ESA title
Enabling & Support

Disaster Relief and Emergency Management

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ESA / Enabling & Support / Preparing for the Future / Space for Earth / Space for health

The key to successful response to emergencies is quick and effective early response. This is only possible if the right information is available at the right place at the right time. The European Space Agency, together with other organisations, is contributing its space infrastructure towards enabling more effective response to emergencies, whether they are large natural disasters or small remote events. Speedy communications of information regarding the conditions and needs at the point of disaster, combined with timely information on the available resources and their whereabouts can win valuable time in reacting to an emergency. And winning valuable time is key to saving of lives.


A list of recent and current projects supported by ESA is given below. Further detail on some of the project is provided where it appears with hyperlink (further descriptions will be provided in the near future).

  • Disaster Charter
    The International Charter aims at providing a unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or man-made disasters through Authorized Users. Each member agency has committed resources to support the provisions of the Charter helping to mitigate the effects of disasters on human life and property.
    Contact: Philippe.Bally @ More info »»


  • I-GARMENT - I-full-bodied smart garments equipped with sensors to monitor position, vital signals
    For emergencies/ disasters: A service to manage the human resources on the field in near real-time, guaranteeing the service will work even when terrestrial communications are unavailable.
    Contact: Norbert.Huebner @ More info »»


    This project is a prototype development, technical verification and validation of a satellite-based communication system for managing emergency situations involving the use of Earth Observation techniques
    Contact: Francesco.Feliciani @ More info »»


  • ISTOS - Integrated Space Technologies Operational System For Combined Space Technology Applications
    ISTOS is designed to improve the utilisation of space technologies by end users working in the field of emergency management.
    Contact: Francesco.Feliciani @ More info »»


  • REMSAT - Real-time Emergency Management via Satellite
    project which undertook demo testing of the use of satellite technologies for emergency planning and management of forest fires
    Contact: Francesco.Feliciani @ More info »»


  • REMSAT II - REMSAT Fire and medical
    Project for a satellite based end-to-end system providing a wide range of services for emergency management in time of fire or flood. It is characterised by highly portable hand held units and transportable command centres.
    Contact: Francesco.Feliciani @ More info »»


  • REMSAT II Phase 3 - REMSAT for floods
    This project expands the capabilities of the preceding system, REMSAT II, and is primarily concerned with the development of monitoring and surveillance capabilities required for monitoring rivers prone to flooding.
    Contact: Francesco.Feliciani @ More info »»


  • RemFireSat
    This project demonstrated the use of different satellite technologies in the areas of communications, earth observation and geo-localisation in emergency situations such as wildfires.
    Contact: Francesco.Feliciani @ More info »»


  • SARFOS - Search And Rescue Forward Operation Support System
    Development of a forward emergency response coordination and communication system using a combination of the latest technology in the field of integrated satellite and terrestrial communication, navigation and information databases.
    Contact: Francesco.Feliciani @ More info »»


  • SASS - Satellite Based Alarm and Surveillance System
    Satellite based alarm and surveillance system for security applications
    Contact: Francesco.Feliciani @ More info »»


  • TRACKS - Transportable station for Communication network by Satellite
    Completed project to extend use of a GSM cellular network using satellite links in combination with transportable Base Stations for developing countries and crisis management.
    Contact: Francesco.Feliciani @ More info »»


  • Respond - GMES Services Supporting Humanitarian Relief, Disaster Reduction and Reconstruction
    The relevant service is called 'health mapping service', but the main components delivered so far are spacemaps as input to aid workers (WHO, NGOs etc) involved with epidemiological applications; for instance mapping services in the context of the Marburg virus.
    Contact: Philippe.Bally @ More info »»