AGRHYMET staff use remote sensing technology to produce satellite image maps of the Sahel region of West Africa. These image maps may show vegetation greenness, sea surface temperatures, or processed weather satellite imagery. The image maps must be distributed from the AGRHYMET Regional Center in Niger to national AGRHYMET centers in the member countries of Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. After consideration of a number of land- and space-based solutions for image map distribution, the best solution was determined to be use of International Maritime Satellite Organization (INMARSAT) land-based terminals. In April 1992, a field test and proof-of-concept demonstration using land-mobile terminals produced favorable results. The USGS and USAID are setting up a wide area network using INMARSAT terminals to link the AGRHYMET sites for image data transfer. The system is in the procurement and installation phase and initial opening capability may be operational for the 1993 growing season, starting in May 1993.
satellite imaging, agricultural information