Published on 7 April 2020
The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has virtually paralysed daily life as we know it. Even when the spread of this highly infectious disease has been stemmed, the world will face huge challenges getting back to normal. To help support experts working in Europe’s research centres and technical organisations during these unprecedented times, ESA has issued two new initiatives related to understanding the effects that COVID-19 is imposing on society, the economy and the environment.
As road traffic in cities around the world comes to a near standstill, Europe’s Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite mission is providing key information about changes in concentrations of atmospheric pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide. However, there remains huge potential to use Earth observation data to shed new light on other societal and economic changes currently taking place.
To see how Earth-observing missions could be further used to explore the effects of COVID-19, ESA has issued a new call for proposals. The aim is to see how satellite data can be used, for example, to map changes around transport networks, commercial ports and heavy industry such as oil refineries.