Space technology is technology developed to use in spacecraft, satellites, or space travelling. Space technology includes spacecraft, satellites, ground station, command and control centre and data storage, analysis and distribution the examples of current space technology including GPS system that used for navigation, communication that coverage over regions varying in size, weather forecasting, remote sensing which critically rely on space infrastructure and more. 1
The main mission of almost all satellites to be launched is to provide services or bring convenience to people on Earth in order to improve life quality. Satellites are mainly used as a source of information for problem solving and support sustainable development including manage natural resources like forest, ocean, iceberg, petroleum and help in emergency situations for example forest fire, pollution of oil spill on ocean.
Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact with the object and thus in contrast to on-site observation. The main goal of remote sensing satellite is use the satellite to detect and classify objects on Earth in the atmosphere and oceans, based on appropriate electromagnetic radiation. 2
Satellite data such as earth-observation imagery can be used for healthcare industry. These technologies allow to develop a greater understanding of Earth planet environment related to planet health and the effects of human’s actions on the world’s health. This technology directly impacts those in areas where healthcare is lacking especially poor country with poor accessibility to health resources and diseases are prominent.
There are several ways satellite data can be used to improve global public health such as monitoring water levels and water evaporation by observing the Earth’s water cycle to optimize safe and clean water access by ensure population including human, animal and plants and resulting in ensure health. Moreover satellite payload can be used to measure air-borne particulate levels, so that impact of pollutant heavy air can be accessed. Large carbon emitters also can be identified by satellite technology. 3
There are few current on-going example used satellite technology to help in gather, manage and solve main and complex public health problems in some countries. Furthermore, satellite data has been applied to solve or improve health problem such as Malaria in Vietnam, Onchocerciasis disease in West Africa 3 and more. The management of complex public health problems can be done by communication, remote sensing and navigation satellites.
Satellite data also can be used to identify dangerous mosquito populations. Mosquitoes are known carriers of a wide range of diseases like malaria, dengue, tuberculosis, and more. However commercial satellite is not able to detect the tiny mosquito effectively, but the environmental characteristic of their habits can be identify by satellite data from remote sensing and navigation satellites. The multispectral and hyperspectral satellites is used to identify the environment, biological factor and geographic factor of health related information for surveys, monitoring programmes in the field of the disease have come in investigate the effective method by healthcare professionals to control these disease from spreading accurately.
2.0 PROBLEM STATEMENT
Dengue is a serious public health problem in many countries throughout the world including Malaysia. Global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades (WHO 2009) 4. In Malaysia, dengue cases are reported in all states each year. Up to 19th May 2012, 9,607 dengue cases with 20 deaths were recorded in Malaysia, compared to 7,963 dengue cases with 12 deaths for the same duration in 2011 (Ministry of Health Malaysia 2012) 5.
However, controlling the primary dengue virus vector, Aedes aegypti, has proven a difficult undertaking in the modern urban landscape. Aedes exploits a wide variety of containers that are found in domestic habitats as larval development sites, including containers ranging in size from bottles and cans to large water storage tanks 6. Uncontrolled urban growth, which often is accompanied by a lack of piped water or unreliable water supplies, and the proliferation of non-degradable trash containers in today’s throwaway society combine to provide an ample supply of larval development sites and makes it difficult to effectively control Ae. aegypti.
With current technology, there still no specific medications to treat dengue or vaccine commercially available can against dengue. 7 Vaccine development is hindered by the lack of suitable animal models and the requirement for a robust tetravalent vaccine that covers all four serotypes of dengue. While vaccines are under development, it is not clear how they can be best applied when they are available, including in combination with other interventions like mosquito control. Therefore, to reduce the risk of dengue infection, prevention is the most important step. The only method available in the control and prevention of dengue fever is to reduce the Aedes population. Early detection of Aedes population and habitat is important to reduce the dengue reservoir.
Despite this trend of increasing cases of dengue, surveillance for this vector-borne viral disease remains largely passive in most of the Southeast Asian countries especially Malaysia, without adequate laboratory support. Dengue outbreaks is challenging because the location people are contracting the disease is difficult to figure out. The poor coverage and ineffective inspection of house and premise inspection carried out might be because of the problem of man-power and the ability of the mosquitoes to breed in small and hidden area.
Mosquito control methods, except for chemical treatment against adult mosquitos, usually require a knowledge of the location of the aquatic habitats in which the mosquito larvae are developing. 8 Nonetheless, as the conventional approaches are less successful in managing the dengue transmission. Therefore, the methods used did not reduce the case of dengue infection effectively and cause the number of case of dengue infection cannot be controlled from increasing.
In Malaysia, there are still lacking of effective way to detect the habitat or population of the Aedes mosquito before there is any case of dengue reported. To achieve an effective vector control program, analysed epidemiologic and entomologic surveillance data must be collected and analysed. Based on the data with particular emphasis on ecologic factors then determine where, how, and when to initiate vector control.
3.0 MISSION OBJECTIVE
With respect to the problem discussed in the above section, a number of mission objective of the remote sensing satellite need to accomplish.
3.1 To monitor, assess and predict dengue in Malaysia
The key to the dengue forecasting tool lies in pinpointing areas where prime breeding grounds for these mosquitos overlap simultaneously with human populations. 9. Predicting where these mosquitos will flourish relies on identifying areas with warm air temperatures and calm waters, such as ponds and puddles, which they need for laying eggs9. By using the ongoing information on precipitation, temperature, soil moisture and vegetation in Malaysia targeted area, predict the dengue case in the area and take action to stop the population of Mosquito Aedes.
This satellite design study will explore the mosquito vector group’s preferred habitat and reliably predict risk of dengue transmission and, subsequently, incidence of infected human populations.
3.2 To identify the relationship between environmental factors and dengue transmission
Like all organisms, each species of mosquito is adapted to a specific ecological niche. 10. Larvae of some species can tolerate only a very narrow ecological range, whereas larvae of other species are more broadly adapted and may be widely distributed in a great variety of habitats. Appropriate breeding ground for mosquitoes vary by species and can be identified based on the combination of plant type, ground cover, air quality, and volume of water present in a specific area. Therefore, the data collected by the satellite will be used to investigate and to see if any relationships exist between dengue incidence or prevalence and environmental variable including humidity, rainfall, land cover, land use, temperature and local cultural practice.
Remotely sensed environmental data and ecological information synthesized will be used to quantify and examine any possible relationship between dengue transmission risk and environment factors. Then, effective vector control can be carried out based on the data obtained to decide the location and period to start the control action.