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TitleOn the Use of RADARSAT-1 for Monitoring Malaria Risk in Kenya
AuthorRoss, S G; Thomson, M; Pultz, T J; Mbogo, C M; Regens, J L; Swalm, C; Githure, J; Yan, G; Gu, W; Beier, J C
Source3rd European Conference on SAR Modelling; 2001.
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20043011
AbstractThe incidence and spread of vector-borne infectious diseases are increasing concerns in many parts of the world. Earth observation techniques provide a recognised means for monitoring and mapping disease risk as well as correlating environmental indicators with various disease vectors. Because the areas most impacted by vector-borne disease are remote and not easily monitored using traditional, labour intensive survey techniques, high spatial and temporal coverage provided by spaceborne sensors allows for the investigation of large areas in a timely manner. However, since the majority of infectious diseases occur in tropical areas, one of the main barriers to earth observation techniques is persistent cloud-cover.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology offers a solution to this problem by providing all-weather, day and night imaging capability. Based on SAR's sensitivity to target moisture conditions, sensors such as RADARSAT-1 can be readily used to map wetland and swampy areas that are conducive to functioning as aquatic larval habitats. Irrigation patterns, deforestation practises and the effects of local flooding can be monitored using SAR imagery, and related to potential disease vector abundance and proximity to populated areas.

This paper discusses the contribution of C-band radar remote sensing technology to monitoring and mapping malaria. Preliminary results using RADARSAT-1 for identifying areas of high mosquito (Anopheles gambiae s.l.) abundance along the Kenya coast will be discussed. The authors consider the potential of RADARSAT-1 data based on SAR sensor characteristics and the preliminary results obtained. Further potential of spaceborne SAR data for monitoring vector-borne disease is discussed with respect to future advanced SAR sensors such as RADARSAT-2.


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