Many news organizations have reported on the environmental and social problems associated with illegal or unsustainable resource extraction in the Amazon. These activities can contaminate water sources, degrade habitats and ecosystems, harm communities, fund illicit groups, and reduce sanctioned revenue generation opportunities for governments and firms. Due to its tropical climate, the Amazon is notoriously cloudy and difficult to image with traditional electro-optical satellites. Capella's SAR imagery and Change Detection products are well suited to help government (and non-government) enforcement and monitoring agencies to locate when and where illegal or unsustainable resource extraction is occurring.
To demonstrate this use case, Capella set up a SAR monitoring and change detection campaign near the municipality of Magui Payan, Colombia. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (12/20/21, accessed 5/4/23) and the Associated Press (4/23/21, accessed 5/4/23), Magui Payan has experienced significant illegal mining. This type of surface mining involves dredging, digging, and moving large amounts of material in and around the Magui River. The Change Map reveals the location of many individual mining activities over the three week observation period that can be challenging to differentiate through visual observation alone: the clearing of trees and vegetation to begin extraction, the movement of dredge-boats and heavy equipment, and the removal of material the deposition of spoils. The graphic below shows the image pair and Change Map that are available to view and download free of charge for users with Capella Console accounts to evaluate the Change Detection product. The subsequent graphic details specific examples of mining activities that can be identified by utilizing Change Detection.
Capella has written a wealth of Support Articles to help users to better understand our products. The articles below will assist in the access, manipulation, and interpretation of Capella imagery and Change Detection products.