Belgian satellites will be scanning our resources


ScanWorld is going to do what it says on the tin: regularly observe the Earth, more specifically its natural resources. For the benefit of agriculture, forestry or projects to tackle pollution.

The Belgian space and software company Spacebel and the Société régionale d'Investissement de Wallonie (SRIW), the Walloon investment company, are jointly setting up a company working on a line-up of so-called hyperspectral satellites to observe the Earth's natural resources. The new project is called ScanWorld. The aim within 3.5 years is that five to ten advanced observation satellites equipped with the latest cameras, from an altitude of 600km in orbit around our planet, will provide images in a large number of spectral bands, a bit like the scanner in our medical imaging. Agriculture and forestry management would benefit from this technology, as would pollution management.

ScanWorld project manager, Guerric de Crombrugghe, explains: 'Our data will be useful for applications such as drought warnings, plant diseases and irrigation problems. Very short repeated hyperspectral scans reveal information that cannot be seen with the naked eye, even before the farmer perceives it.'

ScanWorld will become the owner and manager of the line-up and of the images, and will also commercialise them.