RCMRD received a Grant from Google Foundation, with the support of SERVIR Africa, NASA and USAID, to procure, install, and build capacity for a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) satellite tracking system. MODIS is a key instrument aboard the NASA owned Terra (EOS AM) and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites. Terra MODIS and Aqua MODIS are viewing the entire Earth’s surface every 1 to 2 days, acquiring data in 36 spectral bands, or groups of wavelengths necessary to improve the understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere. The antennae is intended to provide real time satellite data to facilitate sustainable and reliable crop and pasture monitoring, flood and fire early warning services for Eastern and Southern African Regions.
With MODIS, RCMRD will play a vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment.
RCMRD manages all the automation and management tools needed to control the ground station antenna such that RCMRD is capable of scheduling tracking, monitoring real-time status, and ingesting and demodulating multiple EOS satellites efficiently.
The data can be processed into applications such as flood mapping, crop monitoring, fire assessment, water quality assessment, front mapping, and hailstorm prediction and disaster early warning among others. It also helps in forest fires monitoring especially in areas where human surveillance cannot reach without performing Ariel photography
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