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What is the Copernicus EMS fast response service activated to hint the Iranian President | Defined


The helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi takes off, close to the Iran-Azerbaijan border, on May 19, 2024. The helicopter later crashed with Raisi on board.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

The story up to now: As a part of a multi-agency effort to find a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi that crashed in East Azerbaijan province on Sunday (May 19), the European Union activated its emergency satellite tv for pc mapping service at Iran’s request as hostile climate and darkness hampered search and rescue operations.

“Upon Iranian request for assistance we are activating the EU’s Copernicus EMS rapid response mapping service in view of the helicopter accident reportedly carrying the President of Iran and its foreign minister,” European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič stated on X. “The provision of a Copernicus EMS satellite mapping upon request for facilitating a search and rescue operation is not an act of political support to any regime or establishment. It is simply an expression of the most basic humanity,” Mr. Lenarčič later added.

On Monday morning, the helicopter was discovered after an intensive search, with state media confirming that President Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and different officers had been discovered lifeless on the crash website situated close to the border with Azerbaijan.

Ebrahim Raisi | A hardline President who had the backing of Iran’s clerical institution

What is Europe’s Copernicus programme?

The fast response mapping know-how is a important part of the Emergency Management Service (EMS) inside the Copernicus programme. Named after the famend Fifteenth-century scientist Nicolaus Copernicus, the programme is the earth remark part of the European Union’s area initiative. Copernicus was launched in 1998, and was earlier often known as the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Programme (GMES).

The programme makes use of international knowledge from satellites, and ground-based, airborne, and sea-borne measurement methods to offer environment-related info to researchers, policymakers, public authorities, worldwide organisations, and business and personal customers to deal with points associated to local weather change, catastrophe administration, and agriculture, amongst different makes use of.

The Copernicus system | Photo Credit: Copernicus official website

The Copernicus system | Photo Credit: Copernicus official web site

The area section makes use of a bunch of satellites, known as the Sentinels and the Contributing Missions. It is complemented by a floor section which incorporates in-situ sensors that present entry to the Sentinels and Contributing Missions knowledge.

Presently, the programme is applied by EU member states with the assist of the European Space Agency (ESA) for the area part and the European Environment Agency (EEA) for the in-situ part. The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), EU Agencies and Mercator Océan, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Joint Research Center (JRC) additionally help.

Notably, knowledge from the Copernicus programme is freely obtainable and accessible to all.

What is the fast response mapping service activated to find the Iranian President?

Copernicus gives geospatial info from satellite tv for pc photographs and different knowledge sources to assist handle a variety of emergencies ensuing from pure or man-made disasters like flood, earthquake, and tsunamis, in addition to support throughout humanitarian crises by monitoring refugee and internally displaced folks.

Active since 2012, the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS) works on two fashions — on-demand mapping and early warning and monitoring — to concern warnings, threat assessments and knowledge on the affect of disasters worldwide, earlier than, throughout, or after a disaster.

While on-demand mapping affords detailed info for particular emergencies, early warning gives important geospatial knowledge by monitoring and forecasts for floods, droughts, and forest fires. In the case of the Iranian President’s helicopter crash, the EU activated the fast response mapping service.

How does fast mapping work?

The Copernicus EMS on-demand fast mapping gives geospatial info inside a couple of hours or days of a request to assist efforts within the fast aftermath of an emergency or a catastrophe wherever on this planet.

It acquires, processes, and analyses satellite tv for pc photographs, geospatial knowledge, and related social media in fast mode to offer info, in response to the Copernicus official web site. “A rapid mapping activation is defined by one event and a location. There can be more than one area of interest (AOI) in an activation but these need to be linked to the same event. AOIs represent the geographical areas to be analysed and mapped,” it says.

An example of products delivered by the Rapid Mapping service as part of the CEMS programme. (Courtesy: Copernicus official website)

An instance of merchandise delivered by the Rapid Mapping service as a part of the CEMS programme. (Courtesy: Copernicus official web site)

The service affords 4 “products” — one pre-event reference and three post-event (first estimate, delineation, grading). Each includes supply packages together with maps and a vector package deal of spatial knowledge.

Once a fast response mapping service is activated in case of an emergency, the “First Estimate Product” affords a quick however tough evaluation of essentially the most affected space utilizing the earliest post-event picture. “Delineation” assesses the extent of the impacted space and an replace on the state of affairs if requested. The info is derived from photographs taken quickly after the emergency. “Grading” gives an in depth harm evaluation, its spatial distribution and extent.

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