According to China Space News, several satellites were deployed to capture images of the quake-hit areas in Turkey, providing valuable data to aid rescue efforts and allocate resources effectively.
Using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from China’s L-SAR 01 satellite group, researchers were able to accurately portray the extent of the damage caused by the earthquakes. The L-SAR 01 group consists of two satellites equipped with L-band SAR, which were launched last year to support land resource management, mapping, forestry, and disaster prevention and relief.
The SAR system emits electromagnetic waves to Earth and receives echoes, which enable it to capture high-definition microwave pictures of the land surface. Following the twin earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, Chinese researchers obtained post-earthquake SAR images from L-SAR 01 on February 10. After differential interference processing with the pre-earthquake SAR images, they obtained the isoseismic deformation field of the two strong earthquakes.
In addition, satellite images taken by China’s Gaojing-1 04 satellite on February 8 showed that a fire had broken out in Iskenderun port in southern Turkey and that some of the port’s containers had collapsed.
According to China Space News, more than 10 civil and commercial satellites, including Gaofen-1 02/03, Gaofen-2, and Gaofen-3 01/03, were deployed to capture images of the quake-hit areas in Turkey. By February 10, a total of 67 remote sensing images were obtained, including 34 optical images and 33 SAR images.
The analysis results of the satellite image data were sent to the Chinese international rescue team in Turkey and were also provided to the Turkish government through the International Charter Space and Major Disasters. Academic institutions in China are also analyzing data from Chinese satellites to assist with the relief efforts. A research team from Wuhan University used China’s high-resolution satellites to carry out high-precision monitoring of lights in affected areas at night, providing data to the United Nations Satellite Centre to aid relief work.
The earth science satellite SDGSAT-1, developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, provided pre-disaster data for researchers to compare with post-disaster conditions. The commercial space telescope Yangwang-1, developed by Origin Space Technology Co., Ltd., and the micro-nano satellite QMX-1, developed by Wuhan University, have also been deployed to assist with the earthquake relief efforts in Turkey.