Remote sensing for international peace and security: Its role and implications

Ram Avtar, Asma Kouser, Ashwani Kumar, Deepak Singh, Prakhar Misra, Ankita Gupta, Ali P. Yunus, Pankaj Kumar, Brian Alan Johnson, Rajarshi Dasgupta, Netrananda Sahu, Andi Besse Rimba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Remote sensing technology has seen a massive rise in popularity over the last two decades, becoming an integral part of our lives. Space-based satellite technologies facilitated access to the inaccessible terrains, helped humanitarian teams, support complex emergencies, and contributed to monitoring and verifying conflict zones. The scoping phase of this review investigated the utility of the role of remote sensing application to complement international peace and security activities owing to their ability to provide objective near real-time insights at the ground level. The first part of this review looks into the major research concepts and implementation of remote sensing-based techniques for international peace and security applications and presented a meta-analysis on how advanced sensor capabilities can support various aspects of peace and security. With key examples, we demonstrated how this technology assemblage enacts multiple versions of peace and security: for refugee relief operations, in armed conflicts monitoring, tracking acts of genocide, providing evidence in courts of law, and assessing contravention in human rights. The second part of this review anticipates future challenges that can hinder the applicative capabilities of remote sensing in peace and security. Varying types of sensors pose discrepancies in image classifications and issues like cost, resolution, and difficulty of ground-truth in conflict areas. With emerging technologies and sufficient secondary resources available, remote sensing plays a vital operational tool in conflict-affected areas by supporting an extensive diversity in public policy actions for peacekeeping processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number439
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan


  • Conflict resources monitoring
  • Disease control and prevention
  • Genocide tracking
  • Geopolitics
  • Human rights
  • Human rights violation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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