2007 nov kerch catastrophe r lach o kolodyazhnyy november 2007


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Horrible storm at border of Back and Azov Sea broke by half Russin Tanker Ship. German InfoTerra GmbH, Polish Satellite Centre for Regional Operations - SCOR and Ukrainian Land and Resources Management Center have lanuched TerraSAR-X radar satellite, acquired image of the area of catastrophe on the request of Ukraine's Government, processed the image to show oil spills and delivered to Vice Prime Minister; Mr Kluyev' s desk early next day.

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2007 nov kerch catastrophe r lach o kolodyazhnyy november 2007

  1. 1. Kerch Catastrophe, November 2007In November 2007 the Ukrainian government requested assistance when a major storm hitthe Kerch strait, between the Black Sea and its northern appendix, the Sea of Azov.On November 16th, a traditional aerial reconnaissance campaign was supposed to retrievedata on the area, but the AN-30 pilots refused to fly over the area, due to a very heavy cloudcover at a height of around 400 meters and to difficult overall atmospheric conditions. Thatsame night, a radar image from the TerraSAR-X satellite was acquired by Infoterra GmbH,downloaded to Friedrichshafen in Germany, and transferred to Ukraine by FTP remoteinternet servers to reach the teams in charge of image acquisition and processing – theSCOR regional ground station operator and the Ukrainian Land and Resources ManagementCenter’s office (ULRMC) in Kiev.The same morning, the picture was printed in A0 size and immediately delivered to DeputyPrime Minister Kluyev in charge of coordinating the relief activities. The Prime Minister wasshocked with the situation visible on the satellite image, since traditional informationsources seemed not to report accurate information. Indeed, the satellite imagery suggestedoil spills had occurred as a result of the storm. It was therefore decided to acquire moreTerraSAR-X images, to be delivered to ULRMC by FTP servers. The staff of the ULRMC Centreperformed initial image classification, trying to determine the intensity of the oil slicksobserved in specific affected territories on Nov 16th, 22nd, 27th and 30th. Images were sentfrom Germany to Kiev, where they were interpreted, printed and delivered to the CrisisBoard, the Ministry of the Environment and the Council of Ministers of Ukraine.PHOTOImage_05_Kerch_1_16-Nov-2007The first TerraSAR-X imagery, acquired on November 16th at around 4.50 am, created ashock. It revealed unsuspected oil spills.The data collection drive reached out to all in-field crisis teams. Very High Resolution opticalimages could not be collected, however, due to the weather conditions over the zone of thecatastrophy. Meteosat-8 optical imagery, which was accessible every 15 minutes, showedconsistent Full Cloud Cover coverage over the area (at 400 metres above sea level), and astrong storm (7-8 on the Beaufort scale) which made usage of optical satellites completelyimpossible. In such circumstances, Very High Resolution radar satellite imagery was the onlyoption. Radar imagery from the TerraSAR-X satellite proved critically informative throughoutthe crisis.
  2. 2. As a side note, it is interesting to note that the number of ships and vessels visible on imagesof the scene did not match the number of the ships and vessels officially reported as comingin and out of Russian and Ukrainian ports. The message is simple: this type of imagery canalso be applied to anti-fraud activities. Image_05_Kerch_2_16-Nov-2007 thTerra SAR-X images of Nov.16 allowed for photogrammetric interpretation for quantitativecalculations, indicating location of areas with high, average and low oil spill concentration. (Credits:credits : Infoterra GmbH -image delivery, ULRMC -image processing