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Space based Earth observation Applications for Emergency Response and Disaster Risk Reduction

SPEAR aims to understand needs, develop solutions and strengthen national capacities for using space-based information for disaster monitoring and prevention in Africa in line with international and regional frameworks. Integration of national needs is of high relevance for achieving this goal. Some of the main objectives of the project are:

  • The provision of solid methods for multi-hazard characterization and monitoring (manifestation, intensity, frequency) by improving existing approaches based on time series analysis of medium-resolution data including monitoring of historical events as well as integration of optimized spectral and geometric resolution of Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 data (time series analysis, data fusion, regional downscaling).
  • Strengthened use of Earth Observation based data for the multi-hazard and multi-disaster-monitoring.
  • Development of country-specific information for drought and flood prone regions in Africa, considering biophysical and socio-economic preconditions and cascading effects, represent the main basis for the technical advisory service missions (TAM) which are conducted with support by UN-SPIDER in the project’s pilot countries.
  • The development of methods to integrate biophysical and socio-economic data analysis to improve information on vulnerability and exposure in consensus with international conventions and initiatives.

Scientific results of the project will be embedded in the TAMs and will be trained in the countries to support and facilitate the use of free and open data and tool using earth observation information as well as the knowledge about its use. This is supported by the development of recommended practices for national needs within the field of disaster risk management.

The SPEAR project is the keystone for the collaboration between ZFL and UN-SPIDER for the years 2019-2023. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi; grant No 50EE1804).

Team ZFL

Prof. Dr. Klaus Greve

Dr. Valerie Graw

Adrian Strauch

Jonas Schreier


Dr. Juan Carlos Villagran de León

Dr. Radu Botez