Remote Sensing Applications

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Satellite and airborne images are being used in a whole range of applications.

Projects financed by the Belgian Science Policy are by their very nature multidisciplinary, but below we tried nevertheless to list the projects of the previous phases of the STEREO programme, organised by theme.


The agricultural sector lies at the centre of major challenges such as food security, respect for the environment and socioeconomic expansion. From a planetary level right down to the plot, remote sensing is used for the development of ever-more efficient monitoring and forecasting tools.

Also consult our news items regarding Agriculture

Aquatic environment

Over 70% of our planet is covered in water. The coastal areas that border seas and inland waters host ecosystems that are especially rich, but subject to extreme anthropic pressure.
Remote sensing has become essential to better understand and safeguard precious aquatic and coastal resources.

Also consult our news items regarding Seas and oceans


Seldom used in the domain of archaeology up until now, remote sensing is not only poised as an interesting technique to find out more about sites and therefore better preserve them, but also as a means to discover remains from the past undetected through more traditional methods.

Climate change

Climate issues are so extensive and complex that the international scientific community is increasingly being called upon to conduct research in a coordinated manner on various fronts in order to:

• to gain a better understanding of climate change;
• analyze and predict the effects of climate change;
• to propose measures to limit global warming and adapt to it.

One of the STEREO's objectives is to study the interaction between changes in land cover and climate change. Satellites are the perfect instruments for monitoring the interaction between oceans, continents and the atmosphere worldwide.
Other thematic projects address the impact of climate change in a wide range of areas: food safety, the marine environment, risk management, health problems, biodiversity, cultural heritage, etc.

Also consult our news items regarding Climate change


How can we protect our forests?
How can we support international efforts to halt deforestation?
Which tools can we develop to sustainably manage forest resources? Remote sensing research explores these vitally important questions.

Also consult our news items regarding Forests

Global monitoring

Satellites are the ideal - indeed, often the only - instrument for studying world-wide processes, interactions between oceans, continents and the atmosphere, monitoring changes over vast regions, and acquiring new insights into how everything fits together. They are used to monitor vegetation, map land-use changes, measure ozone concentrations, monitor the temperature of the oceans, etc.
As such, they offer policymakers information necessary for making the right decisions for a sustainable development of our planet. 

Also consult our news items regarding Global monitoring

Land management & Urban area

Earth observation data, and very high resolution images in particular, have interesting potential as decision-making aids for local or regional officials. In towns and cities namely which are increasingly complex and subject to numerous challenges. In response, remote sensing is used on all fronts: it helps to update necessary information, improve diagnostic tools and generate new quality-of-life indicators.

Also consult our news items regarding The urban environment

Risk management

Satellite images are useful before, during and after a natural or anthropic accidents: they can help to create a risk model, rapidly provide information to manage the crisis and assess the damage, and support rebuilding.

Also consult our news items regarding Disasters


Faced with the threat of spreading infectious diseases, epidemiology is becoming increasingly important. Tele-epidemiology collates the data collected in the field and satellite data to track down and prevent infection.

Tools for Africa

Protecting fragile ecosystems, combating deforestation, preventing locust plagues, providing warning systems for food security or taking a census of populations... Satellite imagery allows researchers to develop operational applications that meet the priorities expressed by their African partners.

Also consult our news items regarding Africa