Sep 2017 | No Comment

SpaceX notches 15th landing after launching overdue Formosat-5

A SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched a long-delayed remote sensing satellite for the government of Taiwan Aug. 24, executing another first stage landing in the process. Formosat-5 was built by Taiwan’s space agency, the National Space Organization, known by the acronym NSPO. The 450-kilogram spacecraft was the first such satellite built domestically by Taiwan, and succeeds Formosat-2, retired a year ago. The spacecraft carries cameras capable of producing panchromatic images at a resolution of two meters and color images at a resolution of four meters. It also carries an ionospheric science instrument developed by a Taiwanese university NSPO awarded the launch contract for Formosat-5 to SpaceX in 2010, at the time intending to launch the spacecraft on SpaceX’s smaller Falcon 1 rocket. SpaceX later discontinued the Falcon 1, moving Formosat-5 to a larger Falcon 9 vehicle.

Germany pumps £4 million in climate change research

The German government has pumped about €4 million in a project to conduct research in climate change and sustainable land management use in Zambia.

National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) technical expert Michael Phiri said the project is aimed at providing evidence-based advice for decision-makers and stakeholders to improve people’s livelihood in the region. The project called Southern Africa Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land-use (SASSCAL) also aims to contribute to the creation of an African knowledge-based society. Under the project, the centre is expected to do seamless land cover mapping, produce records of national resources and land-use using remote sensing technology. He also said that NRSC is implementing the drought assessment project, which is coming to an end next month.

Latest ESA research leads to better cameras for precision agriculture

A new camera from Cubert, working in collaboration with VITO Remote Sensing and imec, based on research from the European Space Agency, is bringing high-resolution details to precision farming.Precision farming relies on *hyperspectral imaging to gather additional information about crops for making the best decisions on resource and field management. The ButterflEYES LS from Cubert can now provide these images with in focus details as minute as five centimeters. Also, since it weighs only 400g, it is easily carried by a drone over large and varied land masses. One of the key differences between previous hyperspectral cameras and the ButterflEYES LS camera is the use of an incorporated filter in imec’s ultra-small sensor as opposed to the traditionally used prism that would make the camera too large for unmanned aircraft. Additionally, the image processor from VITO was developed after working on ESA remote sensing satellites.

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