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Help from India

Daniel BuenoThe National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has begun to receive, process and distribute images from the Indian remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2 and is doing so free of charge. Built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the satellite, which has three cameras, went into orbit in 2011. The images that one of the cameras produces are being used to upgrade DETER, a system that INPE devised to detect deforestation. With images such as the ones produced by the Indian sensor, it is possible to drill down to areas of deforestation that are as small as 6.25 hectares, whereas with the current system, areas must measure at least 25 hectares to be displayed. The cooperation between INPE and ISRO is the outcome of an agreement signed in July in Brasília, during the official visit of Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Brazil. In 2008, the two countries entered into a similar agreement to receive data from Resourcesat-1, the predecessor of Resourcesat-2, that began orbiting in 2003 and is still operating. The INPE catalog also provides images from the CBERS (Chinese-Brazilian satellites) and satellites from the U.S. Landsat program.