| Project of the Month - March 213

SENSUM - Framework to integrate Space-based and in-situ sENSing for dynamic vUlnerability and recovery Monitoring

The SENSUM project is a response to the fact that human society is becoming increasingly exposed to natural hazards through urbanisation, greater dependency on technological infrastructures and environmental change. It is therefore essential to understand the changes in society’s vulnerability, and to integrate this into robust estimates of risk and of losses that follow an extreme natural event. This is especially important in countries such as those in Central Asia, where area-wide knowledge of the existing building stock is lacking, and the urban environment is rapidly changing.

Project overview

Project Acronym: SENSUM
Project Reference: 312972
Start Date: 2013-01-01
Duration: 24 months
Project Cost: 2.44 million euro
Contract Type: FP7 Space call, Collaborative project
End Date: 2014-12-31
Project Status: Execution
Project Funding: 1.93 million euro

Project website: www.sensum-project.eu

Project description

The SENSUM project is a response to the fact that human society is becoming increasingly exposed to natural hazards through urbanisation, greater dependency on technological infrastructures and environmental change. It is therefore essential to understand the changes in society’s vulnerability, and to integrate this into robust estimates of risk and of losses that follow an extreme natural event. This is especially important in countries such as those in Central Asia, where area-wide knowledge of the existing building stock is lacking, and the urban environment is rapidly changing.

It is this lack of information about an urban area’s vulnerability, in fact even the extent and makeup of a given town or city, which is the fundamental problem confronted by SENSUM.  It is for this reason that innovative methods of integrating observations and data from Earth Observing satellites and ground based methods such as omni-directional camera surveys will be a primary focus (see figure below).


 
Figure 1:  SENSUM will develop methods to integrate data from remote-sensing satellites such as the future SENTINEL-2 (left, ESA website) and ground-based camera surveys (right) into multi-spatial scale vulnerability data sets (centre).

However, the availability of the necessary data and information is not uniformly distributed.  Hence, SENSUM will consider both “data poor” areas, such as the Isfara-Batken region between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan which is prone to earthquakes and landslides, and “data rich” areas such as Cologne, Germany, which is prone to seismic events.

The goals of SENSUM may therefore be outlined as follows:

  • Provide analysis and mapping tools for Continuous Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis.
  • Explore the application of remote sensing and ground based methods to multi-type risk analysis.
  • Address the application of space technologies to disaster recovery.
  • Apply the developed tools to the specific hazards of earthquakes and landslides, including their temporal and spatial relationships.
  • Enhance the scientific and technical capacities of the Central Asian partner countries for disaster risk management and mitigation.

Figure 2: General operational scheme being followed within the SENSUM  project. Of importance is the spatio-temporal variability nature of the hazards, available data and resulting maps.
 
SENSUM will contribute to the better understanding of how risk may be estimated in rapidly changing urban environments prone to multiple types of extreme events.  SENSUM from its very beginning will set out to develop software tools on a Free and Open Source basis, allowing its wider dissemination to the disaster management and mitigation communities.
 
Intense interactions are foreseen with end-users from various communities who may benefit from the developments of SENSUM, as well as with other projects, in particular those related to space-based observations such as the GMES projects and the forth coming SENTINEL series of ESA space missions. 

Project Partners

Coordinator:

  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam Deutsches geoForschungsZentrum , Potsdam, Germany

Partners:

  • Centro Europeo di Formazione e Ricera in Ingegneria Sismic, Pavia, Italy
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfarht, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • Stiftelsen Norges Geotekniske Institutt, Oslo, Norway
  • University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Institute of Geology, Earthquake Engineering and Seismology of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  • Central Asian Institute of Applied Geosciences, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  • ImageCat Ltd., Guildford, United Kingdom

Contact

Massimiliano Pittore
Project Coordinator
GFZ
E-mail: pittore@gfz-potsdam.de

Documents

  • SENSUM - Project Presentation

    [PDF - 345.6 kB]

    (download this SENSUM project presentation as PDF) (URL: http://www.increast.eu/_media/sensum-incrEAST.pdf)