Editorial

Last year, 2014, was a very exciting year for Earth Observation companies. We saw some massive changes in the market including the arrival of Skybox 1 & 2 data, the entry of Google via the purchase of Skybox Imaging, Worldview 3 being launched, the authorisation for the sale of satellite imagery with resolutions down to 25cm and the launch of several other initiatives aimed at putting more commercial imagery on the market.
In Europe, Astrium launched SPOT 7, Deimos II was launched, Blackbridge and E-geos announced next generation systems and the first Copernicus satellite – Sentinel 1 – was launched. The last of these, marking the start of the operational phase of Copernicus, promises further change as large volumes of data become freely available and available for free. 2015 should see the launch of Sentinels 2 & 3 further increasing the free data available.

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Summary Issue 40 Winter 2014/2015

EARSC Activities

!! New Look EARSC Web-site !!

(Nov 2014) Come and take a tour of our new web-site!

EARSC Industry Survey (European and Canadian EO service providers)

EARSC, in partnership with ESA, is updating the industry survey that we last conducted 2 years ago into the state and health of the EO services industry in Europe. The results of the previous survey can be found at http://earsc.org/library/ (studies). Our goal is to analyse the state of the EO Services Industry and to understand the issues that are important for its future.

International Industry Survey

A survey of the global EO services industry which is being organised.

OGEOzine n.6

The OGEO newsletter, Q4 2014

Interview

Interview with Nicolaus Hanowski, Head Ground Segments and Operations under ESA's Earth Observation Programmes Directorate

Industry Profile

EO to support operations at sea and manage natural resources

HERMESS is a privately owned and in 2013 established company developing and providing innovative solutions on environmental issues related to the oil & gas and wind energy market, maritime transport and coastal engineering sector. Close links with research institutes, universities and being backed up by the maritime industry ensures that the latest techniques and services are available for our clients.

Member News

Success Story: Sea turbidity monitoring

Very high-resolution satellite images can effectively support the monitoring of water quality during dredging activities for the installation of new off -shore infrastructures.

Airbus Defence and Space and PASCO CORPORATION Reinforce their Cooperation in Satellite Data Distribution

Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, is selling its subsidiary Tokyo Spot Image KK (TSI) to PASCO CORPORATION (hereinafter PASCO). At the same time, PASCO enters into a new distribution agreement with Airbus Defence and Space for a SPOT 6/7 Direct Receiving Station (DRS) with associated data distribution rights.

Airbus Defence and space to develop Sentinel 6 satellite to study ocean surface topography

The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Airbus Defence and Space as the prime contractor to develop and construct the first Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 satellite.

Airbus Defence and Space, TerraNIS and ARTAL Technologies join forces to intensify deployment of geo-information services

Airbus Defence and Space has signed a partnership agreement with TerraNIS, a geo-information services company working in the fields of agriculture, environment and land management, and ARTAL Technologies, a company specialising in software development. This agreement aims to boost the use of services based on satellite imagery by private and public players, both in France and internationally.

BlackBridge Partners with Agrian for Superior Precision Agriculture in the US and Canada

Arlington, Virginia, January 13, 2015 – BlackBridge is pleased to announce that its RapidEye imagery from the U.S. and Canadian Monitoring Program for Agriculture will be available through Agrian’s Technology Platform for Growers beginning in 2015.

CLOUDEO together with the 2nd Cloud Innovation World Cup 14/15 Challenges developers worldwide to redefine the way to do things

Munich, 4 November 2014 – CloudEO, the world-leading content and software provider offering a unique geo-infrastructure, challenges participants to develop innovative cloud solutions that will revolutionize the way we do business and live our lives. Entrepreneurs, developers, innovative start-ups and researchers from all over the world are invited to submit their innovative solutions from 4 November 2014 to 15 April 2015 in the categories Smart Living, Mobility, Industry 4.0, Urban Infrastructure, and ICT Business Services. Contestants of the Cloud Innovation World Cup will be competing not only to become ‘Cloud Innovator of the Year’ but also to win the special prizes of partners CloudEO and Google. CloudEO is looking for the “GEO Innovator of the Year” integrating geospatial information to its cloud based service offered.

COSMO-SkyMed helps ECO40

e-GEOS is helping to draw a safer way for Matteo Miceli, avoiding icebergs along the route.

Cubesat challenge taking shape

(January 09, 2015 / Ian Spence). Spacemetric is taking part in a cubesat innovation study for the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of a consortium led by Innovative Solutions In Space (ISIS) of Delft, The Netherlands.

EO based monitoring of transport infrastructure in the Czech Republic

Gisat has successfully implemented the development project focusing on introduction of InSAR services to support monitoring of risk phenomena in the transportation domain.

EOMAP and MarineFIND pool their expertise to produce easy access marine bathymetry data

Working together, EOMAP GmbH & Co KG and MarineFIND, the specialist marine data and service division of FIND Maps, have formed a partnership to offer easy access to coastal high resolution and global bathymetry.

European Space Imaging and TotalView provide satellite imagery for Greek LPIS 2014 project

(Dec 2014) European Space Imaging (EUSI) and TotalView successfully completed the provision of DigitalGlobe’s (DG) satellite imagery products for the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) 2014 project in Greece.

Expanded satellite support contract with a total value of 173 millioner kroner (18,6 Meuro) with the European Space Agency for operational support related to the Sentinel satellites in the Copernicus programme.

(12.01.2015) Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) has signed an extension to the existing contract for ground station support for the sentinel satellites in the European Copernicus programme.

GAF’s eMC+ Mining Cadastre framework now available with source code

(16Dec2014) GAF’s mining cadastre system and the provision of its associated source code ensures sustainability beyond the implementation project’s lifetime and provides well-defined total cost of ownership.

GMV monitors agriculture from space

(Nov 2014) Technology and agriculture come together in wineo, a GMV-developed precision-agriculture system based on satellite imaging (with a GIS like GeoServer OpenLayers) and data mining (with a Business Intelligence solution like Jaspersoft), which speeds up decision-making processes in a field like precision agriculture.

HORIZON 2020 SME-Instrument Planetek Hellas among the winners

The commitment to innovation, extroversion and applied research that attempts to provide solutions to specific problems of the anthropic activity, brought another positive result for Planetek group, as it was announced that Planetek Hellas is among the winners of the Horizon 2020 SME-Instrument program, of the European Commission.

Impact crater in Brazil: first identified on satellite imagery by GAF and partner - now officially confirmed

20Nov2014. GAF, together with the Department of Geology at the University of Witwatersrand, identified an impact structure in Brazil on Landsat MSS satellite imagery in the year 2000.

Incorporation of the Magellium Ltd. team into Deimos UK

Harwell, December 16, 2014 Deimos Space UK Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Elecnor Deimos created in 2013, is proud to announce that it has taken over the business of Magellium Ltd. which is now incorporated within Deimos Space UK Ltd.

MEOS™ 3.8 m antenna to Slovak Hydromet Institute

Kongsberg Spacetec has signed a contract with MicroStep-MIS, to provide our MEOS™ Polar and Geo system to the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute

New web-based mining cadastre information services in Mongolia

(12Nov2014) The Cadastre Division of the Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia (MRAM) has launched a new web portal in order to increase transparency in the Mongolian mining sector and offer enhanced services to the public and specific functionalities to investors (registered users) via the Internet.

Novel Ka-Band ground station services on offer by KSAT for LEO satellites

(Tromsø, 6th of December 2014) Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) today announces its novel Ka-band Ground Station Support service through an ideally located antenna network. The emerging use of Ka-band as an operational downlink will substantially increase data rates from satellites in Low Earth Orbits (LEO). KSAT is now investing into the augmentation of its network capabilities with Ka-band support.

Processing Digital Surface Models from Low Cost Archive Imagery - Case Study

Find our Case Study about Processing Digital Surface Models from Low Cost Archive Imagery, published on the European Space Imaging

ReSAC will map flood risk and flood hazard for East-Aegean River Basin Directorate, Bulgaria

Remote Sensing Application Center – ReSAC, Bulgaria in a consortium with other organizations won a tender for Mapping flood hazard and flood risk in East Aegean River Basin Directorate (EARBD) in Bulgaria.

RISAT-1 now available for near real time deliveries

(06.11.2014) KSAT is pleased to bring a new Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite to commercial users around the world. RISAT-1 was launched in April 2012 carrying a C-band radar sensor. It is one of the most complex radar satellites ever built and offers a variety of resolutions and unique polarization modes.

Satellite data, resources, and applications at your fingertips

Explore, Examine, Engage. What Satellite Data is available through the Data Discovery Hub?

ScanEx company began receiving data from SPOT 7 satellite to the network of Uniscan™ ground receiving stations and processing imagery requests

(Dec 2014) Airbus Defence & Space company announced on December 2, 2014 the beginning of commercial operation of the SPOT 7 satellite. Together with Pleiades 1A and 1B, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X satellites, SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 spacecrafts replenished the unique Airbus Defence & Space constellation, making it the sole Operator in the world, offering optical images of different spatial resolution along with radar data. SPOT 7 satellite is a “twin” to SPOT 6.

ScanEx company has become an authorized mapping partner of Google in Russia

(Dec 2014) “ScanEx“company has become an authorized partner of Google in Russia and the CIS countries in Google Maps for organizations and one of Google’s partners around the world.

Sertit ISO 9001 Certification

(Dec 2014) ISO 9001 certification for its Quality Management System

Spacemetric at DGI2015

Come and visit Spacemetric at Defence Geospatial Intelligence, DGI 2015 where we’ll be showcasing capabilities of the new Keystone 4, including 3D point-cloud generation, updated video capabilities and compatibility with MAJIIC2.

Sweden in the Sentinel age

The Swedish National Space Board recently received final reports from Spacemetric and Metria containing analyses and recommendations on how Sweden should respond to the Sentinel satellite missions of the EU/ESA Copernicus programme.

Thales Alenia Space to build SWOT oceanography satellite

(6 January 2014) Thales Alenia Space announced today that it has been selected by French space agency CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) to build the oceanography satellite SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography).

TRE: 15 years of expertise in InSAR technology

From a small group of satellite radar signal specialists to a company of 45 staff, two offices in Italy and North America and the broadest experience in InSAR data processing for commercial applications.

Urban development and flood hazard monitoring in Myanmar

Gisat has started the implementation of an integrated service case within the joint ESA and Asian Development Bank initiative.

“Legal and Economic Aspects for European space services and applications”

The European Space Policy is shifting from technology and systems development to services and applications. Space industry is now recognized as a driver for growth and innovation, generating highly qualified jobs and market opportunities.

Earth Observation News

Azerbaijan to use satellite data for seismic monitoring

(Jan 2015) The first telecommunication satellite Azerspace-1 will monitor the seismologic situation of Azerbaijan, which is located in a highly seismically active zone.

Beyond Newsletter

Established in the framework of the FP7-REGPOT-2012-2013-1 Coordination and Support Actions – Theme Area “4.1 Unlocking and developing the research potential of research entities established in the EU ́s Convergence regions and Outermost regions”, the BEYOND project (EC GA No 316210) aims at maintaining and expanding the existing state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research potential, by Building a Centre of Excellence for Earth Observation based monitoring of Natural Disasters in South-Eastern Europe.

China Completes High Definition Map of Entire Country

[Via Satellite 12-31-2014] The country of China has been entirely mapped in High Definition (HD) by satellite, according to the Chinese National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation.

China Launches New Meteorological Satellite

The Fengyun-II 08 satellite, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province, will be used to collect meteorological and environmental information. The data will be used for weather forecasting and climate monitoring, Xinhua reported.

China Orbits Yaogan-26 remote sensing satellite with Long March 4B Rocket

[Via Satellite 12-29-2014] China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reports the Yaogan 26 remote sensing satellite entered space after launching aboard a Long March 4B rocket on Dec. 26.

China to launch new marine surveillance satellites in 2019

(November 2014) China will launch a new “constellation” of marine surveillance satellites in 2019 to monitor ships, oil rigs, marine disasters and land-based resources.

Cryosat extends its reach on the arctic

(15 December 2014) CryoSat has delivered this year’s map of autumn sea-ice thickness in the Arctic, revealing a small decrease in ice volume.

Discover Global satellite-based earth observation services market by government users that is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.39% to 2019

New players have started to foray into the market through partnerships with governments, which is attributed to the increased focus of governments worldwide to foster more innovations in space technologies. NASA partnered with the USGS to create Landsat, which holds the record for the longest coverage of the earth’s surface from space.

Earth Observation: NSR's The Year Of Seeing More

[SatNews] As the New Year brings a whole set of expectations, one of the key measurements will be the expectation that commercially-available very high resolution imagery will help EO users ‘see more’.

Europe's space-based, laser-powered data highway passes early test

By MARIA SHEAHAN, Reuters

Exelis wins NASA Contract to Support Climate Change Research

[Via Satellite 01-05-2015] NASA has awarded Exelis a $3.5 million contract that supports research to improve understanding of climate change by tracking how weather systems transport carbon dioxide, methane and other gases in the atmosphere.

Fisheries minister says sector employs over 200,000 Gambians

The Fisheries minister, Mass Axi Gye, has disclosed that more than 200,000 Gambians are directly or indirectly employed by the nation’s fisheries sector.

Himawari 8 Satellite Releases First Images

[Via Satellite 12-29-2014] The Japan Meteorological Agency has released the first images from the Himawari 8 geostationary weather satellite, which launched Oct. 7, 2014 aboard an H2A rocket.

IBUKI (GOSAT) Satellite's Historically Unprecedented Observation of Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions of Mega-City Regions from Space

The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite “IBUKI”, developed jointly by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is the world’s only satellite designed specifically to monitor greenhouse gases from space.

INFORM: New data tool for disaster risk management launched

(Jan 2015) INFORM, a global, open-source risk assessment tool has been launched by the European Commission and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, a forum for coordinating humanitarian assistance between UN and non-UN partners, to identify possible humanitarian crises requiring international assistance.

Japanese government to develop disposable disaster response satellite

(Jan 2015) The Japanese government is currently planning the development of an operationally responsive small observation satellite to be launched in case of a disaster or military emergencies.

MENASAT to design and build “GHANA SAT 1″

USD $250 Mio project will be under the Republic of Ghana flag. In a historical step for the Republic of Ghana entering the space domain,

NASA Satellite Data Shows Hagupit Dropped Almost 19 Inches of Rainfall

Typhoon Hagupit soaked the Philippines, and a NASA rainfall analysis indicated the storm dropped almost 19 inches in some areas. After Hagupit departed the Philippines as a tropical storm, NASA’s Terra satellite passed over and captured a picture of the storm curled up like a cat waiting to pounce when it landfalls in Vietnam on Dec. 11.

NASA Study Shows 13-year Record of Drying Amazon Caused Vegetation Declines

A 13-year decline in vegetation in the eastern and southeastern Amazon has been linked to a decade-long rainfall decline in the region, a new NASA-funded study finds.

NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) instrument to be launched this January

(January 2015) NASA is set to launch Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite as part of the ESSP (Earth System Science Pathfinder) program. The overall objective of SMAP is to monitor global soil moisture mapping with unprecedented resolution, sensitivity, area coverage, and revisit times of 3days or less.

New report looks into Global satellite-based earth observation market outlook to 2020

Satellite-based Earth Observation (EO) is a process of using remote-sensing technique to gather information on the chemical, physical and biological aspects of the earth system. This technique allows the measurement of geophysical parameters of the earth from the orbit with the use of cameras and sensors.

NGA, DigitalGlobe Provide Satellite Imagery Data for Ebola Response

[Via Satellite 01-08-2015] To support the international response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, the U.S. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) has releases a series of Image City Map products created with satellite imagery and human geography data sets from DigitalGlobe.

Observing Earth's water cycle from space

(Nov 2014) A satellite system comprising active and passive microwave remote sensors enables synchronous accurate acquisition of key elements in the Earth’s water cycle.

PCI Geomatics announces strategic partnership with MDA for Accessing RADARSAT-2 Imagery

MARKHAM, Ontario, Canada—January 13, 2014: PCI Geomatics, a world leading developer of remote sensing and photogrammetric software and systems, announced today a strategic partnership with McDonald, Dettwiler and Associated Ltd. (MDA).

Russia puts second remote sensing satellite of the Resource-P series into orbit

The second remote sensing satellite of the Resource-P series was put in to orbit on 31 December 2014. The satellite was launched from the Baikonur space centre on December 26 by rocket carrier Soyuz-2.1b.

Sanctuary: Exploring the World’s Protected Areas from Space

From a recent and dramatic image showing development at the edge of New Zealand’s Mount Egmont National Park to the weaving, interconnected waterways of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh to the stunningly unique beauty of the Namib desert in Namibia, Sanctuary: Exploring the World’s Protected Areas from Space, captures a new perspective on some of the world’s most interesting, changing, and threatened places.

Satellogic Finalizes 16-Satellite Earth Observation Constellation

[Via Satellite 12-29-2014] Satellogic, a startup company founded in Palo Alto, California with offices around the world, has finalized plans for its first wave of satellites to begin launching in the second half of 2015.

Science for disaster risk reduction Satellite image

(Dec 2014) The JRC has released a new report providing a comprehensive overview of its work in relation to disaster risk reduction and response including their policy background and context.

Soyuz rocket launches with Russian Earth observation craft

(Dec 2015) A new Russian satellite streaked into orbit aboard a Soyuz rocket ending December, carrying high-resolution cameras to survey the globe and a plasma physics experiment to seek out signs of exotic antimatter and dark matter in the cosmos.

SSL to Create Small Satellite Product Line Using Knowledge Gained from Skybox Imaging

[Via Satellite 11-12-2014] MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) is optimistic it can capture new business in the small satellite market through its subsidiary Space Systems Loral (SSL).

Weather and environmental satellite crowd sourcing: Two new apps

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)‘s academic companion, the Space Science and Engineering Center (SSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed two free of charge mobile apps that bring the capacity to see and capture satellite information to mobile users’ fingertips. The apps received improvement support from NOAA and NASA.

Welcome to TUSExpo 2015

We cordially invite you to join us for The Unmanned System Expo 2015 (TUSExpo), the first fully integrated European Unmanned Systems tradeshow and conference covering all domains including Air, Ground, Maritime and Space.

Programmes

Air quality under new scrutiny

(28 October 2014) As part of the preparations for the Sentinel-5 Precursor air-quality monitoring mission, scientists teamed up in Romania recently to test different airborne systems that will be used to ensure this new satellite delivers accurate measurements of pollutants in the air we breathe.

China launches another remote sensing satellite

China sent the Yaogan-25 remote sensing satellite into a scheduled orbit at 3:33 a.m. on Thursday 11 Dec from the Jiuquan satellite launch center.

Copernicus Climate Change and Atmosphere Monitoring Services launched

(Nov 2014) A ground-breaking agreement was signed in Brussels today between the European Commission and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). This agreement means that ECMWF will be managing the Copernicus Climate Change and Atmosphere Monitoring Services. The European Union’s flagship Copernicus programme ensures operational monitoring of the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces, and will provide reliable, validated information services for a range of environmental and security applications. It comprises six services: Land Monitoring, Marine Monitoring, Atmosphere Monitoring, Emergency Management, Security and Climate Change that provide reliable and consistent environmental information.

Copernicus' monitoring services moving closer to operational phase

The Commission moved a step closer to the start of the operational stage of three of Copernicus’s earth observation services: Atmosphere Monitoring, Climate Change, and Marine Environment Monitoring.

DLR and ESA sign collaborative ground segment cooperation for Sentinel data

(10 November 2014) With the first Copernicus satellite now operational, ESA and the DLR German Aerospace Center have signed an arrangement on managing and accessing Sentinel data.

EUMETSAT Council makes progress towards EPS-SG programme approval and opens Jason-CS ocean altimetry programme for subscription

The 82nd meeting of the EUMETSAT Council took place in Darmstadt, Germany,on 26 November.

EUMETSAT to provide space data and operational support to Copernicus marine, atmosphere and climate change services

(Friday, 07 November 2014) Alain Ratier, Director-General of EUMETSAT and Philippe Brunet, Director of Aerospace, Maritime, Security and Defence Industries within the European Commission’s Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry, today signed the Agreement between the European Union and EUMETSAT on the implementation of the Copernicus Programme.

European Commission, ESA sign €3bn Copernicus contract

Belgium, October 28, 2014: The European Commission and ESA have signed an agreement of over Euro3 billion to manage and implement the Copernicus ‘space component’ between 2014 and 2021. ESA will also act as the research and development agency for the next generation of Copernicus.

Help U.S. Cope with Climate Change: Enter NASA-USGS Data App Challenge

NASA in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is offering more than $35,000 in prizes to citizen scientists for ideas that make use of climate data to address vulnerabilities faced by the United States in coping with climate change.

NASA Administrator, Ambassadors Brigety and Haslach Discuss Application of NASA Earth Science for Planning in African Union Nations

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia Haslach, and U.S. Ambassador to the African Union (AU) Reuben Brigety, met this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss resources available to help mitigate the impacts in Africa of global climate change.

NASA Airborne Campaigns Tackle Climate Questions from Africa to Arctic

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Five new NASA airborne field campaigns will take to the skies starting in 2015 to investigate how long-range air pollution, warming ocean waters, and fires in Africa affect our climate.

Regional cooperation urged in geo-informatics

(Nov 2014) Asean countries should team up and share information gathered from satellite imagery for better and more efficient development in the field of information science infrastructure, the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) board said recently.

Russia Declassifies Satellite Earth-Sensing Data

The Russian government said ending December it will provide public access to previously classified Earth-sensing data received from domestic and foreign satellites.

Satellite Industry Plans For Africa’s Future... Improving The Quality Of Life To Remotest Regions

Satellite Industry Plans For Africa’s Future… Improving The Quality Of Life To Remotest Regions

The Role of Data in Promoting Growth and Well-Being

Data forms a key pillar in 21st century sources of growth. The confluence of several trends, including the increasing migration of socio-economic activities to the Internet and the decline in the cost of data collection, storage and processing, are leading to the generation and use of huge volumes of data – commonly referred to as “big data”.

Trial separation prepares for final release

(30 October 2014) Sentinel-2A is in the middle of an extensive testing programme to make sure this land-monitoring satellite is fit for launch next spring.

‘Satan’ launches five Japanese satellites into orbit

(Nov 2014) A Russian-Ukrainian Dnepr RS-20B (SS-18 Satan) rocket successfully launched five Japanese satellites into orbit on Thursday, Nov. 6. The mission used a military missile conversion program and took place at 7:35 a.m. UTC from the Yasny Space Site in the Orenburg region of Russia. A representative for Kosmotras company, in charge of the program, said that the rocket was carrying an ASNARO-1 Earth observation satellite and four university-made micro-satellites for Japan.Roscosmos announced that initial telemetry suggests that mission was a success.

Events

Events Winter 2014/2015