In the last edition of eomag, I mentioned briefly a report we had just published looking at the economic benefit of satellite data. It was the first case we published in a series about “Satellites Benefitting Citizens”. In it we looked at the enormous return to the Finnish and Swedish economies coming from the use of satellite imagery by the icebreakers. We are about to publish the report on the second case which looks at the use of imagery to support Forest Management in Sweden – which also shows a strong benefit.

We are interested to take a new look at the benefits which satellite technology can bring to governments, businesses and ultimately the citizens; for this analysis we have developed a new methodology. Previous work has always taken a top-down approach; looking at the macro-economic effects. Studies would look at major economic sectors and trends so as to assess how much use could be made of satellite imagery to support them. The consultant would then assign a percentage for each sector and calculate the total benefit.

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Industry Profile

Turning Earth Observation into information you can trust

CGI delivers ground systems, exploitation platforms and space enabled applications.

EARSC Activities

EARSC Workshop PCP/PPI in Horizon2020 Projects on Earth Observation

Innovation procurement can deliver solutions to challenges of public interest and EO services providers can play a major role in this; therefore EARSC and BHO legal are organizing a workshop next 3rd of December in Brussels on the subject of PCP (Pre-Commercial Procurement) to guide companies on how to approach the H2020 call EO-2-2016.

Info Session by EEA upcoming CfTs for Copernicus Land Monitoring

EARSC organized with EEA an Information session on the upcoming calls for tender for Copernicus full operation, land service, pan-European and local components.

Member News

GlobWetland Africa - Implementing Sustainable Earth Observation Based Wetland Monitoring Capacity in Africa and Beyond

A consortium led by DHI GRAS (Denmark) and including GeoVille GmbH (Austria), ITC (Netherlands) and Brockman Consult (Germany) as well as the technical universities in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Vienna (Austria) has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to carry out the 1.5 million Euro project “GlobWetland Africa”.

21st Conference of the MARS-Unit, JRC was held in Thessaloniki, Greece; ReSAC participated with a Poster

(November 2015) The conference offered an opportunity for Member State Administrations, EU officials, Image Providers and contractors to meet and discuss particular problems or innovations concerning the whole management of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) direct aids, such as controls with Remote Sensing (CwRS), Land Parcel Identification Systems (LPIS) management and quality assessment, permanent Ecological Focus Area (EFA) creation and management, and GNSS technologies in support of CAP.

BlackBridge to develop methodologies for forest degradation monitoring

(Nov 2015) BlackBridge is the leading partner of the project ForMoSa, an Innovator III project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) through the Data User Element.

BlackBridge to Set the Grounds for Reliable Forest Degradation Monitoring in REDD+ MRV

Berlin, October 29th, 2015 — BlackBridge, a Planet Labs company, is the leading partner of the project ForMoSa, an Innovator III project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) through the Data User Element . The project aims at developing methodologies for forest degradation monitoring and algorithms for sensor interoperability in the frame of REDD+ MRV. These are considered as high-priority research topics by the Global Forest Observation Initiative (GFOI).

Copernicus HR layer to map soil sealing in Italy at 5m

The Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) presented in Milan last May 2015, the Map of land consumption in Italy, produced with the help of Planetek Italia. It is the first example of reuse at national level of Copernicus core downstream services.

Deimos Imaging and UrtheCast provide satellite imagery and video for the IEEE GRSS Data Fusion Contest

This year IEEE GRSS Data Fusion Contest, Very High Temporal Resolution from Space, will use DEIMOS-2 Very High Resolution (VHR) multi-temporal data and HRC/Iris High-Definition Video from space. Both the VHR images acquired at two different dates and the video from an in-orbit camera cover an area over Vancouver (Canada). The data were acquired and provided especifically for the Data Fusion Contest by Deimos Imaging and UrtheCast respectively.

ECREEE Project

NOVELTIS contributes to promoting Sustainable Energy Access in West Africa

EO4CBI at the MUAS Conference

(Nov 2015) First results of the “Earth Observation in support of the City Biodiversity Index” project presented at the MUAS Conference at Frascati, Italy

Euroconsult Strategic Partnership Inked with World Space Risk Forum

(Nov 2015) Euroconsult today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with the World Space Risk Forum (WSRF) whereby Euroconsult will assist in the WSRF’s commitment to the creation of a comprehensive platform for the global space risk community.

Euroconsult's Latest Report Targets Satellite Value Chain

Key trends and indicators on supply & demand of the world commercial satellite industry

Euronews: Planetek is reaching for the stars with Copernicus

Euronews channel: Planetek is the kind of hi-tech company wich is investing and taking benefits from the European programme Copernicus.

European Space Imaging reached again 100% collection success with VHR data supply to European Commission’s CwRS Campaign

(Munich, 06/11/15) European Space Imaging (EUSI) completed the 2015 Controls with Remote Sensing (CwRS) program for the European Commission (EC) with 100 % success rate. The Munich-based company collected and supplied very high resolution (VHR) satellite imagery over nearly half a million square kilometers and demonstrated again its capacity and reliability as Europe’s leading VHR data provider.

EUROSENSE prominent geo-data provider in the Netherlands

At the end of 2015, EUROSENSE was awarded by Het Waterschapshuis with a large LiDAR and orthophoto-project in the Netherlands.

Extreme events managed from space : climate refugees

Organisations such as the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) or the Red Cross are in the front line and need the most efficient way of deploying emergency resources.

Finding and ordering satellite imagery online with EarthImages

At @Geocento, we have been working for the last couple of years on improving our web platform EarthImages.

Five Years of Deimos-1

… another step closer to democratizing Earth observation data with the addition of 22 m Deimos-1 imagery dating back to 2011.

GAF attended the historic Climate Conference COP21

GAF AG attended the historic UN Climate Conference COP21 in Paris and supported the European Space Agency (ESA) in organising a Side Event on 3rd December 2015.

GlobWetland Africa – towards Earth Observation-based wetland monitoring in Africa

A consortium led by DHI GRAS which includes GeoVille GmbH (Austria), ITC (Netherlands) and Brockman Consult (Germany) as well as the technical universities in Copenhagen and Vienna has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to carry out the 1.5 million Euros GlobWetland Africa Project.

GMV invited to the “Discovery Day event” organized by the FAO

(21/12/2015) Satellite images are playing an increasing role in our daily lives. They are now a fundamental part of climate-change studies and they also provide us with cartographic information on any part of the world to help us improve our security, manage natural disasters and improve governance of the land and its resources in light of the information they provide.

HIS and Airbus Defence and Space Partner to Deliver Satellite Imagery Analysis

[Via Satellite 01-11-2016] IHS and Airbus Defence and Space have announced a three-year partnership agreement.

Jason-3 Sets Sail for the Oceanographic Golden Fleece

(13 Jan2016) © Pixalytics. The Jason-3 oceanographic satellite is planned to launch on Sunday 17th January from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, aboard the Space-X Falcon 9 rocket. Named after the Greek hero Jason, of the Argonauts fame, Jason-3 is actually the fourth in a series of joint US-European missions to measure ocean surface height.


KSAT supporting the vessel Tor Viking through Northern Sea Route
IUU Fisheries monitoring project with World Bank and ESA
KSAT joins in Arctic Frontiers partner program

Providing high-resolution COSMO-SkyMed SAR imagery to the UK

The Satellite Applications Catapult is leading the COSMO-SkyMed Radar Science and Innovation Research (CORSAIR) programme for the UK. The move will facilitate access to data obtained from the COSMO-SkyMed satellites for research and development (R&D) activities.

Sargassum seaweed

French West Indies beach invaded by Sargassum seaweed. CLS maps the seaweed ahead of time so it can be collected before reaching the shore.

Satellite images acquisitions in 2015

The Geocento archive contains over 30 million individual satellite footprints – spanning the last 33 years. The maps below show the frequency of commercial acquisitions in 2015 alone (1.5 million in total), from more than 22 satellites.

SERTIT congratulated by the forest sector

The SERTIT platform of the ICube laboratory received on November 27, 2015 at the 10th National Congress Aprovalbois in Dijon, the 1st prize Innovation Awards in the forest industry in the Innovation category based media marketing, ICT, strategy, marketing and services.

SNAP 2.0 released

It has been released after a public beta test phase with many helpful feedback from enthusiastic users.

TerraSAR-X and RADARSAT-2 to Improve Monitoring Over North Canadian Region

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has awarded Airbus Defence and Space with two research projects to enhance Emergency Preparedness and Safety of Operations in collaboration with Canadian partners.
Airbus Defence and Space will monitor man-made changes on land and support tactical ship route planning in Arctic Waters

Thales Alenia Space wins contract worth €402 million

Thales Alenia Space will again participate in Copernicus program. Company will for sure use their experience during first series of Copernicus satellites called Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B. Worth €402 million contract estimates that Sentinel-1C and Sentinel-1D will be launched on 2021 or later. According to Thales Alenia, Sentunel-1A launched on 2014 is now fully operational and launching Sentinel-1B is scheduled on spring 2016.

The EAGLE goes on-line

(Jan 2016) The results of the EAGLE working group are now publicly available from the Copernicus land monitoring web site

The Fresh water Challenge

Since 2013, CLS and its subsidiary ALTAMIRA INFORMATION, have been mapping and delimiting flood zones of the Adour river in Dax, using their expertise in satellites and radar imaging.

The new year with a new face.

Rich of 25 plus years of experience, we felt it was time for a makeover

The PanGeo Alliance welcomes two new members

The PanGeo Alliance, the first global alliance of Earth Observation satellite operators, recently welcomed two new members: Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary (KGS) and UrtheCast. With eight members worldwide, the Alliance now provides access to imagery and tasking opportunities from an unprecedented and growing fleet of Earth Observation sensors. The PanGeo Alliance fleet now includes 14 operational Earth Observation sensors, providing multispectral imagery in a wide range of resolutions (from 20 m to 75 cm per pixel), 4k full-color videos, and AIS data. This unique fleet assures a daily global imaging capability, with multiple revisit opportunities per day over any target.

TRE and Altamira together in CLS become the largest InSAR group worldwide

TRE joined CLS at the end of October 2015. Altamira has been part of CLS since 2010.

URBIS: Focus on urban re-development potential

GISAT leads an international project aiming at implementation of operational information services supporting urban vacant land recycling within the sustainable business model.

In recent decades, urban sprawl became a serious European-wide problem, not only due to total land taken, but also due to its spatial distribution patterns and quality of the land consumed. Land use efficiency is becoming a prime political objective at both European and city level, and the EU Land Communication aims to establish “zero net land take” across the EU by 2050. Land is a finite resource and therefore the sprawl has to be regulated. This can be realized through careful management of urban land, applying the concept of land recycling. Only such an approach can assure sustainable development of European landscape in the long term perspective.

Earth Observation News

European Space Sustainability

(by Giovanni Sylos Labini. President of AIPAS & Director of EARSC, published on ESA ‘s website on January 11, 2016). With the Lisbon Treaty “Europe has decided to develop its own operational Earth observation capacity in order to reflect the EU’s growing responsibility in European and world affairs” COM 223 final.

100 Earth Shattering Remote Sensing Applications & Uses

Remote Sensing Applications and Uses

Bundeswehr Acquires TanDEM-X Global Elevation Model

Airbus Defence and Space and the German Ministry of Defence have signed a contract for the utilisation of TanDEM-X mission data, to update the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the Bundeswehr.

CartoConsult Partners with Proteus to Harness New Laser Scanning Technology

CartoConsult has signed a joint venture agreement with Proteus to develop and promote the use of the latest laser scanning technology.

China Launches HD Earth Observation Satellite

Beijing: China Today launched its most sophisticated observation satellite, Gaofen-4, as part of the country’s high-definition (HD) earth observation project, Xinhua reported.

COP21: An unprecedented agreement, and a continuing mission for the space sector

(16 Dec 2015) Space-based technologies are involved in climate monitoring

Copernicus: down-to-Earth opportunities for SMEs reaching for the stars

(By Anne Glémarec © Euronews) Some 58% of the global space economy relies on satellite Earth observation data This data is available on an open basis in the EU thanks to the Copernicus Programme, as Massimo Antoninetti, of the Italian Research Council explains: “By analysing the potential impact of the Copernicus programme on the European economy, we can forecast a financial benefit of 30 billions euro and the creation of at least 50,000 jobs by 2030 “.

Digital Globe to use Raytheon's Constellation Scheduling System

Aurora CO (SPX) Dec 14, 2015 – Raytheon has been selected by the high-resolution Earth imagery company, DigitalGlobe, Inc., to develop the capability to support a September 2016 launch and mission planning of DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-4 satellite.

Director general of UAE Space Agency emphasises importance of satellite data analysis to monitoring

Dr. Mohamed Nasser Al Ahbabi, director general of the UAE Space Agency, underlined the importance of satellite data analysis services related to earth observation, and the need to provide a uniform and systematic approach on efforts made by world countries to monitor the land, sea, and air..

Discover the beautiful Earth with satellite images

Earth observation satellites are capturing every day images of our globe and its regions. The Guardian gathered beautiful examples of satellite imagery coming, among others, from Sentinel missions.

DOST, 2 Japanese universities complete Philippine satellite for launching in space

On Jan. 12, 2016, the Philippines and two Japanese universities will hand over to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) the country’s first Filipino-assembled satellite for launch in space.

Earth-i releases new sample imagery from DMC3 / TripleSat constellation

New standards of Earth Observation data paving the way for frequent, very high resolution commercial imaging opportunities

Esri and NASA Collaborate to Advance Cloud Access to Imagery

Esri and NASA are collaborating to improve access to imagery and raster data stored in the cloud using a combination of two technologies, Meta Raster Format (MRF) and Limited Error Raster Compression (LERC).

EU's Sentinel colour Earth camera now operational

By Jonathan Amos BBC. Users are now able to download its images of the planet, although they will need to register first.

Farmers benefit from satellite coverage

(2 December 2015) Farmers can now call on the latest satellite information using the unique TalkingFields service to get the best from their land while cutting the environmental cost.

FLEX mission to be next ESA Earth Explorer

ESA’s Member States have selected FLEX as the eighth Earth Explorer mission, upon recommendation from the Earth Science Advisory Committee. The Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) mission will map vegetation fluorescence to quantify photosynthetic activity.

France, Germany Pressing Ahead with Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Satellite

(by Peter B. de Selding — December 8, 2015)

Free and open satellite data: private companies join in the game

(9 December, 2015 © by Massimo Zotti) Open data usually refers to information the public sector makes (or should make) available to ensure transparency and create business opportunities. A long-standing problem for users is the lack of harmonisation and integration of databases. This is an issue with geographical data too; an obstacle that the standardisation process of INSPIRE is slowly trying to solve.

Free data proves its worth for observing Earth

Since late 2008, when Landsat Earth observation images were made available to all users free of charge, nearly 30 million Landsat scenes have been downloaded through the U.S. Geological Survey portal – and the rate of downloads is still increasing.

Future Food Security for Global Consumers Is Taking an Informed Turn

(Jan 12 2016) Considering the worldwide food scarcity that occurred between 2007 and 2008, governments around the world are taking positive steps to ensure this event does not occur again. The incident led to increase in prices of dietary staple foods and caused frightened governments to stop food exportation, leading to widespread riots in some cases.

Global Forests Now Monitored With UrtheCast Imagery & Global Forest Watch

(Jan 2016) For the first time, UrtheCast imagery is now available for use on an environmental monitoring platform. From day one, UrtheCast’s vision has been firmly rooted in the concept of planet stewardship, aiming to provide people with the tools needed to change the world. This week, we mark an important step along that journey.

Google and FAO partner to make remote sensing data more efficient and accessible

Partnership enhances ability to assess changing forest and to estimate greenhouse gas emissions

Ice matters

(11 December 2015 © ESA) The satellite age has revolutionised our understanding of Earth, giving us accurate information to help critical agreements on climate change such as at the current COP21 conference in Paris. Diminishing polar ice is one of the most visible indicators of change, but how much have we learnt over the last decades?

Intelescope Solutions leverages DigitalGlobe’s Geospatial Big Data platform for forestry management

(27 October 2015) DigitalGlobe announced an agreement with Intelescope Solutions to enable global-scale satellite imagery data for the forestry industry.

Investing in European success - A Decade of Success in Earth Observation Research and Innovation

Earth observation data and information are vital to allow decision-makers and society in general to take informed decisions about climate, energy, food security, natural hazards, health and other societal challenges. These challenges are complex, interrelated, cross-border in nature and interdependent at the global scale and therefore coordination is essential to avoid duplication of efforts and reduce observational gaps.

ISRO's new year gift: A space park in Bengaluru for industry

The Indian space agency is soon opening a 100-acre Space Park in Bengaluru where private industry players would be allowed to set up facilities to make subsystems and components for satellites.

Monitoring Rice Production From Space

When global food prices spiked dramatically in late 2007 and into 2008, the costs of many basic dietary staples doubled or even tripled around the world, sparking protests and riots. Panicked governments stopped exporting food, aggravating the crisis.

More bandwidth for Earth observation

DLR makes progress with a new radar mission at the World Radiocommunication Conference

NOAA Issues Space Policy for Commercial Sector

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its commercial space policy, which sets a broad framework for agency use of commercial space-based approaches.

OGC and ASPRS to collaborate on geospatial standards

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) have agreed to work together more closely in the application and promotion of standards and best practices for the location and geospatial industries.

PlanetObserver presents PlanetDEM 30 Plus global elevation model

(1 December 2015) PlanetObserver announced today the release of PlanetDEM 30 Plus global elevation model.

Power of Shared Earth Observations

A Ministerial Declaration, issued at the Ministerial Summit and twelfth plenary of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in November, made commitments to harness and share critical environmental observations to enable leaders to make better-informed decisions for the benefit of humanity at a time of rapid global change.

Russia Developing Unique Radar Satellite System

(Nov 2015) A group of Russian companies are currently cooperating to develop a cutting edge satellite radar system for the country’s Defense Ministry. The new system will allow for creating a precise 3D model of Earth as well as tracking ground objects.

Satellite data supporting Tor Viking through the Northern Sea Route

Tor Viking is a Swedish icebreaker, which needed to get home to Scandinavia from the Pacific during December 2015.

Space Innovation Congress 2016 - Opportunities in space exploration and earth observation

Space Innovation Congress is the UK’s new space industry conference and expo, on April 7-8 2016 at St Paul’s, Aldersgate in London.

SPOT 5 makes its final curtain call

Friday 11 December 2015 at 19:29, the SPOT 5 satellite sent back its last packet of telemetry.

Ten Sensors & Systems Predictions for 2016

Much time is spent this time of year looking forward. Sensors & Systems has been doing this for the past nine years now, and we’ve taken another stab with this latest list. We did some reflecting on emerging issues, innovative approaches and technology trends to come up with the following predictions for 2016. On the list are hardware advancements, policy decisions and directions, and a whole lot more inputs to mapmaking.

The UK Space Internship Network is running again in 2016

The Space Placements in INdustry scheme (SPIN) has been designed to provide an introductory link for undergraduate students considering employment in the space sector and space sector organisations looking to find the most talented and enthusiastic people to ensure the future success of their businesses.

The UrtheCast Developer Platform is Open for Business

With the many challenges facing our planet — societal, economic, environmental, and more — we’re all the more eager to release the UrtheCast Developer Platform, which is now publicly available and offers tools to help people solve global problems.

Winner Announcement: NASA DEVELOP Fall 2015 Virtual Poster Session

After two rounds of judging, a grand-prize winner has been selected for the Fall 2015 Virtual Poster Session (VPS) contributed by NASA’s DEVELOP National Program. The contest included 105 researchers conducting 26 projects across 13 DEVELOP locations.

World Bank and European Space Agency to Use Earth Observation Systems for Sustainable Development

(Friday, 04 December) The FINANCIAL — The World Bank and the European Space Agency (ESA) announced on December 3 that they will collaborate in using space-based Earth Observation – data and images provided by satellites – to reduce poverty, monitor environmental changes, and stimulate economic growth in developing countries. The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) during the climate talks, COP21, taking place in Paris.


Australia and the European Union Enter Historic Arrangement on Earth Observation

Nov. 5, 2015—Australia’s access to vital satellite data has been assured through the signing of a cooperation arrangement in Brussels today between the Australian Government and the European Commission.

Canada joins Sentinel collaborative ground segment

(Nov 2015) ESA and the Canadian Space Agency have signed an agreement that facilitates access to the Sentinel satellite data primarily for users from Canada.

China launches HD earth observation satellite

XICHANG, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) — China on Tuesday launched its most sophisticated observation satellite, Gaofen-4, as part of the country’s high-definition (HD) earth observation project.

China Plans to Build Remote Sensing Satellite Network with Global Coverage

China is planning to build a remote sensing satellite network with global coverage by setting up more ground stations overseas.

ESA Issues Call for New Earth Explorer Proposals

ESA is announcing an opportunity for scientists involved in Earth observation to submit proposals for the next potential Earth Explorer satellite mission.

ESA to use EO systems for sustainable development

The World Bank and ESA signed an agreement on using information from Earth observation satellites in support of sustainable development. The agreement was signed at COP21 Climate Summit in Paris.

Japanese venture plans to put 50 Earth observation microsatellites in orbit by ’22

Axelspace Corp., a space business venture originating from the University of Tokyo, will attempt to place into orbit 50 microsatellites from 2017 to 2022 to provide image data covering many parts of the globe.

Roadmap publication: A Space Strategy for Europe

The Commission has just published a roadmap concerning the European Space Strategy.

The European Union and Africa: a Copernicus partnership since 2007

The GMES & Africa initiative was established in order to promote cooperation between the European Union and the African Union, to strengthen coordination amongst Earth Observation initiatives, and to facilitate the development of Space-based technologies on the African continent. In October 2015, the Development Cooperation Instrument committee of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) approved funding support from the Pan-African programme related to this initiative. Three priority topics will be addressed during the initial implementation phase of the initiative (2016 – 2020): long term management of natural resources, marine and coastal areas monitoring and water resources management.

€26.5 million for GMES & Africa initiative

The following press release was issued by the European Commission on November 25, 2015 12:00 pm.