UN/FAO Africa Real Time Environmental Monitoring Using Imaging Satellites

Project Description
Programme Description:
ARTEMIS (Africa Real Time Environmental Monitoring Using Imaging Satellites) is
an operational environmental monitoring program of the United Nations Food and
Agricultural Organisation. It provides real and near-real time precipitation
and vegetation assessment for Africa, the Near East and southwest Asia based on
the integrated use of high frequency Meteosat and NOAA AVHRR data. ARTEMIS was
designed and implemented for FAO by the National Aerospace Laboratory of the
Netherlands, in co-operation with Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA) and the
British Universities of Bristol and Reading. ARTEMIS became operational (at
the FAO Remote Sensing Centre, Rome) during August 1988.
ARTEMIS was developed to improve the supply of information on growing
conditions for the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System
(GIEWS) and Emergency Centre for Locust Operations (ECLO). However,
ARTEMIS data are now, more and more, provided to users involved in
early warning for food security and desert locust control at the
regional and national levels in Africa. The ARTEMIS products are
distributed to its users on colour hardcopies, IBM-PC compatible
diskettes, tapes and as point-listing using mail, pouch and courier
services. In addition, FAO and the European Space Agency (ESA) are
collaborating to develop a dedicated satellite communications system,
DIANA (Data and Information Available Now in Africa), which will
enable high speed digital dissemination of ARTEMIS products, and other
information, to remote stations in Africa.
Databases and Products:
ARTEMIS uses the following reference databases:
1. Geographic -
CIA World Database I (coastlines, country boundaries and major rivers);
2. Agroclimatological -
mean annual/mean monthly rainfall, and 10-day potential evapotranspiration
(PET) for Africa (based on published FAO agroclimatological records);
3. Desert Locust Habitat -
5-class ranking of potential desert locust habitats in the recession area of
West Africa (in preparation, based on unpublished data).
ARTEMIS produces the following operational databases:
1. Cold Cloud Duration (operational) -
10-day and monthly cumulative raincloud duration data for Africa and the
Near East (derived from hourly Meteosat Primary Data User Station data).
Produced continuously since the third dekad of August, 1988;
2. Number of Rainfall Days (operational) -
Total number of raindays during 10-day and monthly periods, for Africa and
the Near East (derived form Meteosat Primary Data User Station data).
Produced continuously since the third dekad of August, 1988;
3. Estimated Rainfall (operational) -
10-day and monthly rainfall (mm) for Africa (Sahelian-Sudanian zone) based
on a regression between cold cloud duration (derived from Meteosat Primary
Data User Station data and observed rainfall). Produced continuously since
the third dekad of August, 1988;
4. NOAA Vegetation Index (NDVI) (operational) -
10-day and monthly composite vegetation index data for Africa, the Near East
and southwest Asia. Data for Africa available from 1982 onwards. Historical
data for other regions are being prepared;
5. Crop Moisture Availability (experimental) -
Water balance data on 10-day basis for Africa (Sahelian-Sudanian zone) using
a simple waterbalance method based on 'Estimated Rainfall data', and fixed
crop coefficient and soil water holding capacity parameters;
6. Monthly Rainfall Anomalies (experimental) -
Monthly rainfall anomaly data for West Africa obtained through comparison of
monthly estimated rainfall (i.e. 'Estimated Rainfall' data) with the
long-term norm (i.e. 'Agroclimatological' data);
7. Potential Breeding Activity Factor (experimental) -
Desert locust potential breeding activity derived from 'Desert Locust
Habitat' data and data from the operational NDVI database.
All ARTEMIS products are available in a common geographic projection
(Hammer-Aitoff equal area projection, at a spatial resolution of 7.6 km), in
either photographic or digital format (digital image size roughly 2.6 Mb).
Programme Contact:
Jelle U. Hielkema
Environmental Monitoring Group,
Remote Sensing Centre (AGRT),
Food and Agricultural Organisation,
United Nations,
Rome, Italy
Telephone: +39 6 5797 1
Facsimile: +39 6 5797 3152 or 5782610
Hielkama, J.U., 1990, Operational satellite environmental monitoring for food
security by FAO: The ARTEMIS System. In Remote Sensing and the Earth's
Environment, ESA SP-301, 125-134.