The pair of observation satellites Mohammed VI “A/B” scans the Earth 700 kilometers above our heads. In addition to safe applications, these images are valuable to scientists, especially in the areas of environment, agriculture, and urban planning.
Since the launch of the Moroccan observation satellite Mohammed VI/B that took off from Kourou in French Guiana on the night of 20November, to join his twin brother Mohammed VI/A in orbit 700 kilometers from Earth, the tandem provides more than 500 images per day in high resolution from any point of the earth. If one of the objectives assigned to this tandem is safe – securing borders linked to the fight against criminal networks (illegal trafficking, terrorism) and coastal surveillance (ship reconnaissance and pollution) – this spatial imagery is also for scientists a boon for the development of several sectors, including the environment, agriculture and urban planning.
A plus for environmental policy
The Moroccan satellite duo will allow better monitoring of environmental and territorial changes. The images provided by the two satellites will have several operational applications in various sectors, including the management of natural resources and disasters, the promotion of agriculture and the optimization of the consumption of water resources.
This technique will also make it possible to observe weather systems and their evolution to anticipate atmospheric phenomena such as heatwaves, storms and floods. The optimal resolution of the images sent continuously by the two satellites contributes to the detection of anomalies and the implementation of precautionary measures against atmospheric phenomena such as floods, landslides, as well as the risks associated with the degradation of soil.
The data collected will also make it possible to optimize the use of the country’s water resources. Spatial imagery can be used to map crops, estimate water needs by region, and assess the availability of water resources.
Agriculture will be one of the key sectors of the Moroccan economy to benefit from this tool. Remote sensing is a real step forward for Morocco, which now has very high-quality imagery on vast cultivated fields.
In terms of public policy, for example, remote sensing will be very useful for managers and policy-makers who will have a precise and detailed idea of the types of crops grown by region and the estimated agricultural production. It will also be used for land use management.
In addition, academics and researchers, with satellite images instantaneous, they will be better equipped to design applications for management of arable land and creation of availability maps of culture media. These applications will help save water and protect the environment.
A boon for urban planning
The evolution of urban spaces is another challenge. For many decades, obtaining data on urban sprawl was based mainly on aerial photographs. From now on, the Mohammed VI A/B satellites will provide very high spatial resolution images with a daily frequency that will make a considerable contribution to town planning and spatial planning.
In the field of urban planning and spatial planning, satellite imagery has four major applications. First, land governance will benefit from the high-quality images that will underlie ordinary land registration and land registration projects. These images will also produce topographic maps and update existing mapping. In addition, they will contribute to an exhaustive vision of the entire territory, which will help in the study of the urban fabric as a whole and the establishment of urban master plans. Lastly, the interpretation of satellite images will make it possible to detect changes in urban perimeters: infrastructure, new housing, follow the evolution of urban planning and detect in time the unauthorized constructions and slums, details the expert.