Articles in the News Archives Category

Oct 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – Galileo update

Israeli MATIMOP becomes a member of GJU
The Executive Director of the Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU) Mr. Rainer Grohe and the Director of the Israeli MATIMOP Mr. Yair Amitay, signed the Agreement in Jerusalem, whereby MATIMOP becomes a member of the GJU. The signing ceremony was hosted by the Israeli Vice- Prime Minister, Mr. Ehud Olmert. Rainer Grohe: “I am very pleased that MATIMOP is now a member of the Galileo Joint Undertaking. Israel has performed great achievements in space technology. I am certain that the participation of Israeli entities will contribute signifi cantly to the overall success of the Galileo Programme. Israeli and European industries will mutually benefi t from their experiences.” MATIMOP is a non profi t organisation, under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, which promotes technological and R&D cooperation and technology transfer activities between Israeli and foreign industries.
The GJU was set up in 2002 by the European Union (EU) and the European Space Agency (ESA) to manage the development phase of Galileo – the European global satellite navigation programme. MATIMOP has committed to contribute EUR 18 million to the GJU, for activities in the development phase of the Galileo Program. The Israeli side will participate to the development phase with their own technical contribution.

Oct 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – REMOTE SENSING

Forest cover change in Andaman and Nicobar islands
The damage from last December’s tsunami has been counted in the Andaman and Nicobar islands and it is huge. The islands’ forest cover has taken a big hit, marine life has been badly affected and some famous beaches have vanished. India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests report says the tsunami has badly devastated the islands’ ecosystem. Conducted post-tsunami by ISRO through satellite mapping and released recently, the study found forest depletion of up to 27 per cent in islands like Nancowry and Trinkat. In the Nicobar group of islands, 12,224 hectares of forest cover was lost. Comorta, Nancowry and Katchal saw major coral reef erosion. The report says in some places the entire coral reef area suffered. Satellite images showed that the mangrove trees facing the waves were the worst hit. Extensive areas have turned barren or have been totally eroded in the tsunami’s wake. Some major beaches — big tourist attractions — have almost disappeared. The Noncowry and Trinkat beaches in the Nicobar group of islands have vanished. What remains are just barren rocks. Offi cials say it will take years for new beaches to be carved out from the sea. Marine life, too, has been hit hard. The nesting beaches in the Nicobar group of islands have almost vanished as the islands have gone under the sea by one to three metres.

Sep 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – Galileo update

EU and India seal EU and India seal their agreement
After intensive exchanges held since January 2004, negotiations on India’s participation in Europe’s satellite radio navigation programme fi nally reached approval. The agreement, initialled today in New Delhi at the occasion of the EU-India Summit in the presence of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as EU Presidency, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will ensure the availability of highest quality Galileo services in India as well as cooperation to establish regional augmentation systems based on EGNOS and GALILEO. Welcoming the outcome of the negotiations, Vice-President of the European Commission Jacques Barrot said: “This is another important step for the development of GALILEO as an international programme, but also a major milestone in the EU/India partnership”. The agreement was initialled by Mr Francisco Da Camara Gomes, Head of the EC Delegation in India, representing the European Union, and Mr G. Madhavan Nair, Secretary, Department of Space, representing India. Considering that India has well proven capabilities in space, satellite and navigation related activities, the agreement will provide a positive impulse for India and European industrial cooperation in many high tech areas.
India is the fourth country joining the GALILEO programme, after the signature of agreements with China, Israel and Ukraine. Discussions are also under way with Argentina, Brazil, Morocco, Mexico, Norway, Chile, South Korea, Malaysia, Canada and Australia.

Sep 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – REMOTE SENSING

Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath
Hurricane Katrina severely pounded the Gulf Coast of U.S. with great force at daybreak on the 29th of August. Arriving with 145 mile an hour wind speed, the storm left more than a million people in three U.S. states without power and submerged highways. Hurricane Katrina, formed in the Bahamas in mid-August and struck South Florida on 25 August, killing nine people and leaving a million more without electricity. European Space Agency’s multisensor Envisat satellite has gathered a unique view of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico. Envisat simultaneously acquired these images at 1550 UTC (1150 US Eastern Daylight Saving Time) on 28 August, with its Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR). While an optical image shows characteristic spiralling cloud patterns, a simultaneous radar observation pierces through the clouds to show how Katrina’s 250- kilometre-an-hour winds scour the sea surface.

Sep 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – GIS

Indigenous community in Australia maps cultural data
Traditional landowners in north west Queensland, Australia will soon be recording and mapping their own cultural heritage sites under a new arrangement with the State Government. The Mt Isa-based Mitakoodi-Juhnjlar aboriginal people will be the first to be taught the technical skills needed to gather their own data. They will be learning skills on using GPS programs and secondly being able to record those results onto software which will then go to offi cial authorities for insertion into the official maps.

Sep 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – GPS

Bangkok to introduce GPS to its fleet of taxis
Bangkok has opened the first of 150 new electronic taxi stands that will allow pedestrians to summon a taxi by pressing a green button, signaling a dispatcher to send a taxi. The devices will display the estimated arrival time and license plate number of the approaching taxi. Taxis will be equipped with GPS as part of the service. The first arch-roofed electronic taxi stand was unveiled last week outside a superstore on the city’s Phahonyotin Road, while the remaining stands are expected to be installed across the city by November. Besides helping Bangkok pedestrians easily hail taxis, the stands are meant to keep cab drivers from wasting fuel by driving around the city in search of fares.

Sep 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – INDUSTRY

Road Construction Project uses positioning technology
Trimble announced that it has been selected as the preferred supplier of machine control and survey equipment for Thiess John Holland, the lead contractor building Australia’s largest road project¯EastLink in Melbourne. With total construction costs of AU$2.5 billion (US$1.9 billion), the scale of work required for timely completion of Melbourne’s EastLink is beyond that ever tackled before on any single infrastructure project in Australia. EastLink’s three-lane, freeway-standard road is expected to be built over three and a half years. Construction includes two million square meters of paved road, more than eighty bridges, seventeen interchanges and 1.6 kilometers three-lane twin tunnels. The project will deliver Melbourne’s second fully-electronic tollway, comprising about 45 kilometers of freeway-standard road connecting the city’s eastern and south-eastern suburbs.

Aug 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – Galileo update

Galileo – the European Programme for Global Navigation Services for civil purposes is an initiative led by European Union. We provide regular updates to our readers on the Galileo programme.
China gets three Galileo application projects
A Chinese general contractor for the European Galileo Project recently obtained three application projects. The Galileo Joint Undertaking (GJU) endorsed China Galileo Industries (CGI) to develop the fishery application system, the location-based services and special ionospheric studies for the Galileo regional augmentation services.
The EU and the European Space Agency had kicked off the 3.5 billion- billioneuro Galileo Project in March 2002 euro to develop a satellite-navigation system independent of the U.S. The first Galileo navigation satellite is expected to be launched later this year. China was the first country outside Europe to join the Galileo Project, agreeing to invest a total of 200 million euros into the global consortium. About 70 million euros of the Chinese investment have been put into technologies development and the remaining 130 million euros into deployment of space and ground infrastructure. The EU estimated that by 2020, the Galileo Project will bring Europe tens of billions of euros in revenues and tens of thousands of job opportunities. Chinese experts expected revenues worth 260 billion yuan (23.6 billion euros) in Galileo systems applications by 2020.

Aug 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – REMOTE SENSING

Microsoft releases a beta of Virtual Earth
Microsoft released a beta of Virtual Earth, its web-based mapping service that combines local search with maps and aerial photography according to a recent report. The move comes some three weeks after Google released a beta of its Google Earth, and nearly a month after MSN unveiled a service combining satellite imagery with maps with its local search results. However, MSN’s Virtual Earth, like Google Earth, is focused primarily around maps and aerial views, allowing users to zoom in and out of maps or images and drag them around within the display area. MSN Virtual Earth for now covers only the U.S. and major Canadian cities, and offers fewer local-search options.

Aug 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – GIS

China’s first digital long distance pipeline
Ji-Ning line is China’s first pipeline featuring digital technologies. World advanced technologies are applied in it, including remote sensing technology, GIS, large database, virtual reality technology, web application technology, project management, enterprise resource planning, exploring a new idea and method of in the design and operation management of long-distance pipeline. Welding has been completed for over 700 kilometers along the Ji- Ning line (from Hengshui in north China’s Hebei Province to Nanjing in east China’s Jiangsu province) for West-East Gas Transmission project. The line extends across north and east China and connects the area around Bohai Sea with Yangtze River Delta. It is expected the main pipeline will be put into operation at year-end. The pipeline will put an end to the coal-dominated energy structure in the areas alongside.