Night images of Earth will speak about the poachers and crude oil

Night images of Earth will speak about the poachers and crude oil

Analysis of satellite photography of the planet in the dark allows you to receive unexpected results.

A series of works on the analysis of “night” satellite imagery of the Earth had scientists of the National research centre “Kurchatov Institute”. They examined images taken in infrared (heat) range of radiation. Developed at the Institute of algorithms explore “night lights” gives an indication of the demographic processes on the planet to predict an emergency, to assess how much oil is mined in a particular field, and even to detect illegal fishing vessels.

Satellite images of the earth’s surface have become quite a common practice: mapping services working in every mobile phone. Continuous shooting allows high accuracy to predict the weather, controlling fires and floods, to conduct environmental monitoring of the planet — to follow cutting down forests, draining ponds and other processes.

— But the satellite imagery with which we work is slightly different from the traditional photographs of the earth surface, — told “Izvestia” head of the laboratory of technology management, integration and visualization of scientific data Kurchatov complex NBIX that resemble natural ones technologies Alexey.. — Traditionally, the Earth photographed from the side which is illuminated by the Sun. We are analysing data from the night side of the planet.

Using night snapshot allows you to get a much more accurate and detailed information about the objects that are themselves sources of light (including infrared — thermal) radiation.

This and the lights of cities and industrial objects, and natural phenomena such as fires, volcanic eruptions.

At night there is no interference from sunlight, — explained Alexey.. — This allows us not only to see more sources of electromagnetic radiation, but also confident to assess their range, that is, to make more accurate conclusions about the nature of the source.

Daily collecting statistics, you can create a map of stable lights at night, the corresponding stationary objects, cities, plants, volcanoes. And by studying the movements of this card for a long time interval, it is easier to draw conclusions about infrastructure changes and link them with socio-demographic and economic trends, such as population density.

Analyzing immediate change in stable night lights in large areas, it is possible to detect natural and manmade disasters and come to a conclusion about emergencies, blackouts and other.

Together with colleagues from the Institute of space research scientists of the Kurchatov Institute has developed methods, algorithms and programs for analysis of night of satellite data, processing of which occurs at the Kurchatov supercomputer.

These methods even allow the search of poachers in the ocean. Analysis of night lights of sea vessels allows to detect unregistered boats of small tonnage, e.g. fishing boats, and monitor the border areas where permitted fishing.

As told “Izvestia” a senior Advisor on sustainable marine fisheries world wildlife Fund (WWF), Konstantin Zgurovsky, poaching vessels, as a rule, disconnected systems of radio frequency identification. Therefore, it is impossible to determine that the vessel is prohibited from fishing area. In such cases, the computer analysis of ship lights at night satellite images of the Earth becomes almost the only way to quickly detect intruders.