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The mapping of the extent of damage caused by large landslides is crucial to the recovery services. A large amount of work is however aimed particularly at the study of prediction and prevention of such events.


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Sentinel-1 poised to monitor motion

26 August 2014

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Although it was only launched a few months ago and is still being commissioned, the new Sentinel-1A radar satellite has already shown that it can be used to generate 3D models of Earth's surface and will be able to closely monitor land and ice surface deformation.

As the first in a fleet of satellite missions for Europe's Copernicus environmental monitoring programme, Sentinel-1A was launched on 3 April. It carries an advanced radar instrument to image Earth's surface through cloud and rain, regardless of whether it is day or night.

Among its many applications it will routinely monitor shipping zones, map sea ice and provide information on winds and waves for marine traffic, track changes in the way land is being used, provide imagery for rapid response to disasters such as floods, and monitor uplift and subsidence.

The satellite reached its operational orbit on 7 August and just 12 days later, its radar images were used to generate 'interferograms' that map the topography of parts of Italy and Norway.

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