On 27th November 2019, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its forty ninth flight (PSLV-C47), successfully launched Cartosat-3 along with 13 Nanosatellites of USA from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.
PSLV-C47 lifted-off at 0928 Hrs (IST) from the Second Launch Pad. After 17 minutes and 38 seconds, Cartosat-3 was successfully injected into a sun synchronous orbit of 509 km. Subsequently, 13 nanosatellites were injected into their intended orbits. After separation, solar arrays of Cartosat-3 were deployed automatically and the ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration.
“Cartosat-3 is the most complex and advanced earth observation satellite built by ISRO.” Indian Space Research Organisaton Chairman, Dr Sivan said. The mission life of the Cartosat-3 is 5 years. It will address the increased user’s demands for large scale urban planning, rural resource and infrastructure development, coastal land use and land cover, etc. www.isro.gov.
Ms. Sasaki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan recently announced that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would be providing open access to information and data from a suite of their radar satellites. This data is key, particularly in the tropics, where cloud cover hinders optical sensor observation. In addition, radar satellites provide data for historical time series for various decision-making purposes. Since the 1990’s, Japan has published long-term archived data from other Earth observation satellites, such as GCOM-W observing Water Cycle, GCOM-C observing atmosphere, terrestrial and ocean, and GPM observing precipitation. This data is essential for the GEO community and beyond, and contributes to broad range of societal benefits. www.earthobservations.org
Sony Electronics Inc. has announced a Version 2.0 software update for its Smart Agriculture Solution aimed at providing agricultural customers with new AI-based imaging capabilities. These new features, based on industry feedback, provide expanded functionality and are planned for rollout in March 2020. Additionally, Sony Electronics, which currently offers its Smart Agriculture Solution in the United States, expects to begin offering the solution in Australia starting next month.
The European Space Agency’s member states agreed to provide nearly 12.5 billion euros ($13.8 billion) for the next three years, giving the agency nearly all that it requested.
According to ESA Director General Jan Woerner, the allocations were sufficient to fund all of the programs it requested, an improvement over the previous ministerial in 2016 when ESA failed to win funding for an asteroid mission. “There was not a single program which we had to stop, as last time,” he said. By contrast, Earth observation programs received more than requested, with 2.54 billion euros versus a request of 2.39 billion. That includes a 29% oversubscription for ESA’s contributions to the European Union’s Copernicus program.
The funding will allow ESA to move ahead on various initiatives, ranging from continued utilization of the International Space Station to participation with NASA in a Mars sample return initiative to lunar exploration. That includes 300 million euros to start work on two modules for the NASA-led lunar Gateway, a refueling and telecommunications module called European System Providing Refueling, Infrastructure and Telecommunications (ESPRIT) and a habitation module to be developed in cooperation with Japan. https://spacenews.com
China sent six new remote-sensing satellite into planned orbit: one from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gansu Province and the other five from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China’s Shanxi Province.
The Jilin-1 Gaofen 02A, which belongs to the Jilin-1 satellite family, was launched by Kuaizhou-1A, a carrier rocket. And then, the five Ningxia-1 satellites were launched by a Long March-6 carrier rocket. The Jilin-1 Gaofen 02A satellite is a new optical remote-sensing satellite independently developed by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co Ltd, featuring high resolution, wide width and highspeed data transmission. www.shine.cn
Velodyne Lidar introduces Alpha Prime lidar sensor
Alpha Prime, the next generation lidar sensor utilizing Velodyne’s patented surround view technology to deliver the combined highest performance specifications for the autonomous mobility industry in one sensor. The sensor is an unmatched solution in perception, field-of-view and range for autonomous markets including transportation, trucking and robotics. www.velodynelidar.com
New USGS LiDAR base specification released
Geological Survey National Geospatial Program (NGP) has released a new version of the USGS LiDAR Base Specification (LBS) that defines deliverables for nationally consistent LiDAR data acquisitions. Some notable changes include:
▪ Defining the project area as the LiDAR acquisition project boundary plus a 100-meter buffer.
▪ Applying the specification to the extent of the defined project area.
▪ Updating and clarifying point classification requirements.
▪ Changing the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) delivery format to require GeoTIFF.
▪ Requiring the null value in a DEM to be a value of ‘-999999.’
This update of the LiDAR Base Specification better aligns the specification with the LiDAR data workflow in the USGS NGP, streamlines the data publishing workflow, clarifies language, and addresses Federal requirements to use non-proprietary data formats. www.usgs.gov
Ouster introduces new lowcost LiDAR sensor
Ouster Inc has introduced the OS1- 32, an affordable 32-channel lidar sensor. It is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of perception systems by offering Ouster’s high-resolution digital lidar technology at an attainable price point for researchers, roboticists, and commercial applications. https://ouster.com
Headwall BVBA, Belgium and geokonzept of Germany announced the formation of a Center for Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Europe (CHRSE).
The Headwall CHRSE will be located at geo-konzept’s headquarters in Adelschlag, Germany. The new center will support the implementation and utilization of hyperspectral imaging technology combined with other sensor technology such as LiDAR and highprecision GPS focusing on agriculture, mining, environmental monitoring and infrastructure inspection applications.
The facility features large areas for unmanned drone flights and certified unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilots available to test and demonstrate hyperspectral imaging technology in application-specific environments and to train the next generation of UAV operators. www.headwallphotonics.com