24, July 2014


Coordinator: National Institute of R&D for Optoelectronics INOE 2000 


  • Advanced Studies and Research Center
  • National Institute of R&D for Earth Physics

Period: 29 November 2013 – 28 November 2016

Project director: CSI.Dr. Maria Zoran 

Project team: 9 qualified permanent positions, 4 PhD , 2 MS students,   with expertise in Physics, Geophysics, Mathematics, Geography, IT and Geodesy Engineering. 

Description: VRAFORECAST Project comprises advanced multidisciplinary researches within ANCS STAR (Space Technology and Advanced Research) Program objectives of Earth Observation including GMES in order to attend at Living Planet Programs of European Space Agency objectives. VRAFORECAST project will implement integrated satellite monitoring seismic hazard mapping for surveillance and forecasting services based on geophysical parameters having seismic precursory character through use of existing  time-series geospatial data and future Sentinel 1, 3 missions data for seismicity analysis of Vrancea active zone in Romania  as support of Global Monitoring of Environment and Security in Europe. Will be identified  pre-seismic activity of ionospheric, land surface temperature, outgoing longwave radiation, surface latent heat flux, meterological, solar, geomagnetic and crustal deformations parameters. A Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Model applied for crustal movements and seismicity in Vrancea area will be developed and cross-validated with geospatial and in-situ data. VRAFORECAST project main objectives and related goals are : 1) integration/assimilation of satellite remote sensing data and in-situ data in a complex database and Lithosphere- Atmosphere-Ionosphere model, to forecast the seismicity trends in Vrancea; 2) the study of the future ESA  mission requirements for proper satellite sensors development to detect preseismic signals.  

Project objectives:

  • Integration/assimilation of satellite remote sensing and ground monitoring data into a Background geodata Base.
  • Develop an Advanced Integrated Monitoring System and surveillance of seismic precursors satellite derived ( cross-validated with satellite and in-situ) for Vrancea zone.
  • Develop a Lithosphere- Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling Model for Vrancea zone, to forecast the seismicity trends and early warning strategies production. 
  • Produce seismic hazard/risk mapping and information services for seismic surveillance of Vrancea zone and Romania, for reduction of potential negative risks and decision making options. 
  • Develop a platform for results dissemination at by stimulating cooperation between research institutes, SME, and with European Space Agency in frame of new sensors data use and scientific programs development. 
  • To study of how satellite observations from space can support the implementation of seismic hazard/risk efficiency policies embracing typical issues from Vrancea area in Romania.
  • To study the new satellite missions requirements for a high resolution satellite sensors for sesimic precursors monitoring and surveillance of Vrancea active zone. 


  • Phase 1 – Selection of pilot test monitoring sites. Work methodology organization
  • Phase 2 – VRAFORECAST Geodata base building. Integrated Geospatial Multiparametric Monitoring System of seismic precursors in Vrancea region. VRAFORECAST GeoPortal implementation.
  • Phase 3 – Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling Model for Vrancea tectonic active zone.
  • Phase 4 – Seismic hazard assessment and mapping service of Vrancea tectonic active zone.
  • Phase 5 – Seismic hazard and surveillance information service for Vrancea zone in frame of European security needs and ESA

Contributions to the STAR programme objectives:

  • The concept of VRAFORECAST project has emerged from the needs to strengthen the Romanian contribution to European and Global Earth Observation System, and to support international cooperation for the identifying
  • During life time of the project in frame of tasks and activities will be used different satellite products like as NOAA AVHRR (NDVI and LST), MODIS Terra/Aqua, Sentinel 1/2/3 , ENVISAT, MERIS.
  • Project will benefit of available free ESA Software tools : EnviView, ESOV, and NEST: ESA SAR Toolbox (NEST) is an open source (GNU GPL) toolbox for reading, post-processing, analysing and visualising the large archive of data (from Level 1) from ESA SAR missions including ERS-1 & 2, ENVISAT and in the future Sentinel-1. In addition, NEST supports handling of products from third party missions including JERS-1, ALOS PALSAR, TerraSAR-X, RADARSAT1&-2 and Cosmo-Skymed. NEST has been built using the BEAM Earth Observation Toolbox and Development Platform