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Black Marble Featured On BBC: Conflict in Ethiopia

The Black Marble team contributed images to the BBC to track power outages in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The ongoing conflict in this region has resulted in severe suffering for the civilian population, who, on top of the direct casualties of war, have endured lack of food, a collapse in banking and communication systems, and destruction of infrastructure necessary to meet basic human needs. To illustrate lack of access to electricity, our team created a Black Marble High Definition time-lapse video showing lights over Mikelle, Tigray,—one of the main urban areas—for each month since the conflict started in November 2020. The video highlights the persistent loss of power for Mikelle’s residents and on-going load shedding as a management strategy. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-63315388

FIRMS Adds New Near Real-Time Landsat Product for the US, Canada, and Mexico

NASA LANCE’s Fire Information for Resource Management (FIRMS) added near real-time Landsat Fire and Thermal Anomalies (LFTA) product for the continental U.S., the southern half of Canada, and the northern half of Mexico. This provides 30-meter active fire detection data within 30–60 minutes of observation. The LFTA product is based on multispectral imagery acquired by the Operational Land Imagers (OLI) aboard the Landsat 8 and Landsat 9 satellites. The OLI’s 30-meter resolution provides active fire detection data with 1,000 and 160 times finer spatial resolution than MODIS and VIIRS, respectively, and its enhanced capabilities allow it to detect active fires as small as approximately four-square meters during the day. For more information see: https://www.earthdata.nasa.gov/learn/articles/firms-lfta-data

New CEOS-ARD Product Family Specifications

The new Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Analysis-Ready Data (ARD) Product Family Specification (PFS): Nighttime Light Surface Radiance has been endorsed and is now available on the CEOS-ARD Website. This effort was coordinated by Brian Killough (LARC-D2) with technical contributions from Zhuosen Wang (619/UMD), Bhaskar Ramachandran (619/SSAI), and Miguel Román (619/Leidos). NASA’s Black Marble Nighttime Lights product suite is a prime example that both serves and meets the requirements of this ARD specification.
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The Terrestrial Information Systems Laboratory produces stable, well calibrated, and scientifically validated products from Earth observing satellites. These products fill the needs of researchers at Goddard Space Flight Center working to advance understanding of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere on a global scale. The Laboratory partners with other federal agencies to develop and operate computing systems that provide custom products in near real-time for applied research and applications.

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Robert Wolfe

General inquiries about the scientific programs at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center may be directed to the Center Office of Communications at 1.301.286.8955.

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