An Introduction to Applying Satellite Remote Sensing to Disaster Management

This study on the application of satellite remote sensing in disaster management is unique in the sense that it is based on 13 years of empirical study, takes human factors (users) into account. It provides an overview of satellite remote sensing, detailing how it works and for what fields of disaster management it can be used. This book will particularly appeal to practitioners (such as disaster responders, policy makers, and administrative officials) and researchers in the field of disaster management, as well as researchers in the satellite-remote-sensing field.


Kazuya Kaku received a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Physics from Kyoto University, Japan, in 1978 and a PhD from the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology of Hokkaido University, Japan, in 2010. He previously worked with the Satellite Applications and Operations Center of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Sentinel Asia project to support disaster management in the Asia-Pacific region by applying satellite remote sensing and Web-GIS technologies.

“This book is a good, probably the first, primer for those who are working in disaster risk reduction, such as emergency responders, policy makers, administrative officials, researchers and students. It covers (1) the basic principles of satellite remote sensing as a technology and the entire satellite remote sensing as a system, which are easy to understand with many illustrations; (2) many case studies based on collaboration between satellite-remote-sensing experts and disaster management practitioners who are the users of satellite-remote-sensing data/information products, which clearly demonstrate how satellite remote sensing can support disaster management operations in collaboration with the users; and (3) a holistic study based on case studies, which derives requirements for applying satellite remote sensing technology to disaster management. [The] user-oriented approach is also a feature of this book; probably no one can find similar books."

Koji Suzuki Executive Director, Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), Japan; Visiting Professor, Kobe University, Japan; Co-chair, Emergency Preparedness Working Group of APEC

“Dr Kaku’s work “Satellite Remote Sensing for Disaster Management Support: A Holistic and Staged Approach Based on Case Studies in Sentinel Asia” (Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct. 33: 417–432. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.09.015) is distinctive for this research domain. This research may indeed prove to be significant to fellow researchers and scientists working in the same discipline. This book provides a comprehensive and detailed description of his such research.”
Dr Stephen E. Haggerty
Editor, Global Journal of Human-Social Science (GJHSS)

“This is a unique book that covers all aspects of the disaster prevention and management applications of space technology. In particular, there are many specialized books and academic papers on remote sensing on satellite image analysis technology, but this book focuses on policy issues such as examples of disaster management, why it was successful, and frameworks, etc. This book is very useful and recommended for those who are interested in such activities and want to improve disaster management in their countries.”
Dr Shiro Kawakita
Senior Engineer, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan; Secretariat, Sentinel Asia

“This book is of great value. [It] provides a comprehensive and detailed framework for emergency response in massive disasters with satellite remote sensing. This book does not require a technical background to read; instead, it shows many case studies for satellite remote sensing applications and practical usages for disaster with basic principle of satellite remote sensing technology. […] This book is good for policy makers, administrative officials, and young students."

Professor Masahiko Nagai Director, Center for Research and Application for Satellite Remote Sensing, Yamaguchi University, Japan

“Currently, with the prevalence of COVID-19, all nations are suffering from the lack of national finance due to decreasing economic activities. These tendencies result in the weakening of the power of disaster prevention. For example, last year, huge wildfires in Australia occurred which were of a greater scale than normal years due to lack of human resources. A similar situation of weakening capability of disaster management tends to occur in each country. Remote sensing application is the best solution to these problems. This book will provide key solutions for disaster management. In the book, the author first explains the fundamental basics of remote sensing in detail. It is very useful for not only university students, but also government officials who learn remote sensing at a beginner level. In the following chapter, he indicates a profound case study dealing with various types of hazards and shows that various types of active satellites may be applied for early detection of hazards. The author explains the characteristics of available satellites. As for the application of remote sensing for disaster prevention, the author introduces many examples of applications which he conducted as the major manager of activities and projects such as Sentinel Asia. The remote sensing application for disasters in Asian countries is a key factor in conquering such hazards. The profound experiences of his activities in the Sentinel Asia project are described in detail, while the author also describes the application of remote sensing to perceive the damage of a big earthquake in Japan. The book’s case study of a big earthquake in east Japan in 2011 is one of the best descriptions of remote sensing application for disaster management in any textbook. Due to COVID-19, we are in crisis condition for the prevention of natural hazards. We must be ready for better and effective prevention using remote sensing. Hopefully those who study this book will challenge the application of remote sensing to this new type of natural hazard such as complex natural disasters and locust plagues due to global warming trends.”
Dr Masami Fukuda
Professor Emeritus, Hokkaido University, Japan; Former Chairperson, Sentinel Asia Wildfire Working Group

“The book provides holistic understanding [of the] application of satellite remote sensing to disaster management. [Its] explanation pertaining to application of remote sensing during each phase of disaster management broadens the understanding [of] technology driven alternatives to effective disaster response and management. Case studies with response to heavy rain, earthquakes, flood, volcano monitoring, wildfires and glacial lake outburst flood further demonstrate the application for satellite remote sensing. Apart from technical aspects, the book also addresses effectiveness of disaster responsive space programmes and international collaborations. [Its] detailed framework for applying satellite remote sensing to disaster management is very well illustrated and can be of great help to practitioners, researchers, academicians and students.”
Dr Dhruvi Bharwad
Social Research Officer, Space Applications Centre (SAC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-5275-3741-2

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-3741-5

Release Date: 21st October 2019

Pages: 315

Price: £61.99

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