Success with new source of imagery

10 May 2006

Geoscience Australia has successfully received its first image from the China/Brazil Earth Resource Satellite 2 (CBERS). Images from CBERS can provide valuable information to land managers and policy makers about the nature of Australia's land surface, specifically in areas such as environmental monitoring, agriculture, mapping and emergency management.

[Click for high-res image] 1st image acquired by GA from CBERS on 7 April 2006. Image is approx 100km east of Alice Springs, Australia. The swath width is around 110km

Launched in October 2003, the China/Brazil satellite can produce images to 20 metre resolution that completely cover Australia every 26 days. Alternatively, images over particular points can be acquired every few days. This repeat coverage helps to build an archive of Australian landscapes for studies that look at the effect of human impact and natural changes over time.

"This successful downlink helps pave the way for further collaboration between Geoscience Australia and the China Center for Resource Satellite Data and Applications (CRESDA). We are now looking at future downlinking of CBERS data as one alternative to meet our operational requirements in light of the now ailing Landsat systems," said Dr Adam Lewis, Manager of Geoscience Australia’s Spatial Information Access & Remote Sensing Group.

Geoscience Australia currently acquires satellite data from a range of satellites through the Australian Centre for Remote Sensing (ACRES) and has been using images from the Landsat series of satellites since 1979.

Landsat data has provided a comprehensive spatial archive to governments and industry, but as the Landsat satellites age, users have become concerned about continuity of reliable and cost effective satellite imagery. Collaboration with CRESDA is a direct response to this concern, with Geoscience Australia looking to a number of international satellite operators to secure access to alternative sources of data.

"This was a key step in our discussions with CRESDA, which could lead to regular access of CRESDA satellites on an operational basis," said Dr Lewis. "We need to ensure that Government agencies, such as the Australian Greenhouse Office, can confidently plan their programs well into the future."

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013