Serco Europe News

SERCO SpA team analyses an important atmospheric pollution event near Rome

A major fire started at the Eco-X rubbish depot in Pomezia, a municipality in the Metropolitan City of Rome, on 5th of May at around 6 UTC and was active for about two days. The cloud of smoke was visible from several tenths of kilometers away. Both the fire service and the local health authority warned locals inside an area of 5 km of radius to keep windows closed in homes, schools, offices, and health and social care structures, keep animals inside, and to avoid all unnecessary travel.

Serco SpA IDEAS+ team located in Frascati (near Rome) has carried out a complementary study on this event, using a set of ground-based instrumentation managed as part of their current Remote Sensing contract. The contract, with the European Space Agency, covers scientific activities related to the data quality of several Earth Observation satellites.

The effects of Eco -X industrial fire was detected by our team from both ground based and satellite instruments. Our team detected the presence of pollutants complementing the analysis done by the central authority, in terms of types and distribution in the atmosphere.

It was a very good example of merging Ground-based instrumentation with Data modeling techniques and Satellite information to get a homogeneous view over time of a pollution spreading event.

Hybris: a full satellite in half of a shoebox

We participated to the ESA’s Copernicus Masters competition “ESA Sentinel Small Satellite (S^3)”. We proposed a Nano-satellite (a 30cm per side cube) called Hybris, equipped with a hyperspectral imager instrument. The competition was very strong, and for us this was the first attempt to enter in these two emerging Earth Observation sectors (Nano-satellites and Hyperspectral instrumentation). So we are proud that, even if not winning the competition, Hybris has been selected for the final selection stage, showing the solidity and credibility of the proposed solution.