telecommunications: Integrated Systems Laboratory. On behalf of NOA, presentations were made by Research Director Dr. Haris Kontoes and Associate Researcher Mr. Anestis Trypitsidis. 
 
Launch of the NEXT-GEOSS project
NOA is one of the key partners of NextGEOSS project "Next Generation GEOSS for Innovation Business", and Task Leader of T6.6  "Disaster Risk Reduction". This H2020 Research and Innovation action project focuses on increasing global access to Earth Observation data, through developing GEOSS to become the next generation data hub. The project started on 01/01/2017 and has a duration of 42 months. The Kick-off Meeting took place in Lisbon, Portugal, on 16/01, kindly hosted by Project Coordinator DEIMOS ENGENHARIA S.A. On behalf of NOA, presentations were made by Research Director Dr Haris Kontoes and Associate Researcher Mr Anestis Trypitsidis about the current activities of the Institute (IAASARS); the role within the project; and the "Disaster Risk Reduction" pilot. On 17/01 an Info/Opening day for NextGEOSS to the public was organized with the participation of important stakeholders (Portuguese Ministry, ESA, EC, GEO players). NOA's achievements and important capacities of IAASARS were presented by Nuni Catarino, Project Coordinator of NextGEOSS.
 
BEYOND Outreach
Journals - Papers
 Kokkalis, P.: Using paraxial approximation to describe the optical setup
of a typical EARLINET lidar system, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,
doi:10.5194/amt-2016-230, in review, 2016.

Tsekeri, A., Amiridis, V., Marenco, F., Nenes, A., Marinou, E., Solomos,
S., Rosenberg, P., Trembath, J., Nott, G. J., Allan, J., Le Breton, M.,
Bacak, A., Coe, H., Percival, C., and Mihalopoulos, N.: Profiling aerosol
optical, microphysical and hygroscopic properties in ambient conditions by
combining in-situ and remote sensing, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,
doi:10.5194/amt-2016-193, in review, 2016.

 Marinou, E., Amiridis, V., Binietoglou, I., Solomos, S., Proestakis, E.,
Konsta, D., Tsikerdekis, A., Papagiannopoulos, N., Vlastou, G., Zanis, P.,
Balis, D., Wandinger, U., and Ansmann, A.: 3D evolution of Saharan dust
transport towards Europe based on a 9-year EARLINET-optimized CALIPSO
dataset, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-902, in review,
2016.

 
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