Geoinformation, monitoring and assessment Environment

Updated December 1998

Remote Sensing Centre Series

Calibration and integrated modelling of remote sensing data for Desert Locust habitat monitoring

By M. Cherlet, A. Di Gregorio
115 pp, 49 figures, 36 photos
RSC Series No. 64, FAO, Rome 1993.


Routine and operational Desert Locust, Schistocerca gregana (Forskal, 1775), monitoring and forecasting requires an continuous of the ecological conditions over all important zones of the locust recession area. Information providing a synoptic overview integrated with all other field data is a prerequisite for monitoring activities at a country, regional or continental scale.

Satellite imagery is a readily available and operational tool which adequately fulfils these requirements. In fact, weather information from the Meteosat satellite and forecasts based on the Bracknell meteorological model, are routinely used for monitoring aspects; synoptic information on the development of vegetation is obtained using the NOAA GAC and HRPT data.

During research meetings, organized by FAO in Rome in 1989, it was agreed that satellite based vegetation information, such as the NOAA AVHRR NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index), is potentially one of the most useful satellite products for routine locust forecasting and monitoring. However, the re-liability and interpretation of these satellite based vegetation indices is somewhat unknown, especially in the low vegetation range with which locust breeding areas are associated. A research advisory panel consisting of locust experts, met in Rome in May 1989 and, included in their recommendations a proposal for research on field verification and calibration of NOAA based vegetation information.

In the framework of this recommendation, FAO ECLO, in cooperation with FAO Remote Sensing Centre (AGRT), organized an integrated field study for verification, calibration and reliability testing of various NOAA HRPT vegetation indices, in the Tamesna area in Niger, during August-October 1989. This study has been financed by Belgian funding through project ECLO/INT/004/BEL, and finalized under project AGRT-GCP/INT/439/BEL.

The general objectives of the study can be summarized as follows:

The above publication is available from:
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy

Back to Top FAO Homepage