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In this paper some preliminary results of an effort to build a drought warning system for the Sahelian zone are presented. Below average soil moisture conditions are assessed using the Earth resource satellite (ERS) scatterometer, a spaceborne radar operating at 5.3 GHz with a spatial resolution of 50 km. The instrument can acquire imagery independent of cloud coverage and independent of the sun as source of illumination. The study is part of ESA's data user programme: Application service demonstrator for drought early warning in Mali based on scatterometer information. The analyses suggests that ERS scatterometer data are useful to depict deviations from the average soil moisture conditions and therefore may be valuable as input into drought warning systems.

Additional information

Authors: SCIPAL K, Institute for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, University of Technology, Vienna (AT);WAGNER W, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Second European Conference on Applied Climatology, Vienna (AT), October 19-23, 1998
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 41651 ORA
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