Over the last week, China’s central province of Henan encountered record-breaking amounts of rain starting on July 17th, considered to be once in 1,000 year-level of rain and triggering devastating floods. In response to that, Chinese Earth Observation companies have put their resources and efforts into providing remote sensing data on Henan and turning it into intelligible analytics for the local government, insurance companies, and rescue teams.
One example is Jiahe Info’s use of SAR data
. The company, specialised in remote sensing data analytics and based in the neighboring province of Hubei, in Wuhan, used Gaofen-3 SAR data to detect the amount of flooding and the areas that are most affected. Radar signals are reflected differently depending on the wetness of the soil; SAR data can thereby help determine which farmlands have been soaked to an extent where the crops are no longer able to survive, enabling farmers to quantify the damage and claim compensation
(to learn how to interpret SAR images, see this article
Interestingly, Jiahe Info has decided to provide this service for free for all disaster-stricken areas of Henan, something that will definitely be appreciated by the local farmers. It will be interesting to see whether the events of this week’s flooding in Henan lead to even more emphasis on emergency response by China’s satcom industry, or potentially the government itself.