Looking Down on Deforestation: Brazil Sharpens Its Eyes in the Sky to Snag Illegal Rainforest Loggers
After reaching the lowest Amazon deforestation rate ever recorded, Brazil faces a its next hurdle: how to maximize the increasing resolution of satellite images to monitor small-scale forest destruction
Amazonia 1: Brazil's National Institute for Space Research is preparing for the launch of Amazonia 1, a satellite set to carry a camera with 12-meter resolution, an order of magnitude better than the WFI currently on board CBERS.
Deforestation proportion: AWiFS's resolution may allow Brazil to tackle its newest problem regarding deforestation: selective logging and diffuse slash-and-burn techniques. This chart from a INPE's presentation shows the change in deforestation patterns in recent years. (The units are hectares.)
ResourceSAT image: The Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) sensor on board ResourceSAT1 can provide images at a resolution of 56 meters and has an orbit interval of five days.
ResourceSAT: Brazil is looking for higher resolution images for its real-time deforestation detection system. ResourceSAT 1, built by the Indian Space Research Organization, should provide images for Brazil by mid-2011.
Enforcement: Satellite images from DETER are processed every 15 days and alerts are issued by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE), triggering action on the ground by IBAMA, the Ministry of Environment's enforcement agency, and the police. Loggers and farmers are fined and sometimes have their property, machinery, timber and/or cattle seized.
MODIS Image: MODIS is an optical instrument with up to a 250-meter spatial resolution. Images are captured every one or two days.
AQUA: The Real-Time Deforestation Detection System, or DETER, relies in part on imagery from the MODIS (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensor on NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites. AQUA instruments, including MODIS, are shown here.
CBERS Image: This image, obtained with CBERS 2's WFI sensor, has a spatial resolution of 260 meters and cannot register patches of deforestation smaller than 0.2 square kilometer.
CBERS: A real-time deforestation detection system, called DETER, relies on imagery provided by a sensor on the China–Brazil Earth Resources, or CBERS, satellite. Sites are monitored every five days.
General View: The Brazilian government uses a range of satellites to monitor the Amazon rainforest
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