Crop monitoring for early-warning stress detection
Crops absorb some components of solar radiation which they use as a source of energy in the process of photosynthesis. The amount of near-infrared radiation that is reflected by plants is a good indicator of the condition and health of the crop. A healthy crop reflects most of the near-infrared radiation, whereas a crop under stressed conditions adsorbs this type of radiation. This information can be used for early warning detection of crop stress or failure. Unfortunately, the human eye cannot see in the near-infrared and crop stress in its initial phase is therefore often observed too late.
Vegetation and crop inventories at ultra-high resolutions
A detailed inventory of land use and land cover is required to optimize land and water management. Nature conservancy, erosion control and appropriate water management are typical examples of applications where ultra-high resolution of vegetation is required. Especially change detection over shorter (days to weeks) or longer (seasons, years) time periods provides essential information for responsive management.
Glacier monitoring of extents, melt and flow velocities
Climate change has a strong impact on glaciers and as a result glaciers are globally receding, thinning and their flow velocities are decreasing. Fieldwork on glaciers is challenging and expensive and current field methods are still notably uncertain. Satellite remote sensing is commonly used for monitoring glacier changes, but the resolution of most satellite based sensors is to coarse to investigate detailed processes occurring on the glacier surface.
Erosion monitoring using time-series of ultra-high resolution elevation models (DEM)
Soil erosion is widespread and affecting millions of hectares of land. Detailed information about the underlying processes at a high level of precision is required to take appropriate erosion control actions. However, erosion starts very locally and information at high spatial resolution is required.
Near-real time high resolution flood monitoring
Detailed information on the extent an area is flooded is often needed for fast response actions and for damage estimation. Satellite remote sensing is often hampered by clouds, and resolution and timing is often not appropriate. Ground observations are limited by access conditions of flooded areas.