Monitoring Coastal Change: Monitoring protected coastal areas using a semi-automatic change detection method


Coastal areas are very sensitive eco-systems which frequently suffer from anthropogenic pressures (e.g. pollution, artificial settlement and the destruction of vegetation). Earth Observation (EO) data can provide help to protect these areas using automatic monitoring over large areas. In the frame of a pilot project developed in collaboration with the Italian Carabinieri in charge of the Cultural Heritage, C- TEP will implement a monitoring service dedicated to the early detection of illegal constructions in protected coastal areas. The service will analyse images from the European Earth Observation system Copernicus and detect tell-tale signs of new constructions (disappearance of the vegetation cover, appearance of bare soil). Suspected construction sites identified by the software will be further analysed by an operator for confirmation, using additional data such as high-resolution imagery if needed. If the suspicion is confirmed, further action may be taken in the area of interest.

The system will be developed in partnership between Planetek and ACRI, and will rely on the resources provided by the PEPS collaborative platform of CNES, in the frame of the “BOOSTER” initiative. In the frame of this project, the detection algorithms developed by C-TEP will run on the CNES infrastructure and analyse the large database of Copernicus images stored in the PEPS archive.  This project will demonstrate how systematic imaging by satellites over large areas can provide meaningful information at a local scale, thanks to the power of exploitation platforms.

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