Disasters, both natural and man-made, occur frequently all over the world. When happens, they bring about casualties and huge economic losses to the countries. The Asia-Pacific region, including APSCO Member States, in particular, is vulnerable to various kind of disaster, such as, drought, forest fire, flood, landslide, avalanche, storm, earthquake and tsunami. Utilizing different means of space technology for disaster monitoring, mitigation and rescue is, therefore, of highest priority at APSCO. There are a number of projects and research frameworks which have been initiated to support our Member States in coping with disasters.
➢ The Research on Determining Precursor Ionospheric Signatures of Earthquakes by Ground-Based Ionospheric
The project was proposed by China in 2011. It aims to integrate the existing ground-based ionosphere monitoring resources in APSCO Member States including ionosphere altimetry, GPS TEC, VLF radio wave observations, and construct an ionosphere monitoring, data processing and information sharing platform for all Member States. It is planned to facilitate the research on information extraction method of multi-source ionospheric disturbances, statistical analysis of strong earthquake cases, obtaining temporal evolution character of seismic ionospheric. Its ultimate goal is to deepen understanding and modeling of the earthquake-ionosphere coupling mechanism.
The project was approved as a Basic Activity by the Seventh Meeting of APSCO Council. After its kick-off in 2015, the implementation of the project was going on smoothly under the leadership of the China Earthquake Administration (CEA). It passed the Preliminary Design Review and Critical Design Review milestone in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The Test Readiness Review was accomplished in January, 2017. Finally, the first phase of the project was completed in December, 2017. The Ground-Based Ionospheric Monitoring and Information Sharing Platform (APSCO GIMI Platform) and the dedicated web portal equipped with ionospheric monitoring, data processing and analysis tools, as well as real-time user interaction capability. With the data sharing policy and agreement signed, APSCO Member States are now firmly linked into the network for joint observation, investigation and sharing of their knowledge on seismo-ionospheric activity. So far, by study through the APSCO GIMA Platform, there are two conference papers and six papers published in the internationally recognized journals.
The second phase of the project was proposed and included in the Development Plan of Space Activities of APSCO in 2017. It is planned to incorporate data from the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES), launched in February 2018, into the Network. With the combined ground-based and space-borne data in our global-scale system, it is expected that the coupling phenomena between the Earth Ionosphere, as well as other physical parameters, and the Seismo-dynamics can be deeper understood, and hopefully can lead to precise prediction of the Earthquake event.
➢ Establishment of a Framework for Researches on Application of Space Technology for Disaster Monitoring in the
APSCO Member States Project
The project was proposed by Bangladesh in 2012. The ultimate objective of this project is to establish a platform under the umbrella of APSCO for researches on application of space technology for disaster monitoring in the APSCO Member States. The experts from all Member States forms a Joint Working Group and work together to tackle problems relating to disaster assessment, prediction, early warning and mitigation by using space technology. Four priority disaster types, namely, Flood, Earthquake, Landslides/Avalanches and Drought, are prioritized and of main concerns of the project framework.
The Feasibility Study of the project was approved by the Ninth Council Meeting, in 2015, to implement as a Basic Activity, under the leadership of SPARRSO, Bangladesh. The kick-off meeting was successfully organized in March 2016, in Dhaka. Consequently, two Technical Sessions (TS) were organized in January and April, 2017, respectively. While the first TS, held in Bangkok, focused on Flood and Earthquake, the second TS, held in Beijing, discussed mainly on Landslides/Avalanches and Drought. There were five Joint Research Projects (JRP) proposed to be implemented under the framework, namely,
(1)Hydrological and Flood modeling for estimation of runoff and inundation
(2)Mapping Extended Flood Area Using Remote Sensing Techniques
(3)Urban Inventory Development and Earthquake Damage Mapping using Remote Sensing Technology
(4)Automated Spatiotemporal Landslide Inventory Mapping over Large Area
(5)Drought Risk Evaluation using Geospatial Technology
The Leader of each JRP, as well as participating countries, has been assigned in the expert level and endorsed by the participating Member States. They are now being implemented actively to bring the research outcomes to benefit all the Member States.
➢ Development and Demonstration of Application of Compatible GNSS Terminals for Emergency Management and
Disaster Rescue (EMDR) Project
The Development and Demonstration of Application of Compatible GNSS Terminals for Emergency Management and Disaster Rescue Project was proposed by China and approved by the Sixth Council Meeting in 2013. It aims to promote the application of the satellite navigation system, including BD, GPS, GLONASS and Galileo, for emergency management and disaster search and rescue. The EMDR system is designed to collect disaster information through emergency terminal, formulate the rescue program in accordance with the disaster condition, provide services such as positioning information, navigation data and related communication messages for rescue and realizes the urgent rescue at the scene of the disaster.
The project is during the implementation phase, under the leadership of China. The participating countries in this Optional Activity of APSCO include Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan and Thailand. The project was kicked-off in 2013 and passed its Preliminary Design Review and Critical Design Review milestones in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The project prototype is now under the development.