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EAS 2016 - Case Study: Monitoring the Amazon

Building on the success of last year’s event, the 2016 ENVI Analytics Symposium was a rousing success with two jam-packed days of world-class presentations, insightful panel discussions, and plenty of networking opportunities. The sold-out event, held in Boulder, Colorado in August, drew participants from the private sector, governmental agencies and the military, research and academia, and from 10 countries.

Michael Steinmayer, Executive Director of SulSoft, traveled from Brazil to talk about his work with CENSIPAM (Operations and Management Center of the Amazonian Protection System) to monitor the Brazilian Amazon Forest with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data. The Amazon is 6.7 million square kilometers, harbors 10 percent of the world’s known species, and is home to 350 ethnic groups.


There has been a satellite monitoring program of the Amazon in effect since 1988 that detected “clear cuts” of more than 6.25 hectares, and in 2004, the Deforestation Detection in Real Time (DETER) system went online to enabled actions to control deforestation. However, up until last year, there was no ability to monitor areas covered by clouds or areas smaller than 25 hectares. That meant that the rainy season, more than half the year, was open season for illegal deforestation activities since the limitations of satellite surveillance are not a secret.

The Amazonia SAR project, which is being implemented by CENSIPAM, started ramping up last year. Using ENVI, IDL and ENVI SARscape, CENSIPAM will be able to detect clear cuts, selective cuts, degradation, and clandestine airstrips from October through April, allowing the government to combat deforestation and illegal mining activities year round.The Amazonia SAR project, which is being implemented by CENSIPAM, started ramping up last year. Using ENVI, IDL and ENVI SARscape, CENSIPAM will be able to detect clear cuts, selective cuts, degradation, and clandestine airstrips from October through April, allowing the government to combat deforestation and illegal mining activities year round.

Check out Mr. Steinmayer’s 2016 EAS presentation here. Want to see more? View all of the presentations from the 2015 EAS here.



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