Modelling Exposure Through Earth Observation Routines

The project

METEOR is a three year project funded by the UK Space Agency to develop innovative application of Earth Observation (EO) technologies to improve understanding of exposure with a specific focus on the countries of Nepal and Tanzania.

The METEOR project consortium is a composed of eight organizations crossing four continents and with expertise spanning from humanitarian aid, to remote sensing, from disaster risk reduction to policy advice.

The escalating impacts of natural hazards are caused mostly by increasing exposure of populations and assets. A major challenge when making Disaster Risk Management (DRM) decisions is poor understanding of the distribution and character of exposure in ODA countries. Exposure needs to be mapped, monitored and modelled by Governments, NGOs, affected communities and businesses, seeking to bolster resilience and growth. Robust, quantitative methods are required to justify resilience decisions and risk mitigation. Projects have aimed to map exposure using Earth Observation (EO) using a range of approaches, though the application of these in DRM has been greatly limited by the fact that many have been poorly calibrated, for instance by being based solely upon readily available data, or were designed only for a particular setting.

METEOR takes a step-change in the application of EO exposure data by developing and delivering rigorous and open routines (protocols) and standards to allow quantitative assessment of exposure, with explicit uncertainties. These protocols and standards will be developed for broad application to ODA countries and will be tested and validated in two contexts (Nepal and Tanzania) to assure they are fit-for-purpose. The process of building capacity and co-delivering new consistent data will promote welfare and economic development in these countries, and demonstrate the applicability of the techniques elsewhere.

METEOR will deliver country-wide openly-available exposure data for the 48 least developed ODA countries. Better-informed DRM decisions that meet the demands of international drivers (e.g. SDGs, Sendai Framework) will be underpinned by our national-scale data.