After discussion and onymous voting by a panel of experts, the achievement of the remote sensing (RS) airplanes with CEODE was given the CAS open research award at the 2009 annual meeting on CAS large-scale facilities held from Aug. to September 3, due to its tremendous contribution to the tasks of emergency monitoring in the Wenchuan Earthquake relief operation in 2008.
On May 12, 2008, an extremely violent earthquake up to eighth grade on the Richter scale as measured afterwards rocked the Wenchuan County, Sichuan Province, whereafter roads were destroyed, communications were interrupted, secondary disaster followed one after another and the local weather went all foul. Faced with the severe situation, two RS airplanes by CEODE instantly headed for the disaster-hit area by orders to carry out a full-scale urgent RS monitoring task to the devastating earthquake. They continuously operated at an overload up to 227 hours and achieved a total of 41 sorties, among which the flight using optical RS technologies covered an area of 23,700 km2and the flight by radar RS reached an area of 105,000 km2.With a total of 18.5 TB of information collected, they successfully realized an all-round multi-time monitoring.
The CAS workgroup on disaster RS monitoring and evaluation of the Wenchuan Earthquake made analysis on the data and submitted 114 special reports on disasters to the central government, which received written instructions by Premiere WEN Jiabao and other government leaders. In order to better serve the decision-making in the disaster relief with information collected by RS, CEODE, as the headstream of RS satellite and aerial data, revealed all kinds of RS data on its website and established a mechanism of holding daily meeting on spatial data analysis by the demand and coordination of the Ministry of Science and Technology. By this means, the aerial data from CEODE and other spatial data gathered elsewhere were shared among several ministries, departments and organizations, and therefore a huge amount of satellite and aerial RS data were successfully provided for the government departments at all levels. It was estimated the download volume of online customers amounted to 2.7 TB and the direct copy from the data provided by CEODE added up to 3.6 TB. All these efforts effectively backed up the disaster relief drive, and were spoken highly by State leaders, and officials from CAS, government departments and local governments.
During the meeting, the CAS leaders and experts gave their acknowledgement and gratitude to the contributions made by the RS airplanes to the Wenchuan Earthquake relief and put forward further expectations on its future development. CEODE expressed its determination to further advance the development of the earth observing system (EOS) and the system of emergency monitoring and evaluation as well as the research on their countermeasures so as to contribute to the capacity building in monitoring and forecasting major disasters, prevention and relief and even the world disaster research.