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EADS Astrium Spain presented the Earth observation instrument of ESA’s SMOS satellite, led by the Spanish Industry.

MIRAS instrument on SMOS mission. Credits : EADS CASA Espacio

Madrid, April 12, 2005: SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission)
is an Earth observation satellite which will enhance our knowledge of
the water cycle of the planet and will allow a better understanding of
the climatic changes in order to protect the environment.

The Secretary General of Industry, Mr. Joan Trullén, the Director of
CDTI (Centro para el desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial) Mr. Maurici
Lucena, the Presidente of EADS CASA Mr. Francisco Fernández Sáinz, as
well as the Managing Director of EADS Astrium Spain Mr. Pedro Méndez,
chaired this event, presenting the structural and electrical models of
the sole instrument on board the satellite.

EADS Astrium Spain signed the contract to build the satellite’s
instrument on June of 2004 (amounting to 61 million euros, 33 of which
would go to the Spanish industry), leading a team of companies of the
Spanish space sector and other European countries. All of them
contributing with their high technological expertise to the development
of this remote sensing instrument without precedent. The project
management represents a great challenge, since it must combine a large
industrial array with the stringent exigencies of the scientific

The CDTI, an organism of the Ministry of Industry and Spanish
delegation to ESA, has played a key role in the financing of this
project, the one with the most important technological and industrial
scope ever developed in Spain for the European Space Agency (ESA).

This project, as part of ESA ‘s second Earth Explorer mission of its
Living Planet Programme, will measure the soil moisture and the
salinity of the oceans by means of the radiometric instrument presented
today. These two parameters are of key interest to scientists in order
to prepare atmospheric, oceanographic and hydrological prediction
models. Salinity for instance, influences the ocean circulation, which
create weather phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña, that can cause
floods or droughts. The evaporation and filtration of water depend on
the degree of moisture in the soil and the water content of vegetation,
which are key elements in understanding the hydrological cycle and
monitoring the fresh water reserves of the planet.

The SMOS satellite will be put in orbit in March of 2007 with a Rockot launcher

NPA’s partner Precision Terrain Surveys Ltd. is active in a UK flying programme, gathering elevation data for applications from flood event modelling to 3D city modelling.

NPA’s partner Precision Terrain Surveys Ltd. is active in a UK
flying programme, gathering elevation data for applications from flood
event modelling to 3D city modelling. Their dedicated survey aircraft
carries ‘ArTEMIS’, the in-house Airborne Terrain Elevation Mapping
Scanner, whilst PTS software filters land cover to differentiate ‘bald
earth’ Digital Terrain Models and surface-cover height. Ownership of
system design and engineering, aircraft and operation enables PTS to
rapidly deliver results to customers often within a day or two from

More information.

The Electric Lamb Mission is working to bring disaster relief to the December 26th tsunami survivors in the most remote parts of Sumatra‘s Aceh province, areas that are nearly impossible to reach by land and air.

The Electric Lamb Mission is working to bring disaster relief to the December 26th tsunami survivors in the most remote parts of Sumatra‘s Aceh province, areas that are nearly impossible to reach by land and air. A “sea bridge” has been built to Aceh, allowing relief to reach a hundred thousand survivors who are homeless, hurt, hungry, traumatized, and forgotten in the remote coastal areas of northwest Sumatra.The operations are supported daily by weather forecasts provided by ARGOSS. Satellite scatterometer wind measurements are used correct and update the wind field data that drive the wave forecast model.

For more information see or .

GAF–AG: Implementing Practical Solutions through Applied Satellite Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Management

GAF AG, headquartered in Munich, Germany is an internationally active
consulting company in the fields of information systems, remote
sensing, geo-information and thematic mapping since more than 18 years
and has affiliate companies in Germany, Ukraine, and the U.S.A. GAF has
a large number of successful project references in Europe, Africa,
Asia, South America and CIS Countries. GAF have developed extensive
experience in projects related to cadastre, land registration, title
management, forestry, agriculture, natural resources, infrastructure
management, geology, environment, and other themes using state-of-the
art spatial information technology. Our services range from needs
assessment over system design and implementation, and include also
institutional strengthening and capacity building in the mentioned
sectors, training, data compilation and interpretation as well as field
work and mapping. More details on GAF can be found in the internet

GAF is a private sector
enterprise founded in Munich in 1985 merely for delivering services
around satellite remote sensing and image processing. Its steady growth
(see figure 1) and evolution over the years has been built upon a
reputation of excellence; delivering client specific-services focused
on Earth Observation (EO) data and Geo-Information (GI). Over two
decades, GAF has developed and extended its presence and impact into
new markets and application areas across a diversity of sectors by
executing a range of projects and initiatives, which can be broadly
categorised under “sustainable development.” The depth of GAF’s
technical expertise and project experience is reflected in the
geographic scope of its activities covering over 80 countries across
five continents.

From inception, GAF has maintained a progressive and pragmatic approach
to its activities and growth. It has proactively adopted advancing
GI-technologies and satellite data resources and exploited the new
opportunities, they offer in terms of products and services.
Furthermore, by analysing market trends and user requirements, GAF has
been responsive to the dynamic demands of a diverse and international
client base.

Over the last two decades, the Earth observation / remote sensing
sector has witnessed profound changes and GAF is still spearheading
these innovations. For example, while remote sensing was once
considered a highly specialised or niche application, the related
technologies and available data resources have increased exponentially
in choice, utility and user-accessibility. The cost of implementation
has similarly been reduced and to a tangible extent, the tools have
become widely distributed amongst a growing user community entering
what could be described as the “Information-Communication technologies
mainstream.” Indeed, GIS and Remote Sensing, once highly distinct
applications have now converged into the generic domain of “spatial
information management.” Furthermore, the latter capacity is now
considered essential and central (rather than optional) to a vast range
of applications including urban management, thematic digital mapping,
environmental monitoring and emerging priorities such as security

While technical advances in hardware, software, satellite data quality
and resolution etc. certainly enable the implementation process they
are not guarantors of success and client satisfaction. This requires a
systematic and customised implementation approach, sensitive to user
requirements and the uniquely challenging conditions under which
clients must operate.

Invariably, project success depends upon the quality, expertise and
professionalism of GAF’s technical and management staff at home (in
Munich) and in the field. GAF has expanded its expertise through an
steadily growing number of employees whereas experience was kept
through an extremely low fluctuation of its key personnel. With
more than 50 highly qualified permanent staff coming from
multi-disciplinary backgrounds, project teams are tailored to project
requirements and dispatched worldwide. They deliver services in project
design and planning, overall management, technical consulting and
capacity building to private, multi-national, non-governmental and
public (governmental) clients including numerous State and Federal
Ministries, the European Union (Tacis, Phare, EuropeAID), ESA, KfW, The
World Bank, IDB, ADB and UN organisations such as the FAO as well as
other bi-lateral donors and funding agencies.

While GAF focus areas include the application of satellite remote
sensing and geographical information systems to agriculture, forestry,
environment, natural resources management and geology, cadastre, land
management and infrastructure, these key areas are not mutually
exclusive. GAF rarely addresses a sectoral problem – for example
regional forest monitoring – in isolation, but seeks synergies such as
institutional strengthening and governance improvements, as well as
highlighting the policy implications of outputs to clients. In this
way, the full benefits of the technical assistance and GAF’s
intervention is maximised.

GAF, as a member of TELESPAZIO, a Finmeccanica Group company, is in a
unique position to draw on synergies not available before and to become
an even more important player as service provider in a European and
global context.

In close cooperation with DLR (The German Space Agency), GAF’s daughter
company Euromap receives processes and distributes image data from
Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites on an exclusive basis for
Europe. This offers unparalleled access to a unique archive with
contemporary and cost effective image-data suitable for many
applications. With the most recent introduction of high resolution
imagery from the latest IRS P6 sensor, GAF has once again, injected
real innovation into the EO marketplace.

Optimising the utility and (user) value of a wide range of satellite
data has always been a priority for GAF. Through its « geodata
store » GAF distributes satellite imagery and value-added data
sets such as Digital Terrain Models (DTM), land cover and land use
information to clients worldwide. Its market performance has been
acknowledged with industry awards recognising the company as one of the
leading European distributors of satellite data. In addition, an
enviable track record of client satisfaction and successfully completed
projects has confirmed GAF as an innovator and leader in the dynamic EO
sector. Furthermore, GAF’s commitment to maintaining its role in a
rapidly changing and competitive sector ensures the adoption of state
of the art methods and technologies in digital image processing,
cartography and applications development. Borne out of the need to
streamline and optimize in house information management and analysis
processes, GAF has started several years ago with the development of
application dedicated software tools in support of some of its core
domains such as agriculture and geology. These activities have grown
into a viable market and have broadened the portfolio of GAF products
and services.

Today, the technical competence and vast experience of GAF is embodied
in over 600 successfully completed projects worldwide. GAF considers
all of its clients, from the earliest to the most recent, and the
growing user community they represent as a most precious asset. This
valuable human capital (empowered with technical skills and EO
resources) continues to make positive contributions in social,
environmental and economic spheres and consequently, they create and
strengthen development opportunities worldwide.

GAF AG is currently managed by the founder of the company, Dr. Rupert Haydn (CEO) and Dr. Peter Volk (COO).

D-80634 Munich
Phone: 089 12 1528-0
Fax: 089 12 15 28-79

During the Earth and Space Week hosted by the European Commission from
12-20 February 2005, Mr. Luc Tytgat, Head of the Space Policy and
Coordination Unit in DG Enterprises and Industry, European Commission
said the Commission supports Earth Observation initiatives and is
making an effort to find the optimal way to ensure that European Space
Industry remains highly competitive.

- Thank you for taking out time from your busy agenda and especially
for opening the first issue of the EARSC Newsletter. The Earth and
Space week was an unprecedented event, gathering various space related
activities, among which was an Earth Observation Industry Summit. What
is the opinion of the Space Policy Unit about the involvement of the
Space Industry during that week?

We had not initially considered an Industry Summit as part of the Earth
and Space week, but we saw so much interest from the private sector for
the event that we thought that it was our role to help industry to
express their views and expose their general objectives. It was an
excellent opportunity to have the private and public sector discussing
at the same place, at the same time, on the same topics of the space
dossier. This was also for us a success, because the number of
attendees assembled in such a short time has demonstrated a high level
of interest. We believe industry participation was effective and

- Space has become a crucial component for implementing the European
Objectives and policies, notably sustainable development, environmental
protection, mobility, emerging security or information society. How do
you see the contribution of the Earth Observation Industry to European
development in the changing scenario of the enlarged European Union?

This is a critical role that industry has to play, because we know that
in Europe we will never have the same level of resources that the
United States can mobilise for space activities. Anything done in
Europe in the space field has to be discussed with the private sector.
Industry should be a key actor in the definition of applications and
the design of different space solutions. Typically there will be
other missions in the spirit of the Galileo approach of a
Public/Private Partnership. Space industry in Europe is seen as a key
actor to support growth and competitiveness, which are the pillars of
the Lisbon Strategy.

- The infrastructure costs for space and ground segments in EO
systems are expensive, so it makes sense for the governments to share
costs with the private sector where possible. How do you see the
public/private partnership (equal shares of commercial and government
ownership) industry?

This scheme could be easy, if of course, we have a general
understanding of who is doing what. We believe that if we want to
deploy satellites aimed at strategic public services, the technological
risk, for example, should be on the governmental side. This was the
case for Galileo, but could also be true for Earth Observation. So the
first element will be that the governmental side is paying the research
activities and basic technology development. Then when validation is
complete, the private sector should take responsibility and consider
the best way to implement the technology since it has more experience
than the public sector to deploy infrastructure to operate and what is
more important, to generate revenues. A typical example is when you are
constructing an airport, where you have a strategic policy, investment
in infrastructure, maintenance of infrastructure and on the other side
income from landing fees and from the shops and services which make
money from the passengers outside the plane. There are many
different models in Europe for dividing these responsibilities between
government and private companies, from concessions to outright
privatisation. We have to find for each GMES service the right
financial structure and the appropriate role for the private sector.

- Could you please define the role of industry between, among
others; contributing funding, sustainable development, security,
expertise, process efficiency, value-extraction, technology growth,
public services.

It is not only one role; it is contributing funding and deploying the
infrastructure to obtain a return. Industry has good expertise in terms
of finding the best synergy of technologies and certainly for
technology transfer. I think it is a mix of almost all of this and it
is not only black and white.

- The European Commission is making a great effort for a European
Space Programme. Based on your personal encounters with national
decision makers, how important is the dialogue between industry and
government national delegates?

There must be some new platform for discussion, this does not exist
yet. Very often it happens that when a space programme is undertaken by
the space agencies or by different administrations, then industry is
expected just to react. We believe we should have a new approach
establishing platforms for dialogue between what industry can offer
versus the government perceived needs. When we design new technology
solutions, space solutions, it is never clear what is the offer, what
is feasible, where the risk is and so on. For example in the Framework
Programmes, on the EU side, when we consider a new programme, we try to
have this initial consultation. It is necessary to see the response of
industry on available capabilities. In short we need to have a platform
where the two sides find a forum to discuss, where the services and the
product are meeting at the same level.

- Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) will be the
European contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems
(GEOSS), aiming to establish a global environmental monitoring system.
What is the EU role in the development and implementation of GEOSS?

On the implementation itself, it is clear that, with the GMES
discussions the Commission has initiated with the Member States and
with ESA, the European side will offer GMES as the contribution to the
ten years implementation plan of GEOSS. By saying this we mean that the
EU will have the possibility for a collective European response to the
plan. This is one of the main EU contributions, assembling a collective
contribution of infrastructure for the European and for the African
regions. And there is another contribution: it is clear that Europe has
already the capacity to have privileged discussions with different
partner countries in order to have an unified coordinated approach for
the different African countries. Such discussions have already taken
place and the PUMA and AMESD projects have demonstrated that it is
feasible, that Europeans provide the space segment whilst Africans are
the users and provide ground segment elements. It was possible with EU
funding from the European aid and development funds.

- GMES is an ideal instrument for international co-operation, what
do you think are the most important areas for international cooperation
in earth observation applications inside GEOSS?

GMES is designed to satisfy the European citizen’s needs and to support
EU policies. However it is true that the Galileo programme has been
opened to third party participation, and this concept could be reused
for GMES; we believe that Europe should propose to such countries to
construct an offer along the GMES approach. We have seen that already
with the Russians and the Ukrainians, who want to offer capacities they
have in order to reinforce the space segment. This can also be true for
the ground segment; it is also obvious that if we have satellites
operational in orbit and a country wants to help to develop the ground
segment, this is fine. First it will aid the credibility of the
European approach; secondly offer to European industry a market outside
Europe; and thirdly help to develop common standards. Standards must be
a priority: they are nowadays a critical point. When EU invests in
programmes such as Galileo or GMES, industry must think of standards
from the very beginning. This will help not only the users, but also
industry to cooperate to develop a cheaper solution.

- What are the most important steps that must be taken over the next five years to make the GMES system a reality?

To have GMES becoming a reality, we will need a consensus in Europe
on what should be the services to be supported; this is the first
condition and how they could be operated and funded in the long term.
The second condition is to have a management structure which enables
the assembling of the different components under the same architecture.
So today we have Member State investment in their own Earth Observation
satellites, we have ESA developing also technological satellites (like
Envisat) and we have also Eumetsat. What is missing today is to have
all the components supervised by a single authority, which then can
allow saving of resources. It can also promote interoperability of the
ground segment, and therefore reduce the (management) cost of the
investments, thus permitting a lower cost for access to image data. The
third element is of course to know who can be the operators.

- Will there be a public outreach and education plan to promote the potential benefits of GMES and GEOSS to the society?

There is a socio-economic study initiated, now managed by the European
Space Agency with support of the Commission. The study is trying to
identify what will be the socio-economic benefits from GMES, so the
intention is to identify what are the benefits for the society. The
study started in February and we expect to have the first results this

- What are the DG ENTR Priorities for the upcoming months?
The priorities for the forthcoming months are quite clear. We have
to secure and to have a clear definition of what is the European Space
policy what the content is, what the roles of the different parties are
and, more important, what are the priorities. It is important that we
have those questions answered, especially on space policy, because then
we can draft the space programme. This must be complete before end of
2005. This is a key goal for DG Enterprise. It is in the work plan of
the Directorate General and it has been endorsed by the Commission; it
is also part of the legislative programme of the Commission. We must
have all the legal and managerial instruments in place by the time the
new Financial Perspectives come into force, along with the Seventh
Framework Programme. All in all, 2005 is a critical year for European
Space activities.

After detailed deliberations at various Meetings, the EARSC Board
has recommended the constitution of a working group on Space Policy,
which will address the problems of Earth´s monitoring and the
importance of the Industry in these new challenges for Europe.

After detailed deliberations at various Meetings, the EARSC Board
has recommended the constitution of a working group on Space Policy,
which will address the problems of Earth´s monitoring and the
importance of the Industry in these new challenges for Europe.

The group will seek to define general principles to organise
desirable forms and degrees of understanding through Earth Observation
space policy, and have the aim to elaborate concrete examples or
scenarios of how this will apply. It will pronounce itself on how the
decision-making process should be adapted to create stronger
flexibility in implementation, and how it should involve different
actor’s interests in the policy process.

A key goal of the working group is to enhance key Earth observation
capabilities and assess related European Space Policy. Space policy
will act as a key factor to improve our understanding of sustainable
development and especially as tool for serving the society, such as
with respect to health, resource management, weather prediction, and
economic prosperity.

Terms of Reference

The working group on Space Policy has been constituted as a
cooperative network of EARSC Members to directly address Earth
Observation policy.

All members of EARSC shall be eligible by the Board of Director to
be part of the working group. Experts in the field of interest may be
invited to participate in the meetings as consultative capacity. The
discussions will be focused on the status of actual Space Policy in
Europe and the Industry contribution. Consensus should be agreed within
the group to establish common terms of reference and position papers to
guide up further discussions.

The working Group shall meet at least once in a year or as considered
appropriate to discuss common problems and to develop cooperative

The EARSC Board will assist in the working group formulation,
fund-raising and implementation. The working group shall report on its
work to the Board. Working Group shall attend and present the report of
the Working Group at the annual general session.

The EARSC secretariat shall be the coordinator in secretariat
matters; organizing meetings, providing professional advice and inputs,
facilitating the information flow and interaction between members and
the Board of Directors and following the smooth progress of information
exchange through recommendation, newsletters and reports.

Any member of the WG may propose an amendment to the terms of
reference, if approved by a consensus of the members in attendance.

The agenda may include: (a) exchange of information; (b) review of
activities and programmes; (c ) formulation of collaborative ideas; (d)
proposing a funding mechanism for implementing ideas of the position
papers; (e) endorsing an annual work plan and monitor its


The topics focused upon in the Earth Observation policy discussion
group have been selected to start a brainstorming from a broad approach
to the subject and then progressively narrow down to the study of the
Earth Observation programme in Europe and more precisely the role of
Industry in this context. Below we list the general functions of the
working group.

to analyse questions and to select of interesting articles or
programmes raised by Bibliography concerning the European Space Policy,
with regard to the Global Monitoring and Environment Programme,
including; sustainable development and security.
to elaborate interesting activities for communication on different levels; from decision makers to final users
to make any recommendations or position papers that the WG-Space Policy
considers advisable by the discussion or via bibliography research.

List of topics:

Present concerns and scope of the space policy
Definition and Implementation of the European Space Programme
Institutional policy, regulatory and legal framework
Industry experiences and Industry´s needs
Synergy: policy, functions, organization, implementation
Added value of an EO European approach
Organisation of an European effort
Seventh Framework Programme
Use of Earth Observation for decision makers, education and public awareness
Pan European programme
Expertise required, availability, distributed design,
Our Future in Global programmes
Communication strategy

EO Industry Summit: Synthesis and Recommendations

The first Earth Observation Industry Symposium was held on February 2005 co organized by EARSC (European Association of Remote Sensing Companies) and EUROSPACE (Association of European Space Industry) under the umbrella of the European Union as a part of its first Earth and Space Week.

The Summit was a success due to the active participation of representatives and delegates from space agencies, international organizations (governmental and non governmental alike) and industry from a very large number of countries, thus setting the scene to foster European and International collaboration into getting Earth Observation views and perspectives. The summit included a variety of topics on advances in Global Monitoring of Environment and Security (GMES) Services, opportunities for business in high tech industry or commercial applications. A real success for our aim, Industry views putting openly and friendly on the Institutional table Space at the service of the citizen.

The timing is particularly appropriate for European Industry to gather and ambitiously present and discuss the way forward, considering the deployment of innovative new systems for Earth Observation in the framework of GMES, of advanced capabilities for new services, in particular through the emerging GALILEO and broadband Telecommunications, as well as contemplating inspiring successes and projects in Planetary exploration. The Summit was an excellent occasion to affirm and recognize the necessity to increase the synergies between all actors of the domain and follow up recommendation and conclusions to improve Industry views on Earth Observation Global programmes.

GMES is on its way

  1. Convergence of views between institutions and industry
  2. Many Pre-operational and operational services presented
  3. Service providers enthusiastic to further develop solutions to satisfy users
  4. Infrastructure widely utilised and deemed highly useful
  5. Capability exists in Europe to provide policy makers with the right environmental data to comply with the environmental protocols (Kyoto,…)


Overall approach

  1. Services now mean convergence (combination of Telecommunications with positioning and Earth Observation from all sensors).
  2. Need a system architecture able to accommodate and harmonize past data, present systems and future systems
  3. Industry as a bridge between civil and defence applications (dual technology along the chain), as well as between the various, still fragmented users communities
  4. Earth Observation industry as a bridge to other industrial sectors (energy, agriculture, transportation,..)

Recommend structuring of EO activities

  1. Create a comprehensive platform for applications development (standards/ interoperability)
  2. Public entities define requirements and develop infrastructure, Private entities define and deliver solutions and services.
  3. Increase awareness among public and private entities of the potential of new GMES-based services.
  4. Foster international links, in particular at industry levels: EARSC, EUROSPACE and ALLIANCE recommend setting up a joint industrial working group and organising annual GEOSS industrial events together.

Recommend preservation and development of assets

  1. Human resources: Space Industry is relevant to the “Lisbon” objectives. Europe must maintain and develop its highly competent and high value work force
  2. Space Industry has the capability to offer highly motivating jobs and contribute to stopping the brain drain from Europe
  3. European institutions must maintain and further develop Earth Observation critical technologies
  4. Data resources: Continuity of data flow from all operational/pre-operational sensors must be insured

GMES financial considerations

  1. To reach the final ideal status where users pay for 100% of the needed service, there must be a transition period when institutions must provide substantial support (financing of infrastructure set up and service development)
  2. Firm decisions on implementing GMES program must be taken by EC/ESA in the frame of establishing a European Space Policy
  3. Budgets required by GMES (relatively small compared to other infrastructure budgets) should be sized considering the cost of natural disasters in terms of lives and economy as well as the cost of Earth Environment deterioration


  1. The GMES community welcomes the new GMES owner in the Commission (DG Ent.)
  2. GMES must go ahead as a grand, coherent, well structured European programme (including budget and programmatics)
  3. Industry is able to develop all the needed GMES elements, all along the value chain from infrastructure development to service provision
  4. Industry stands ready to be an active partner of EC, ESA, and member states in GMES and is looking forward to high level decisions

Information resource

For more information please contact:

Paul Kamoun (EARSC Chairman),
Alain Gaubert (EUROSPACE Secr. General)

EARSC is the European association dedicated to representing the
companies involved in the Earth Observation domain, from satellites to
value-added services.

EARSC is the European association dedicated to representing the
companies involved in the Earth Observation domain, from satellites to
value-added services. Created in 1989 it has continuously worked to
foster the development of Earth Observation in Europe and of European
remote sensing companies themselves, through the organization of
symposia, meetings with decision makers, collaboration with other
associations or through the building of projects related to Earth


EARSC strategy is to understand the mechanisms of co-operation on Earth
Observation policies between the European Space Agency, the Commission
and Companies in Europe. Stronger cooperation mechanisms between all
actors at the space applications chain are necessary to fully progress
on the European Space Policy. One of the objectives of EARSC is to
build a bridge to better communicate the industry voice to decision
makers, providers and final users.

General objectives

EARSC shall have the major objective of developing a gathering
mechanism for European Earth Observation Industry, providing a forum
for promoting technology transfer and exchange of information and
experience among members through sharing of information, conducting
cooperative projects and participating in EARSC activities.

EARSC shall review the status of Earth observation applications and the
European Space policy, being the connection between decision makers and
industry and respectively industry and final users.

EARSC shall exchange information on space policies and programmes among
members promoting mechanisms for cooperation networks in the earth
observation industry.

EARSC welcomes two new Members LogicaCMG (United Kigdom) and Sener (Spain)

EARSC has the challenge to be a representative association at European
level and a lobbying collective voice towards governments and data
providers for a coherent and dynamic development of Earth Observation.
EARSC is glad to welcome LogicaCMG and Sener in our Association and we
are certain that both Companies will contribute actively to the aims of
EARSC devoted to the promotion of the European Remote Sensing industry.

Please refer to the following websites for more information about our new Members:


On behalf of our Board of Directors, it is a pleasure for me to introduce our first issue of the new EARSC (European Association of Remote Sensing Companies) Newsletter, "EO-Magazine", nicknamed “eomag”. This newsletter is the most recent action undertaken by our Board to better serve our members and to reach out to the Earth Observation community at large.

This inauguration is particularly timely. Not only does it come
logically after a string of bold steps taken by our Board in 2003 and
2004, such as the recruitment of an Executive Secretary, the launch of
a new Web Site, and the organisation of the Earth Observation Industry
Summit in Brussels, to name just a few, but also it comes at a critical
time for European Earth Observation. Indeed 2005 is the year of all
opportunities but also of many dangers for our European activities.

The opportunities are numerous. Europe has reached maturity in
developing spaceborne and air-borne technologies and systems, as well
as remote sensing products and a continuously growing panoply of
services. In addition the socio-economic benefits of remote sensing get
more widely known although much more could still be accomplished.
Moreover and for the first time the political circles have the
monitoring of the Earth high on their agenda. In Europe it is the GMES
(Global Monitoring of Environment and Security) initiative. Worldwide
it is the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) concept
and action plan, and the involvement there of hundreds of governmental
and non-governmental entities alike. It is also the clearer realisation
that natural or human-induced disasters could be mitigated through a
better monitoring infrastructure.

However, present budgetary constraints are stringent in most European
countries as well as in European institutions, thus putting at risk
both the initiation and the continuation of Earth monitoring programs.

Our European Earth Observation community must thus follow very closely
two high importance processes in 2005: the definition of the European
Union financial perspectives for the 2007-2013 period and the ESA
Ministerial conference. Our association will participate as much as
possible in the related debates and your inputs will always be welcome.
It must finally be said that this News Letter, as well as our Web Site,
is yours, to inform the community at large about your activities and

Looking forward to your suggestions and to counting you as a regular
reader and contributor of our eomag, we wish you a fruitful reading.