Pretoria, South Africa

The South African National Space Agency is South Africa's government agency responsible for the promotion and development of aeronautics and aerospace space research. It fosters cooperation in space-related activities and research in space science, seeks to advance scientific engineering through human capital, as well as the peaceful use of outer space, and supports the creation of an environment conducive to the industrial development of space technologies within the framework of national government.SANSA was established on 9 December 2010 by the National Space Agency Act.Currently, SANSA's main focusses include using data obtained from remote sensing through satellites and other projects to provide assessment on flooding, fires, resource management and environmental phenomena in South Africa and the African continent. Wikipedia.

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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 1.21M | Year: 2009

The purpose of the GEO Network for Capacity Building (GEO-Net-CaB) project is to create the conditions for the improvement and increase of the GEO capacity building activities and framework, with special emphasis on developing countries, new EU member states (and EU neighbouring states) and climate monitoring and will serve the bigger goal of improved effectiveness and efficiency of GEO capacity building for application in the GEO societal benefit areas. Coinciding with this purpose, successful brokerage with (potential) clients for earth observation products and services will be facilitated. The project will deliver the following output: 1. Capacity building needs in earth observation are identified (at a generic and global level, but with emphasis on the target regions). 2. Specifications for earth observation capacity buildings are described. 3. Resource providers are identified. 4. Sustainable brokerage between stakeholders (including resource providers) is established. 5. A mechanism to facilitate cooperation between stakeholders and providers is established. 6. A global base of technical expertise for education and training in earth observation is established (with emphasis on developing countries, new EU member states and climate monitoring). 7. Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for determining the efficacy of GEO capacity building efforts are established. To achieve maximum impact demonstration projects will be carried out in Southern Africa, the French-speaking African region, Czechia and Poland, with spin-offs to EU neighbouring countries and Latin America and Asia. The project (with a duration of three years) will be carried out by a strong consortium of partners from the Netherlands, France, South Africa, Morocco, Czechia and Poland, supervised by an advisory board with worldwide representation and strong connections to GEO.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 2.63M | Year: 2011

The security of space assets are affected by the high-energy charged particle environment in the radiation belts. The controlling principal source and loss mechanisms in the radiation belts are not yet completely understood. During a geomagnetic storm the length of time during which space assets are in danger is determined by the loss mechanisms, particularly by relativistic electron precipitation. The primary mechanism for this precipitation is the interaction of several wave modes with resonant electrons which leads to scattering into the atmospheric loss cone. The nature of the wave activity and the interactions between the waves and radiation belt particles are strongly governed by the properties of the plasmasphere. At this point there are few existing and regular measurements of plasmaspheric properties, with existing plasmaspheric models lacking the structures known to exist in the real plasmasphere. There is evidence that enhanced wave activity and enhanced radiation belt losses occur due to such structures. In addition, there are large uncertainties concerning the fundamental nature of relativistic electron precipitation (REP), due to the difficulties of undertaking quality in-situ measurements. To address these uncertainties in this proposed project we will provide regular longitudinally-resolved measurements plasmaspheric electron and mass densities and hence monitor the changing composition of the plasmasphere, one of the properties which determines wave growth. This will allow us to develop a data assimilative model of the plasmasphere. At the same time, we will monitor the occurrence and properties of REP, tying the time-resolved loss of relativistic electrons to the dynamic plasmasphere observations. Our approach will primarily use ground-based networks of observing stations, operating in the ULF and VLF ranges, deployed on a worldwide level. Our proposal is made up of 6 work packages to meet these science goals.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SPA.2009.3.2.01 | Award Amount: 1.34M | Year: 2010

To enable and enhance the ability of African states to use satellite Earth Observation for the management of natural and man-made humanitarian emergencies. To develop a network of EU, African organisations and African users, in order to build economic, technical and commercial capacity within African states, along the priority lines being identified in consultation with the African Union under the GMES and Africa initiative.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2013.6.5-2 | Award Amount: 1.17M | Year: 2013

The purpose of the EOPOWER project is to create conditions for sustainable economic development through the increased use of Earth observation products and services for environmental applications. This purpose serves the higher goal of effective use of Earth observation for decision making and management of economic and sustainable development processes. This will be achieved through the following activities: 1. Roadshow activities to promote the increased use of EO products and services for environmental applications, including capacity building; 2. Portfolio of potential EO applications for economic development and environmental management; 3. Enhancement of the resource facility on capacity building in the GEO web portal; 4. Establishment of local focal points (nodes) that actively promote and provide capacity building on the use of EO for environmental applications effectively and at low-cost; 5. Explore the establishment of a high-level forum of stakeholders (resource providers, international organizations) that have an interest in EO for economic development and environmental applications; 6. Establishment of a central feedback node that digests and shares information on incubators, innovation, successes, experiences, visibility and provides brokerage and advice on resource mobilization. This will result in the output presented below: 1. Opportunities created for economic development, in particular in developing countries; 2. Key international economic development processes identified that require environmental information and mechanisms to develop them in a sustainable fashion; 3. Local communities and authorities have received capacity building and are able to collaborate with international development programs, use environmental EO information and products, and engage resource providers; 4. Mechanism established to market and exploit EO applications for the creation of new innovative products and support services.

Amabayo E.B.,The South African National Space Agency | Cilliers Pierre J.,The South African National Space Agency
Advances in Space Research | Year: 2013

This paper presents results pertaining to the response of the mid-latitude ionosphere to strong geomagnetic storms that occurred from 31 March to 02 April 2001 and 07-09 September 2002. The results are based on (i) Global Positioning Systems (GPSs) derived total electron content (TEC) variations accompanying the storm, (ii) ionosonde measurements of the ionospheric electrodynamic response towards the storms and (iii) effect of storm induced travelling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) on GPS derived TEC. Ionospheric data comprising of ionospheric TEC obtained from GPS measurements, ionograms, solar wind data obtained from Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) and magnetic data from ground based magnetometers were used in this study. Storm induced features in vertical TEC (VTEC) have been obtained and compared with the mean VTEC of quiet days. The response of the mid-latitude ionosphere during the two storm periods examined may be characterised in terms of increased or decreased level of VTEC, wave-like structures in VTEC perturbation and sudden enhancement in hmF2 and h′F. The study reveals both positive and negative ionospheric storm effects on the ionosphere over South Africa during the two strong storm conditions. These ionospheric features have been mainly attributed to the travelling ionospheric disturbances (TIDs) as the driving mechanism for the irregularities causing the perturbations observed. TEC perturbations due to the irregularities encountered by the satellites were observed on satellites with pseudo random numbers (PRNs) 15, 17, 18 and 23 between 17:00 and 23:00 UT on 07 September 2002. © 2012 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kotze P.B.,The South African National Space Agency
Annales Geophysicae | Year: 2015

Geomagnetic activity levels during the declining phase and solar minimum period of the solar cycle are considerably different from those during the solar maximum phase. Previous studies revealed variations in the pattern of recurrent activity from cycle to cycle as well as variations in the average geomagnetic activity levels during a solar cycle. During the declining phase of a solar cycle (and solar minimum), the solar and interplanetary causes of geomagnetic activity are substantially different from those during the solar maximum phase. Co-rotating fast solar wind streams originating from large polar coronal holes, extending towards the Sun's equator, interact with the Earth's magnetosphere, resulting in recurrent geomagnetic activity particularly during solar cycle minimum periods. This is a well-known phenomenon with respect to 27.0-and 13.5-day recurrence geomagnetic activity, and it is well-known to be related to sectorial (non-axial) poloidal magnetic field structure in the Sun. Published results of the recent solar-cycle-23 minimum showed that the presence of 9.0-and 6.7-day recurrent geomagnetic activities can be attributed to the sectorial spherical harmonic structure present in the solar magnetic field. In this study we performed a wavelet and Lomb-Scargle analysis of the geomagnetic activity K index at Lerwick (LER), Hermanus (HER) and Canberra (CNB) for the period between 1960 and 2010, overlapping with solar cycles 20 to 23. Daily mean K indices are used to identify how several harmonics of the 27.0-day recurrent period change during each solar cycle when comparing high and mid-latitude geomagnetic activity, applying a 95% confidence level. In particular the behaviour of the second (13.5-day), third (9.0-day) and fourth (6.7-day) harmonics are investigated by doing a wavelet analysis of each individual year's K indices at each location. Results obtained show that particularly during solar minima the 27.0-day period is no longer detectable above the 95% confidence level, and that geomagnetic activity is in fact dominated by higher harmonics like 13.5-, 9.0-and 6.7-day periods. These findings in fact are in line with previous investigations and confirm the results obtained by researchers using other geomagnetic activity indices like aa and C9. The wavelet-spectrum analysis also reveals that during the downward phase of cycle 23 and the very long minimum of 23-24 between 2002 and 2008, the 27.0-day activity period drops below the 95% confidence level. This is confirmed by Lomb-Scargle analyses of every year's K index activity. Results obtained in this study support evidence by other investigations that this can be attributed to the lack of coronal-mass ejection (CME)-dominated solar activity during solar minima, periods characterized by strong solar dipolar magnetic fields, less sunspot numbers than at solar maxima, and multiple prominent co-rotating solar wind streams present. This analysis further confirms previous studies by other authors that the pattern of recurrent activity is dictated by the configuration of coronal holes which give rise to related high-speed streams during a solar cycle by analysing K indices at both high-and mid-latitude magnetic observatories. © 2015 Author(s).

Malahlela O.E.,The South African National Space Agency
International Journal of Remote Sensing | Year: 2016

Surface waterbodies in arid and semi-arid environments are threatened by both natural and anthropogenic pressures. Mapping the distribution of surface waterbodies is crucial for managing their dwindling quantities and quality. In this study, a fast and reliable method of water extraction has been introduced. A remote-sensing index called the simple water index (SWI) was formulated to differentiate waterbodies from vegetation class automatically, and to differentiate waterbodies from shadows or built-up areas (water-like features). Its performance was compared with the automated water extraction index (AWEI) and the modified normalized difference water index (MNDWI) on Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) image of South Africa. The robustness of the algorithm was tested on images in Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with different biomes. The overall accuracies and kappa coefficient (κ) were used to compare the performance of each index. The McNemar test was performed to assess the significance of the output map and the validation data set. The SWI showed the highest overall accuracy of 91.9% (κ = 0.83), whereas the AWEI and MNDWI yielded overall accuracies of 83.8% (κ = 0.65) and 78.4% (κ = 0.53), respectively. The McNemar test showed that there was no significant difference between the SWI map (p = 0.248), whereas both AWEI and MNDWI maps were significantly different from the validation data set at p = 0.041 and p = 0.013, respectively. The SWI approach reduces the thresholding problem by 50% over the conventional MNDWI and AWEI. It is expected that the SWI will also be useful for the accurate quantification of waterbodies for large areas. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Yamazaki Y.,Lancaster University | Kosch M.J.,Lancaster University | Kosch M.J.,The South African National Space Agency
Journal of Geophysical Research A: Space Physics | Year: 2014

This paper describes long-term changes in the geomagnetic lunar (L) and solar (S) daily variations. We analyze the eastward component of the geomagnetic field observed at eight midlatitude stations during 1903-2012. The amplitude and phase for the semidiurnal component of the L and S variations are examined. Both L and S amplitudes correlate with the solar activity index F10.7, revealing a prominent 11 year solar cycle. In both cases, the correlation is slightly better with √F10.7 than F10.7. The v sensitivity of the L variation to solar activity is comparable with that of the S variation. The solar cycle effect is also found in the phase of the S variation but not apparent in the phase of the L variation. The ratio in the amplitude of the L to S variation shows a long-term decrease (approximately 10% per century), which may be due to a reduction in lunar tidal waves from the lower atmosphere to the upper atmosphere in association with climate change. © 2014. The Authors.

Kotze P.B.,The South African National Space Agency
South African Journal of Geology | Year: 2011

Quiet-time mean monthly values from the INTERMAGNET observatory at Hermanus (HER) in South Africa were used to study the changes in secular variation during the period between 2005 and 2009. After removing an annual variation resulting from magnetospheric and ionospheric currents by means of a 12-month running means applied to the respective observatory first differences of the X, Y, and Z components, clear evidence was revealed of a strong geomagnetic jerk that occurred during 2007 in this area. The GRIMM-2X model also provided evidence of the occurrence of this jerk in 2007. Of particular interest is that GRIMM-2X predicts the turning points in all the secular variation trends to occur much earlier than revealed by the observatory data. We also observed that the power of this jerk, determined as the difference in slope of the secular variation before and after the jerk, is several times stronger than the global jerk of 1982/3. © 2011 June Geological Society of South Africa.

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