News Archives, Remote Sensing


Jul 2005 | Comments Off on NEWSBRIEFS – REMOTE SENSING

Satellite imagery helps in…

…gauging cocaine

South America’s cocaine output rose by 2 percent last year, according to an U.N. report. The main source for data on coca production was satellite imagery of the production areas, backed by plane and helicopter observation and field studies on the ground.

… mapping methane

Using satellite technology, researchers from University of Heidelberg in Germany and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute have for the first time mapped the highest methane emissions coming from the Gangetic plains in India, Southeast Asia and parts of China. The main source seems to be rice and cattle farming in these regions.

…locating mass graves in Bosnia

International experts in satellite imagery, geology and forensic archaeology have completed a research visit to Bosnia to investigate new methods of locating and mapping mass graves. The experts from University of Birmingham and Applied Analysis Inc, a U.S. private company, were part of this project organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons, based in Sarajevo.

…crop estimates in Pakistan

The Pakistan government has decided to use satellite information to make crop estimates by replacing the antiquated system based on reporting by revenue department officials. Sources in the finance ministry told that the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission shall be funding the project. The new system shall give accurate information about sowing and harvest of different crops.

Saudi Arabia set to launch six mini satellites

Saudi Arabia shall very soon launch six mini satellites for a range of applications, including the location of water and mineral sources, environmental pollution control, urban planning, agricultural production and weather observation. They are part of a group of 24 mini satellites manufactured and designed by team of Saudi scientists and engineers as part of a program to harness space technology for commercial purposes, according to Prince Turki Ibn Saud, vice president of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Research Institutes.

Most detailed earth portrait underway

The most detailed portrait ever of the Earth’s land surface is being created with ESA’s Envisat environmental satellite. The GLOBCOVER project aims at producing a global land cover map to a resolution three times sharper than any previous satellite map.

It will be a unique depiction of the face of our planet in 2005, broken down into more than 20 separate land cover classes. The completed GLOBCOVER map will have numerous uses, including plotting worldwide land use trends, studying natural and managed ecosystems and modelling climate change extent and impacts.

An international network of partners is working with ESA on the twoyear GLOBCOVER project, which is taking place as part of the Earth Observation Data User Element (DUE). Participants include the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), the International Geosphere- Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the Global Observations of Forest Cover and Global Observations of Land Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD)Implementation Team Project Office.

First India-US Joint Working Group Meeting

The India-US Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation held its first meeting at Antariksh Bhavan, the Headquarters of ISRO at Bangalore during June 29-30, 2005.

The Joint Working Group (JWG) deliberated to explore the potential and possibility of cooperation in earth observation, satellite communication, satellite navigation and its application, space science, natural hazards research and disaster management support, and education and training in space.

The JWG noted that significant progress has been made in the U.S. GPS, the U.S. Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and the Indian GAGAN spacebased Positioning, Navigation and Timing Systems (PNTS). Both sides have a shared interest in promoting interoperability among existing and future civil space based PNTS to create a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). This area is ready for expanded bilateral cooperation.

India aims to grab 10 percent of global satellite launch market

India, having earned 3 billion rupees (Rs) last year from its space programs, expects to win 10 per cent of the global satellite market over the next five years. ISRO chief, G Madhavan Nair told recently that he expected to maintain a revenue growth of 25 per cent because “our greatest advantage is the cost-competitiveness of our space program”.

Mr Nair said countries like Brazil, Chile, South Africa, and Germany had asked for India’s satellite data and images. He also said that The CARTOSAT-2 was getting integrated and would be ready for launch by this year-end.

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