RSAC recently collaborated on Monitoring Agricultural Sustainability by Satellite (MASSAT), in which a parcel-based database, for the organisation and storage of multi-year cropping data along with a range of novel satellite-based metrics for the observation of sustainable agriculture measures, was developed along with dashboards enabling visualisation and interrogation of its contents. RSAC led the project and worked on the development of new products showing winter vegetation cover and for the detection of tillage activities, as well as the exploitation of its proprietary crop maps. The project outcomes provide crop intelligence enabling production forecasting, regulatory controls and agricultural statistics and support the needs of the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for implementing the UK’s 25-Year Environment Plan.  


Monitoring Agricultural Productivity and Climatic Adaptations in Mongolia (MAPCAM) is a project developing a parcel-based spatial database populated with satellite-derived measures relating to arable farming in Mongolia. New satellite-based observations of in-season crop growth and environmental measures provide information on crop distribution and growth to help stakeholders in Mongolia’s agricultural sector to sustainably plan for increased production and resilience to climate change. The establishment of a parcel-based agricultural information system within Mongolia’s National Data Centre promises to integrate the collection and use of cropping data for crop intelligence, production forecasting, regulatory controls and agricultural statistics, with a crop recording system and smart farming tool for producers. So far the project has developed a prototype database, dashboards enabling interrogation of the information stored in the database, and means for the database to be populated directly from satellite data stored in the Mongolian Data Cube.  

Regional and National Crop Production Forecasting in Peru

RSAC led the UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme project, Regional and National Rice Production Forecasting in Peru (2020-2022), which developed a system to generate agrarian statistics on rice production required by the Peruvian government more efficiently – with improved accuracy and timeliness – enabling better management of rice supply at the national level as a means of reducing crop price volatility. The project involved close collaboration with the Peruvian Government Ministry of Agricultural Development and Irrigation (MIDAGRI) and in particular the staff of its Directorate of Agrarian Statistics. Rice is mapped in the ten main rice-producing regions of the country twice per month, to give a picture not only of the total extent of rice production, but also the quantity of rice approaching maturity at any given time as a forecast of harvest. The rice mapping system developed was designed to be handed over to and operated by MIDAGRI staff (accompanied by training material) and is being used to produce data that are ingested directly into government information systems for use by senior staff in support of impact analyses for crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic and recent droughts.

   SatCafé (Satellite Remote Sensing for Improved and Sustainable Coffee Production)

RSAC led this international collaboration to develop useful applications of satellite data for mapping and monitoring changes in Colombian coffee plantations, as well as monitoring the condition of crops in relation to pests and diseases, and deterioration due to climate change. This work contributed to an international effort to promote the uptake of new technologies and innovations in the Colombian Agriculture sector, particularly by female smallholder farmers in post-conflict areas. Working with the national Coffee Growers' Federation, the project focussed on improving the accuracy and currency of information on coffee farms and integrating the results within national databases, to support decision making processes enabling both government and growers to take timely action in response to potential threats. Work was also conducted to develop a methodology for the mapping of new coffee plantations using very high-resolution satellite imagery. Outreach activities involved engaging with female smallholder coffee grower groups to educate them about the potential of satellite-based information to enhance the benefits of extension services that they receive, as well as skills transfer to Federation staff for the adoption of satellite-based monitoring approaches.


REDD-FLAME (Fast Logging Assessment and Monitoring Environment) (2011-2013) was an EU FP7-SPACE project in which RSAC coordinated a multi-disciplinary consortium comprising eight partners on four continents to build a system for the early detection of unauthorised deforestation and forest degradation using satellite data in Indonesia, Brazil and Mozambique. The project involved close collaboration with local users to support their requirements for the development of operational forest monitoring centres and linked closely to REDD+ national inventory obligations. In Indonesia, the team partnered with Yayasan Penyelamatan Orang-utan Borneo (Borneo Orang-utan Survival Foundation) for the protection of Mawas, a new habitat protection area in Central Kalimantan. This area of approximately 364,000 hectares was saved from conversion to oil palms in 1997. It is one of the few contiguous blocks of lowland forest left where still significant numbers of wild orang-utans survive and has not been reallocated to a commercial enterprise. The project included ground validation of disturbance detections in Mawas, and delivery of a workshop to a wide range of stakeholders (including LAPAN, The Indonesian Institute of Sciences, The Nature Conservancy, WWF, CIFOR, FFI, Wetlands International, GIZ) on the project outcomes.