Airbus will task the SPOT satellite every month from May to December 2023 to document drought in the French Pyrénées-Orientales region from space. This satellite imagery will be made available free of charge, so that companies, as well as the scientific and academic community, can use their technological solutions to support regional and economic decision-makers throughout the crisis. As part of the initiative, the DINAMIS platform (the French national facility for institutional procurement of VHR satellite imagery) also provides Open Data on 1.5m SPOT 6/7 satellite imagery dating back to 2014.

Airbus and DINAMIS are making this SPOT data available free of charge following a call launched by Rodrigue Furcy, Prefect of the French Pyrénées-Orientales region. Rodrigue Furcy is working to make his department the laboratory for drought management in France. On February 23, 2023, he issued the first prefectoral winter drought decree in France, and in April 2023 he faced the first major forest fire of the year. Michael Chemouny, Director of Optical Imaging Programs at Airbus, explains: "With this system, Airbus is seeking to rapidly structure technological and space solutions in the face of such a sudden crisis".

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Copyright Airbus DS 2023

On a monthly basis from May to December 2023, the SPOT satellite will provide coverage of the entire Pyrénées-Orientales region. The images, with a resolution of 1.5 meters, will be available free of charge on the Airbus Defence and Space website and on the DINAMIS Open Data platform. In addition to monthly monitoring, the historical coverage taken by SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 since 2014 will be provided by DINAMIS. This system not only enables us to monitor the evolution and impact of the drought on the region month after month, but also provides a massive volume of images for evaluating Artificial Intelligence solutions.

Companies and the scientific and academic community will be able to download the images to develop, innovate and propose indicators for crisis management, as well as for monitoring resilience measures in the region. The resolution of SPOT images at 1.5m and the regularity of acquisitions will enable the development of multiple applications such as assessment of water stress in plants and forests, arboriculture and vineyards, monitoring of rivers and wetlands, hydrology and hydroelectricity, drinking water supply and tourism or fire prevention and management.

The climate impact indicators to be developed for the department cover three types of landscape: Mediterranean, mountain and coastal. They will provide local decision-makers with rapid, regular, precise and objective information on the evolution and consequences of drought.

DINAMIS is a unique, centralized French access portal founded in 2017 by six renowned French institutions: CNES, CNRS, IGN, INRAE, IRD and CIRAD. Its mission is to facilitate access to very high spatial resolution (VHSR) satellite data for all institutional communities in France, for R&D projects led by French private companies, and for scientific partners worldwide, in order to contribute to the development of new methods, new products and new services useful for Research, Agricultural, Environmental and Territorial Public Policies, as well as for innovation of excellence in Earth Observation application fields.