Announcements Archive

25/09/2014

JPI Climate - Science Officer in the JPI Climate Central Secretariat

JPI-Climate  is a collaboration between 14 European countries to coordinate jointly their climate research and fund new transnational research initiatives.

Two job offers for scientific collaborators of the JPI Climate Central Secretariat has been published on the JPI Climate website:

http://www.jpi-climate.eu/news-events/vacancies

Deadline for applications is 23th of October at midnight.

JPI Climate vacancies

25/09/2014

JPI Climate - Junior Science Officer in the JPI Climate Central Secretariat (half time)

JPI-Climate  is a collaboration between 14 European countries to coordinate jointly their climate research and fund new transnational research initiatives.

Two job offers for scientific collaborators of the JPI Climate Central Secretariat has been published on the JPI Climate website:

http://www.jpi-climate.eu/news-events/vacancies

Deadline for applications is 23th of October at midnight.

JPI Climate vacancies

24/09/2014

Proba-V celebrates its 500 days

This morning, exactly 500 days ago, Vega VV02 lifted off from Kourou with on board the ProbaV satellite. Since then, the Vegetation Instrument is loyally delivering daily images of the entire earth’s globe.

For this 500 days birthday, the Proba-V team offers you an image of the Algerian Sand Dunes, and a comparison with an image of taken by a much bigger earth observation satellite, LandSat7…


Source: VITO

Interested in more? Be sure to check out the website!

22/09/2014

Global carbon emissions reach new record high

Concentrations of carbon dioxide will surge to a new high in the atmosphere in 2014, scientists announced 21 September in advance of the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City. Global carbon dioxide emissions are projected to soar to 44 billion tons (40 billion metric tons) this year, a 2.5 percent increase from 2013.


Source: LiveScience

Read the rest of the article here.

08/09/2014

The September 2014 issue of the Satellite Executive Briefing with IBC Preview

http://www.satellitemarkets.com/news-analysis/september-2014-issue-satellite-executive-briefing-magazine

28/08/2014

Snow Cover on Arctic Sea Ice Has Thinned 30 to 50 Percent

New research led by NASA and the University of Washington, Seattle, confirms that springtime snow on sea ice in the Arctic has thinned significantly in the last 50 years, by about a third in the Western Hemisphere and by half near Alaska.


Source: NASA

The new study, published this month in the Journal of Geophysical Research, tracks changes in snow depth over decades. It combines data from NASA’s Bromide, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) field campaign, NASA’s Operation IceBridge flights, and instrumented buoys and ice floes staffed by Soviet scientists from the 1950s through the 1990s.

You can find the rest of the article after the jump.

28/08/2014

Atlas 5 Rocket Lofts DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 Satellite

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket on Aug. 13 successfully placed the WorldView-3 commercial high-resolution, multispectral Earth observation satellite into low Earth orbit in the 10th of 15 launch campaigns planned by ULA this year.


Source: SpaceNews

Operating from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Atlas 5 401 — the vehicle’s lightest version — placed the 2,810-kilogram WorldView-3 into a polar sun-synchronous orbit at about 629 kilometers in altitude.

DigitalGlobe subsequently announced the satellite’s successful deployment in orbit. WorldView-3 is designed to operate for at least 7.5 years.

Want to know more about the satellite? Be sure to click here.

20/08/2014

First Super High-Res Public Imaging Satellite Set to Launch in August

A month ago, the US Government lifted restrictions on high-detail satellite images. Previously, these restrictions prohibited the capture of anything under 1.64 feet in size; now that they’re gone, a number of companies are anxious to launch their latest and greatest satellites and bring high res satellite imagery to the public for the very first time.


Source: PetaPixel

And the first to finish line is Lockheed Martin, whose DigitalGlobe‘s high-res WorldView-3 satellite, which was launched on August 13th 2014. The images sport a resolution of a mere 31 cm.

Want to know more? Be sure to check out the rest of the article.

13/08/2014

SPOT-VEGETATION retires and hands over the torch to PROBA-V

On June 1st, 2014, after 16 years of faithful service in tracking the global vegetation status, the SPOT-VEGETATION mission will retire and hand over the torch to ESA’s Earth Watch satellite, PROBA-V. During 5911 days, the SPOT 4 and SPOT 5 satellites have been delivering global images on a daily basis, hereby providing essential information to study global vegetation change.
PROBA-V is an ESA owned satellite mission designed and built by a Belgian consortium, operated as part of ESA's Earth Observation Programme. The satellite platform was built by QinetiQ Space, Prime Contractor of the project. The sensor system was developed by OIP Sensor Systems, while VITO acted as Principal Investigator and developed the user segment, i.e. the processing chain.
From December 2013 till May 31, 2014 SPOT-VEGETATION and PROBA-V were operated simultaneously to ensure a smooth transition. This period of simultaneous imaging enabled VITO’s image processing centre to make the data from SPOT-VEGETATION and PROBA-V consistent. This is specifically important to study trends in land cover and climate change over extended periods of time.

The quality of the PROBA-V images is continuously monitored, and if necessary calibrated, in a semi-automated way to ensure the best possible radiometric and geometric quality. One year after the launch and after six months of operations we can proudly state that PROBA-V is in excellent condition and that the quality of the images even exceeds the expectations.

The SPOT-VEGETATION mission was a collaboration between France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and the EC. The VEGETATION instruments (VGT1 and VGT2) were incorporated in the SPOT programme, which was founded in 1978. SPOT 4 has been deactivated a couple of years ago. The VEGETATION sensor onboard SPOT 5 will stop its acquisitions on May 31, 2014.
 
For its entire mission lifetime, every day a new image of the global vegetation was processed, archived and distributed by VITO’s Image Processing Centre . From June 1, 2014 onwards VITO will continue this service together with PROBA-V.
More information on SPOT-VEGETATION and PROBA-V can be found on www.spot-vegetation.com, http://proba-v.vgt.vito.be and http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Technology/Proba_Missions.

To download PROBA-V images, please visit www.vito-eodata.be and https://earth.esa.int/web/guest/pi-community/apply-for-data

13/08/2014

QinetiQ Space wins contract with ESA to develop International Berthing Docking Mechanism

Under the current contract phase, which will run until 2015, QinetiQ Space will develop and build an engineering model that it is intended to be tested on the ground. The contract is expected to lead to a follow-on development phase lasting until 2017.

Unlike current docking mechanisms, the IBDM absorbs relative movement and minimises the impact forces between two spacecraft while docking. This therefore reduces the solicitation of the spacecraft docking to the space station. This androgynous system will allow two vehicles to berth and dock with each other and ensure that there is an airtight connection between both spacecraft.

Commenting on the contract win, Erik Masure, Managing Director at QinetiQ Space, said: “Until now, docking mechanisms requiring a minimum level of energy for their actuation have been used and were designed for large vehicles such as the Space Shuttle. This has meant that the attachment of new generation lighter spacecraft to the ISS has had to take place at a fast speed for a connection to be created, which can lead to potential issues with high forces in play. Now, through the expertise and experience of QinetiQ Space, and the development of the IBDM soft docking system, an active control of the relative motion of the two spacecraft can be created, and therefore the forces caused by the attachment process are significantly reduced and the docking reliability increased”.

ESA has started a cooperation with the American aerospace company, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) which is developing the Dream Chaser, a small reusable spacecraft that is a candidate to transport astronauts to the ISS. The IBDM may potentially be used for attaching this new vehicle to the ISS in the future.

13/08/2014

HeliosNet Selects Newtec to Offer B2C and B2B VSAT Services over Eastern Russia

Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) Express-AM5 satellite will be used to enable high speed and competitive broadband connectivity across Eastern Russia
MOSCOW, Russia and SINT-NIKLAAS, Belgium, May 19 2014. Satellite communications specialist Newtec has been selected by HeliosNet® to power their new B2B and B2C VSAT broadband service over Eastern Russia.
The new HeliosNet service will be offered using RSCC’s new Express-AM5 satellite, launched in December 2013. Newtec will install a broadband system, including its satellite broadband hub (see image below, left) and thousands of terminals (MDM2200 and MDM3100 IP satellite modems (see image below, mid and right)), enabling reliable and easy-to-install low and high speed B2C and B2B services.
The Newtec broadband hub will be installed in Irkutsk, Eastern Siberia region of Russia, and will upgrade HeliosNet’s current broadband infrastructure.
Alexey Sergeev, General Director of HeliosNet, said: “We are delighted to partner with Newtec which has a proven track record in reliability and customer service. We selected Newtec’s VSAT technology for our new satellite broadband service after being impressed by the ease of use, the bandwidth efficiency and the price attractiveness of the end-user terminals. This means we can provide an attractive service pricing without jeopardizing the quality.”
In 2012 Newtec started shipping its latest high-speed VSAT broadband technology. This new technology has already been successfully implemented by an increasing number of Tier 1 satellite and VSAT service providers worldwide. HeliosNet has worked in partnership with one of those providers before and was able to draw on previous experience to understand the advantages and capabilities of Newtec’s VSAT technology.
While the HeliosNet service will initially utilize Ku-band, the terminals can be easily upgraded later to operate in Ka-band by a simple change of Newtec’s interactive LNB and with no hardware adaptation to the satellite modem or the antenna.
Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec, said: “We are proud that we can help HeliosNet offer market leading satellite broadband services at a very competitive price point both for the professional and the consumer markets. As broadband capacity becomes available over a wider geographic area the Russian VSAT broadband market is experiencing a real boost and we are pleased to be playing a key part in that.”
For more information about the challenges solved by consumer and business VSAT solutions, visit www.newtec.eu/applications/consumer-enterprise-vsat.

Kerstin Roost
Public Relations Director
Tel: +49 30 430 95 562
Kerstin.Roost@newtec.eu

HeliosNet
Anna Tugolukova
Head of marketing department
Tel: +7 499 504 9 504
anna@helios-net.ru

13/08/2014

Vlaamse Overheid steunt toekomst van imec, Vlaanderen en Europa

Het Leuvense nano-elektronica onderzoekscentrum imec maakte vandaag bekend dat de Vlaamse overheid, op initiatief van Minister Lieten, naast de eerder toegekende subsidie van ongeveer 30 miljoen euro, de bouw van zijn nieuwe clean room steunt met een investeringssteun van 50 miljoen euro. Deze beslissing kadert in de belofte van de Vlaamse overheid om in totaal 100 miljoen euro steun te bieden voor imec’s nieuwe clean room infrastructuur, een stof- en trillingsvrije ruimte waar onder nauwkeurig gecontroleerde omstandigheden de nieuwe generaties chips ontwikkeld worden. Hierdoor behoudt Vlaanderen de beste troeven om op wereldschaal tot de R&D-top te behoren op het gebied van nano-elektronica en nanotechnologie.

13/08/2014

40 cm Satellite Imagery Products Now Available

European Space Imaging is excited to announce we are now accepting orders for 40 cm DigitalGlobe Core Imagery products.  Using the existing order process, you can submit new orders for 40 cm resolution Standard and Advanced Ortho Series products.

Pricing:
We are offering 40 cm products at an introductory price; through Q3 2014, 40 cm products will be available at the same price as 50 cm products.  The WorldView Global Alliance will publish a new pricing guide in August to include our 40 cm Core Imagery product pricing, which will go into effect on October 1st, 2014.
 
ImageLibrary Availability:
40 cm archive imagery is available globally now. You can order a 40 cm product including imagery collected at any Ground Sample Distance (GSD) from GeoEye-1, WorldView-1, and WorldView-2, but not from IKONOS or QuickBird. The recommendation is not to resample imagery with a GSD greater than 49.9 cm to 40 cm, but it is allowed.  ImageFinder has been updated so you can search and filter on GSD to determine which orders would benefit from higher resolution deliveries.
 
New Collection Availability:
For this introductory period, 40 cm new collections are only as multi-satellite orders including GeoEye-1 and WorldView-2 and only available for these countries:
•             Algeria
•             Antarctica
•             Australia
•             Chad
•             Greenland
•             Libya
•             Mali
•             Mauritania
•             Morocco
•             New Zealand
•             Niger
•             South Africa
•             Tunisia
•             Western Sahara
 New collections will be available globally beginning in Q4 2014.
 
Delivery Timelines:
Most 40 cm product orders should fit the stated product delivery timelines, but longer timelines are possible due to the capacity required to process these larger files. We are not guaranteeing standard delivery timelines. Our Customer Support team will work with customers directly to communicate any delays in product delivery.

For more information or 40 cm data inquiries please contact your Sales Manager or our Customer Support Team.

13/08/2014

First launch under Belgian jurisdiction and first Belgium nanosatellites in space

The first Belgium nanosatellites were successfully deployed this night in low earth orbit (600km altitude). This launch of two nanosatellites is the first application of the Belgian space law adopted in 2005 and revised at the end of 2013. Thanks to this legal framework, Belgium can authorize and supervise satellite missions in full accordance with the international treaties,  the associated safety standards and the mitigation of space debris.

The embarked satellites are so called double CubeSats, having a  10 cm x 10 cm  x 20 cm volume with a mass of less than 2 kg. They have been designed, manufactured and tested by several partners: the von Karman Institute VKI (BE), ISIS – Innovative Solutions In Space (NL), Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UK), Technische Universitat Dresden (DE), Surrey Space Center (UK) and AMSAT (FR/NL).

The launch has been procured by the QB50 project, an EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) funded project. This launch mission, entrusted to ISIS, took place out of the base of Yasny in southern Russia, with a DNEPR  rocket at 21:11 (Belgian time). The nanosatellites currently flying around the Earth at a velocity of about 7,5 km per second are already transmitting scientific and technological data to ground stations all around the world.

This successful launch is the precursor flight ahead of the main QB50 mission. QB50 is a space project led by a consortium of 15 international partners. The project foresees to send in 2016 into a low earth orbit a set of 50 CubeSats. 45 of those CubeSats will form a constellation and will investigate the lower thermosphere, one of the layers more rarely investigated.  The remaining CubeSats will carry some technologies to be tested in orbit. Amongst them, the re-entry CubeSat of the von Karman Institute will be equipped with a thermal shield to allow the CubeSat to be saved during its reentry in the Earth atmosphere.

Philippe Courard, secretary of state for Science Policy, delivered his first mission launch authorization under Belgian jurisdiction. He expresses : “Belgium, the leader country in the space domain, has taken two new steps: Belgium took over responsibility of a mission launch and sent its first satellites into orbit.” He adds: “The Belgian Know-how in satellite development is widely recognized: for example, the PROBA satellites have been manufactured by the Belgian industry in the framework of the European Space Agency. The QB50 satellites were developed and launched under the jurisdiction of Belgium. This successful mission launch stresses the relevance of the investment made in the space research and innovation during the last 50 years. It’s a major event for our space policy.”

As the coordinator of the QB50 project, the von Karman Institute is very proud with this  unprecedented  precursor launch. 

13/08/2014

SPOT 7 successfully completes the replacement of its predecessors

Airbus Defence and Space has published the first images obtained from the SPOT 7 satellite, a mere three days after its launch on 30 June.

The entire chain - from satellite programming and image acquisition to telemetry reception and processing - was successfully put into operation to deliver these first spectacular images on 4 July 2014. These images show highly diverse landscapes, revealing SPOT 7's full potential in terms of natural resource and urban zone mapping and agri-environmental monitoring.

The SPOT 6/7 constellation is now in place and considerably improves the capabilities and performance offered by SPOT 5, which has been in operation since 2002 and which is scheduled to be decommissioned from commercial service during the first quarter of 2015. This new constellation offers a higher resolution, greater programming reactivity and a much higher volume of images acquired daily (in monoscopic or stereoscopic mode).

23/07/2014

Elecnor Deimos publishes first images of the DEIMOS-2 satellite

After its successful launch at 21:11 CET on 19 June, the process of setting up the DEIMOS-2 satellite has progressed smoothly.

The satellite started taking shots only 12 hours after its launch, and has continued to do so over the last five days. The first images taken by the satellite are of the North American city, San Francisco, and of Qatar's capital city, Doha, showing its avenues and the development that will be built there for the 2022 World Cup.

Some of these images are attached and show the ultra-high quality and definition offered in each of them. More shots will be published as they become available over the coming hours and days...

Elecnor 67

12/06/2014

Stadiums from the FIFA World Cup 2014

For all you soccer lovers out there, feast your eyes with these gorgeous satellite images of the stadiums that will be used during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The images were taken by the Pléiades Satellites, the development of which was partly funded by Belgium.


Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro. Source: Airbus Defence & Space

10/06/2014

Thermal monitoring of volcanic activity from space

Data from the Meteosat satellite has been used to measure the temperature of lava at a remote volcano in Africa.

The scientists compared data from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) on board Meteosat with ground data from a thermal camera, to show the temperature of the lava lake at Nyiragongo, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The technique was pioneered in Europe, and the researchers say it could be used to help monitor volcanoes in remote places all over the world.


Source: EUMETSAT

Interested? Read the rest of the article over at the EUMETSAT website.

10/06/2014

Sentinel-1 aids Balkan flood relief

lthough not yet operational, the new Sentinel-1A satellite has provided radar data for mapping the floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Heavy rainfall leading to widespread flooding and landslides has hit large parts of the Balkans, killing dozens of people and leaving hundreds of thousands displaced.


Source: ESA Observing the Earth

Jan Kucera of the Europan Commission’s Joint Research Centre is supervising the technical aspect of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS). While mapping the flooding in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, ESA delivered a radar scan from Sentinel-1A: “I had a first look and discovered that we were missing an important flooded area visible in the middle of the image.”

Did this spike your interest? Be sure to read the rest of the article over at the ESA website.

28/05/2014

Japanese craft launched with night-vision mapping radar

A Japanese satellite equipped with a sharp-eyed synthetic aperture radar launched Saturday on a mission to map the globe every two weeks, helping authorities respond to natural disasters, track agricultural yields and monitor shipping lanes.


Source: Spaceflight Now

Interested in more? Read the rest of the article here.

28/05/2014

SPOT-VEGETATION retires and hands over the torch to PROBA-V

On June 1st, 2014, after 16 years of faithful service in tracking the global vegetation status, the SPOT-VEGETATION mission will retire and hand over the torch to ESA’s Earth Watch satellite, PROBA-V. During 5911 days, the SPOT 4 and SPOT 5 satellites have been delivering global images on a daily basis, hereby providing essential information to study global vegetation change.

PROBA-V is an ESA owned satellite mission designed and built by a Belgian consortium, operated as part of ESA's Earth Observation Programme. The satellite platform was built by QinetiQ Space, Prime Contractor of the project. The sensor system was developed by OIP Sensor Systems, while VITO acted as Principal Investigator and developed the user segment, i.e. the processing chain.

Want to know more? Be sure to check out the dedicated website.

28/05/2014

Water mission boosts food security

ESA’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission has gone beyond its original scientific brief of delivering critical information for understanding the water cycle – this versatile satellite is now being used to predict drought and improve crop yield in regions prone to famine.


Source: ESA Observing the Earth

The US Department of Agriculture use satellite images and soil moisture data to help identify abnormal weather that may affect the production and yield of crops. Using this information, they publish monthly estimates of world production, supply and distribution.

Read the rest of the article over at ESA.

07/05/2014

Research sheds new light on global warming trends

New research by a team of Florida State University scientists shows the first detailed look at global land surface warming trends over the last 100 years, illustrating precisely when and where different areas of the world started to warm up or cool down.
The research indicates that the world is indeed getting warmer, but historical records show that it hasn't happened everywhere at the same rate.
And that new information even took scientists by surprise.
"Global warming was not as understood as we thought," said Zhaohua Wu, an assistant professor of meteorology at FSU.

Interested? Read the rest of the article here.

07/05/2014

NPP Designated Primary U.S. Polar Weather Satellite

Suomi NPP, the NASA testbed satellite pressed into duty as the first operational component of the next-generation Joint Polar Satellite System following its 2011, launch is now the United States’ primary polar-orbiting weather satellite, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced May 1.



Source: SpaceNews

The designation gives Suomi-NPP operational priority over other satellites in the U.S. weather-forecasting constellation managed by NOAA, the agency said in an online post.  Suomi-NPP replaces the still-in-service NOAA-19 as the primary U.S. polar-orbiter, NOAA said.

Want to know more? You can find out all about it after the jump.

07/05/2014

Kazakhstan First Earth Observation Satellite to Orbit

Arianespace is on track for a record launch performance in 2014 following tonight’s Vega mission from the Spaceport in French Guiana, which successfully orbited a pioneering Earth observation satellite for the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Lifting off from the SLV launch site at 10:35:15 p.m. local time – which was the planned precise moment of launch – Vega was put through its paces to loft DZZ-HR, renamed “KazEOSat-1” after reaching Sun-synchronous orbit, during a flight lasting 55 minutes.


Source: Arianespace

If you want to read the rest of the article, be sure to click here.

07/05/2014

PROBA-V, celebrating one year in space!

06/05/2013: a day we will never forget! At 23:06 local time in Kourou, French Guinea the small satellite PROBA-V was successfully launched by ESA’s VEGA launcher and put into orbit exactly as planned.  Now, one year later we look back at the successful launch and the past 12 months in which PROBA-V started its operational phase.

Want to read more about PROBA-V? You can find out all about it after the jump.

25/04/2014

France Maneuvers Intel Satellite To Avoid Dead Weather Spacecraft

One of four French electronic-intelligence satellites flying in formation in low Earth orbit was forced to perform a collision-avoidance maneuver after U.S. and French space-tracking radars determined that it was on a collision course with a large piece of orbital debris, the French air force said.

The satellite that had to be moved is one of four identical 120-kilogram Elisa demonstrator satellites launched into a 694-kilometer low Earth orbit in December 2011.

Curious? Read the rest of the article over at SpaceNews.

25/04/2014

Kenya to deploy drones in all national parks in bid to tackle poaching

Kenya is to deploy drones in all of its 52 national parks and reserves in a bid to monitor and stop the poaching of elephants and rhinos.


Source: The Guardian

The move by the government follows a successful pilot project in major protected wildlife area, that saw drones reduce poaching by up to 96%.

Kenya has lost more than 435 elephants and around 400 rhinos to poachers since 2012, driven by demand for illegal wildlife products in Asia and elsewhere. Poachers have killed 18 rhinos and 51 elephants in 2014 so far.

Want to know more? Be sure to click here.

25/04/2014

Sentinel-3 Stacks Up

Over the last year, engineers have been carefully testing and piecing together the multitude of components that make up Sentinel-3. The recent arrival of the infrared radiometer is a milestone in the exacting process of building this upcoming Copernicus mission.


Source: ESA

The Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer, or SLSTR, just delivered to Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, France, is one of the main instruments carried on Sentinel-3. As its name suggests, this new sensor will map the surface temperature of Earth’s land and oceans.

Drawing on sound heritage from Envisat’s Along Track Scanning Radiometer, this improved instrument will provide Copernicus users with timely and accurate information for maritime safety, weather services and climate monitoring. Developed by Selex ES in Italy, it also includes novel detectors for monitoring wildfires.

Want to know more? Read the rest of the article here.

18/04/2014

Copernicus Masters

Since 2011, the annual Copernicus Masters competition is awarding prizes to innovative solutions for business and society based on Earth observation data.

With the launch of Sentinel-1A in April 2014, a new era is set to begin for applications in the entire geospatial value chain. It is the first of the new fleet of ESA Earth observation satellites, which are poised to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are at the core of Europe's flagship programme Copernicus. The Earth monitoring competition Copernicus Masters aims to support the development of market-oriented applications based on Earth observation data. In 2014, for the first time, the Copernicus Masters is carried out worldwide. It includes exciting topic specific Challenges that are being awarded by an array of prominent partners, such as the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), European Space Imaging GmbH & Skybox Imaging Inc., CloudEO AG, Airbus Defence and Space & Hisdesat S.A., and Satellite Applications Catapult Ltd.

Want to know more? Then be sure to click here!

27/01/2014

France to make older Spot images available to researchers for free

The French government has agreed to open its Spot optical Earth observation data archive and distribute, free of charge to noncommercial users, Spot satellite data that are at least five years old.


Source: SpaceNews

The 23 January announcement by the French space agency, CNES, followed a French government commitment made 17 January during a meeting in Geneva of the 80 governments that comprise the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

CNES said its decision was made in concert with Airbus Defence and Space, formerly named Astrium Services, which since 2008 has been the majority shareholder in the company that commercialises Spot data.

CNES said the move to open up access to Spot imagery, which dates from 1986, "is the first major contribution from the private sector to the construction of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS)."

Read the rest of the article here.

27/01/2014

CryoSat detects hidden Antarctic pattern

Near the centre of Antarctica, measurements from CryoSat show an unusual pattern in the ice sheet's elevation. Scientists have now found the reason for this pattern - and the discovery is leading to even more accurate measurements from ESA's ice mission.


Source: ESA Observing the Earth

CryoSat carries a radar altimeter that can 'see' through clouds and in the dark, providing continuous measurements over areas like central Antarctica that are prone to bad weather and long periods of darkness.

The radar measures the surface height variation of ice by timing the interval between the transmission and reception of very short radar pulses as the satellite orbits Earth.

Find the rest of the article After the jump.

27/01/2014

NASA Set for a Big Year in Earth Science with Five New Missions

For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth science missions will be launched into space in the same year, opening new and improved remote eyes to monitor our changing planet.


Source: NASA News

The five launches, including two to the International Space Station (ISS), are part of an active year for NASA Earth science researchers, who also will conduct airborne campaigns to the poles and hurricanes, develop advanced sensor technologies, and use satellite data and analytical tools to improve natural hazard and climate change preparedness.

Want to read the rest of the article? Be sure to click here.

18/11/2013

STEREO III programme has officially been launched!

To execute the decision of the Council of Ministers on 15 November 2012 concerning the implementation of the Belgian space strategy, the State Secretary for Science Policy approved the STEREO III programme on 19 September 2013. Just last week the first call was published in the Belgian Official Journal.

18/11/2013

GOCE, the Ferrari of Space caught on camera one last time as it plunges to earth

The Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) began its rapid descent last week - sparking worries it would hit land mass. Most of the fragments were however expected to burn out in the atmosphere.

Photographer Bill Chater managed to capture the scene as the remains of the satellite shot across the sky over the Falkland Islands:


Source: Mirror News

GOCE had been mapping the Earth's gravitational field for the last four years, which is important for understanding changing sea levels.

The satellite's plunge was monitored with tracking systems, and it is estimated that about 45 pieces of debris, each weighing no more than 200lbs, will have survived the fiery plunge, most likely falling into the ocean.

The uncontrolled descent was the first of its kind in almost 25 years for the European Space Agency.

17/10/2013

Herding from Space

Satellites see defined lines of nomadic pastoralism in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Landlocked in western Africa, Niger is one of the world’s poorest nations. With less than 4% of the country’s land arable and prone to drought, food security is a major concern for the population of over 17 million.

Livestock production is important to the agricultural gross domestic product, with widespread nomadic pastoralism. Livestock trade is organised through strong traditional networks, with most animal sales taking place in local markets, but nomadic herders continuously move depending on water and food availability.


Animal crossings in Niger. Source: ESA Observing the Earth

In southern Niger’s Aguie Department, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been working to ensure food security and support small-scale rural producers.

Interested in more? You can find the rest of the article here.

17/10/2013

Magnetic Field Mission SWARM Fuelled for Launch

With launch just a month away, ESA’s Swarm constellation has been fuelled. Engineers will soon be focusing on the careful task of attaching the three identical satellites to the upper stage of the rocket for simultaneous release into orbit around Earth.

The Swarm satellites and all the equipment needed to prepare them for liftoff arrived at the Plesetsk launch complex in Russia just over three weeks ago. The cargo plane made three round trips to transport the whole shipment amounting to about 60 tonnes from Munich, Germany.

Since their safe arrival, the three satellites have been unpacked, have undergone various tests to make sure their components work as they should, and have been fuelled with Freon 14 and tested for leaks.


Swarm constellation. Source: ESA Observing the Earth

You can read the rest of the article here.

17/10/2013

Global warming will increase intensity of El Nino, scientists say

Scientists say they are more certain than ever about the impact of global warming on a critical weather pattern.


Source: BBC News, Science and Environment

The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) occurs in the Pacific Ocean but plays an important part in the world's climate system. Researchers have until now been unsure as to how rising temperatures would affect ENSO in the future. But this new study suggests that droughts and floods driven by ENSO will be more intense. The ENSO phenomenon plays a complicated role in the global weather system. The El Nino part of the equation sees a warming of the eastern and tropical Pacific, while its cooler sister, La Nina, makes things chillier in these same regions.

Did this spike your interest? Then be sure to check out the rest of the article.

01/10/2013

IPCC climate report: humans dominant cause of warming

A landmark report says scientists are 95% certain that humans are the "dominant cause" of global warming since the 1950s.

The report by the UN's climate panel details the physical evidence behind climate change.

On the ground, in the air, in the oceans, global warming is "unequivocal", it explained. It adds that a pause in warming over the past 15 years is too short to reflect long-term trends.

Read the rest of the article on the BBC News website.

19/09/2013

Preparing to launch Swarm

With the launch of ESA’s Swarm trio set for 14 November, the first satellite has arrived safely at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia. This new mission will unravel one of the most mysterious aspects of our planet: the magnetic field.

The arrival marks the beginning of the ‘launch campaign’, which includes an intensive period of tests to make sure that the satellites are fit for launch after their journey from Germany to Russia.


Swarm arrives in Plesetsk. Source: ESA

The campaign also includes the careful task of fuelling the satellites and attaching them to the rocket that will deliver them into orbit. The remaining two satellites will arrive in the next couple of days, the second later today and the third at the weekend. All three will be launched together on a single Rockot.

Read the rest of the article here.

19/09/2013

Supermodel Goce satellite to fall to Earth

The European Space Agency (Esa) is preparing for the fiery fall to Earth of its Goce gravity-mapping satellite.

The sleek spacecraft is flying just 224km above the planet, but its special electric engine that maintains this altitude is about to run out of fuel. Current estimates suggest this could occur anytime between the end of this month and the start of November. When it does, the one-tonne Goce will plunge rapidly through the atmosphere, burning up as it descends.
"Some satellites take decades to come back after finishing operations; we will re-enter in no more than three weeks," says Esa mission manager Dr Rune Floberghagen.


Source: BBC Science & Environment

Interested in more? Be sure to check out the rest of the article.

19/09/2013

The Global Toll of Fine Particulate Matter

Occasionally, short-term meteorological conditions merge with ongoing human emissions to produce extreme outbreaks of air pollution. In January 2013, a blanket of industrial pollution enveloped northeastern China. In June 2013, smoke from agricultural fires in Sumatra engulfed Singapore.

In most cases, the most toxic pollution lingers for a few days or even weeks, bringing increases in respiratory and cardiac health problems at hospitals. Eventually the weather breaks, the air clears, and memories of foul air begin to fade. But that’s not to say that the health risks disappear as well. Even slightly elevated levels of air pollution can have a significant effect on human health. Over long periods and on a global scale, such impacts can add up.

But exactly how much exposure to air pollution do people around the world get? And how much health damage is it causing? Since there are gaps in networks of ground sensors, University of North Carolina earth scientist Jason West is leading an effort to answer those questions using computer models that simulate the atmosphere.


Source: NASA Earth Observatory

Read the rest of the article here.

19/09/2013

Arctic sea ice shrinks to sixth-lowest extent on record

Sea ice cover in the Arctic has shrunk to one of its smallest extents on record, bringing the days of an entirely ice-free Arctic during the summer a step closer.

The annual sea ice minimum of 5,099m sq km reached last Friday was not as extreme as last year, when the collapse of ice cover broke all previous records.


Source: The Guardian

Did this tickle your curiousity? Then check out the rest of the article here.

17/09/2013

Game of drones - Belgian remote sensing scientist interviewed on improper use of drones

Drones are all the rage. Weeks ago one was taken down over the royal domain of Fenffe in the Belgian province of Namur, a camera drone operated by a photographer of the Sudpress newspaper group. And only yesterday a camera drone crashed a mere two meters away from the podium where Angela Merkel was giving a speech.

The question that's really keeping us, remote sensing people, awake at night is the following: what would be the legal framework of remotely controlled camera's for aerial photography? Or for the more naughty ones: can I use a drone to take pictures of my sunbathing neighbour?

If you want to know the answer to these questions, be sure to check out the interview with Koen Meuleman, organized by the Belgian Radio 1.

05/09/2013

Wildfires projected to worsen with climate change

Harvard model predicts wildfire seasons by 2050 will be three weeks longer, up to twice as smoky, and will burn a wider area in the western United States

Research by environmental scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) brings bad news to the western United States, where firefighters are currently battling dozens of fires in at least 11 states.

The Harvard team’s study suggests wildfire seasons by 2050 will be about three weeks longer, up to twice as smoky, and will burn a wider area in the western states. The findings are based on a set of internationally recognized climate scenarios, decades of historical meteorological data, and records of past fire activity.

The results will be published in the October 2013 issue of Atmospheric Environment and are available in advance online.


Want to know more? Be sure to check out the Environmental Research Website.

05/09/2013

Iceland Signs Accession Agreement with EUMETSAT

Iceland is on its way to becoming a EUMETSAT Member State in 2014 following the signature of the accession agreement by EUMETSAT Director-General Alain Ratier and Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources of Iceland on 30 August.


Source: EUMETSAT

Read more about it here.

05/09/2013

TerraSAR-X: overdue but still going strong

Officially, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X should have been out of service for over a year and a half – that's how long it has exceeded its intended lifespan. But engineers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have switched the satellite, which was launched to space on 15 June 2007, to yet another mode: TerraSAR-X can now record image strips over 200 kilometres wide. "The satellite does so by sweeping this large area in multiple stages, very quickly pivoting the radar beam numerous times across the direction of flight," explains DLR mission manager Stefan Buckreuss. For example, the image of the German Bight shows the Frisian Islands from Borkum to Wangerooge and cities such as Wilhelmshaven and Bremen. This new ‘wide-angle’ mode is of particular interest to oceanographers, who will be able to use it to investigate the tidal range, changes to mudflats, shipping movements, wave patterns, ice floes and wind levels.



Curious for more? Be sure to click here.

30/08/2013

INSAT-3D: India Advanced Weather Satellite Inches Closer to Final Orbit

India's advanced weather satellite INSAT-3D, which was launched successfully on 26 July, has reached an intermediate orbit. The satellite is inching closer to the 36,000 km high geostationary orbit, which is its final orbit.

The meteorological satellite, carrying advanced weather monitoring payloads, was launched by European launch vehicle Ariane-5 VA-214 in the early hours of Friday from Kourou, French Guiana.

After travelling for 32 minutes and 48 seconds, the satellite with a lift-off mass of 2060 kg was placed in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee (nearest point to earth) of 250 km and an apogee (farthest point to earth) of 35,923 km. As soon as it was injected into the GTO, the satellite's solar panel was deployed. The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan, Karnataka, took over the control of the satellite.

Interested? Find out all about it after the jump.

06/08/2013

Disappearance of Coral Reefs, Drastically Altered Marine Food Web On the Horizon

If history's closest analog is any indication, the look of the oceans will change drastically in the future as the coming greenhouse world alters marine food webs and gives certain species advantages over others.


Source: ScienceDaily

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, paleobiologist Richard Norris and colleagues show that the ancient greenhouse world had few large reefs, a poorly oxygenated ocean, tropical surface waters like a hot tub, and food webs that did not sustain the abundance of large sharks, whales, seabirds, and seals of the modern ocean. Aspects of this greenhouse ocean could reappear in the future if greenhouse gases continue to rise at current accelerating rates.

The researchers base their projections on what is known about the "greenhouse world" of 50 million years ago when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were much higher than those that have been present during human history. Their review article appears in an Aug. 2 special edition of the journal Science titled "Natural Systems in Changing Climates."

Interested? Read the rest of the article here.

06/08/2013

Seeing Which Way the Wind Blows: New Doppler Radar Takes Flight on This Summer HS3 Mission

Most aircraft carrying Doppler radar look like they’ve grown a tail, developed a dorsal fin, or sprouted a giant pancake on their backs. But when the unmanned Global Hawk carries a radar system this summer, its cargo will be hard to see. The autonomous and compact High-altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Profiler, or HIWRAP, a dual-frequency conical-scanning Doppler radar, will hang under the aircraft’s belly as it flies above hurricanes to measure wind and rain and to test a new method for retrieving wind data.

HIWRAP is one of the instruments that will fly in this summer's mission to explore Atlantic Ocean hurricanes. NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3, airborne mission will investigate tropical cyclones using a number of instruments and two Global Hawks. The HS3 mission will operate between Aug. 20 and Sept. 23.


Source: NASA

"Radar is an important remote sensor for atmospheric research," said Lihua Li, an engineer who helped develop HIWRAP at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Radar signals penetrate clouds and precipitation, allowing scientists to detect information on raindrops or ice particles." That information, he said, is one piece of the puzzle toward improving scientists' understanding of weather events.

Read more after the jump.

06/08/2013

Using Satellite Observations of Clouds to Improve Weather Forecasts

Clouds play a crucial role in regulating the Earth's weather and climate. They adjust the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth's surface and affect the surface temperature and moisture. The processes involved in cloud formation also influence large-scale atmospheric circulation and can lead to rapid storm intensification. To accurately forecast the evolving state of the atmosphere, it is important that meteorologists are able to realistically simulate cloud information in weather prediction models.

However, due to their complexity, the evolution of clouds and their interactions with the surrounding atmosphere are often poorly understood by atmospheric scientists, and thus remain a major source of uncertainty in weather forecast models.


Source: SSEC

One of the first scientists interested in clarifying these uncertainties using satellite observations is Jason Otkin, an atmospheric scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After devoting many years to studying cloud properties and evolution processes using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, he is working to improve the way the WRF model handles clouds. More accurate depictions of clouds will improve forecasts of high-impact weather events.

Want to know more? Be sure to click here.

30/07/2013

Seeing Photosynthesis from Space: NASA Scientists Use Satellites to Measure Plant Health

NASA scientists have established a new way to use satellites to measure what's occurring inside plants at a cellular level.
Plants grow and thrive through photosynthesis, a process that converts sunlight into energy. During photosynthesis, plants emit what is called fluorescence – light invisible to the naked eye but detectable by satellites orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth. NASA scientists have now established a method to turn this satellite data into global maps of the subtle phenomenon in more detail than ever before.

Want to read more about it? Be sure to check out the rest of the story.

30/07/2013

India Advanced Weather Satellite INSAT-3D Successfully Launched

India's Weather Satellite INSAT-3D, carrying advanced weather monitoring payloads, was launched successfully in the early hours of July 26, 2013 by the Ariane-5 (VA214) launch vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana.


Source: Rediff.com

After a smooth countdown lasting 11 hours and 30 minutes, the Ariane-5 launch vehicle lifted off right on schedule at the opening of the launch window at 01:24 hours IST today. After a flight of 32 minutes and 48 seconds, INSAT-3D was placed in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO), very close to the intended one.

More information on the satellite can be found here.

If you want to read the whole article on the launch, head to the ISRO website for more information.

30/07/2013

Watching Wetlands from Space

The use of satellite data to monitor wetlands for sustainable water management is growing. Following promising results from monitoring efforts in the Mediterranean, ESA is working with African partners to expand its GlobWetland project even further.

In the heart of Jordan’s eastern desert, an oasis of marshland and natural water collection makes up the Azraq wetland.

The wetland and adjacent mudflat were recognised in 1977 as an important station for migratory birds by the Ramsar Convention – an intergovernmental treaty for the sustainable use of wetlands.


Source: ESA

Over the years, the extraction of water for drinking and irrigation significantly reduced the Azraq’s ground water levels. Between 1975 and 2005, the wetland area diminished by about 23 sq km while irrigated areas increased by almost 14 sq km, as observed through ESA’s GlobWetland II project.

Read more after the jump.

23/07/2013

MAMUD article featured on Earthzine website

A recently concluded research project called MAMUD investigated how high and moderate resolution satellite imagery can be used for mapping and modeling urban growth and its impact on the hydrology of the urban and suburban environment. The paper focuses on research methods, major findings, and work carried out on the Greater Dublin Area in Ireland.



The announcement can be found on the Earthzine website.
If you're interested in the full article, be sure to check it out here.

22/07/2013

The Color of the Ocean: the SABIA-Mar Mission

Remote sensing of ocean color is a currently well-established science that provides information about water composition and the depth of light penetration based on the ocean color, as seen from space. Ocean color satellites are part of an Earth observing system and, due to its importance in understanding the state of the ocean and its evolution, the international scientific community has agreed to joint efforts to keep a constant constellation of ocean color satellites orbiting our planet.


Source: Astrobiology Magazine

Read more after the jump.

15/07/2013

European Space Imaging’s optical satellite services help keep the seas safe and clean

European Union agencies and member states tasked with monitoring Europe’s waters can now receive optical satellite imagery within one hour of collection using the near real-time delivery services of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

Interested? Continue reading here.

12/07/2013

CryoSat maps largest-ever flood beneath Antarctica

ESA's CryoSat satellite has found a vast crater in Antarctica's icy surface. Scientists believe the crater was left behind when a lake lying under about 3 km of ice suddenly drained.

Far below the thick ice sheet that covers Antarctica, there are lakes of fresh water without a direct connection to the ocean. These lakes are of great interest to scientists who are trying to understand water transport and ice dynamics beneath the frozen Antarctic surface - but this information is not easy to obtain.


Source: ESA

One method is to drill holes through kilometres of ice to the water - a difficult endeavour in the harsh conditions of the polar regions. But instead of looking down towards the ice, a team of European scientists is looking to the sky to improve our understanding of subglacial water and its transport.

For more information click here.

12/07/2013

Jason-1 Ocean Satellite Takes Final Bow

The curtain has come down on a superstar of the satellite oceanography world that played the "Great Blue Way" of the world's ocean for 11-1/2 years. The successful joint NASA and Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Jason-1 ocean altimetry satellite was decommissioned this week following the loss of its last remaining transmitter.


Source: NASA

Want to know more? Be sure to check out this article.

28/06/2013

NASA Celebrates Anniversary Of Seasat Mission

Even if they don’t last long, history tends to look fondly upon trailblazers.

Thirty-five years ago this week, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) launched an experimental satellite called Seasat, with the mission to study Earth and its seas. An unexpected malfunction ended the mission after just 106 days, leading some to look on the satellite as a failure. Seasat is still in orbit, however, shining in the night sky at magnitude 4.0 and continuing to live on through the many Earth and space observation missions it spawned.

Read more after the jump.


Source: redOrbit

28/06/2013

Earth Northern Biomass Mapped and Measured

The biomass of the northern hemisphere’s forests has been mapped with greater precision than ever before thanks to satellites, improving our understanding of the carbon cycle and our prediction of Earth’s future climate.

Read more here.


Source: ESA

31/05/2013

New Maps Show How Shipping Noise Spans the Globe

The ocean is naturally filled with the sounds of breaking waves, cracking ice, driving rain, and marine animal calls, but more and more, human activity is adding to the noise. Ships' propellers create low-frequency hums that can travel hundreds of kilometers or more in the deep ocean. Scientists have now modeled this shipping noise on a global scale.


Source: ScienceDaily

Want to know more? Be sure to check out this website.

27/05/2013

ESA next Earth Explorer satellite Will Map The Tropics

ESA’s Earth Observation Programme Board has selected ‘Biomass’ to become the seventh Earth Explorer mission. The innovative satellite aims to map and monitor one of Earth’s most precious resources.

Following the review of three candidate concepts at the Board’s meeting today, the Biomass mission concept is set to become the next in a series of satellites developed to further our understanding of Earth.

The satellite will be designed to provide, for the first time from space, P-band radar measurements that are optimised to determine the amount of biomass and carbon stored in the world’s forests with greater accuracy than ever before.

More information? Click here.

27/05/2013

New Public Application of Landsat Images Released

Google released more than a quarter-century of images of Earth taken from space Thursday compiled into an interactive time-lapse experience. Working with data from the Landsat Program managed by the U.S. Geological Survey, the images display an historical perspective on changes to Earth's surface over time.

More information can be found after the jump.

27/05/2013

New Animation Marks Arrival of NASA LDCM Satellite to its Final Orbit

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to watch the world fly by beneath you from space? That dream is elusive for most of us, but the Landsat Data Continuity Mission offers a vicarious flight with a crisper view than our eyes alone would be capable of if we were in space. That view is now available in a new NASA animation.

After two months of on-orbit testing and calibration, LDCM fired its propulsion system on April 12, 2013, and ascended to its final orbit 438 miles (705 km) above Earth. The animation, made from scenes taken a week later on April 19, allows viewers to fly with the satellite from its final operating orbit.

A 15-minute animation shows 56 Landsat scenes that have been stitched together into a seamless view from Russia to South Africa. The animation was produced at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Find the animation and more information about it here.

17/05/2013

Proba-V opens its eyes

Earth watcher Proba-V is in good health following its launch last week. The Vegetation imager has been switched on and the first image has been captured over western France.


Source: ESA

The miniature satellite is designed to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days. The data can be used for alerting authorities to crop failures or monitoring the spread of deserts and deforestation.

The satellite’s vegetation imager was switched on Wednesday in time to get a glimpse of France’s coast along the Bay of Biscay and the lush interior. The data were then sent down to ESA’s Redu centre in Belgium.

Launched by a Vega rocket from French Guiana in the early hours of 7 May along with two other satellites, Proba-V was the first of the three passengers to be deployed into its Sun-synchronous near-polar orbit at 820 km altitude, just 55 minutes after launch.

Read more about after the jump.

17/05/2013

Landsat Thermal Sensor Lights Up from Volcano s Heat

As the Landsat Data Continuity Mission satellite flew over Indonesia's Flores Sea April 29, it captured an image of Paluweh volcano spewing ash into the air. The satellite's Operational Land Imager detected the white cloud of smoke and ash drifting northwest, over the green forests of the island and the blue waters of the tropical sea. The Thermal Infrared Sensor on LDCM picked up even more.


Source: NASA

By imaging the heat emanating from the 5-mile-wide volcanic island, TIRS revealed a hot spot at the top of the volcano where lava has been oozing in recent months.

Care to read the rest of the story? Click here.

23/04/2013

Copernicus and Earth Observation’s Potential for the EU Environment

“Environmental policy making depends on timely, accurate information about the state of our planet and predictions about its future.” With this sentence, the European Union’s Science for Environment Policy Future Brief sketches the vast importance of Earth observation programs like the EU-led initiative, Copernicus (previously known as Global Monitoring for Environment and Security, or GMES).


The Sentinel-3 satellite is being developed by ESA for the Copernicus program. Source: Earthzine

Copernicus aims to produce data to be used by national and local EU authorities for monitoring, modeling, forecasting and reporting while at the same time contributing to key EU-led initiatives like Resource-Efficient Europe, EU Environment Action Programme 2020, SEIS and INSPIRE. Copernicus is a joint effort with the European Space Agency (ESA), which is developing five new missions called Sentinels specifically for the operational needs of the Copernicus program. The Sentinel missions, to be launched this year, are based on a constellation of two satellites to fulfill revisit and coverage requirements, providing robust datasets for Copernicus Services. These missions carry a range of technologies, such as radar and multi-spectral imaging instruments for land, ocean and atmospheric monitoring.

Read more about it here.

23/04/2013

Kazakhstan to launch first remote sensing satellite by yearend

The Kazakh space agency said Wednesday that it plans to launch the country's first Earth remote sensing satellite by the end of this year.

"The launch of the first medium-resolution remote sensing satellite is planned for the 4th quarter of 2013" from Russia's Yasny Cosmodrome, the press service of KazCosmos said in a press release.

Kazakhstan's remote sensing system includes two optoelectronic satellites, and the cost will be about 260 million euros (about 341 million U.S. dollars), according to the agency.

The second, high-resolution remote sensing satellite is planned to be launched in 2014 from the Guiana Space Center, a French spaceport near Kourou in French Guiana, said KazCosmos.

Astrium, a Paris-based aerospace subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, is a strategic partner in the Kazakh remote sensing program.

Source: Xinhuanet

23/04/2013

Taking Two Bites at Ocean Salinity

The saltiness of the oceans is being closely monitored from space by both ESA’s SMOS and NASA’s Aquarius missions, but in slightly different ways. By joining forces, researchers are exploiting these complementary missions to benefit climate science even further.

Everyone knows that seawater is salty, but it isn’t that obvious that the concentration of salt – the salinity – of the surface waters of the world’s oceans varies considerably with location and season.


Source: ESA

Salinity is controlled largely by the balance between evaporation and precipitation, so it is an important component of Earth’s water cycle and closely coupled to weather and climate. It is also an important driver in ocean circulation, which in turn, is crucial in moderating the climate.

In fact, ocean salinity is an 'essential climate variable' – a key parameter of climate change.

Read more after the jump.

23/04/2013

Proba-V is seated for flight

ESA’s Proba-V vegetation-mapping minisatellite has been fitted to the payload adapter and met its fellow passengers for its 2 May flight to orbit on a Vega launcher.

Last week, technicians attached Proba-V to the top of the Vespa adapter, which carries multiple payloads on a single Vega.

The other two satellites flying with Proba-V have now been installed inside Vespa: Vietnam’s VNREDSat Earth observation mission and Estonia’s ESTCube-1 student nanosatellite, to test electric solar sail technology.

Proba-V will be the first of the three satellites to be deployed from the Vega’s AVUM upper stage.


Source: ESA

Less than a cubic metre in volume, Proba-V is a miniaturised ESA satellite tasked with a full-scale mission: to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days.

Read the rest of the article here.

22/04/2013

Pléiades-1B data now available in GeoStore

Following its successful launch last December, Pléiades 1B has been declared fully operational on March 19, 2013. Acquisitions of this new very-high-resolution sensor are now available through GeoStore, featuring a faster access to target, greater monitoring capabilities and – above all – enabling a x2 faster Pléiades-coverage from now on.



Licensed Belgian users can get these data at very competitive prices. For more information on this offer, check out the Pléiades for Belgium website.

12/04/2013

Satellite Imagery Helps North Africa Fight Locust Plagues

DMC International Imaging (DMCii) is helping The Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) to predict the spread of locust plagues across North Africa as part of a pro-active approach to tackle the destructive phenomenon using satellite imagery.

Every year, North Africa is subjected to locust plagues that threaten to decimate crops and endanger countries’ food security. The satellite imagery is used to assess vegetation conditions, which helps to predict the locations of locust breeding grounds. The imagery, from the UK-DMC2 satellite, is used in conjunction with weather data to help create locust forecasts and focus the application of pesticides to prevent the spread of swarms.


Last year, in a six-month summer campaign to fight the spread of locusts, DMCii acquired monthly images of regions in Southern Algeria, Northern Mali and Northern Niger for ASAL. Now, imagery is being acquired before the summer season starts, to predict as well as monitor the threat of locusts.

Source: RedOrbit

05/04/2013

Protecting History with Satellites

Looking down from orbit is an attractive way of monitoring historical sites in remote or politically unstable regions – and can even help archaeologists to make new discoveries.

The ancient city of Samarra was a powerful Islamic capital during the ninth century, located in what is today Iraq. It is the only surviving Islamic capital that retains its original plan, architecture and arts, although only about 20% of the site has been excavated.


Source: ESA

Read more about it here.

13/03/2013

Proba-V Minisatellite Reaches Europe Spaceport

ESA’s Proba-V minisatellite for mapping global vegetation has arrived at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, where it is being prepared for a mid-April launch atop a Vega launcher.

The small satellite, cocooned in its protective container, landed on the Air France daily passenger flight on Friday 8 March, arriving at 16:15 local time (19: 15 GMT).

Proba-V is now safely in place within the cleanroom environment of the payload preparation building, its new home for the remainder of this month.


Source: ESA

The satellite and its associated hardware began its odyssey from Europe to South America on Wednesday 6 March, when it left the headquarters of prime contractor QinetiQ Space in Kruibeke, Belgium for Brussels Airport to be packaged on an aircraft pallet.

Read more after the jump.

08/03/2013

Data from Pléiades 1B satellite now commercially available

The Pléiades twins now operate as a true constellation on the same orbit, allowing daily revisit capability to guarantee you the right information at the right time:

  • Faster Access to Target
  • Daily Tracking
  • Rapid Coverage

For more information, click here.

Remember: licensed Belgian users can get Pléiades data at strongly reduced prices. More information on this offer can be found here.

01/03/2013

Securing operational EU funding for GMES Copernicus

Good news for Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme: the European Council has secured the programme’s EU funding through 2020.


Source: ESA

The multiannual financial framework – MFF – is a seven-year plan for the EU’s budget. On 8 February, European heads of State and government agreed to include GMES in the 2014–20 MFF.

Within the new framework, €3786 million was allocated for GMES. This amount covers GMES Services, In-Situ Component (a network of sensors on the ground, at sea and in the air) and the Space Component, securing funding for the programme’s long-term operational phase.

The funds will allow GMES operations to continue to provide ever-improving global environmental data to services stimulating economic growth and job creation in Europe.

Read more about it after the jump.

01/03/2013

SMOS: The global success story continues

ESA’s water mission is shedding new light on the meandering Gulf Stream, just one of the SMOS satellite’s numerous achievements.

Launched in 2009, ESA’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite has been helping us to understand the water cycle.


Source: ESA

Over the past three years it has been providing more accurate information on global soil moisture and ocean salinity.

 
Europe soil moisture decrease
New results unveiled today in Spain show that SMOS is now providing new insights into the movement of the Gulf Stream – one of the most intensely studied current systems.

Originating in the Caribbean and flowing towards the North Atlantic, the current plays an important role in the transfer of heat and salt, influencing the climate of North America’s east coast and Europe’s west coast.

Read more here.

01/03/2013

Vietnam to launch 3rd satellite into orbit

Vietnam will launch its third satellite into orbit in the second quarter of 2013, according to a document approved by the Vietnamese Government Office.

Vietnamese media VnExpress quoted Bui Trong Tuyen, vice president of Vietnam's Space Technology Institute, as saying that the VNREDSat-1A, an earth observation optical satellite, is designed for the service of earth observation, analysis of natural resources, environmental management and natural disasters monitoring.


Source: SatellitePro

VNREDSat-1A will be launched into sun synchronous orbit (SSO) at an altitude of 670 km. The 120-kg remote sensing satellite is built by France's Astrium, which will supply to Vietnam the complete satellite system and ground receiving facilities. During the project, Astrium will help training 15 Vietnamese engineers in controlling the satellite.

The satellite, worth 70-million U.S. dollars, will be launched by the Arianespace at the Guiana Space Center, French Guiana.

Vietnam's two communication satellites VINASAT-1 and VINASAT-2 were launched into orbit in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

Source: Xinhuanet

22/02/2013

Mount Etna Boils Over

After maintaining a low simmer for ten months, Italy’s Etna volcano boiled over on February 19–20, 2013, with three outbursts in 36 hours. According to the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, each outburst (paroxysm) featured “emission of lava flows, pyroclastic flows, lahars, and an ash cloud.”


Source: ESA

Read more about this here.

22/02/2013

Belgian Scientist Develops Open Source Repository

Colibri is a repository for source code developed in ENVI/IDL under the Open Source Initiative, developed by Belgian remote sensing scientist Luc Bertels. It contains a wide variety of algorithms and applications which are of interest for the remote sensing community.



Source:


For more information, click here.

20/02/2013

Securing Operational EU Funding for GMES Copernicus

Good news for Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme: the European Council has secured the programme’s EU funding through 2020.

The multiannual financial framework – MFF – is a seven-year plan for the EU’s budget. On 8 February, European heads of State and government agreed to include GMES in the 2014–20 MFF.

Within the new framework, €3786 million was allocated for GMES. This amount covers GMES Services, In-Situ Component (a network of sensors on the ground, at sea and in the air) and the Space Component, securing funding for the programme’s long-term operational phase.


Source: ESA

The funds will allow GMES operations to continue to provide ever-improving global environmental data to services stimulating economic growth and job creation in Europe.

Want to know more? Read all about it here.

18/02/2013

GOCE settles debate on sloping sea

For decades, scientists have disagreed about whether the sea is higher or lower heading north along the east coast of North America. Thanks to precision gravity data from ESA's GOCE satellite, this controversial issue has now been settled. The answer? It's lower.


Source: ESA

Many might assume that the height of the sea is the same everywhere - but this is not true because winds, currents, tides and different temperatures cause seawater to pile up in some regions and dip in others.

However, it is difficult to determine relative heights of the sea, especially near the coast. To do this, tide gauge measurements need to be compared with a 'level' surface.

For more information, click here.

18/02/2013

Satellite watches from space as meteor explodes

The meteor that exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains early Friday morning was spotted from space by a weather satellite as the space rock streaked through the atmosphere and exploded.


Source: EUMETSAT

The photos were captured by the satellite Meteosat-9 as the meteor entered Earth's atmosphere , causing a sonic boom and injuring hundreds in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, about 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) east of Moscow.

Read more about it here.

11/02/2013

NASA Launches New Earth Observation Satellite to Continue 40-Year Legacy

NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) roared into space at 1:02 p.m. EST (10:02 a.m. PST) Monday aboard an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The LDCM spacecraft separated from the rocket 79 minutes after launch and the first signal was received 3 minutes later at a ground station in Svalbard, Norway. The solar arrays deployed 86 minutes after launch, and the spacecraft is generating power from them. LDCM is on course to reach its operational, sun-synchronous, polar orbit 438 miles (705 kilometers) above Earth within two months.


Source: NASA

Read the rest of the article after the jump.

Read more about the satellite here.

24/01/2013

PLEIADES for Belgium: VHR imagery at vastly reduced prices now available

After the conclusion of our first PLEIADES for Belgium information meeting, we are glad to announce the activation of the order system. From this day on, authorized users will be able to order Pléiades data at vastly reduced prices.


Source: BELSPO

In order to become an authorized member, your organization needs to be a public service established in Belgium. The images acquired through this process can be used for non-commercial purposes only.

Sounds interesting? Want to become an authorized user yourself? Check out the conditions and much more on this website - only available in French and Dutch.

24/01/2013

New Earth Explorer mission to be selected by ESA

This March marks an important milestone in the Earth observation calendar. Scientists from all over Europe will be gathering in Graz, Austria, to scrutinise three innovative satellite concepts. One will then be chosen as ESA’s seventh Earth Explorer.

Using breakthrough technology, the series of Earth Explorer satellites is designed to advance science by exploring different aspects of Earth. Together, these missions are improving our understanding of the complex interactions between Earth’s different components and how human activity is affecting natural processes.

With three missions already in orbit and another three on the road to launch, the next User Consultation Meeting will be held on 5–6 March.

This meeting provides the opportunity for the scientific community to debate the merits of three new mission concepts – each of which promises to deliver novel information on how our planet works.

Read more? Click here.

24/01/2013

VITO announces free access to new MERIS 10-daily composites archive

Today, VITO announces a new free product in the world of low resolution Earth observation data, the global Envisat-MERIS 10-daily composites at 1 km resolution (EM10).

All information on the EM10 product can be found on their website. Today, you can already find products ranging from January 2010 till March 2012 in the catalogue. They are backprocessing all previous years (2002-2012) as we speak.

The EM10 products are available free of charge for non-commercial use and can be downloaded via the on-line catalogue.

17/01/2013

PLEIADES for Belgium information session

The Belgian Science Policy Office organizes a special information meeting on the vastly reduced prices for PLEIADES data Belgian institutions can benefit from. More information on the conditions and the event itself can be found here.


11/01/2013

Shadows on ice: Proba-1 images Concordia south polar base

ESA’s Earth-observing microsatellite Proba-1 has glimpsed one of the loneliest places on Earth – Concordia research base in the heart of Antarctica.

This image was acquired by the High-Resolution Camera, the smallest imager on ESA’s smallest satellite. This black and white digital camera incorporates a miniaturised telescope to fit in Proba-1, whose overall volume is less than a cubic metre.


Source: ESA

Long shadows cast by the low Sun pick out details of the base’s layout in this 5 m-resolution image.

The Concordia station, built and operated by France’s IPEV polar institute and Italy’s PNRA Antarctic programme, is one of the few permanently crewed habitats in Antarctica. Located 3233 m above sea level in the high interior, its nearest neighbour is Russia’s Vostok base, some 560 km away.

Its extreme location makes it interesting to ESA, which sponsors medical research on how isolation affects overwintering crews during months of cold darkness.

Read more here.

12/12/2012

Wildfires Light Up Western Australia

Careful observers of the new "Black Marble" images of Earth at night released this week by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have noticed bright areas in the western part of Australia that are largely uninhabited. Why is this area so lit up, many have asked?

Away from the cities, much of the night light observed by the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite in these images comes from wildfires. In the bright areas of western Australia, there are no nearby cities or industrial sites but, scientists have confirmed, there were fires in the area when Suomi NPP made passes over the region. This has been confirmed by other data collected by the satellite.


Source: NASA

11/12/2012

Pléiades 1B launched succesfully, first images now available

Pléiades 1B was launched on december 2nd, 02:12 UTC,  though according to the local time at the launch pad, the date was still december 1st. Some of the first images have now become available. You can find them here.


the first ever Pléiades 1B image, shot on december 5th, 2012

15/10/2012

Save the date: selection of ESA’s seventh Earth Explorer

Next spring will mark a significant milestone in the Earth observation calendar. The decision will be taken as to which of the three concepts competing to be the next Earth Explorer satellite mission will be developed and built.
 
Prior to this important decision, scientists and data users will be able to discuss the merits of each of the three candidates and express their views at a consultation meeting, which ESA is planning to hold on 5–6 March in Graz, Austria.

Details on how to register for the Earth Explorer User Consultation Meeting will be announced on the ESA website after confirmation of funding at ESA’s Ministerial Council Meeting in November.

For more information, click here.

15/10/2012

New Commercial Imaging Spacecraft Progressing at Lockheed Martin

 Lockheed Martin is making steady progress in a key test phase on GeoEye's next-generation, high-resolution imaging satellite, GeoEye-2, as IKONOS, the world's first commercial remote sensing spacecraft marks 13 years of outstanding services for GeoEye's customers around the globe.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is developing GeoEye-2 under a fixed-price contract with GeoEye. The satellite is currently in the midst of Baseline Integrated System Test (BIST), an extensive test designed to characterize the performance of the integrated satellite and establish a performance baseline prior to entering environmental testing.


Source: Lockheed Martin

More information can be found here.

24/09/2012

International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ opens new doors

The international space organisation that makes timely satellite data available to rescue authorities is now offering 'Universal Access' to the data for emergency response, strengthening its contribution to disaster management worldwide.
 
Founded by ESA and the French and Canadian space agencies, the Charter is an international collaboration between the owners and operators of Earth observation missions. It provides rapid access to satellite data to help disaster management authorities in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

More information can be found here.

13/09/2012

SPOT 6 successfully launched!

The French-built 712kg SPOT 6 Earth observation satellite was successfully launched by an Indian PSLV launch vehicle.  The lift off from the Sriharikota launch site took place on 9 September at 0423 GMT.  The launch was delayed slightly by two minutes due to the need to ensure a miss with passing space debris.   The SPOT 6 spacecraft was built by Astrium and will have a maximum resolution of 1.5m, putting it firmly in the Earth observation class rather than the lower resolution remote sensing class. The imagery is to be marketed by Spot Image S.A.

More information can be found after the jump.


Source: Astrium

11/09/2012

Sich-2 data now available

The national operator of the Ukrainian remote sensing space system Dniprocosmos SC would like to inform you about finishing testing of satellite “Sich-2”. They are pleased to invite you to cooperate in usage and distribution of “Sich-2” imagery.


Sich-2 mockup. Source: Russian Space Web

The satellite “Sich-2” was launched on august 17,2011 from Yasnyy (Russia).

The on-board equipment allows to get multispectral imagery with 8m resolution. In addition the satellite has a scanner in mid-infrared and scientific equipment “Potencial” for measurements in the Earths atmosphere. Main research fields for the “Sich-2” images are agriculture, forestry, environment protection and disaster monitoring.

More information here.

11/09/2012

Astrium Services announces creation of Pléiades Users Group!

With data from the first Pléiades very-high-resolution satellite now commercially available, Astrium Services, the satellite’s exclusive civil operator, is pleased to announce the creation of a Pléiades Users Group.

The purpose of this group, which will be officially presented at the 22nd ISPRS Congress in Melbourne, Australia, is to offer opportunities to assess the utility of Pléiades data for applications and to give users a forum for feedback. It is open to all users of satellite data across all areas of activity.

To this end, Astrium Services is issuing a call for projects today with a view to sharing the first results by mid-2013 at a special seminar. To take part, simply put forward a site for which reference terrain data are available—for example, ground control points, a DEM, 3D model, land-use/land-cover or cadastral data—and briefly describe your assessment project. Preference will be given to projects ready to make their reference terrain data available to the Pléiades Users Group.
Projects may be submitted from today up to 30 September 2012 at www.astrium-geo.com/PleiadesUsersGroup.
 
Astrium Services will provide Pléiades products free of charge for all areas of interest in selected projects. In return, selected candidates will undertake to communicate their results to all members of the Pléiades Users Group before April 2013. Lastly, all images shall be made available to user group members so that users not in possession of terrain data or whose projects do not make the selection may take part in the Pléiades data assessment effort.

04/09/2012

BruHyp and Belgian Earth Observation Day 2012

In September, the Belgian Science Policy Office organises 2 workshops:

Both workshops will take place in the Grand Hotel Casselbergh in the magnificent city of Bruges, on September 4th and 5th respectively. More information on the workshops can be attained by clicking on their names.

20/07/2012

Research programme for earth observation "STEREO II" launches its Sixth Call for Proposals

The Council of Ministers approved the execution of the STEREO II research programme on February 3rd 2006.

The thematic research priorities are:

  • Global monitoring of vegetation and evolution of terrestrial ecosystems
  • Management of the local and regional environment (water, soil, forests and biodiversity, agricultural areas, urban and peri-urban areas)
  • Health and humanitarian aid
  • Security and risk management

For more information on the call, click here.

09/07/2012

Pléiades Data now available!

We are happy to announce that Pléiades data are from now on commercially available. Moreover, in just a few weeks time, Belgian institutions requiring the data will be able to get the data at reduced prices. An agreement between Astrium, the provider of the data, and the Belgian Science Policy Office is now being finalized. Selected users will be able to purchase the data through an online portal dedicated to the distribution of Pléiades data.


11/06/2012

Taking action for GMES

Representatives from the areas of economy, health, energy, agriculture, climate change, disaster management and key decision makers gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week to show their support for the GMES Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme.
 
The GMES in Action conference gave participants an opportunity to explore the economic, environmental and social benefits of Europe’s GMES programme.
Through GMES, decision-makers will have access to reliable, timely and accurate information services to manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.

The programme will rely heavily on data provided by the upcoming Sentinel family of satellites, which will provide a solid basis for the implementation of relevant European and national policies.

Read more after the jump.

11/06/2012

Wallonie Espace Space Days 2012

The Wallonie Espace SPACE DAYS are meant as a biennial meeting place for all actors involved in the Space business : agencies, industry, universities, and governmental institutions. The 2012 theme is dedicated to Earth Observation, with emphasis on instrumentation, data processing and applications.

The next coming Space programme orientations in Europe (2012 ESA Ministerial Council, GMES…), new challenges related to climate changes, monitoring and management of natural disasters and Earth resources along with budget constraints require adequate technology solutions to be provided by the Space industry in collaboration with researchers and scientists.

In order to offer a quick and accurate overview of the latest trends in this strategic field of the space market, SPACE DAYS 2012 offers you the opportunity to attend debates bringing together key players and renown experts active in present and future Earth observation programmes. In addition, several workshops will provide up-to-date information about remarkable technologies in line with the 2012 theme. B2B meetings will be held and participants will have the possibility to visit local Space companies.

For more information on the event, click here.

23/05/2012

Nea Kameni volcano movement captured by Envisat

Archived data from the Envisat satellite show that the volcanic island of Santorini has recently displayed signs of unrest. Even after the end of its mission, Envisat information continues to be exploited for the long-term monitoring of volcanoes.
 


Source: ESA

Santorini is a picturesque Greek island in the south Aegean Sea and the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc.
The island is the site of one of history’s largest volcanic eruptions, about 3600 years ago. The geological record over the past million years reveals an extensive history of eruptions, with the most recent occurring in 1950. 

For further reading, click here.

21/05/2012

Bad weeks for EO satellites

The past few weeks have been rough on Earth-observing satellites. But there was some good news and some engineering prowess to go along with the troubles.

On April 8, 2012, the European Space Agency’s Envisat suffered a permanent loss of communications for reasons that engineers have been unable to figure out so far. The failure came just a few weeks after the satellite celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The Thematic Mapper — the primary natural-color imager on America’s venerable Landsat 5 satellite — officially ended regular operations on May 8, following several months of operator attempts to revive it. TM collected images for 27 years, and several hundred of them are part of our Earth Observatory archives. Landsat controllers are happy, however, to be collecting data once again from the Multispectral Scanner (MSS) on Landsat 5, an instrument that had not worked for nearly a decade. The next generation of Landsat is scheduled for launch in 2013.

NASA’s Earth Observer 1 (EO-1) satellite also broke off regular operations and went into a “safe mode” in April. But in that case, there is happier news... (read more)

21/05/2012

Satellite Imaging Technology Supports Monitoring of the Endangered Mountain Gorillas

Virunga National Parks and its endangered mountain gorillas are threatened once again in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as rebels clash with the Congolese army in the park’s gorilla sector. The gorillas have been caught in a deadly crossfire for years and the bloody conflict is complicated by the pressures of a surging refugee population and an illegal charcoal trade decimating the park that are threatening the gorillas’ lives.

Virunga National Park is home to about 200 of the world’s remaining 783 mountain gorillas and are not frequently hunted for their meat, but can be maimed or killed by poachers leaving traps or snares for other animals. They have also been killed for their body parts to be sold to collectors.


Source: Satellite Imaging Corporation

Satellite images provide extremely useful information to Conservationists, Scientists and Researchers in viewing out-of-the-way remote places. Conservationists, for example, must monitor far-flung areas in need of protection. Wars, poverty, remoteness, lack of government involvement, and uncertainty over the best places and ways to focus limited resources can all hinder conservation efforts. Satellite imagery is giving scientists and conservationists some of the tools they need to get valuable information on land cover and land use changes in wild areas that are in need of protection.

Read more after the jump.

21/05/2012

China launches new remote-sensing satellite

China successfully launched the remote-sensing satellite Yaogan XIIII Thursday from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in the northern province of Shanxi, according to a press release from the center.

The satellite was carried into space aboard a Long March 4B carrier rocket which blasted off at 3:06 p.m. Beijing time, according to the center.

The satellite will be used to conduct scientific experiments, carry out surveys on land resources, monitor crop yields and help with natural disaster-reduction and prevention.


Source: Xinhuanet

11/05/2012

Goodbye Envisat...

Just weeks after celebrating its tenth year in orbit, communication with the Envisat satellite  was suddenly lost on 8 April.  A team of engineers has spent the last month attempting to regain control of Envisat, investigating possible reasons for the problem. Despite continuous commands sent from a widespread network of ground stations, there has been no reaction yet from the satellite.

The team has been collecting other information to help understand the satellite's condition. These include images from ground radar and the French Pleiades satellite. With this information, the team has gradually elaborated possible failure scenarios. One is the loss of the power regulator, blocking irreversibly telemetry and telecommands. Another scenario is a short circuit, triggering a 'safe mode' - a special mode ensuring Envisat's survival. A subsequent anomaly may have occurred during the transition to safe mode, leaving the satellite in an intermediate and unknown condition. The investigation team's assessment is that the chances of recovering Envisat are extremely low.

Therefore the end of the Envisat satellite operations is being declared. The investigation team will nevertheless continue attempts to re-establish contact while considering failure scenarios for the next two months.

The outstanding performance of Envisat over the last decade led many to believe that it would be active for years to come, at least until the launch of the follow-on Sentinel missions. However, Envisat had already operated for double its planned lifetime, making it well overdue for retirement.   

With ten sophisticated sensors, Envisat has observed and monitored Earth's land, atmosphere, oceans and ice caps during its ten-year lifetime, delivering over a thousand terabytes of data. An estimated 2500 scientific publications so far have been based on this information, furthering our knowledge of the planet. Envisat provided crucial Earth observation data not only to scientists, but also to many environmental services, such as monitoring floods and oil spills.

Now with the end of Envisat's mission, the launch of the upcoming GMES Sentinel satellites has become even more urgent to ensure the continuity of data to users, improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.

See also the Press Release on the ESA Portal.

Source: ESA

21/03/2012

High Resolution OrbView-3 Images Now Available from USGS

OrbView-3 images that have been collected worldwide in the period 2003-2007 can now be downloaded free of cost through USGS's Earth Explorer. These images have a resolution of 4 meters in multispectral mode, and a mere 1 meter in panchromatic mode.

"This is a significant addition to the USGS archive and a valuable resource for the global science community," said Matthew Larsen, Associate Director, Climate and Land Use Change. "Free access through the USGS archive amplifies the utility of the data, making it feasible for many researchers to study large areas at this level of accuracy."

"Partnering with GeoEye brings forward an important commercial resource in response to the need for authoritative, information-rich data about the land surface of the planet," said Bruce Quirk, USGS Land Remote Sensing Program manager.

The OrbView-3 dataset includes 180,000 scenes of one meter resolution panchromatic, black and white, and four meter resolution multi-spectral (color and infrared) data, providing high resolution data useful for a wide range of science applications.

"The Land Cover Office of the Netherlands is already using this OrbView-3 data as a critical input to developing a global land cover data file," Quirk continued. "In addition, the high resolution of this data permits validation of land cover categories produced by moderate resolution data."

The initial data format available is GeoEye's Basic Enhanced (L1B) product. However, processing to a systematically terrain corrected (L1Gst) product is also available on demand. Eventually, the entire data set will be processed to the L1Gst level.

The OrbView-3 dataset joins over 170 separate collections of aerial photography and space-based data cataloged in the National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive and available through USGS EarthExplorer.

Source: USGS Newsroom

01/03/2012

New SMOS CP34 products available

SMOS Level 3 and 4 data processing and distribution centre (CP34) generates salinity and land products maps in different averaging periods and grids (ISEA 4H9, ISEA4H8, 100x100km). To obtain these products users should register for free here.





Source: SMOS Barcelone Expert Centre

13/02/2012

ESA’s new Vega launcher scores success on maiden flight

PR 3 2012 - Vega, ESA’s new launch vehicle, is ready to operate alongside the Ariane 5 and Soyuz launchers after a successful qualification flight this morning from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.


Source: ESA

With Vega extending the family of launchers available at the spaceport, Europe now covers the full range of launch needs, from small science and Earth observation satellites to the largest missions like ESA’s supply freighters to the International Space Station.

Read more here.

10/02/2012

New results from the world’s first geostationary ocean colour satellite sensor

MUMM has being using satellite “ocean colour” imagery for a number of years now to monitor aspects of coastal water quality such as chlorophyll concentration (a measure of microscopic algae). We receive an image about once a day from the ENVISAT/MERIS satellite/sensor of the European Space Agency and from the AQUA/MODIS satellite/sensor of the NASA. But if the weather is cloudy at the time of the satellite overpass then there is no data. This is the biggest problem with the practical use of satellite “ocean colour” imagery and the number of usable satellite images per year is about 35-40 for Belgian waters. So how can this be improved?

The answer lies in the use of satellites in a geostationary rather than a polar orbit. Polar orbiters such as Envisat and Aqua rotate around the earth from above the North pole to the South pole (looking down at the sunny, day-time side of the earth) and back up to the North pole (on the dark, night-time side). As the earth rotates on its own axis, this allows a global map of the earth’s surface to be imaged in typically a single day ... for regions that are not cloudy.

For more information, click here.

10/02/2012

SMOS water mission turns hurricane hunter

ESA’s Earth Explorers have again shown how they are surpassing expectations. Designed to map soil moisture and ocean salinity, the versatile SMOS satellite has demonstrated that it can also offer unique information to improve hurricane forecasts.


Source: ESA
 
The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite carries a novel microwave radiometer to capture images of ‘brightness temperature’. These images correspond to radiation emitted from the surface of Earth and can be used to work out how much water is held in soil and how much salt is in the surface waters of the oceans.

You can find more information after the jump.

10/02/2012

First Light Taken by NASA Newest CERES Instrument

The doors are open on NASA's Suomi NPP satellite and the newest version of the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument is scanning Earth for the first time, helping to assure continued availability of measurements of the energy leaving the Earth-atmosphere system.


Source: NASA

The CERES results help scientists to determine the Earth's energy balance, providing a long-term record of this crucial environmental parameter that will be consistent with those of its predecessors.

For more information, click here.

06/02/2012

How satellite images are actually made

People love images of the disk and globe of Earth. In the last week of January 2012, one of our NASA science colleagues, Norman Kuring, took some fresh data from the newest Earth-observing satellite, projected it on a disk, and voila...three million people viewed the image in a week. The wave of interest is still spreading across the Internet and social media.

Have you ever considered how these images get made? The image above, of Earth’s eastern hemisphere, was built from data collected by the Suomi NPP satellite, which flies in a polar orbit at an altitude of 824 kilometers (512 miles). The perspective of this new image, however, is from 12,743 kilometers (7,918 miles) above a point at 10 degrees South latitude and 45 degrees East longitude.


Source: NASA

Kuring managed to “step back” from Earth by combining data from six separate orbits Suomi NPP made on January 23, 2012. The natural-color images come from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the satellite. The four vertical lines of haze are caused by sunglint, the reflection of sunlight off the ocean.

Read more about this after the jump.

26/01/2012

Satellites detect abundance of fresh water in the Arctic

ESA satellites show that a large dome of fresh water has been building up in the Arctic Ocean over the last 15 years. A change in wind direction could cause the water to spill into the north Atlantic, cooling Europe.
 
The results are remarkable: since 2002, the sea surface in the studied area has risen by about 15 cm, and the volume of fresh water has increased by some 8000 cubic km – around 10% of all the fresh water in the Arctic Ocean.


Source: ESA

Researchers from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at University College London and the UK’s National Oceanography Centre used data from ESA’s ERS-2 and Envisat satellites to measure sea-surface height over the western Arctic from 1995 to 2010.

More information can be found here.

24/01/2012

Satellite observes spatiotemporal variations in mid-upper tropospheric methane over China

Atmospheric methane (CH4), one of the main greenhouse gases, has increased dramatically worldwide since the pre-industrial era. However, much work is needed to build on intermittent and scattered observations since the 1960s and systematic study since the 1980s.

Since 1983, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has coordinated global in-situ measurement of methane. Quantification of methane emissions still has large uncertainties, mainly because of undersampling over most regions of the globe by surface observation networks.

In particular, spatiotemporal variations of mid-upper tropospheric methane in China are not well understood, because of limited in-situ measurements.

To read more, click here.

Source: Space Daily

17/01/2012

A step closer to mapping the Earth in 3D

After a year in service, the German Earth observation satellite TanDEM-X, together with its twin satellite, TerraSAR-X, have completely mapped the entire land surface of Earth for the first time. The data is being used to create the world's first single-source, high-precision, 3D digital elevation model of Earth. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) controls both radar satellites, generates the elevation model and is responsible for the scientific use of TanDEM-X data.


Source: DLR

The TanDEM-X mission – running like clockwork

It is reminiscent of ballet on ice; throughout the last year, Germany's radar satellites, TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X, have been moving through space in close formation, at times just a few hundred metres apart. Strip by strip, they have recorded Earth from different angles and transmitted high-resolution radar data from their orbit at an altitude of 514 kilometres down to the three ground stations – Kiruna (Sweden), Inuvik (Canada) and O'Higgins (Antarctica). "The mission is running better than expected and there have been no unscheduled interruptions in the programmed formation flight of the two satellites. All safety mechanisms are functioning robustly and in a stable manner," enthuses Manfred Zink, project manager for the TanDEM-X ground segment at DLR. Over the course of 2011, the distance between the satellites was progressively reduced down to the minimum permitted value of 150 metres.

For more information, click here.

16/01/2012

Half price DMCii 2011 country image pack in New Year sale

Remote sensing solutions provider DMC International Imaging Ltd (DMCii) has today launched its New Year sale during which customers can purchase its high quality, ready-to-use country image packs half price.

DMCii imaging specialists have produced complete, high quality 22m multi-spectral satellite imagery of many countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas. The image packs are compiled using the best available imagery from 2011 resulting in exceptionally low cloud cover even in tropical regions. The 650km satellite swath ensures that very large areas are covered within consistent time windows and with an easily manageable number of image tiles, offering significant advantages to the end user.

Images are delivered in half-swath 320km by 300km tiles and ortho-rectified so that they are ready to process in a broad range of GIS systems. The multi-spectral data is radiometrically cross-calibrated to within 1% of Landsat core bands (Red, Green, NIR) and is commonly used for government surveys and scientific research for water management, agricultural planning, forest cover and land use mapping.

The New Year image pack sale begins today until the 29th of February 2012. For more details, click here.

06/01/2012

First Pleiades 1A imagery

Pléiades 1A returns its first images 3 days after being placed in orbit by a Soyuz launch vehicle on December 17, 2011. Several extracts are now available to the public.

Extracts of the first images acquired by the Pléiades 1A satellite are made available to the public by the French space agency, CNES. These extracts can be downloaded from a FTP site. The precision of the 50-cm Pléiades products are clearly revealed on the urban landscapes of Paris, Madrid and San Francisco.


Source: Astrium

Read more after the jump.

20/12/2011

Successful Pleiades 1A Launch

The successful launch Dec. 16 of the French Pleiades 1A high-resolution civil/military optical Earth observation satellite was accompanied by several minutes of tense silence as mission control at Europe’s Guiana Space Center here awaited word from Moscow that Pleiades had been released into orbit.

In one of many examples of what it means to import Russia’s Soyuz rocket for use at Europe’s spaceport, it is Moscow, and not the launch control facility here, that received telemetry confirmation from the vehicle’s Fregat upper stage that the satellite was separated as planned into a 700-kilometer polar low Earth orbit.


Source: Space News

More information after the jump.

20/12/2011

article by BIRA in Nature

Satellite evidence for a large source of formic acid from boreal and tropical forests

Formic acid contributes significantly to acid rain in remote environments. Direct sources of formic acid include human activities, biomass burning and plant leaves. Aside from these direct sources, sunlight-induced oxidation of non-methane hydrocarbons (largely of biogenic origin) is probably the largest source. However, model simulations substantially underpredict atmospheric formic acid levels, indicating that not all sources have been included in the models. Here, we use satellite measurements of formic acid concentrations to constrain model simulations of the global formic acid budget. According to our simulations, 100–120 Tg of formic acid is produced annually, which is two to three times more than that estimated from known sources. We show that 90% of the formic acid produced is biogenic in origin, and largely sourced from tropical and boreal forests. We suggest that terpenoids—volatile organic compounds released by plants—are the predominant precursors. Model comparisons with independent observations of formic acid strengthen our conclusions, and provide indirect validation for the satellite measurements. Finally, we show that the larger formic acid emissions have a substantial impact on rainwater acidity, especially over boreal forests in the summer, where formic acid reduces pH by 0.25–0.5.


Monthly averaged HCOOH columns in June 2009 (expressed in 10^15 molecules/cm²).

For more information, click here.

19/12/2011

Two GMES satellites to be launched on Europe’s new Vega rocket

ESA and Arianespace have signed contracts for the launches of two of ESA’s Sentinel satellites. Arianespace will launch Sentinel-2B and Sentinel-3B on Europe’s new Vega rocket from French Guiana.
 
The contracts were signed by the Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, Jean-Yves Le Gall, and ESA’s Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, on 14 December in Evry, France.

These agreements not only mark a significant milestone for ESA’s family of Sentinel satellites, but they are also Arianespace’s first commercial launch contracts with ESA for Europe’s new light Vega rocket.

More information after the jump.

15/12/2011

SMOS detects freezing soil as winter takes grip

ESA’s SMOS satellite is designed to observe soil moisture and ocean salinity, but this innovative mission is showing that it can also offer new insight into Earth’s carbon and methane cycles by mapping soil as it freezes and thaws.
 
The launch of the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission in November 2009 opened up a new era of monitoring Earth using a new remote-sensing technique.


Source: ESA

The satellite is capturing images of ‘brightness temperature’. These images correspond to microwave radiation emitted from Earth’s surface and can be related to soil moisture and ocean salinity.

For more information, click here.

31/10/2011

Small but agile Proba-1 reaches 10 years in orbit

A good photographer needs agility. So it is with ESA microsatellite Proba-1, which turns in space to capture terrestrial targets. Celebrating its tenth birthday this week, Proba-1’s unique images are used by hundreds of scientific teams worldwide.
 
A technology demonstrator turned into an Earth observation mission, the microsatellite – just a cubic metre in volume – has acquired nearly 20 000 environmental science images with its main Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (CHRIS), used by a total of 446 research groups in 60 countries.


Source: ESA

For more information, click here.

28/10/2011

Swarm: magnetic field satellites get their bearings

ESA’s Swarm satellites, which will unravel the complexities of Earth’s magnetic shield, are being put through their paces to ensure that they will withstand the rigours of space. Marking an important milestone, the first satellite has undergone magnetic testing.


Source: ESA

Comprising three identical satellites, Swarm is ESA’s first constellation of Earth observation satellites. They are due to liftoff together on a Rockot launcher from Plesetsk in northern Russia next year.

Want to know more? Pictures, information and links after the jump.

21/10/2011

2011 Antarctic Ozone Minimum

Scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed today that ozone depletion over the South Pole in 2011 has reached its annual maximum. Researchers used satellites, ground based monitors, and instrumented balloons to observe the hole, finding it to be among the top 10 worst for the breadth and depth of ozone loss in the 26 year record.


Source: NASA

The south pole-centered map above is based on data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on the Aura satellite. OMI is a spectrometer, built for the NASA satellite by scientists in Denmark and Finland, that measures the amount of sunlight scattered by Earth’s atmosphere and surface. OMI allows scientists to assess how much ozone is present at various altitudes—particularly the stratosphere—and near the ground.

Read more here.

19/10/2011

CryoSat rocking and rolling

ESA’s ice satellite is rolling left and right in orbit to help it continue its precise measurements of the vast ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica.
 
Since its launch 18 months ago, CryoSat-2 has been collecting data to improve our understanding of the relationship between ice and climate.
Just this year, the first map of Arctic sea-ice thickness was unveiled, and the satellite will continue to monitor the changing ice for years to come.


Source: ESA

To ensure the precision of the measurements, an operation is under way to roll the satellite from side to side as it flies over the flat oceans.
This manoeuvre is to calibrate CryoSat’s radar altimeter for measuring ice thickness, especially over the margins of ice sheets.

More information after the jump.

13/10/2011

See the Shrinking Arctic Sea Ice

The National Snow and Ice Data Center released preliminary numbers on the minimum extent of Arctic sea ice, calling this year’s minimum the second lowest on record. Other groups relying on slightly different data report this year’s sea ice minimum is a record low. At the end of the day, whether this year goes down as the lowest or the second lowest ice extent isn’t particularly important. The long-term trend is abundantly clear. Sea ice is retreating, and fast. NASA hasn’t weighed in officially with its numbers, but Goddard Space Flight Center’s Flickr page has posted striking video and stills of the 2011 ice loss.

A short Youtube-animation of the event, based on the data collected by the AMSR-E instrument on the Aqua satellite, can be found here.

Source: NASA

02/09/2011

Irene’s Sediment in New York Harbor

In the wake of heavy rains from Hurricane Irene, sediment filled many rivers and bays along the U.S. East Coast. New York’s Hudson River and estuary was no exception.

In this true-color satellite image, pale green and tan water flows past Manhattan and mixes with the darker waters of New York Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. This image was acquired on August 31, 2011, when Landsat 5 acquired multiple views of the coast from the Carolinas to New York. Be sure to click on the full mosaic. Sediment plumes are prominent in Delaware Bay and along the Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina coasts. Also, the Delaware, Hudson, and other rivers stand out as tan and brown tracings far into the interior landscape.


Source: NASA

02/09/2011

NASA Satellite Observes Unusually Hot July in the Great Plains

Much of the United States sweated through an unusually humid heat wave during July, a month that brought record-breaking temperatures to many areas across the Great Plains. As temperatures soared, NASA satellites observed the unusual weather from above.

The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), an instrument launched on the Aqua satellite in 2002, is unique in its ability to yield highly accurate data about the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere and the part that most directly affects life on Earth.


Source: NASA

26/08/2011

Arctic shipping routes open

Satellite measurements show we are heading for another year of below-average ice cover in the Arctic. As sea ice melts during the summer months, two major shipping routes have opened in the Arctic Ocean.
 
In 2008 satellites saw that the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route were open simultaneously for the first time since satellite measurements began in the 1970s – and now it has happened again.



Source: ESA

12/08/2011

Where on Earth?

Recently, NASA started an interesting and quite educative series of Earth Observation images. The title says it all: which portion of the Earth is depicted in the image? Difficult images are supported by a series of clues, that are updated frequently until the right answer has been found.

A bit less serious than our usual Earth Observation News, but well, it's still summer holiday! Enjoy the most recent image here.

15/07/2011

Korean satellite to aid disaster efforts

South Korea’s space agency has joined its international counterparts in putting satellite data at the disposal of rescue authorities following major disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis.
 
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, formally became the newest member of the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ on 7 July.

Founded by ESA and the French space agency, CNES, the Charter is an international collaboration between the owners and operators of Earth observation missions to provide rapid access to satellite data to help disaster management authorities in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. 

For more information, click here.


Source: ESA

08/07/2011

Proba V zal ook geladen deeltjes waarnemen

De ESA-satelliet Proba V zal na zijn lancering in 2012 niet alleen de vegetatie op onze planeet waarnemen. Hij zal ook onze naaste omgeving in de ruimte bestuderen met behulp van een compacte stralingsdetector, die met een belangrijke Belgische inbreng gerealiseerd wordt..
 
De Energetic Particle Telescope (EPT) kan de intensiteit, de energie en de invalshoek van geladen deeltjes meten met een hoek van 50° in het blikveld.

Het lijkt dat de ruimte leeg is, maar niets is minder waar. Ze wordt doorkruist door geladen deeltjes die door de zon worden uitgestoten, afkomstig zijn uit de verre ruimte of die gevangen en versneld worden door de stralingsgordels van het magneetveld van de aarde. 


Bron: ESA

08/07/2011

Pioneering ERS environment satellite retires

After 16 years spent gathering a wealth of data that has revolutionised our understanding of Earth, ESA's veteran ERS-2 satellite is being retired. This pioneering mission has not only advanced science, but also forged the technologies we now rely on for monitoring our planet.
 
ERS-2 was launched in 1995, following its sister, the first European Remote Sensing satellite, which was launched four years earlier.



Source: ESA

29/06/2011

New ice thickness map of the Arctic unveiled

The first map of sea-ice thickness from ESA's CryoSat mission was revealed Tuesday at the Paris Air and Space Show. This new information is set to change our understanding of the complex relationship between ice and climate. From an altitude of just over 700 km and reaching unprecedented latitudes of 88º, CryoSat has spent the last seven months delivering precise measurements to study changes in the thickness of Earth's ice. For more information click here/ http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMAAW0T1PG_index_0.html;

24/06/2011

NASA and NOAA Satellite Video Shows Tropical Storm Beatriz Fizzle in Six Hours

Satellite data from NASA and NOAA showed that Tropical Storm Beatriz went from a strong tropical storm to a remnant low pressure area in six short hours after running into Mexico's western mountains. An animation of imagery from the GOES-11 satellite showed how quickly Beatriz fizzled.


Source: NASA

24/05/2011

Belgian Earth Observation Day 2011

On May 25th, the 2011 meeting of the STEREO 2 programme will be held in Oudenburg, Belgium. Like previous years, the main topics will be the presentation and (preliminary) results of the different projects that are run under the flag of STEREO II, and status updates of future projects.

If you want to know more about the workshop and the way to participate, please click here.

20/05/2011

Morganza Floodway after Five Days of Flow

Five days after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened a flood control structure, or spillway, onto the Morganza Floodway, water had spread 15–20 miles (24–32 kilometers) southward across the Louisiana landscape.

As of May 18, 2011, a total of 17 bays on the spillway had been opened, with an estimated 114,000 cubic feet (3,200 cubic meters) per second flowing out of the Mississippi River and into the floodway. According to temporary gauges placed by the U.S. Geological Survey within the floodway, the water level at Tail Bay (the spillway) was 45.04 feet above sea level as of 3:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time on May 19. Downstream at U.S. Highway 190, the water level was 32.55 feet as of 3:40 p.m. CDT on May 19.


Source: NASA

20/05/2011

APEX, ESA’s first airborne imaging spectrometer

In December 2010, the Airborne Prism EXperiment (APEX) was officially accepted by ESA-PRODEX. This means that after a long development phase that started in the early 90’s, the instrument is now ready for operations. APEX has been developed by a Swiss-Belgian consortium led by the Remote Sensing Laboratories (RSL) at the University of Zurich and the Flemish Institute of Technological Research (VITO). The latter will be responsible for the airborne campaigns and the data processing, while RSL is primarily responsible for the scientific aspects.
 
APEX is intended as a simulator and a calibration/validation device for future spaceborne sensors. It is an advanced scientific instrument for the European remote sensing community, recording hyperspectral data in approximately 300 bands in the wavelength range between 400 nm and 2500 nm and at a spatial ground resolution of 2 to 5 m. Hyperspectral remote sensing or imaging spectroscopy greatly extends the scope of traditional remote sensing. It is based on the detection of many narrow, contiguous spectral bands. This presents opportunities for more precise identification of surface materials than is possible with broadband multispectral sensors. Possible applications are endless, but the most promising ones are in the field of geology, mineralogy, agriculture, vegetation analysis, aquatic monitoring (as well as snow & ice), and atmospheric applications.

More information can be found here.

05/05/2011

Two satellites have reached the end of their lives

Recently two earth observation satellites,  ALOS (with on board the instruments PRIS, AVNIR-2 and PALSAR) and Orbview-2 (carrying the famed SeaWiFS sensor) have been declared "probably dead" and "dead" respectively. Logically, new acquisitions will no longer be possible, but the archive of both missions remains available.

Source: ESA

02/05/2011

Merger of Eurimage S.p.A into e-GEOS S.p.A

The Belgian Earth Observation Platform would like to inform you that since May 1st 2011 Eurimage S.p.A has been legally merged into e-GEOS S.p.A.

This merger is the consequence of some important changes within Eurimage and the Telespazio Group over the last two years.
The first change and probably the most imortant milestone was reached on July 1st 2009, with the transfer of the Telespazio Earth Observation (EO) Division into e-GEOS SpA and with the assignment of world-wide exclusive rights for the commercial distribution of COSMO-SkyMed data from the Italian Space Agency ASI to e-GEOS.
e-GEOS (owned 80% by Telespazio and 20% by ASI) holds not only commercial distribution rights for the 4 fully operational radar satellites of the COSMO-SkyMed constellation, but benefits from all other assets previously held by the Telespazio EO group. These assets include, among others:

  • the exclusive distribution agreement with GeoEye Inc. for GeoEye-1 and IKONOS imagery in Europe and North Africa, also through the e-GEOS receiving and processing station in Neustrelitz (Germany)
  • the master distribution agreement with DigitalGlobe Inc. for the commercialization of QuickBird, WorldView-1 and WorldView-2 satellites
  • the agreement with MDA GSI for direct reception and distribution of Radarsat-1 and Radarsat-2 data, also through the e-GEOS receiving and processing station in Matera (Italy)
  • the more than 20 years' experience of the  Telespazio EO Group in application development, image interpretation and processing, near-real-time services and other related remote sensing activities.
  • The second milestone was achieved in November 2009 with Eurimage becoming a 100% e‑GEOS and Telespazio company. This already brought about a full integration of Eurimage and e-GEOS, with sharing of personnel, operational procedures, systems, tools and expertise.

Under this new scheme the data distribution has been centralised in e-GEOS as the "one stop shop" for a wide range of Multi-Mission Products.
This merge will have no operational impact. Former Eurimage staff, now e-GEOS, will continue to be the commercial and operational interface for all customers and partners as in the past.

01/04/2011

Earth s gravity revealed in unprecedented detail

After just two years in orbit, ESA's GOCE satellite has gathered enough data to map Earth's gravity with unrivalled precision. Scientists now have access to the most accurate model of the 'geoid' ever produced to further our understanding of how Earth works.

For more information, click here.


Source: ESA.

01/04/2011

Arctic Ozone Loss

Recent observations from satellites and ground stations suggest that atmospheric ozone levels for March in the Arctic were approaching the lowest levels in the modern instrumental era. What those readings mean for the remainder of the year is unclear. But what they mean for the long-term is that the recovery from human-induced ozone depletion is an uneven climb.

For more information, click here.


01/04/2011

Arctic Ice Gets a Check Up

Scientists tracking the annual maximum extent of Arctic sea ice said that 2011 was among the lowest ice extents measured since satellites began collecting the data in 1979. Using satellites to track Arctic ice and comparing it with data from previous years is one way that scientists track change in the Arctic system.

"For the first 20 years of the satellite record, the average annual maximum was basically uniform," said Joey Comiso of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., who studies the sea ice data collected by the AMSR-E microwave sensor on NASA's Aqua satellite. "Then, we see an abrupt decline."

For more information, click here.


Source: NASA

14/03/2011

Earthquake and Tsunami near Sendai, Japan

On March 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m. local time (05:46 Universal Time, or UTC), a magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan, at 38.3 degrees North latitude and 142.4 degrees East longitude. The epicenter was 130 kilometers (80 miles) east of Sendai, and 373 kilometers (231 miles) northeast of Tokyo. If initial measurements are confirmed, it will be the world’s fifth largest earthquake since 1900 and the worst in Japan’s history.


Source: NASA

This map shows the location of the March 11 earthquake, as well as the foreshocks (dotted lines) and aftershocks (solid lines). The size of each circle represents the magnitude of the associated quake or shock. The map also includes land elevation data from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and ocean bathymetry data from the British Oceanographic Data Center.

For more information, click here.

11/03/2011

Ocean Crossroads

It is a general rule of the ocean that phytoplankton grow best where nutrients swirl up from the depths and where temperatures are on the cooler side. That doesn’t mean floating marine plants cannot grow in any waters, but the most bountiful feasts of phytoplankton—and therefore, the best fisheries—tend to be in cooler, well-mixed waters.

These images show one of those rich mixing basins: the northwest Atlantic Ocean. Based on data collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, these maps show the concentration of chlorophyll (top) and sea surface temperatures (bottom) in the region from August 29 to September 5, 2010.


Source: NASA

25/02/2011

Europe to forge ahead on climate satellite

European space officials say they will press ahead with a planned Earthcare space laser mission despite a 30 percent increase in its likely final cost.

The European Space Agency satellite will study the role clouds and atmospheric particles play in a changing climate, but difficulties in finalizing a workable design for the spacecraft's laser-based instrument are driving its total budget past $800 million, the BBC reported Friday.

Source: UPI

23/02/2011

Magnitude 6.3 Earthquake near Christchurch, NZ

At 12:51 p.m. local time on February 22, 2011 (11:51 p.m. February 21 UTC), a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported. Several smaller aftershocks followed. The quake occurred near the city of Christchurch, a community of some 400,000 residents on the east coast. The initial death toll was 65, according to news reports, and authorities warned that the toll could rise sharply as search-and-rescue efforts continued.


Source: NASA

18/02/2011

Record Melting in Greenland during 2010

2010 was an exceptional year for Greenland’s ice cap. Melting started early and stretched later in the year than usual. Little snow fell to replenish the losses. By the end of the season, much of southern Greenland had set a new record, with melting that lasted 50 days longer than average.

The image below was assembled from microwave data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) of the Defense Meteorological Satellites Program. Snow and ice emit microwaves, but the signal is different for wet, melting snow than for dry. Marco Tedesco, a professor at the City College of New York, uses this difference to chart the number of days that snow is melting every year. This image above shows 2010 compared to the average number of melt days per year between 1979 and 2009.



For more information, click here.

18/02/2011

Special offer for GeoEye-1 and IKONOS data renewed throughout 2011

Eurimage and e-GEOS are pleased to inform you that the special offer for GeoEye-1 and IKONOS Very High Resolution data has been renewed for the whole of the year 2011.
Main points of the promotion are:

  • Applicable to all customers within the e-GEOS exclusive territory (mainly Europe and North Africa)
  • GeoEye-1 Geo Product price reduced from 25 US$ to 20 US$ per Km2 and from 12.50 US$ to 10 US$ per km2 for Archive Products
  • 90 days archive delay waived for both GeoEye-1 and IKONOS Geo imagery
The discounted prices above are not retroactive and cannot be cumulative with other special packages, ad-hoc proposals and established contracts.
Please refer to e-GEOS and Eurimage websites for product information

11/02/2011

ISRO To Launch Remote Sensing Resourcesat In February

Chennai, India (PTI) Feb 04, 2011
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is getting ready to launch Resourcesat 2, a remote sensing earth observation satellite, by the end of February, officials said Monday.

Remote sensing satellites send back pictures and other data for various uses. India is a major player in providing such data in the global market. The Resourcesat-2 will replace Resourcesat-1 launched in 2003, which has outlived its original mission life of five years.


Source: Space Daily

11/02/2011

CryoSat ice data now open to all

Scientists can now tap into a flow of new data that will help to determine exactly how Earth's ice is changing. This information from ESA's CryoSat mission is set to make a step change in our understanding of the complex relationship between ice and climate.


Source: ESA

27/01/2011

Satellite data to improve flood forecasting

As the residents of Queensland, Australia, turn to the mammoth task of cleaning up after the devastating floods over the last weeks, data from ESA's Earth observation satellites are showing potential for delivering more timely warnings.

The floods in Queensland have been the worst in decades – and with high waters now hitting parts of the southern state of Victoria, this disaster is not over yet.

Although the heavy rains in Australia have been triggered by La Niña, it is thought that climate change may result in more frequent flood events. Clearly, it is becoming increasingly important to improve flood warning and monitoring systems.


Source: ESA

21/01/2011

Russia Launches Meteorological Satellite

Russia launched on Thursday a Zenit-3SB rocket carrying a meteorological satellite from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, said.

The launch was carried out on schedule, at 3:29 pm Moscow time (12:29 GMT). The launch was originally scheduled for December 25, 2010, but was delayed to ensure the readiness of the new Fregat-SB booster.

Elektro-L 1 is the first of two new Russian geostationary weather satellites designed to provide meteorologists with a wide variety of data, including weather analysis and forecasting on a global and regional scale. It also monitors changes in the climate.

The satellite should be able to image the entire visible hemisphere of Earth at a resolution of 1 km per pixel (visible light band) and 4 km (IR band), every 30 minutes.

The weight of the spacecraft in operational mode is about 1,500 kg. Its service lifetime is about 10 years.

The Russian government previously said it would restore the Soviet network of weather satellites, which could help monitor weather and climate conditions across the country's 11 time zones.


source: Rianovosti

21/01/2011

2 interesting articles regarding Remote Sensing in the newest Science Connection

In the newest copy of Science Connection, the publication of the Belgian Science Policy, no less than 2 articles about STEREO II projects have been published. The projects are POPSATER, on the estimation of population densities by means of satellite imagery, and GORISK, on volcanic risk management of the Goma region.

The French articles can be found here:

The Dutch articles can be found here:

18/01/2011

Special offer for GeoEye-1 and IKONOS data renewed throughout 2011

Eurimage and e-GEOS are pleased to inform you that the special offer for GeoEye-1 and IKONOS Very High Resolution data has been renewed for the whole of the year 2011.

Main points of the promotion are:

  • Applicable to all customers within the e-GEOS exclusive territory (mainly Europe and North Africa)
  • GeoEye-1 Geo Product price reduced from 25 US$ to 20 US$ per Km2 and from 12.50 US$ to 10 US$ per km2 for Archive Products
  • 90 days archive delay waived for both GeoEye-1 and IKONOS Geo imagery

10/01/2011

Fifth STEREO II call for proposals

The Council of Ministers approved the execution of the STEREO II research programme on February 3rd 2006.

The thematic research priorities are:
Global monitoring of vegetation and evolution of terrestrial ecosystems
Management of the local and regional environment (water, soil, forests and biodiversity, agricultural areas, urban and peri-urban areas)
Health and humanitarian aid
Security and risk management

This call concerns following 3 project types:
Spin-off projects
Innovation projects
Partnerships between research organisations and private companies and/or public administrations

For more information on the call, click here.

new STEREO II call

07/01/2011

Floods in Queensland due to heavy La Niña rains

Rivers in Australia’s Fitzroy Basin are swollen due to unusually heavy La Niña rains. The image below, taken by MODIS-Aqua, clearly shows the results. Damaging floods hit the city of Rockhampton, the pale tan area that spans the Fitzroy River. The river’s straight, well-defined channel through the city indicates some measure of flood control. North of the city, however, the river burst its bank and surrounded Rockhampton on the northwest. Similar flooding appears to be happening south of the city, but clouds (turquoise and white) obscure the view. As of January 5, the swollen river had closed the airport and a highway south of the city, and forced about 500 people to evacuate flooded neighborhoods, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) News.



Source: NASA

17/12/2010

Cold weather in US and Europe to be caused by Arctic Oscillation

The last few weeks have been exceptionally cold in both the US and Europe. Not so in Greenland, which recorded significantly higher-than-usual temperatures, resulting in increased melt of glaciers. Cause of this seeming contradiction is the Arctic Oscillation, a climate pattern that influences winter weather in the northern hemisphere. It describes the relationship between high pressure in the mid-latitudes and low pressure over the Arctic. When the pressure systems are weak, the difference between them is small, and air from the Arctic flows south, while warmer air seeps north.


source: NASA

for more information, click here.

17/12/2010

Nigeria to launch two satellites in Feb. 2011

National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) recently ended all speculations and uncertainties over the official launch date for Nigeria’s second and third earth observation satellites, as it announced that both satellites would now be launched in February 2011.

The agency also pledged  government’s commitment to pursuing the implementation of a “pragmatic” space agenda, which, according to its Director-General, Mohammed Seidu, “has so far resulted in the launch of its first earth observation micro-satellite, NigeriaSat-1 in September 2003; the first pan-African communication satellite, NigcomSat-1 in May 2007; and its second and third earth observation satellites, NigeriaSat-2 and NigeriaSat-X due for launch in first quarter of 2011.

NigeriaSat-2 is a high-resolution earth observation satellite with a 2.5 m and 5m panchromatic and 32 m multispectral resolutions. On its part, NigeriaSat-X, with a payload of 22 m resolution, was reportedly built solely by Nigerian engineers and scientists to showcase Nigeria’s capacity in satellite technology.

More information can be found here.

17/12/2010

final call of the STEREO II Programme: update of timetable

The Council of Ministers approved the execution of the STEREO II research programme on February 3rd 2006.

The thematic research priorities are:

  • Global monitoring of vegetation and evolution of terrestrial ecosystems
  • Management of the local and regional environment (water, soil, forests and biodiversity, agricultural areas, urban and peri-urban areas)
  • Health and humanitarian aid
  • Security and risk management

For more information, click here

10/12/2010

Global warming mapped by NASA

The world is getting warmer. Whether the cause is human activity or natural variability, thermometer readings all around the world have risen steadily since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8°Celsius (1.4°Fahrenheit) since 1880. Two-thirds of the warming has occurred since 1975, at a rate of roughly 0.15-0.20°C per decade.


source: NASA.

for more information, click here.

10/12/2010

CD-ROM Belgian Earth Observation Survey

For all of you who have used the BEO cd-rom over the past years, we have a few questions for you! We are considering updating the cd-rom, and would really like your feedback. Please dedicate a few minutes of your time to fill in our online and anonymous questionnaire.

You can find it here. Our sincere thanks!

22/10/2010

Bluefin tuna hit hard by ‘Deepwater Horizon’ disaster

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill couldn’t have occurred at a worse time for bluefin tuna: they had come to the area – a major spawning ground – to produce offspring. Satellites are helping assess the damage from the disaster on the fish’s spawning habitat.
 
The majestic Atlantic bluefin tuna, among the largest fish able to grow the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, come to the Gulf yearly from January to June. Their peak spawning time in the Gulf is April and May – just when some 10 million litres of oil a day was pouring into the water following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on 20 April.

 

 
   Source: ESA

30/09/2010

ENVISAT orbital change

As a prerequisite for the extension of the ENVISAT mission until 2013, the orbit of the satellite will be changed from October 22 onward.  This will of course have a certain impact on acquisitions.

For more information on the availability of acquisitions, click here.

Source: ESA

24/09/2010

ISRO To Launch Four Satellites In December

According to P.S. Veeraghavan, director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to launch four satellites within a span of one week in December.

The two rockets that will fly towards the heavens are the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the heavier Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). According to Veeraghavan, the PSLV will carry three payloads -Resourcesat and two small satellites each weighing around 90 kg made in Singapore and Russia. The GSLV will launch the INSAT series communication satellite.

Source: ISRO

24/09/2010

Huge Post-Tropical Hurricane Igor Drenched Newfoundland, Canada

Hurricane Igor may have transitioned into a post-tropical hurricane late yesterday, but when he approached Newfoundland, Canada and merged with an area of low pressure it resulted in heavy rainfall throughout the region. NASA satellites captured Igor's northern march toward the Labrador Sea yesterday.


infrared image of Hurricane Igor's cold (blue) thunderstorms taken by AQUA

For more information, click here.

Source: NASA

10/09/2010

Planned calendar for the final call of the STEREO II Programme

The next (final) callof the STEREO II Programme will concern following types of projects:

  • Spin-off projects
  • Innovation projects
  • Development of products and services in partnerschip with the public or private sector

The planned calendar is as follows:
  • Launch of the call - Beginning of January 2011
  • Submission of declaration of interest - 14 February 2011
  • Submission of full proposal - 11 April 2011
  • End of written evaluation - beginning of July 2011
  • Oral defense of proposals - beginning of September 2011
  • Selection of proposals - end of September 2011
  • Start of contracts - January 2012

For more information, please contact Jean-Christophe Schyns or Joost Vandenabeele

07/09/2010

Two Belspo projects in the latest issue of Science Connection

The latest issue of the magazine Science Connection includes an article about the bilateral project Calakmul 4D GIS. Another article deals with one of the topics addressed by the project World Wide Watch by Earth Observation Services (WWW):
Calakmul 4D GIS: La technologie au service de la préservation du patrimoine mondial
Calakmul 4D GIS: Technologie voor het behoud van het Werelderfgoed
Le criquet pèlerin dans l’oeil de mire des satellites (projet WWW)
De woestijnsprinkhaan in het vizier van satellieten (WWWW project)

24/08/2010

Flooding in Pakistan

Comparison of satellite imagery sometimes is the best way to objectively demonstrate the scale of natural disasters.  Such is the case for the disastrous flood in Pakistan that started earlier this month.

Floods on the Indus River continued to surge downstream into southern Pakistan more than three weeks after the initial floods started. By August 19, 2010 the floods had started to reach the Kotri Barrage, an irrigation structure immediately north of Hyderabad. The Kotri Barrage is the final such structure before the river empties into the Arabian Sea.  The Landsat-5 image below shows the situation before the floods. For the situation today, click on the link below.


Landsat-5 TM image acquired on July 31, 2009

Source: NASA.

06/08/2010

Fire and Smoke in Russia

Intense fires continued to rage in western Russia on August 4, 2010. Burning in dry peat bogs and forests, the fires produced a dense plume of smoke that reached across hundreds of kilometers. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) captured this view of the fires and smoke in three consecutive overpasses on NASA’s Terra satellite.


Source: NASA Earth Observatory

More information after the jump.

30/07/2010

BELSPO searches Space Programme Manager

The Space Research and Applications Division at the Belgian Science Policy (Belspo) is looking for a programme manager.

For more information, click here (Dutch) and here (French).

30/07/2010

GOES-13 Satellite Sees Severe Storms Strike U.S. East Coast

One of the most destructive storms in years struck Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area on July 25, 2010. Strong winds downed trees and power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands of residents without power, stopping elevators, and darkening malls and movie theaters. Falling trees killed at least two people. The following morning, crews were working furiously to restore power to homes, traffic lights, and even a water treatment plant.

Source: NASA

28/07/2010

Climate Change upside down

China experiences a rather peculiar result of global warming. Instead of yet another drought, northeastern China currently undergoes a higher-than-normal vegetation growth.

The image below is based upon satellite images taken by the VEGETATION instrument on board of the SPOT-4 and SPOT-5 satellites.




Interested? Read the original article at NASA's here.

More information on our educational website can be found here (Dutch) and here (French).

23/07/2010

TanDEM-X delivers first 3D images

On 22 July 2010, researchers at the German Aerospace Center published the first 3D images from the TanDEM-X satellite mission. Just one month after the launch of TanDEM-X (TerrraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurement), which took place on 21 June 2010, DLR researchers have created the first digital elevation model – almost a week ahead of schedule. A group of Russian islands in the Arctic Ocean was selected for the first test.

For more information, click here.

24/06/2010

ARMURS Workshop

ARMURS is a collaborative project granted by the Brussels Region (IRSIB), jointly carried out by the university of Brussels and the Royal Military Academy. This July they organize a workshop in order to inform data producers, private companies and public administrations and to identify the organisations interested in pursuing such developments.

For more information about the event, click here.

24/06/2010

GEOBIA -- Conference on GEOgraphic Object-Based Image Analysis

After the successful events of OBIA 2006 in Salzburg, Austria and GEOBIA 2008 in Calgary, Canada,  GEOBIA 2010 will be organized in Ghent, Belgium. Several Belgian organizations in the field of remote sensing will participate in the event.

for more information, click here.

18/06/2010

SpaceX And NSPO Sign Contract To Launch Earth Observation Satellite

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and the National Space Organization (NSPO) of Taiwan have signed contract for the launch of NSPO's Earth Observation Satellite, Formosat-5. Formosat-5 will be used to continue the image data service for civilian users and may also carry instruments to conduct space research and scientific experiments.


Image source: http://www.nspo.org.tw

For more information, click here.

15/06/2010

VRI Newsletter

The Flemish Space Industries issues a roughly bi-monthly newsletter on the progress and events in the Space Industry field in Flanders, Belgium, and beyond. This newsletter can be downloaded here. It is also possible to subscribe to it.

11/06/2010

TanDEM-X ready for launch

TanDEM-X (TerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements) is a second, very similar spacecraft that will orbit in a close formation flight with TerraSAR-X, scheduled to be launched in early 2010. This unique twin satellite constellation will allow the generation of global digital elevation models (DEMs) at an unprecedented accuracy, coverage and quality – a consistent DEM of the Earth’s land surface is envisaged to be acquired and generated within three years after launch.


Image Source: InfoTerra

For more information, click here.

10/06/2010

ESA makes first GOCE dataset available

The first products based on GOCE satellite data are now available online through ESA’s Earth observation user services tools. ESA launched the satellite in March 2009 on a mission to map Earth's gravity with unprecedented accuracy and spatial resolution.

More information can be found here.

10/05/2010

Psychological research regarding remote sensing

Human screening and interpretation is an indispensable component in many aspects of remote sensing image analysis. Human intervention is a requisite for visual image interpretation, where the interpreter actually performs the analysis. Even in computer-based digital image processing, human screening and interpretation is still needed at certain stages. Image (co)registration, for example, requires interactive selection of ground control points. Supervised image classification on the other hand, calls for algorithm training data, typically manually indicated polygons. Even highly automated photogrammetric operation or image fusion techniques are not fully operational without the intervention of a human interpreter. Next to the remote sensing domain, human intervention plays an important role in other types of geodata processing such as GIS and cartography.

Soetkin Gardin of the University of Ghent has developped a tool to look into the effects of personality on the performance of remote sensing specialists.

For more information about the project, click here.
For the link to the online test, click here.

10/05/2010

free METOP-AVHRR data available

VITO now offers free 10-daily composites of AVHRR data. For more information, click here.

09/04/2010

Cryosat-2 successfully launched

On thursday April 8th Cryosat-2 was finally launched. 

Finally, because the launch of Europe's first mission dedicated to studying the Earth’s ice was not exactly a smooth ride. Cryosat-1 was destroyed on launch in October 2005.  It took more than three years to build a second version of the satellite, Cryosat-2, which was originally planned to be launched somewhere in March 2009. Further delays moved that date to February 25th, which was again and for the final time postponed due to a concern related to the second stage steering engine of the Dnepr launcher.

On April 8th, 15:57 CEST, Cryosat-2 was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, this time with no incidents.

For more information on the satellite, click here.

02/04/2010

Belgian Earth Observation Day 2010

On May 6th, the Belgian Science Policy organizes its yearly Earth Observation Day. The main purpose of this event is to make professionals and researchers concerned by remote sensing aware of the projects realized in Belgium in the framework of the STEREO II programme and to offer the possibility for networking.

For more information, click here.

19/02/2010

CryoSat launch delayed

The launch of ESA's CryoSat-2 satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, scheduled for 25 February, has been delayed due to a concern related to the second stage steering engine of the Dnepr launcher.

Source: ESA

Read the full story here.

28/01/2010

Congo receives help from space after volcano eruption

On 2 January, Mount Nyamulagira in the Democratic Republic of Congo erupted, spewing lava from its southern flank and raising concerns that the 100 000 people in the town of Sake could be under threat. GORISK, a project funded by the STEREO II programme, was able to detect a lava flow in the main caldera and one of the paths of the flows.

For more information, click here.

26/01/2010

New ORFEO Toolbox available

Version 3.2 of the ORFEO Toolbox is now available.  More information can be found here.

25/01/2010

ORFEO workshop

On March the 4th a seminar on the "ORFEO" preparatory programme (Optical and Radar Federated Earth Observation) will take place in the Royal Military Academy in Brussels.

For more information on the topics to be treated, the venue, the registration and the programme itself, click here.

01/01/2010

Best Wishes for 2010!

03/11/2009

Earth Explorer’s SMOS successfully launched

The second satellite in ESA’s Earth Explorer series – the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission, was successfully launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Northern Russia on at 01:50 UTC (02:50 CET) on Monday 2 November.


Source: ESA

For more information on the launch, click here. For more information on the satellite, click here.

26/10/2009

remote-sensing instruments on the ISS?

ESA’s Directorates of Human Spaceflight and Earth Observation plan to issue a joint Call for Ideas in October to obtain an indication of interest in deploying remote-sensing instruments on the International Space Station for global change studies.

For more information: click here.

09/10/2009

Worldview-2 successfully launched

Worldview -2, the youngest member of the DigitalGlobe Constellation, was launched at 18:51 GMT on October 8, 2009 from Vandenberg Air Force Base. 


Source: Satellite Imaging Corporation

For more information on the satellite, click here.  For information on the launch, click here.

18/08/2009

Fourth call for proposals for the Research programme for earth observation "STEREO II"

This call concerns following 3 project types:

  • Spin-off projects
  • Innovation projects
  • Partnerships between research organisations and private companies and/or public administrations

The Council of Ministers approved the execution of the STEREO II research programme on February 3rd 2006.

The thematic research priorities are:

  • Global monitoring of vegetation and evolution of terrestrial ecosystems
  • Management of the local and regional environment (coastal zones, inland water, soil, forests and biodiversity, agricultural areas, urban and peri-urban areas)
  • Health and humanitarian aid
  • Security and risk management


Closing dates

  • Expression of interest (mandatory): 5 October 2009 at 5 PM
  • Research proposals: 30 November 2009 at 5 PM

More information and documents can be found here.

07/08/2009

New at KULeuven: Master in Space Studies

The Universities of Leuven and Ghent have been preparing a new international interdisciplinary post-graduate diploma "Master of Space Studies" (MSS), which has been officially accredited in the Spring of 2009 and starts in the academic year 2009-2010. The MSS offers a complete education in various disciplines related to space activities: from natural sciences to law and policy. Next to this, the University of Leuven has set up a new interdisciplinary research centre, LASA (Leuven Centre for Aero and Space Science, Technology and Applications), as a successor to ICSS (Interdisciplinary Centre for Space Studies which functioned from 2004 to 2008).

For more information, click here.

06/08/2009

NASA and NOAA's GOES-14 Satellite Takes First Full Disk Image

GREENBELT, Md. – The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-14, provided its first visible full disk image of Earth on July 27, at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The prime instrument on GOES, called the Imager, is taking images of Earth with a 1 kilometer (km) or 0.62 mile resolution from an altitude of 36,000 km (22,240 miles) above Earth's surface, equivalent to taking a picture of a dime from a distance of seven football fields.

"The first GOES-14 visible full disk image shows little activity in the Atlantic Ocean and two tropical waves located in the East Pacific Ocean with a low probability of becoming a tropical cyclone. Numerous thunderstorms are seen scattered along the east coast and western Atlantic Ocean, with more significant rains and thunderstorms in the southeast Oklahoma and northeast Texas area," remarked Thomas Renkevens, a User Services Coordinator from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, Camp Springs, Md. "NOAA will continue to follow the tropical waves and thunderstorms for possible further development."

For more information, click here.

02/07/2009

First Quicklooks of the Airborne Prism Experiment (APEX)

In a joint Swiss-Belgian effort, a combined scientific and industrial consortium has built a new class of an airborne imaging spectrometer for environmental monitoring: the Airborne Prism Experiment (APEX). Airborne imaging spectrometers measure and map the Earth surface in many, contiguous spectral bands, allowing to retrieve relevant spatial information on the state of the environment.


Please click here to download the whole press text.

08/06/2009

ESA extends Envisat satellite mission

ESA Member States have unanimously voted to extend the Envisat mission through to 2013. Envisat – the world’s largest and most sophisticated satellite ever built – has been providing scientists and operational users with invaluable data for global monitoring and forecasting since its launch in 2002.

For more information, see here.

Source: ESA

07/05/2009

Satellite imagery shows fragile Wilkins Ice Shelf destabilised

Satellite images show that icebergs have begun to calve from the northern front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf – indicating that the huge shelf has become unstable. This follows the collapse three weeks ago of the ice bridge that had previously linked the Antarctic mainland to Charcot Island.
For more information, click here.

07/05/2009

Professor of UCL awarded by US National Academy of Sciences

Each year, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences awards scientists and engineers for their original works and their contribution to the development of research and its use for the general public. This year, a Belgian professor at UCL, Eric Lambin, appears in the table of awarded scientists.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare.  It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the Academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

Additional information about the Academy and its members is available online at http://www.nasonline.org.

For more information, click here.

12/03/2009

Belgian Earth Observation Day 2009

In 2001 year, the Belgian Government launched the programme "STEREO: Support to the exploitation and research of Earth observation data".

In 2006 year, the programme STEREO II was launched. The strategic goal of this programme is to develop an autonomous Belgian Earth observation expertise of an international standard as a contribution to the knowledge economy.

The main goal of the Belgian Earth Observation Day is to make professionals and researchers concerned by remote sensing aware of the projects realized in Belgium in the framework of the STEREO II programme and to offer the possibility for networking.

More info

13/01/2009

10 Years VEGETATION Conference presentations now online

The presentations used during the Conference can be downloaded here.

02/10/2008

Third call for proposals for the Research programme for earth observation "STEREO II"

The Council of Ministers approved the execution of the STEREO II research programme on February 3rd 2006.  The third STEREO II call for proposals is now launched. This call only concerns thematic projects by partnerships that include an international partner. A partner from Luxemburg will be considered as a national partner.

The thematic research priorities are:

  • Global monitoring of vegetation and evolution of terrestrial ecosystems
  • Management of the local and regional environment (coastal zones, inland water, soil, forests and biodiversity, agricultural areas, urban and peri-urban areas)
  • Health and humanitarian aid
  • Security and risk management

This call concerns 1 project type: thematic projects

Closing dates
  • Expression of interest (mandatory): 24 November 2008 at 5 PM
  • Research proposals: 30 January 2009 at 5 PM

More information about the STEREO II programme can be found here; more information about the third call can be found here.

09/09/2008

GeoEye-1 Satellite Launches Into Space

GeoEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEOY), a premier provider of satellite, aerial and geospatial information, announced today the successful launch and deployment of GeoEye-1, the world's highest resolution, commercial Earth-imaging satellite.

GeoEye's ground station in Norway relayed the downlink signal it received from GeoEye-1 confirming that the satellite successfully separated from the second stage of the launch vehicle and began automatically initializing its onboard systems.

GeoEye-1 will simultaneously collect 0.41-meter ground resolution black-and-white (panchromatic) images and 1.65-meter color (multispectral) images. Designed to take digital images of the Earth from 423 miles (681 kilometers) and moving at a speed of about four-and-a-half miles (seven kilometers) per second, the satellite camera can distinguish objects on the Earth's surface as small as 0.41-meter or 16 inches in size. Due to U.S. licensing restrictions, commercial customers will get access to imagery at half-meter ground resolution.

more information can be found here.

04/09/2008

Last weekend to visit the "Science at the Palace" exhibition

Like every year, the Royal Palace of Belgium has opened its doors to the general public during summer holidays. The Belgian Science Policy Office and Technopolis® joined in to offer to the many visitors new insights into science.
In this International Year of Planet Earth, the Belgian Science Policy has chosen to focus its exhibition on “Satellites: Earth observation tools, products of men intelligence and unexpected sources of art works“.
A series of satellite images from various parts of the world recorded over the past 20 years is on show in the Palace’s Grand Hall. Exhibited like works of art, these images reveal the beauty of our planet.
In the Flemish Room, the visitor will be invited to wander on a giant reproduction of Earth, discover satellite’s models, watch a movie and learn about the different applications of Earth observation, through giant posters and an interactive kiosk presenting the module “A World of Images” of the SEOS project (Science Education through Earth Observation for High Schools).

An interview with Jean-Christophe Schyns of the Belgian Science Policy concerning the exhibition can be found here.

Every day until 7 September 2008, from 10:30 to 16:30 at the Royal Palace, Place des Palais, Brussels. Free entrance.


more information in Dutch and French.

Science at the Palace

06/08/2008

10 Years VEGETATION Conference

With the ever increasing awareness of environmental issues as evidenced by among others the Kyoto protocol and the GMES and GEO initiatives, monitoring the state of our planet is becoming more and more important.

For 10 years, the VEGETATION mission has played an important role in meeting this need for information by offering the international community high quality data from a truly global Earth Observing System, which uniquely acquires data of the entire terrestrial surface on a daily basis.

First and foremost the VEGETATION mission has been catering for the needs of operational users – both institutional and commercial - requesting data in near real time. Over the years more than 14261 Gigapixels of data have been distributed to 7500 users. As such, the VEGETATION mission is a prime example of what Europe wants to achieve through the GMES initiative: operationally available data for operational applications.
The scientific community, however, was not left out. From 2001 on, archived data could be downloaded for free fuelling many international research projects and resulting in an avalanche of scientific publications.

VEGETATION’s centralised archive houses processed data covering the equivalent of 40 000 times the Earth’s surface, providing unique time series of the state of the Earth’s vegetation worldwide.

Although the VEGETATION instruments are in good shape and data will be available for the foreseeable future, it is time to think about mid-term continuity of the data.

This conference will be a forum where system engineers, data users and policy makers can meet. It wants to look back at the past by commemorating the fine operational achievements yet at the same time intends to map the way ahead, with a VEGETATION follow-on mission and Sentinel 3 taking over.

More information and powerpoint presentations can be found here.

15/07/2008

GeoEye-1 scheduled for launch August 22, 2008

Resolution
GeoEye-1 will have the highest resolution of any commercial imaging system and be able to collect images with a ground resolution of 0.41-meters or 16 inches in the panchromatic or black and white mode. It will collect multispectral or color imagery at 1.65-meter resolution or about 64 inches, a factor of two better than existing commercial satellites with four-band multispectral imaging capabilities. While the satellite will be able to collect imagery at 0.41-meters, GeoEye's operating license from the U.S. Government requires re-sampling the imagery to 0.5-meter for all customers not explicitly granted a waiver by the U.S. Government.

Accuracy
Besides unsurpassed spatial resolution of 0.41-meters or about 16 inches, GeoEye-1 is designed to be able to offer three-meter geolocation accuracy, which means that customers can map natural and man-made features to within three meters (about 9 feet) of their actual location on the surface of the Earth without ground control points. This degree of inherent accuracy has never been achieved in any commercial imaging system and will remain unchallenged even when next-generation commercial systems are launched in the coming years.


GeoEye-1, a polar-orbiting satellite, will be able to revisit any point on Earth once every three days or sooner. Though it stands two stories high and weighs more than two tons, GeoEye-1 is designed to deftly train the ITT camera on multiple targets during a single orbital pass and is able to rotate or swivel forward, backward or side-to-side with robotic precision. This unrivaled agility will enable it to collect much more imagery during a single pass.

Frequency
GeoEye-1 will make 12 to 13 orbits per day flying at an altitude of 684 kilometers or 425 miles with an orbital velocity of about 7.5 km/sec or 16,800 mi/hr. Its sun-synchronous orbit allows it to pass over a given area at about 10:30 a.m. local time every day. Given its altitude and sun-synchronous orbit, field of view and superior resolution GeoEye-1 can “revisit” any point on the globe every three days or sooner, depending upon the required look angle. The satellite will complement GeoEye's current IKONOS system and will collect imagery about 40 percent faster for panchromatic and 25 percent faster for multispectral collections. Together, the IKONOS and GeoEye-1 satellites can collect almost one million sq km of imagery per day.
More information: http://launch.geoeye.com/launchsite

07/03/2008

Workshop RIMS

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are a valuable missing link to the traditional platforms used in Remote Sensing, i.e. manned aircraft and satellites. UAV platforms allow for rapid deployment and near real-time product delivery. These qualities are basic requirements in many disaster management applications but can also be exploited in surveying and photogrammetric urban mapping projects.
The RIMS project partners (UGent, VITO, IncGEO) are in the process of prototyping end-to-end low budget UAV imaging systems. Within these prototyping activities, the RIMS-project focuses on the generic image processing workflow for UAV or manned missions where aerial imagery is collected and where automated processing is essential to quickly respond to the user’s need for information.
With this workshop, the RIMS project partners want to present the current status of the prototyping process by live demonstrations and discuss the results with potential users.

RIMS workshop

21/01/2008

TerraSAR-X Services now Available

Data acquired by the first commercial highresolution
radar satellite TerraSAR-X is now operationally available: Infoterra GmbH, the owner of the exclusive commercial exploitation rights for this data, has announced its commercial sales operations to be up-and-running.

TerraSAR-X Services now Available

16/01/2008

DigitalGlobe Announces General Availability of Worldview-1 Imagery

DigitalGlobe today announced that WorldView-1 has reached Full Operating Capability (FOC) for all customers. The general availability of WorldView-1 imagery marks the final milestone for the satellite which launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on September 18, 2007, delivered its first sample set of high-resolution images on October 15 and began supplying imagery to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) on November 26.

“Following a successful roll-out with the NGA as part of the NextView program, DigitalGlobe is now taking orders for WorldView-1 imagery from its global resellers, partners and customers,” said Jill Smith, chief executive officer of DigitalGlobe. “General availability of WorldView-1 imagery allows us to more aggressively serve the growing global demand for accurate, high-resolution satellite imagery and geospatial information.”

WorldView-1, with its superior increase in capability and capacity, and QuickBird, DigitalGlobe’s other high-resolution satellite, together operate as the world’s highest-resolution commercial satellite constellation. The two satellites are collecting up to 900,000 square kilometers of new imagery per day, an unprecedented level that will enable faster turn-around on collection and rapid updating of DigitalGlobe’s ImageLibrary. DigitalGlobe has the largest, most current collection of relevant spatial information, with over 350 million square kilometers currently available in the ImageLibrary. Almost all imagery collected is made available to its customers online. DigitalGlobe’s own high resolution satellite collection and archive is complemented with significant aerial collection, and third party content and data to provide the most complete, easy to use and integrate content solutions for its customers. DigitalGlobe’s ImageLibrary: http://browse.digitalglobe.com/imagefinder/.

DigitalGlobe content solutions have countless uses in professional and consumer markets; oil and gas, telecommunications, utilities, mining and other natural resource development; personal navigation, mobile devices and automotive as well as online mapping and portals.

For more information click here.

11/12/2007

ALOS data now available

Eurimage is pleased to announce the start of commercialization of ALOS world-wide archive products.

The world-wide programming of ALOS satellite is done by JAXA according to a long-term acquisition strategy aimed at the creation of a global archive. Input for programming can also come from customer requests for large areas or strategic projects. Please contact your Eurimage Sales Team representative for particular requests.

For more information, see the attached document.

ALOS data

01/10/2007

New STEREO team

As of today, we have a brand new STEREO team, composed of:

Jean-Christophe Schyns, STEREO Programme Manager (schy@belspo.be, +32 2 23 83 591)

Joost Vandenabeele, STEREO Programme Manager (vdab@belspo.be, +32 2 23 83 523)

Pieter Rottiers, EODesk Manager (ropi@belspo.be, +32 2 23 83 583)

Martine Stelandre, EODesk Manager (stel@belspo.be , +32 2 23 83 559)

Chantal Oudaert, Administrative Support (ouda@belspo.be, +32 2 23 83 410)

18/09/2007

Successful Launch of Worldview-1

DigitalGlobe, the provider of the world’s highest-resolution commercial satellite (Quickbird) imagery, announced the successful launch and deployment of Worldview-1, on September 18, 2007. WorldView-1 is currently undergoing a calibration and check-out period and will deliver imagery soon after. First imagery from WorldView-1 is expected to be available prior to October 18th, 2007.

WorldView-1 is a high-capacity, panchromatic imaging system featuring 0,5 m resolution imagery. Operating at an altitude of 496 kilometers, WorldView-1 will have an average revisit time of 1,7 days and will be capable of collecting up to 750 000 square kilometers per day. Frequent revisits will increase image collection opportunities, enhance change detection applications and enable accurate map updates. The satellite is also equipped with state-of-the-art geo-location accuracy capabilities and will exhibit stunning agility with rapid targeting and efficient in-track stereo collection.

For more information click here.

22/05/2007

Welcome

Welcome to the Belgian Platform on Earth Observation.

This website replaces the Telsat Guide.

We hope you will find it a useful Remote Sensing information source.

The Belgian Platform on Earth Observation is still under development. Despite our efforts, technical problems may occur or the information provided may be inaccurate or incomplete. Please don't hesitate to send us suggestions for corrections and improvements.

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