Posted on July 9th, 2015

Our Changing Landscape – Syrian Bombs, Part II

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with time series of medium resolution RapidEye satellite imagery. The RapidEye archive dates back to late 2008 and already contains more than 5 billion square kilometers of data. This month, we look back at the tragedy that is the Syrian Civil War with an update on the bombing of Aleppo that we covered in our November 2012 edition.

The RapidEye Constellation

Click on the image above to see an animation of 5-meter natural color RapidEye imagery collected over the Aleppo, Syria area on August 19, 2012 (the last image in our November 2012 article), September 2, 2013 and September 14, 2014. These images will look a bit strange as they are displayed in false color whereby we use the green, red and NIR bands to create a look on the landscape your eye could never see. In our 2012 article, we were rather convinced that you could see bomb damage in 5-meter RapidEye data. Now, however, we are not as convinced as many of the dots that we perceived as bomb damage then appear to blink in and out through the three years depicted here. We would expect the older bomb damage to heal over time but not to appear, disappear and then re-appear – we are disappointed by this conclusion as you might be. (Images Courtesy: RapidEye)

RapidEye is a constellation of five 5-meter medium resolution satellites each offering five spectral bands of information. The RapidEye constellation offers daily revisits to every location on the planet with a huge footprint that is 77-km wide. The data is priced competitively with a starting cost of $1.28 per square kilometer for all five spectral bands – academics do receive discounts. RapidEye adds a fifth band, the red edge, to the ‘traditional’ multispectral set of blue, green, red and near-infrared (NIR). The additional spectral data in the red edge band allows users to extract more useful land ‘information’ than can be from traditional 4-band imagery sources. When RapidEye imagery is ordered as a Level 3A Orthorectified product, images from multiple dates are extremely well registered, making it the ideal data source for Our Changing Landscape.

The Bombing in Aleppo, Syria Continues

Since our November 2012 article on the Syrian Civil War, very little has changed as the battle between the al-Assad government regime and the rebels rages on. In this short piece, our focus was on one of the regions with the heaviest fighting, that of Aleppo. And that will continue to be the focus on this updated look in on the conflict.

If you were to look through recent news stories on the conflict in Syria, you will find mentions nearly every day to deaths caused by, rebel, al-Assad and even US bombing in Aleppo:

Similarly, since our November 2012 piece, the use of satellite imagery to identify bombing in Syria has continued, for example in these three pieces:

Now it is time to turn to the visual record created by multiple 5-meter RapidEye collections over Aleppo, Syria to see if there is evidence of this continued shelling of both rebel and regime positions.

If you would like to find out more about using RapidEye for your academic studies, engineering projects or any landscape analysis, let us know at or (303) 993-3863.

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