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These Télédétection et Assurance

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Jock Scott

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MessagePosté le: Mar 14 Fév - 09:20 (2012)    Sujet du message: These Télédétection et Assurance Répondre en citant

Nous sommes à la recherche d'un candidat pour une these portant sur l'application de la télédétection à l'assurance indicielle.

Ci dessous le détail.



PhD Position offer

Position: Index insurance – technical feasibility using remote sensing

Workplace/company: Laboratory of Remote Sensing and Land Management – E.I. Purpan Toulouse (France)
At present time, we observe an important development of agricultural risk insurance, mainly in the advanced economy of North America and West Europe: crop insurance and other guarantees are offered by insurance companies. It also exists guaranties which are proposed to the farmers of emerging countries such as India. In that case, the insurance systems that are proposed belong to a micro-insurance approach. Considering agriculture, it is easy basing the offered guarantees on a model: an index, representative of the underlying risk, is then developed and its behavior will determined the probable payments of indemnities to the client. Concrete uses of the index insurance approach (micro-insurance and other guarantees), specifically to agriculture, are under interest on behalf of the different actors of the supply chain: agricultural producers, insurance and reinsurance companies, public authorities and scientific communities.

In order to improve the knowledge of agricultural insurance, French partners recently allied:
•    The foundation Europlace Institute of Finance, developing research on the area of financial markets;
•    Pacifica, the casualty insurance subsidiary of Credit Agricole Assurance, contributing to the development of agricultural covers, through innovative products;
•    Astrium Geo Information Services, an EADS company, leading provider of geo-information products (satellites images and services);
•    Grameen Credit Agricole Microfinace Fundation, facilitating disadvantaged people to essential goods and services, foremost of which are financial services, encouraging the development of local microfinance institutions and social business in developing countries.

The Laboratory of Remote Sensing and Land Management (Ecole d’ingénieurs de Purpan, Toulouse France) is a partnership of this project. It carries out its Earth Observation competencies and its knowledge of the specific concern of agricultural production.

The research initiative is entitled Risks and Financial Protection of the farmer and has for goal to:
•    Develop scientific knowledge on index type insurance, satellite technology which feed them, in particular for their application in agriculture domain;
•    Contribute to research, comprehension and education with the highest specialists on these subjects  ;
•    Spread the knowledge on these topics towards the concerned actors in France and in Europe.
With the framework of this research team, a position of PhD students in physical sciences linked with remote sensing technologies is offered: the thesis subject is the index creation and test for realizing the risk management in the context of agricultural production (forage and cereals).
In the agricultural insurance domain, the index approach is taken for granted to measure the climate impact on agricultural production (biomass production or yields for annual crops.). This method is capable to characterize the impact of random events such as drought, flood, fire... Sometimes and with specific conditions other climatic events could be considered: frost, hail …

Until now the roll-out of index-based methods uses climatic data coming from a network of weather stations over a country. The main parameters which are frequently used are rainfall and temperature. In few cases PET (Potential Evapo-transpiration) could be used. On a technical point of view, the acquisition of these data is well managed. This kind of data are recognized by the insurance companies and accepted by their customers. Nevertheless, these measures are discrete and linked to the geographical point of measurement. There are difficulties to spatialize.

With the development of remote sensing (during 80’), it appears a set of earth observation tools having different and frequently complementary characteristics. The properties of remote sensing data could be defined considering the concept of resolution:
•    The spectral resolution covers the domain of visible, near infrared and thermal infrared. Then it is possible measuring the green biomass production and estimating the water needs of the crop.
•    The spatial resolution could be associated to the pixel size (spatial analysis quality or scale of analysis). The range of available pixel size is important and covers from km to meter. But the size of the image is inversely proportional to the size of the pixel.
•    The time resolution (interval between two observations of the same geographic area) has a range from one day to one month.

In this research, it is necessary analyzing how extract the relevant information (modification of forage or cereal production) at the right time and the right scale; right scale and time being defined by the specific constraints of the insurance system we should adopt. Nevertheless, the behavior of the vegetation is generally not defined by raw data (reflectance values) but by indicators (specific combination of EO raw data +/- ancillary data). These indicators combine different values coming from remote sensing (value of luminance in a specific wavelength or surface temperature) according to specific models.

The last element of the research is the definition of the area of interest. The geographical extension of the climatic event, the size of the objects which supports the insurance contract, the value of capital which is guaranteed, are the cornerstones of this research. All these elements must be considered to be able identifying the compromise which could be proposed between the requirement of the insurance rules and the capabilities of the technic.

Research topics
The research topic is the definition of a set of indicators coming from remote sensing images and adapted to the specific constraints of index insurance – application to forage and cereal insurance, in particular focusing on:
•    Identification of index insurance constraints according to crops, geographical area, social/economic farmer organization.
•    Identification of indices which could be obtained from remote sensing images and their capability to realize the follow-up of biomass and/or production. Evaluation of the model quality in terms of accuracy, sensitivity, availability, …
•    Selection and realization of experimental applications of few indices in different context of agricultural production.
•    Evaluation of the business model for specific situation of insurance.

Your research approach/dissertation should include:
•    A literature review: a thorough literature review identifying relevant gaps in the current knowledge;
•    Research assumption: a statement of research hypotheses that will be the focus of the proposed research and will help addressing the gaps between theory and practices;
•    Methodology: explaining the research questions that are going to be investigated: EO data processing for producing indices and evaluation of their interest regarding cereal end/or forage production.
•    Policy implications: explaining how the answer to the proposed research questions may help make policy more effective, especially for the insurance company concerns.

The dialog between the partners of research initiative Risks and financial protection of the farmers will allow to support the PhD student in its work, particularly as for a definition of the research field and as for the empirical studies.
Entry requirements
In order to be considered for the PhD position, you must have:
•    A merit or ‘B+’ (at least 60 %) in a master degree from a recognized university;
•    An equally strong degree undergraduate degree in agronomy and physics;
•    Good skills in both English and French languages;
•    A strong research proposal that should:
o    Outline your interest in applied research in remote sensing technologies, risk management, insurance and innovation in hedging technics,
o    Highlight current debates within the field,
o    Demonstrate a suitable level of analysis.
Application check list:
•    Curriculum vitae,
•    One or two reference letters,
•    Copy of degree certificate (2 last),
•    Grade sheet of the MSc.

Before April 15th, 2012, return research proposal and supporting document, by email, to:

     Dr Anne Jacquin – Laboratory of Remote Sensing and Land Management – Purpan, Graduate School on engineers – 75, Voie du TOEC – 31076 TOULOUSE cedex 3 – FRANCE
anne.jacquin@purpan.fr Tel: +33(0)561 153 016
Tout n'explique pas tout, et inversement.

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Remote 31 (08/03/12)
Mar 14 Fév - 09:20 (2012)
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