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Coordinator: ROSA - Romanian Space Agency


  • National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management - INHGA
  • CRUTA - Romanian Center for Remote Sensing Use in Agriculture
  • National Meteorological Administration - METEO
  • ASRC - Advanced Studies and Research Center
  • "Politehnica" University of Bucharest

Period: 2007- 2010

Project Director:


The SIGUR project (Service based on satellite information for emergency management) aims to establish a national service that can provide products mainly from the processing of satellite images, useful for emergency management. The service will be developed taking into account local and national requirements, in order to be integrated into the National System for Emergency Situations Management, and to accomplish the European requirements, to ensure compatibility with the GMES Emergency Response Core Service.

The service will provide users basic information products (land use maps, infrastructure, administrative units) and emergency products.

Using SIGUR products in crisis cell will increase the effectiveness of interventions, will provide a better understanding of the scale and magnitude of the phenomenon in question, ultimately helping to reduce human and material losses.

The project is coordinated by the Romanian Space Agency and conducted in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, National Meteorological Administration, National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management and Advanced Studies and Research Center.

Project objectives:


Consortium coordination and monitoring the phases of the project

  • Organizing the work teams, planning and scheduling activities, tasks networking.
  • Includes the scientific and technical quality assurance of project results. Preparing the technical and financial reports to the Contracting Authority.

Dissemination of results

  • Publication of articles in technical and scientific publications, making a web site well documented, participation in national and international conferences and workshops, media outreach of the obtained products.

Organising the worl meetings and unforeseen problem solving

  • In order to assess the objectives of the stage is which the project is and to establish the viable strategies for successful completion of the project.

Project evaluation

  • Defining the requirements for each type of disaster, testing and validation of products offered by the service, feedback on service performance, defining an operational concept.

User training and interaction with them

  • Organizing meetings to familiarize the potential users with the products offered by the service. Making an electronic guide, distributed within the Site, including the use of each product produced in the service.
  • Establishment of procedures by which users are able to contribute to the development modem so that the service will respond better to their needs. 
  • Exercises, tests. 

The development of the service in order to include all phases of disaster types considered

  • Meteorological and hydrological disasters (floods, fires, storms, drought). It represents the category of disasters that affect the most the country. Therefore in the service it will be given special attention. Themed products will include forecasts and meteorological and hydrological simulations, risk maps, situation maps, 3D views, animations, reports and charts for estimating damages.
  • The development of geophysical disasters specific products (earthquakes, landslides, avalanches).
  • The development of products specific to human activities disasters (air pollution, nuclear accidents).
  • Multi-risk products. The development of useful products for complex crisis management, evacuation plans execution, execution of plans for rehabilitation and reconstruction.

Creating an effective product distribution chain

  • In most cases, the products users have limited GIS and remote sensing knowledge. The distribution of information in a manner and form that seems logical and expressive for the service expert might not be as easy to understand by the user. Therefore it must be given an extremely high importance to how the information is transmitted / received as well as how it is structured. The composition and map symbology will be agreed with users and groups based on the type of disaster. The tools (interfaces) with which they will access will be designed as simple, transparent and intuitive.

Service Validation

  • Defining the validation plan, the validation itself.
  • Service control quality specific operations.

Coordination and development of service infrastructure

  • The initial implementation process, the service qualification, improvement proposals.
  • Developing the national interfaces and their integration with existing systems, the development of specific applications for processing, routing, archiving data.

Efficient access to satellite data and in-situ data networks

  • The effective coordination with interfaces and distributors of satellite data is a key factor in the effective operation of the service. To this end it will be pursued agreements with leading providers of satellite data, to get an immediate response when a crisis triggered.
  • Developing applications to connect to the existing receiving stations, the purchase and installation of a multi-satellite reception station, development of procedures to enable rapid access to satellite data archiving systems.

Efficient processing of satellite data

  • Experts in satellite data processing will optimize existing algorithms and will develop new procedures for analysis and segmentation of satellite images to minimize computation time and maximize the quality and usefulness of results.

Efficient access to reference maps

  • Obtaining relevant products implies the existence of reference data as accurate as possbile: archival satellite images (with the situation before the disaster), topographic maps, socio-economic data. Optimizing how these reference data are stored, identified, accessed can significantly reduce the response time of the service. For this purpose there will be developed standardized data catalogs, accessible through graphical interfaces (web-based) intuitive, allowing efficient evaluation of reference data available for a given geographic area.
  • Reference maps can be divided into:

a. Geographical maps: containing information on topography (level curves quotas, numerical models of land elevation), hydrology, transportation networks, cities, points of interest. These maps should be available in digital form as GIS info-layers, before the onset of the crisis. The scale base maps will be 1: 100 000. Depending on the type of disaster, area affected, severity the maps will be used at larger scales, with higher accuracy (1: 50,000, 1: 25,000). The providing of the reference maps will be done using existing geospatial databases.

b. Historical Maps: will be used for better understanding of the causes that led to the disaster. For Romania there are cartographic materials for the last 120 years.

Products obtaining

  • It is the so-called situation Maps: Extremely important for both the intervention teams on the field and for the decision committees. They are doing the updating and completion of geographic maps with specific information for each type of disaster in part. During an episode of crisis, according to the dynamic of the disaster, the situation maps may suffer more updates (ie conditions of access, weather conditions, expanding the affected area etc). These maps will be performed in a standardized manner and will be distributed both digitally and on paper. Because time plays an important role in decision making in a crisis situation, the maps must be delivered promptly, preferably less than 24 since the onset of the phenomenon.

Product validation and quality assurance

  • Defining the validation plan, the validation itself.
  • Product quality specific control activities.

Coordination and development of the service's infrastructure

  • The initial implementation, the qualification of the service, improvement proposals.
  • Developing the national interfaces and their integration with existing systems, developing specific applications for processing, routing, data archiving.

Efficient access to satellite data and in-situ data networks

  • The effective coordination with interfaces and distributors of satellite data is a key factor in the efficient operation of the service. To this end there will be pursued agreements with leading providers of satellite data to get an immediate response in case of a crisis outbreak.
  • Developing applications for connection to the existing receiving stations, the purchase and installation of a multi-satellite reception station, development of procedures to enable rapid access to satellite data archiving systems.

Interface with users, partners and suppliers

  • Defining the cooperation agreement, defining the operational concept, the interface with European and international support services - Ex: International Charter.
  • Siging protocols with data vendors, definition of protocols for future partnerships for operating the service.

The architecture of the service

  • The definition of specifications and standards for products, the integration with complementary European and international initiatives - Ex: GMES, INSPIRE; the definition of data access policies.
  • The definition of system specifications, the design of the basic components - Ex: the interface for accessing the products.
  • Writing the operational procedures of the service, documentation and integration of the data processing algorithms, preparing the training plans.

Increased capacity of reaction

  • The experience has shown that most of the delays in the delivery to users of rapid mapping products (from the onset of the disaster until the delivery of the product) is due to the time elapsed until the initial activation of the service. The project aims to develop mechanisms to enable rapid service activation through integration into the decision-making flow of the forecasts issued by the authorized institutions (meteorological, agro-meteorological, hydrological forecast).

The Scientific Committee

  • Creating a scientific committee to assess the implementation of the service and make recommendations on the directions of its development. The Council shall periodically review the progress made by the international research community on issues of satellite and will recommend the implementation of those technologies that can improve the functionality of the service.


Project webpage: SIGUR