EARS (Environmental Analysis & Remote Sensing) was founded in 1977. EARS provides satellite based services and systems for monitoring water and food. Recent activities include water balance monitoring and crop yield forecasting in China, Mongolia, Africa, and Europe. Additional activities are the monitoring of forest, fire and photosynthesis.
Energy and Water Balance Monitoring System
Water and food monitoring activities start from the Energy & Water Balance Monitoring System (EWBMS). This system generates temperature, radiation, evapo-transpiration and rainfall data fields on the basis of geostationary meteorological satellite data. To this end EARS is receiving hourly MSG, Meteosat IO and FengYun-2c data, thus covering Europe, Africa and Asia.
Abundant data source
The EWBMS provides an abundance of agro- and hydro-meteorological data in near real time. It is the first source of large scale actual evapotranspiration, which data was never available before. Nevertheless this information is crucial to the assessment of CO2 uptake and forecasting of crop yields. It is also needed for river basin water resources assessment as it makes up 50-90% of the river basins water balance. It is therefore an essential input for accurate river flow modelling and forecasting.
In cooperation with UNESCO-IHE, EARS has successfully implemented a satellite based flow forecasting system in the Yellow River. New projects are in preparation in other major rivers, like the Yangtze and Niger. In the Netherlands and Europe the Hydrosense operational data delivery service is expected to become operational in 2008, which will be provided through a partnership with Hydrologic (Amersfoort, NL). The service will be extended to water authorities all over Europe.
EARS is operationally providing crop yield forecasts for Europe and Africa, in particular to support FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions. Yield forecasts are 3-5 months earlier than conventional assessments. The company is offering European wide yield forecasts of major food crops as an early source of market information to farmers, wholesalers and agro-industry.