Dec 01, 2014

Beyond Newsletter

The Beyond project: Established in the framework of the FP7-REGPOT-2012-2013-1 Coordination and Support Actions – Theme Area “4.1 Unlocking and developing the research potential of research entities established in the EU ́s Convergence regions and Outermost regions”, the BEYOND project (EC GA No 316210) aims at maintaining and expanding the existing state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research potential, by Building a Centre of Excellence for Earth Observation based monitoring of Natural Disasters in South-Eastern Europe.

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We feel like it has been a success in BEYOND because our work makes people’s lives a little better, and more safe, and as such it was recognised in the Copernicus Masters Awards Competition of this year, where the FIREHUB tool won the Best Challenge Service prize of 2014. The FIREHUB service provides unique real time information about the status of the active fires and the spread of fires and fire plumes over the ground.
And there is where satellite and IT technologies comes to be of great help. The unique feature of the FIREHUB service is the full exploitation of the very high temporal resolution of the METEOSAT satellites acquiring images every 5 minutes from the entire globe. Through complex modelling, FIREHUB engine combines the satellite observations with additional evidences of fire occurrence, weather forecasts, fuel, and landscape data, in order to derive and disseminate on a 5 minute basis reliable pictures of the active fires with an enhanced spatial resolution of up to 500 meters on the ground, that is 50 times better than the spatial resolution of the raw satellite observations (note that the MSG SEVIRI sensor resolution is ~3.5km over the SE Europe). Along with the fire evolution, FIREHUB provides hourly forecasts of the 3-dimensional smoke field with organic carbon concentration spreads in the atmosphere. Finally relying on any available satellite data of high or very high spatial resolution, including the future Sentinel- 2 data, the FIREHUB tool is designed to deliver daily, weekly, and seasonal burned area maps by invoking a fully automatic production chain. For more information visit: