Dismayed over “negligible” returns from sale of satellite imagery, a Parliamentary panel has asked the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), India to be more competitive in data marketing. The Public Accounts Committee, in a draft report on activities of the NRSC, appeared to brush aside Department of Space (DoS) contention that remote sensing was treated as a “public good service” rather than commercial activity.
It said that appropriate customised packaging of remote sensing data by way of adequate value addition and making them fit for synergistic and simultaneous applications will definitely enhance the marketability of such data and bring about increase in net returns. The Committee said it was dismayed to note that while the total capital investment on seven remote sensing satellites between 2003-08 was Rs 1468.59 crore, operational returns ranged from Rs 96.87 crore to Rs 134.27 crore.
On lower pricing of Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) data, the DoS said that it was not comparable with foreign satellite data which is available in finer resolution. The DoS noted that imagery obtained from Geoeye1 or Worldview2 satellites was of 0.5 meter resolution with multispectral and stereo capability. “There is no equivalent data from IRS. Hence the prices are not comparable,” the DoS said. http:// articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com
DigitalGlobe has reported a 23 percent increase in revenue during the recent quarter, compared with last year. The satellite imagery company said it had $101.8 million in revenue in the second quarter, compared with $82.5 million during the second quarter of 2011. It reported net income during the recent quarter of $9.6 million, or 21 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $900,000, or 2 cents per diluted share, for the same period last year. http://www.timescall.com
“Preliminary analysis of our data indicates that the rate of loss of sea ice volume in summer in the arctic may be far larger than we had previously suspected,” said Seymour Laxon of the Center for Polar Observation and Modeling at University College London where the information gathered by CryoSat-2, designed specifically to measure sea ice and launched in April 2010, is being analyzed. “Very soon we may experience the iconic moment when, one day in the summer, we look at satellite images and see no sea ice coverage in the arctic, just open water.”
Laxon notes, however, these are preliminary figures, “so we should take care before rushing to conclusions.” http://www.upi.com/Science_News
The temperature in the inner urban areas of Hong Kong is predicted to rise by two to three Celsius degree in 30 years’ time, according to the latest scientific study by researchers at the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). The study was done by PolyU Professor Janet Nichol and her research student Mr To Pui-hang, together with Chinese University’s Professor Edward Ng Yanyung, using remote sensing technology and satellite images. They have mapped the distribution of temperatures for both daytime and nighttime over Hong Kong at decadal intervals up to 2039, taking into consideration the temperature change due to greenhouseinduced warming as well as the impact of urbanization. http://www.rdmag.com
The ground segment for GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) is starting to take shape: The German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Oberpfaffenhofen will be the European data center for GMES satellites Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3. Starting in 2013, data from Sentinel-1, and later also data from the land and ocean sensor on the Sentinal-3 satellites (the Ocean and Land Color Imager, OLCI) will be processed to yield information products, distributed to users, and archived long-term. ESA is providing 13.6 million euro over seven years to establish and operate the data center. www.dlr.de/eoc/en/
China’s first high-resolution, remotesensing satellite for civilian use, Ziyuan 3 put into service recently is marking a breakthrough in the country’s drive to map the Earth from outer space.
Unlike the Ziyuan 1 and 2 satellites, which produce only 2D images, the new satellite can produce 3D imagery thanks to three cameras attached to it at different angles. The images’ resolution is 2.1 meters, better than the previous resolution of 3 meters. The orbiter also has a multispectral camera that helps look for mineral resources, which can produce imagery with a resolution of 6 meters. The satellite can transmit data at a speed four to five times of previous satellites. And for the first time, a low-Earthorbit remote-sensing satellite’s lifespan is now five years, up from three years, according to a news release provided by the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn
Myanmar will launch a small earth observation satellite, according to the report published in CRI Online. The satellite will be launched by the Japanese company Marubeni Aerospace and will be used by the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology Department of Transport Burma.