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New Grant Advances Coastal Monitoring with Insights from ESA GDA Programme

ARGANS Ltd has been awarded a grant from the UK Space Agency to advance coastal monitoring technologies, building on the foundational work conducted under the ESA Coastal Erosion from Space project and further refined through the ESA Global Development Assistance (GDA) programme.

Global Shoreline Project

The Global Shoreline project, an Earth observation satellite applications initiative, aims to generate precise shorelines worldwide. Utilising Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites, this project promises advancements in coastal monitoring and management, especially in developing regions investing in coastal development.

Role of ESA’s GDA Programme

ESA’s GDA programme played a role in enhancing this project by providing knowledge and resources. The initial shoreline mapping capability, developed by ARGANS Ltd in partnership with isardSAT, was validated with experts from Spain, Italy, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. This capability demonstrated the effectiveness of datum-corrected Satellite Derived shorelines in showing coastal changes over three decades, relying on auxiliary data such as tidal information and beach gradients from host nations.

Challenges and Solutions

Working with Ghana under the ESA GDA programme’s Disaster Resilience activity further emphasised a critical challenge: many developing nations lack comprehensive historical geospatial datasets, hindering efficient coastal management and access to development bank financing. The knowledge gained from the GDA programme has been pivotal in addressing these challenges and guiding the project towards solutions tailored for nations with limited field data or national coastal archive datasets.

Future Collaboration and Goals

The new grant from the UK Space Agency will enable ARGANS Ltd to continue this research, collaborating again with isardSAT and the University of Southampton. This support underscores the importance of ESA’s GDA programme in fostering innovative satellite-based solutions advancing on the path to scale and impact, in this particular context as applied to the topic of global coastal erosion and enhanced resilience of vulnerable regions.