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Evaluation financiere de l'integration de technologies satellitaires, pour le suivi du couvert nival, au sein d'une entreprise hydroelectrique (Le cas de l'utilisation du satellite Radarsat I dans le bassin de la riviere La Grande (Quebec))

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Abstract:

Une analyse benefices-couts a ete menee pour evaluer le potentiel de transfert de technologies satellitaires pour le suivi du couvert nival sur le bassin de la riviere La Grande (nord-ouest du Quebec). Sur une base d'analyse pro forma, nous avons evalue trois modes d'acquisition de l'image de Radarsat 1 (ScanSAR, Wide et Standard) en tenant compte des investissements en R & D et des couts d'exploitation du projet. Les recettes ont ete evaluees a partir d'une diminution de l'incertitude sur la mesure de l'equivalent en eau de la neige soit une reduction de l'ecart-type sur la prevision des apports. En raison de la grandeur du territoire a couvrir, le mode ScanSAR 500km s'impose d'emblee pour un suivi operationnel du couvert nival, les ratios beneficescouts calcules variant entre 2.3:1 et 3.9:1, avec une hypothese conservatrice de 4% de reduction de l'ecart-type previsionnel. L'utilisation de ScanSAR 500km est pertinente a partir d'une reduction de 3% de l'ecart-type previsionnel. En raison du nombre eleve d'images necessaires pour couvrir toute la superficie du territoire, les modes Standard et Wide sont penalises par les couts d'acquisition et de traitement des donnees et les delais qui y sont associes. Cependant, avec ces modes d'acquisition, il reste la possibilite de travailler a partir d'une couverture reduite. En effet, 75% du bassin peuvent etre couvert en mode Wide en 4 jours. Les ratios obtenus (1.5:1 et 2:1) confirment l'interet d'approfondir cette eventualite, particulierement si des problemes importants surviennent au niveau de la correction geometrique et de la precision radiometrique des images ScanSAR. The emergence, on the markets, of new technologies evokes, for the potential users, a lot of questions concerning the implementation and operation costs associated with these technologies. Nevertheless, for a lot of users, costs should be considered with the benefits these technologies are able to generate. The benefit-cost analysis is a useful tool for a financial evaluation of the transferability of the technology. This method has been selected to evaluate the eventual implementation of remote sensing technologies for snow cover measurements in the La Grande river basin (Quebec, Canada). Indeed, a better assessment of the snow water equivalent leads to a better forecasting of the water inputs due to the snowmelt. Thus, the improvement of the snow cover monitoring has direct impact on hydroelectric reservoir management. The benefit-cost analysis was used to compare three acquisition modes of the satellite Radarsat 1 (ScanSAR, Wide and Standard). The costs considered for this project are: R & D costs and operations costs (the purchase of images and costs of gound truth measurements). We evaluated the raw benefits on the basis of reducing the standard deviation of predicted inflows. The results shows that the ScanSAR mode is the primary remote sensing tool for the monitoring ofthe snow cover,on an operational basis. With this acquisition mode, the benefit-cost ratios range between 2.3:1 and 3.9:1, using a conservative 4% reduction of the standard deviation. Even if the reduction is only 3%, ScanSAR remains profitable. Due to the large number of images needed to cover all the territory, the Standard and Wide modes are penalized by the purchase and the processing costs of the data and with delays associated to the processing. Nevertheless, with these two modes, it could be possible to work with a partial coverage of the watershed, 75% being covered in 4 days in Wide mode. The estimated B/C ratios (1.5:1 et 2:1) confirm the advantages of this alternative, particularly if any technical problems (geometric correction and radiometric precision) are encountered with ScanSAR products.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/014311699212335

Publication date: July 10, 1999

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