Kazakhstan will launch one communication satellite and two remote sensing satellites in 2014. Moreover, Kazakhstan will commission ground facilities for a remote sensing space system, as well as a high-precision satellite navigation system. www.azernews.az
New LIDAR chip will sharpen aerial mapping and autonomous car vision
A new breed of LIDAR technology is being developed and tested by the US Air Force at a base in Massachusetts. This system is capable of precisely mapping over 300 square kilometers from the belly of an airplane in about half an hour. While it is considerably more advanced than consumer models, the new Air Force LIDAR works on the same basic principle– laser light is projected toward the target, and a sensor detects the photons upon their return. The time it takes is used to calculate the distance, to varying degrees of accuracy. In advanced systems like those used by the military, LIDAR can create a topographic map of the area it is pointed at. www.extremetech.com
Unmanned Aerial Positioning System by Topcon
Topcon Positioning Group have recently released the Topcon SIRIUS PRO powered by MAVinci, an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) designed to produce solutions for automated mapping of construction sites, pipelines, disaster areas, mines, quarries and myriad sites without regard to terrain. www.mavinci.de
Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works advanced development unit is building an unmanned vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) air vehicle under a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program to demonstrate a cargo UAV capable of carrying interchangeable mission payloads. DARPA plans to fly the prototype next year. The so-called Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) program has entered its third and final phase, which involves designing and building the prototype. The air vehicle design calls for twin, tilting ducted fans to provide hovering and landing capabilities “with rapid conversion to high-speed cruise flight similar to small aircraft.” www.ainonline.com
Antrix Corporation Limited (Antrix), the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), signed Launch Services Agreement with DMC International Imaging (DMCii), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, UK, for launch of three DMC-3 Earth Observation Satellites being built by SSTL, on-board ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). On 5th February 2014, Antrix signed another Launch Services Agreement with ST Electronics Pte Ltd, Singapore, for launch of TeLEOS-1 Earth Observation Satellite, on-board PSLV. These launches are planned during end 2014 to end 2015. www.isro.org
Algerian Space Agency signs agreement with UNITAR
Acting Head and Executive Director of UNITAR Ms Sally Fegan-Wyles have signed a cooperation framework agreement with the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL), Director General Azzedine Oussedik. Under this agreement, UNITAR’s UNOSAT programme and ASAL will collaborate on data exchange, training and capacity development related to applications of earth observation data and the use of GIS. Areas of collaboration include natural disaster management, disaster risk reduction and development. www.unitar.org
Airbus Defence and Space contract with Republic of Korea
Airbus Defence and Space will deliver the radar antenna and electronics for the Republic of Korea’s new Earth observation satellite, Kompsat-6. The contract was signed in Seoul, in the presence of Peter Friedrich, Minister for International Affairs of the Federal State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, by Hyokoo Lee, CEO of LIG Nex1 Co. Ltd and Eckard Settelmeyer, Head of Earth Observation of Space Systems in Germany.LIG Nex1 is accountable to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) for handling all aspects of the radar sensor. www.astrium.eads.net/en/
Esri and GEOSS unite to improve earth observation analysis
Esri is working with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) to create a GIS platform for the program Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Esri technology will make GEOSS earth observation data available to a wider audience for understanding, monitoring, and making decisions about the planet.GEOSS is a portal between a flexible network of earth observation content providers. esri.com/agol
Bluesky announces commercial trials of Airborne Air Quality Mapper
Aerial mapping company Bluesky is launching a service to map air quality across towns and cities. It is seeking new sites in the UK to trial its ground breaking survey technology. Using a world first spectrometer, developed by scientists at the University of Leicester, mounted on an aerial survey plane the system can accurately record levels of nitrogen dioxide across entire cities. www.bluesky-world.com
India joins elite club with heliborne geo-survey capability
India has become the seventh nation to own a heliborne geophysical survey system (HGSS), which has been integrated on the advanced light helicopter’s (ALH) latest version — Garuda Vasudha.
The ALH, which is the brainchild of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been integrated with HGSS procured from Pico Envirotec Inc, Canada.
Garuda Vasuda is equipped with stateof- the-art latest magnetic, spectrometric and gravity heliborne geophysical survey systems. It is equipped to provide high resolution images, and has the ability to catch mineral signatures even 300 metre below the earth’s surface. GSI, which has been using fixed wing aircraft for aerial surveying used to hire services from foreign countries for heliborne survey.
R Sridharan, Secretary, Ministry of Mines said that India, unlike countries like Australia which have completed 100 mapping of their resources, has a long way to go. “Only ten per cent of our country is mapped. We have a long way to go, and systems like these would help us expedite the process,” he said. Times of India