The satellites of the European Space Agency (ESA) will track the economic impact that the coronavirus crisis is leaving on the world from space, through a program presented this Friday to monitor sectors such as agriculture, land and air traffic or pollution.
Analyzing asparagus acreage in Germany
During the crisis, Copernicus images were used to monitor traffic jams and urge authorities to facilitate transfers. They were also used to analyze the surface of an asparagus production area in Germany, which made it possible to quickly see that production fell in April between 22% and 30% compared to the previous year, an economic loss of ten million euros in an essential activity for the city of Brandenburg. “We want it to be practical, so that political managers can use it to decide what to do and where to act,” said Deputy Director-General of the European Commission for Defense and Space Industry, Pierre Delsaux.
Through the website http://race.esa.int , any user can access specific examples in which the images of the satellites of the European program Copernicus de Earth observations are used to analyze information that allows us to see economic recovery or pollution in different regions. The most famous example in recent months is that of air pollution measurement reports, data obtained thanks to European satellites.
“We want to make sure that investment in space brings benefits to each one of us,” explained Delsaux, who indicated that the project is in its first phase and the data and its applications will be updated with “exhaustive” work.
The first tests of this program, which aims to be applied worldwide in an alliance with the US space agency NASA and the Japanese JAXA, which will be detailed on June 25, have also been able to analyze the impact on air traffic, the problems in the borders for the transport of essential supplies and even agricultural activity.
The Coronavirus Rapid Action and Earth Observation Program (RACE) is the result of a cooperation between ESA, based in Paris, and the European Commission, and aims to shed new light on social and economic changes derived from the pandemic crisis.