Australia could assist small Pacific island nations in their efforts to mitigate against climate change from space thanks to a partnership between the CSIRO and the UK Space Agency.
The partnership could see the data collected by satellites used to improve decision-making for disaster risk reduction, ocean monitoring, mangrove mapping and maritime management.
According to the CSIRO, the work will build on those systems already under way to help prevent and plan for disasters that are a consequence of rising sea levels and climate change. A good example of one particular UK company already assisting in the region’s climate mitigation efforts is Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, which launched its NovaSAR-1 satellite in 2018, part-funded by the UK Space Agency.
The satellite uses Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to provide images day and night and see through cloud cover, making it particularly valuable for Pacific small island states which are frequently covered by clouds.
At the time of the announcement, CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the CSIRO's purpose is to solve the greatest challenges using innovative science and technology, like addressing the impacts of a changing climate.
"Building on CSIRO's 75-year history in space, through this project we are aiming to use cutting-edge Earth observation technology to co-design projects with our Pacific Island neighbours focused on managing threats like natural disasters."
According to the CSIRO, having the right to direct the satellite will enable us to collect data more quickly to assess the impact of natural disasters in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
“Access to the volume of data specific to Australia will also provide the raw data required to develop and model disaster and risk scenarios, including use of the technology for bushfire fuel load management, flood management, impending volcanic cloud events, earthquake prediction, pollution and oil spill monitoring,” a spokesperson for the nation’s science agency said.
Image Supplied: NovaSAR-1