A better view

Satellite imagery expansion to improve environmental observation at University of Miami

VIRGINIA KEY, FLA. (June 26, 2006) A new contract between the University of Miami and Spot Image Corporation will mean more, and better-resolution, satellite imagery of important environmental observations, including weather phenomenon, sea surge, and subsidence. The Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS), which is part of UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, this week announced its agreement to receive much higher resolution satellite imagery from the SPOT 5 satellite, which represents a significant increase in the type and amount of imagery CSTARS will be able to provide its user community. CSTARS already receives SPOT 2/4 imagery under an agreement signed in September 2003. CSTARS was the first facility to provide critical satellite imagery to government agencies during the hurricane response activity in 2005.

"SPOT 5 is a powerful addition to our capabilities in national security, disaster response, and environmental monitoring," explained Dr. Hans Graber, CSTARS co-director. "This will allow us to offer much greater value in terms of imagery options and responsiveness for our users working throughout the Caribbean Basin."

"The most notable benefit of SPOT 5 imagery is its amazing spatial resolution that will help in a variety of ways," said Dr. Tim Dixon, CSTARS co-director. "It will give us a better handle on the detailed variations in land surface characteristics, considerably enhancing what we understand about an image."

The contract involves the southern Miami CSTARS facility and the entire constellation of SPOT satellites, which are commercially represented in the United States by SPOT Image Corporation in Chantilly, Va. CSTARS provides environmental monitoring of the Equatorial Atlantic region for several academic and civil government and defense organizations, including the U.S. Department of Defense. CSTARS' specific coverage area includes northern South America, Central America, the Caribbean Basin, the Gulf of Mexico, and the southeastern United States.

"CSTARS has been a great partner. This type of region-specific telemetry contract provides a great service to the user community," explained Antoine de Chassy, president of SPOT Image Corporation.

The SPOT Image Group, headquartered in Toulouse, France, and its five subsidiaries in the United States, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and China draw on a global network of ground receiving stations to bring satellite imaging and geographic information solutions to private and public sector decision-makers the world over. SPOT Image launched its first satellite in 1986 and is the oldest commercial satellite imaging company in the world today.


Since its founding in the 1940s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world's premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Headquartered on a 16-acre campus on Virginia Key in Miami, it is the only subtropical applied and basic marine and atmospheric research institute of its kind in the continental United States. More than 100 Ph.D. faculty members, 190 graduate students, and 250 research support staff comprise the academic community. Through excellence in research and education, the Rosenstiel School is helping us to better understand some of today's most pressing environmental issues, including fisheries, oceans and human health, hurricane warnings, climate change, and coral reefs. See http://www.rsmas.miami.edu

Imagery available upon request.

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