African Association of
Remote Sensing of the Environment


  • 17 Jul 2016 12:05 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: African Archaeological Review

    This article discusses how archaeological sites in Sierra Leone, and by extension much of West Africa, can be identified through vegetation patterns (vegetation signatures) detectable in very high-resolution (VHR) multispectral satellite imagery. Settlement sites typically have a differing pattern of vegetation from the surrounding landscape, including concentrations of very large trees with sociocultural and historical significance: cotton (Ceiba pentandra) and baobab (Adansonia digitata). These features are conspicuous elements of the landscape both from the ground and in aerial imagery. Two complementary methods of using VHR multispectral satellite imagery are discussed in this paper: visual interpretation and semi-automated subpixel classification. These techniques are aiding ongoing archaeological survey of the Sierra Leone River Estuary. The impact of recently renewed industrial activity at a site of probable archaeological significance is also assessed through visually interpreted VHR satellite imagery.

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  • 17 Jul 2016 11:52 AM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: Joint Research Centre

    Many areas in Ethiopia are currently facing water-related emergencies due to El Niño-induced drought, which has left 5.8 million people across the country without access to safe water. The JRC has provided satellite images of the worst affected districts so that UNICEF can locate deep water and organise drilling of wells. Otherwise, the affected communities have to rely on expensive commercial trucks to haul in water as rains are too limited to compensate and maintain sufficient water in the shallow groundwater wells.

    Groundwater (compared to rivers/lakes or other surface water) supplies 80 % of all drinking water in Ethiopia. The most sustainable groundwater is very deep. To locate it and then to drill and extract it is a major challenge. Information derived from different types of satellite images are important inputs along with geological data in the complex analysis undertaken by hydrologists to map areas of potential groundwater reservoirs and select appropriate sites for drilling.  So far, due to the cost of accessing and processing high-spatial resolution satellite imagery, limited groundwater investigation had been undertaken in this country. UNICEF was able to overcome this problem thanks to JRC support to process and analyse data from various satellite sensors over seven districts, mainly in Afar and Somali regions.

    Original article

  • 17 Jul 2016 11:31 AM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: Xinhua

    NAIROBI, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Failure to fully adopt space technology education is to blame for Africa's slow development, a university don has said.

    Dr. Faith Karanja, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Nairobi's Department of Geospatial and Space Technology said the universities need to make a paradigm shift and incorporate practical oriented courses such as space technology to change the development path of the continent.

    "We have to develop curricula that stand to address local problems such as space technology to address the needs of the continent's growing population," Karanja said on Friday at the conference on space technology in Nairobi.

    She said that even though space technology is costly to adopt, it has long term benefits that is capable of revolutionizing the continents development.

    The university don noted that elsewhere space technology has been used in producing a flare that safely destroy land mines by reducing propellant waste without negatively impacting the environment.

    "Space technology has created new markets and new technologies that have spurred global economy and changed lives in many ways. Africa should not be left behind in adapting this technology too," Karanja told the delegates.

    She called on the universities to consider overhauling their curriculums and stop teaching traditional theoretical subjects by replacing them with the once that are capable of promoting innovation, adding that the success of a university is determined by how it impacts on the society.

    The don revealed that space technology is now generating profits for businesses in a multitude of other markets such as medical innovations, coming up with engineering solutions and wildlife technology.

    "The universities must start repositioning by redesigning the curricula with the aim of solving local problems since the global market currently requires graduates who are creative and innovative," she added.

    Karanja revealed that only a few universities out of the registered 24 public universities in Kenya are offering courses on engineering, geo-informatics, remote sensing, natural resource and earth science but not space technology.

    All the public universities in Kenya are also offering computer sciences courses while the private universities who lack capacity in teaching hard sciences only offer social science courses.

    "Due to the unavailability of resources, all that African universities need to do is to develop partnerships for technical support and continental linkages," she said.

    He revealed that the University of Nairobi (UoN) has developed a new charter on how long a curriculum takes before it is reviewed. This trend has reduced time for review and helps put the curriculum in practice.

    The University of Nairobi is currently partnering with Rome University by funding studies in space science.

    According to Professor Fabio Santoni of the Rome Universities Department of Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering, the program started in last year and will take three years.

    "Students from UoN and Rome will be interchanging during the period to define needs for their own countries," he added.

    Through this partnership, Kenya is in the final stages of establishing a space centre, the equivalent of National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) agency, a project that will propel Kenya to the elite club of a few countries in the world that own earth observation satellites.

    The presence of the centre within Kenya involves the possibility to carry out launch activities, data acquisition from satellites, remote sensing and training activities both in Kenya and in Italy.

    Delegates at the conference observed space technology is capable of detecting unusual human presence in national parks and could allow anti-poaching units to identify, locate and ultimately arrest poachers.

    They called for the adoption of high resolution radar satellites to help combat wildlife crime by detecting vehicles and other equipment as they move under forest cover, or during the night.

  • 06 Jun 2016 12:44 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)


    An evaluation of vulnerability to sea level rise is undertaken for the Niger Delta based on 17 physical, social and human influence indicators of exposure, susceptibility and resilience. The assessment used geographic information systems (GIS) techniques to evaluate and analyse the indicators and the index of coastal vulnerability to floods, if sea level rise conditions are occurring. Each indicator value is based on data extracted from various sources, including remote sensing, measured historical data series and a liter- ature search. Further on, indicators are ranked on a scale from 1 to 5 representing “very low” to “very high” vulner- ability, based on their values. These ranks are used to de- termine a similar rank for the defined coastal vulnerability index (CVSLR I).

    Results indicate that 42.6 % of the Niger Delta is highly vulnerable to sea level rise, such areas being characterised by low slopes, low topography, high mean wave heights, and unconfined aquifers. Moreover, the analysis of social and human influences on the environment in- dicate high vulnerability to sea level rise due to its ranking for type of aquifer, aquifer hydraulic conductivity, population growth, sediment supply and groundwater consumption. Such results may help decision makers during planning to take proper adaptive measures for reducing the Niger Delta’s vulnerability, as well as increasing the resilience to potential future floods.

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    Z. N. Musa (1), I. Popescu (1), and A. Mynett (1,2)

    1UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, the Netherlands
    2Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University Delft, Delft, the Netherlands

  • 09 Jul 2015 9:48 AM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    It is necessary that African scientists look at strengthening their capacities in new Earth Observation applications. One of the evolved technologies is polarimteric radar data and its efficiency in studying earth surface processes including environment related issues. However, questions are: What is the main constraint? Is data availability the key issue to develop technical capacity? NARSS has started to explore the potentiality of this field through international cooperation and partnership and found that to be an avenue for such capacities. An agreement between NARSS and the Canadian Space Agency (RADARSAT-2 SOAR-AF LOAN AGREEMENT LI-24887) enabled to provide the Polarimetric SAR data and to develop and strengthen our capacities in RadarSat-2 data processing and analysis.

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  • 15 Jan 2015 1:28 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)
    The GIS model enabled to draw a scenario to project the urban growth of Addis Ababa in 2025. The digital and intelligent data model could help decision makers in selecting the appropriate locations for further development of urban to meeting the population increase. 

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  • 09 Oct 2014 1:56 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)


    We describe a method for improving Earth observation satellite image resolution, for specific areas of interest where the sensor design resolution is insufficient. Our method may be used for satellites with yaw-steering capability, such as NigeriaSat-2. We show that, according to the slanted edge modulation transfer function (MTF) plots, the effective resolution obtained by simulated yaw-steering of a satellite yielded a 138% improvement in resolution. This result equates to obtaining a 2.1m resolution image from a sensor designed to acquire 5m resolution images. 

  • 09 Oct 2014 1:54 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)


    The study mainly investigates the ability to provide a guideline on the exact areas available for rehabilitation and determine the most desirable species that are 
    suitable in order to achieve a desirable success rate. Specifically, this research intends to:
    • Provide a land use map which can further be used to estimate the target forest area to be rehabilitated.
    • Identify areas that can either be planted physically or be protected to allow for natural regeneration.
    • Provide a framework for species site matching.
    The area of study is East Mau forest located in Nakuru Country, Kenya and is part of the larger Mau eco system. 

  • 09 Oct 2014 1:48 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Application field: Humanitarian relief support, mission planning, conflict prevention,
    crisis monitoring. From a humanitarian point of view, there is no doubt that the most
    critical parameter to be mapped and monitored is the number of people affected by a
    crisis or disaster. This applies to all phases of the disaster cycle, ranging from the
    alerting and emergency response phases to recovery and rehabilitation phases.
    Remote sensing may, however, at best provide only indications of human presence,
    since individuals are not directly visible. Areas such as IDP camps can show rapid
    changes in annual population averages, with sudden, dramatic increases or decreases
    in numbers. As a result of such rapid population changes in these ephemeral
    settlements in situ population censuses are often the only means of acquiring relevant
    population figures within the time frame required for humanitarian aid.
    Methodology used / workflow: A workflow for conditioned information comprising
    situation awareness, user specifications, data integration, automated data analysis,
    added value products and scientific visualization (maps and globe browsers).

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  • 18 Nov 2013 4:28 PM | Anonymous


    Nigeria is blessed with a large expanse of forest cover but this important resource is not sustainably used, managed and/or conserved. Historically, forestry development in Nigeria began with reservation of forest lands in order to manage, maintain forest reserves and provide a supply of timber. This was followed by exploitation of forest resources to meet both export and burgeoning local demand as well as to earn much needed foreign exchange. With the country’s independence in 1960, development phase of the Nigerian forest resources management began which focus on the development of forest plantations. The records in the Federal Department of Forestry as of 2006 shows that Nigeria has a total of 1,160 constituted forest reserves including 6 National Parks, 20 Game and Wildlife sanctuaries, 13 proposed Game Reserves/Wildlife Sanctuaries and 8 Strict Nature Reserves. These areas which cover about 107,527 km2 are designated for conservation, management, and propagation of wild animals including the protection and management of critical habitats.

    For about 40years now, Nigeria's forests including the conservation areas have continued to shrink, especially in the north, where uncontrolled commercial exploitation of privately owned forests began in the late nineteenth century. Presently, the rate of deforestation is now estimated at about 3.5% per annum translating to a loss of 3,500–4,000 km2 of forest land per year while current level of demand for forest products outstrips the sustainable level of supply. This situation is expected to deteriorate further in future if adequate conservation measures are not properly introduced. For reliable conservation strategies for forestry sustainability in Nigeria, this study therefore, recommended the following: a review of forest policies, afforestation and reforestation methods, improved enforcement, agroforestry practice and adequate funding, restoration of degraded land, control of bush burning and forest fires, and more importantly adoption of local/traditional knowledge in planning and execution of forestry projects as well as forest monitoring using remotely sensed data.

    Keywords: Forests, management phases, challenges, remote sensing

    Ayeni A. O. (Ph.D.)

    Department of Geography, University of Lagos, Lagos - Nigeria

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