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Seen from Space 2008

Offshore Wind Farms, Copenhagen, Denmark

 
Fig. 1 Wind farms off Copenhagen
Figure 1 is a pan-sharpened image of the coastal area of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. A semicircular Middelgrundsfortet, or sea fortress, can be seen in the sea in the upper right of the figure. South of the fortress, you can see 20 wind turbines installed along a gentle arc in the north-south direction. Some ships can also be seen (white points). In the expanded image, you can see the rotor blades of each wind turbine and their angles.

This is the Middelgrunden offshore wind farm, which was installed in a 4 to 8m-deep shoal 2 to 3km off the coast and began operation in 2001. This shoal has been used as a dumpsite for harbor sludge and other waste for more than 200 years. The hub of the wind turbine is 64m high, and the diameter of the rotor is 76m, making a total height of 102m. Each wind turbine generates 2MW (megawatts) of power, and the generated power is sent to the land via a 3.5km-long undersea cable. The total generated power is 40MW, over 3% of the electric power consumed in Copenhagen. It is a symbolic facility for Denmark, which has the maximum offshore wind energy capacity in Europe. Copenhagen Energy owns the ten northern turbines, and Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Cooperative owns the ten southern turbines.*1

On the left of the expanded image, you can find seven smaller wind turbines on the bank.

Fig. 2 Central Copenhagen
Figure 2 is a pan-sharpened image of central Copenhagen, called Ko̸benhavn in Danish. It is the largest city in Denmark, and has a population of 510,000 within the city and 1,150,000 including people in the vicinity.

The figure was made by combining an AVNIR-2 image and a backward-looking PRISM image as in Fig. 1. You can thus see the southern sides of buildings, but you will note that there are generally few skyscrapers.

At the center of the figure, you can see the Christiansborg Palace, the forerunners of which were a fort constructed in the 12th century and the Copenhagen Castle constructed after that. The Palace is presently used as the House of Parliament. On the southeastern side of the palace, the inner harbor extends in the northeast-southwest direction and connects with the outer harbor in the upper right of the figure. The island on the opposite shore across the inner harbor is Christianshavn, a fortress constructed for metropolitan defense in the 17th century. Stadsgraven (City Ponds), constructed as the outer moats, forms an arc on the southeastern side of Christianshavn. Stadsgraven consists of the wider moats and the narrower moat, and some bastions protrude into the wider moats, making it look like a huge double cogwheel. The trace in the outer moats on the northwestern side can be seen near the National Gallery north of the Christiansborg Palace. The rectangular lakes stand in line on the outside of the outer moats.

On the west side of the Christiansborg Palace are the National Museum; Copenhagen City Hall; Tivoli Park, which is an amusement park opened in 1843; and Copenhagen Central Station. On the north side of the palace, Stro̸get, which is the largest shopping street in Scandinavia for pedestrians, extends in the east-west direction. To the northeast are the Royal Theater that has a history of more than 250 years, and Nyhavn where colorful wooden buildings stand in a row along a canal.

To the north of the Christiansborg Palace, you can see the Rosenborg Castle that was built as a detached palace in the summer at the beginning of the 17th century and is currently open to the public as the royal family museum. To the northeast of the Christiansborg Palace is the Amalienborg Palace, which has been used as the residential castle of the Danish royal family since 1794.

The Kastellet, which was constructed in the 17th century with a star moat, can be seen to the north of the Amalienborg Palace. When the British fleet shelled Copenhagen in 1807 following the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, this fortress was used as the defense line, but it was powerless when confronted with the longer range of the improved British guns. Japanese people are familiar with Goryokaku star moat, which was constructed in Hakodate, Japan in the last years of the Edo period of the middle 19th century, but it was no match for the bombardment from fighting ships of the new government army in the Hakodate War from 1868 to 1869. The Little Mermaid, named after the fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen (1805 to 1875), lies on the seashore near the Kastellet.

On the opposite shore of the Amalienborg Palace across the inner harbor, the Copenhagen Opera House, which was opened in January 2005, appears as a white rectangle. The Royal Danish Playhouse, which was just opened in February of this year (2008), can be seen in black on the southwest of the Opera House. These facilities were built as the part of the redevelopment project in Copenhagen.

At the top of the figure, you can see Parken Stadion, the home ground of F.C. Copenhagen, which belongs to the Danish professional soccer league "Superliga" and is also the home ground of the Danish national soccer team. To the south of Parken Stadion, you can find the Niels Bohr Institute that was administrated by the theoretical physicist Niels Bohr (1885 to 1962) who played a leading role in developing quantum mechanics, one of the two pillars of modern physics (the other is the theory of relativity). On the shore of Skt. Jo̸rgens SE(Lake) on the left of the figure is Tycho Brahe Planetarium, which was opened in 1989. Tycho Brahe (1546 to 1601) was a Danish astronomer who left a huge volume of astronomical observation records and laid the foundation for deriving Kepler’s laws. Tycho crater on the Moon is named after Tycho Brahe.

A campus of the University of Copenhagen can be found at the bottom of the figure.

Fig. 3 Copenhagen and its vicinity
Copenhagen, Denmark (kmz, 2.70MB, Low Resolution) as seen on Google Earth.
Figure 3 depicts Copenhagen and its vicinity as observed by AVNIR-2 aboard the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) "Daichi". The center of the figure is the strait of O̸resund, which divides Denmark and Sweden. On the west side, you can see the city area of Copenhagen that extends over Zealand and Amager, as well as Copenhagen Airport (Kastrup Airport), which has a few runways in southeast Amager. The two yellow rectangles indicate the coverage of Figs. 1 and 2. Zealand and the Amager approach to within approximately 10km of each other and form a good natural harbor. Copenhagen means "merchants' harbor" in Danish, and the good natural harbor is the reason. The artificial Amager Beach, completed in 2005 as part of the redevelopment project in Copenhagen, can be seen in northeast Amager (white area).

The land in the upper and lower right of the figure is part of Sweden and the Scandinavian Peninsula. Part of MalmE Sweden, can be seen in the lower right.

Between Copenhagen and MalmE you can see the 7,845m-long O̸resund Bridge that was opened in July 2000.

In the expanded image, two main towers can be seen at the center of the bridge as well as a ship about to pass under the bridge just to the north. MalmEand Copenhagen are linked by the 4,055m-long artificial Peberholm (Pepper Islet) and a 4,050m-long undersea tunnel (the submarine part is 3,510m long). Peberholm was named after the natural islet Saltholm (Salt Islet) just to the north.



References:
*1 Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Cooperative
Copenhagen's Official Sightseeing Site

Explanation of the Images:
(Click the images twice to enlarge.)
Satellite: Advanced Land-Observing Satellite (ALOS) (Daichi)
Sensor: Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radiometer-2 (AVNIR-2) (Figs. 1 through 3) and Panchromatic Remote-sensing Instrument for Stereo Mapping (PRISM)(Figs. 1 and 2)
Date: 1025 (UTC) on May 23, 2008 (East side of Figs. 1 and 2) (PRISM)
1028 (UTC) on April 24, 2008 (West side of Figs. 1 and 2) (PRISM)
1029 (UTC) on June 7, 2007 (West side of Fig. 1 through 3) (AVNIR-2)
1007 (UTC) on November 3, 2006 (East side of Fig. 1 through 3) (AVNIR-2)
Ground resolution: PRISM, 2.5m; AVNIR-2, 10m
Map Projection: Universal Transversal Mercator (UTM)
AVNIR-2 has four observation bands. Figure 3 was produced by mosaicking two images observed on different days after color-composing by assigning red to Band 3 (610 to 690nm), green to Band 2 (520 to 600nm), and blue to Band 1 (420 to 500nm). The resulting images have natural coloring as if seen by the naked eye. Thus, the following colors designate ground objects.

Dark green: Forests
Light green: Grass or farmland
Grey: City area or roads
Reddish brown: Buildings (Brick)
Blue: Water area (Sea, lakes and canals)

The resolution of Fig. 3 was reduced to 20m in order to cover a wider area.

PRISM is an optical sensor for observing ground surfaces with visible and near-infrared signals in the 520 to 770 nanometer (one-billionth of a meter) band. The acquired image is monochrome. PRISM has three independent optical systems (telescopes) to acquire images for nadir, forward, and backward views at the same time so that terrain data including altitude data can be obtained. Only the backward images were used in this article.
The AVNIR-2 composite image was transformed into hue, saturation and intensity, and the intensity was replaced by the PRISM image. The hue, saturation and intensity data were then reversed into a color image. The result was a virtual 2.5m-ground-resolution color image. This kind of high-resolution color image, composed by combining the higher-resolution monochrome image and the lower-resolution color image, is called a pan-sharpened image.
Figures 1 and 2 present high-resolution, pan-sharpened images composed this way. The resulting images have natural coloring as if seen by the naked eye. Thus, colors represent the same features as in the above-mentioned AVNIR-2 image.

Related Sites:
ALOS Research and Application Page
Hong Kong with Forests of Skyscrapers
The Eternal Capital with a Long History: Rome
Land, Seen from Space

Appendix: Foreseeing wind power generation
There are many shared wind turbines in Denmark. Individuals and families own one-quarter of the 3,100MW of wind power capacity in the country, and individual farmers own two-third. Only one-tenth is owned by electric utilities or large corporations. (Reference page)

The European Wind Energy Association (EWE) reported that two 160MW-class offshore wind farms are operational and that two 200MW offshore wind farms are under construction in Denmark.
It also reported that Europe's offshore wind power capacity at the end of 2007 was 1,083MW with Denmark accounting for 39% followed by the United Kingdom at 37%. EWE predicts that the capacity will reach 20,000 to 40,000MW in 2020.

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) reported that the wind-power generation capacity worldwide (including offshore and onshore generators) reached 93.9GW (1 gigawatt = 1,000MW) at the end of 2007 after increasing by 27% during the year. The higher ranked five countries where the wind power generation ability was increased remarkably are Germany (22.3GW), the US (16.8GW), Spain (15.1GW), India (7.8GW), and China (5.9GW). GWEC predicts that the wind-power generation capacity worldwide will exceed 240GW in 2012. The wind-power generation capacity in Japan increased rapidly from 136MW in 2000 to 1,538MW at the end of 2007. However, it pointed out that Japan has so far developed only 11MW out of its potential offshore wind power generation capacity because of some constraints such as severe weather conditions including typhoons, application of the revised Building Code (the regulation is going to be eased), and the remote location of most potential wind-power sites far from the areas of greatest electricity demand.
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