510 and VanderSat sign agreement to research the use of microwave measurements for Impact Based Forecasting



510 and VanderSat signed a research agreement to pilot how satellite data-based recommendations can support flood and drought forecasting. The plan is to utilize VanderSat’s Soil Moisture Monitoring, where sensors from space gather soil moisture conditions and estimates river runoff to improve flood forecasting. This data can be used for Impact Based Forecasting, IBF makes up the first three components of Forecast Based Financing FBF, and aims to reduce the negative impact of disasters such as floods.



510 is supporting the Climate Centre with forecast-based financing programs in the Red Cross Red Crescent movement. Data preparedness and forecasting are used to better allocate humanitarian aid and improve its effectiveness in reducing the negative impacts of disasters such as floods.



In a research phase of one year, both organizations will work on developing ways to improve efficiency and sustainability of flood forecasting in combination with Impact based Forecasting.



“One major advantage of using microwave measurements is that they are not interfered by cloud cover” says Richard de Jeu, founder and Chief Technology Officer of VanderSat. “By collecting daily information on soil moisture via different satellites and over a longer period, we have built up a historical archive which goes back 16 years.”

“Knowing about soil moisture could be a key variable for a more precise prediction of flood forecasting”, says Stefania Giodini, Team Lead of Red Cross’s 510 data initiative. “this research could lead us to more precise, consistent information and predictions – especially in countries with a sparse ground sensor network.”

The research will be conducted together with


Margherita Sarcinella:

MSc Earth Surface and Water |  University of Utrecht

Tessa Kramer:

MSc Earth and Environment Specialisation: Hydrology & Water Resources |  University of Wageningen


Joint research will focus on two districts in south Malawi, in the Chikwawa and Nsanje district. The plan is to use this research to scale the model to reach global impact.

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