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Following one of the recommendations contained in the Communication on”
European Space Policy: Preliminary Elements” of 23 May 2005 and in
compliance with orientations of the second Space Council, the Unit in
charge of Space Policy within Directorate General Enterprise and
Industry has organised a consultation of a panel of industrialists.

The panel of industry representatives was including participants
from all types of companies: large system integrators, SMEs, operators,
service companies, added value services providers, …)
The
discussion was based on the elements listed in the Communication for
which five position papers had been prepared. These papers were
covering the following topics:
On the regulatory issues, the participants
agreed that better European regulations in fields like spectrum
allocations or delivering of licences for space-based telecommunication
systems might be necessary.
Concerning the standardisation,
recognising that many activities were already undertaken by industry,
the Commission has prepared a draft mandate which will be placed with
standardisation authorities like CEN, CENELEC and ETSI. The
participants agreed that the Commission might take measures to
streamline the standardisation process which is still felt too long and
resource consuming, and therefore not accessible to all companies,
particularly SMEs.
On the procurement policy and use of
industrial return in the ESA context, while recognising that the
current process has enabled the development of a competitive European
space industry, the Commission indicated that it would initiate an
impact study.
More info at:
Space Council
(Credits Europa)

The EC has conducted the first in a series of 3 user workshops to
define initial Europe-wide pilot services within the GMES (Global
Monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative.

The EC has conducted the first in a series of 3 user workshops to define initial Europe-wide pilot services within the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative. The Councilof the Member States has requested that a first set of widely accepted services be operational by 2008. The event on Land Monitoring, which took place in Brussels on 20 and 21 October, attracted the fullest possible range of participation with 100 representative contributors from 22 European countries and from European services themselves. User domains included environment,urban planning, mapping and surveying, agriculture, car navigation, security and others involving both, public and private service provision agencies.

Chairman Prof. Dietmar Grünreich, president of the German Federal Agency of Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) and past president of the EurogeographicsAssociation opened the event by expressing expectations that the Land Monitoring service would bring three dimensions to meet: The first one extends between environmental and topographic standards of land inventory, the second from small (continental Europe) to large (local) scale, and the thirdone from providing access to both, original satellite images aswell as a cross-border coherent, value-added land-cover / land-use information for the various European user communities.

Participants welcomed the initiative taken by the European Unionand agreed with the two prime elements of the core service, an Earth Observation and a Land Information component. As to the first there were high expectations raised with regard to the integration of new and continuously available satellite images as well as in-situ data (the importance of the EU INSPIRE initiative was frequently stressed in this context). For the second there is rich experience available throughout Europe from the CORINE Land- Cover inventories carried out around 1990 and 2000, but requirements addressed an increase in the level of detail and accuracy as well as the updating speed, and a local complement was supportedin addition (urban areas and other “hot spots”of interest or sensitivity). Towards this end, topographic reference data (digital terrain models and object-structured landscape models) and satellite images (multispectraland radar) have to be brought together.

To enhance these requirements practical examples of customised downstream services were presented which could profit from the core service. These included environment, resources and investment management, city planning, car navigation etc. While sponsored out of ESA, EC and Member States budgets as GMES precursor projects, some of them showed already manifest user commitment in addition, such as in the development of a new planning tool for the province of Treviso/Italy becoming of relevance in meeting new legal regulations for territorial and city management.

Users emphasised the necessity to broaden further the GMES user base (from 170 to 3000 as was requested in one project) and opted, during the implementation of the pilot service, for closeinteraction between EU and Member States. The latter will, withtheir existing in-situ data and technical contributions to the work, ensure quality and efficiency. A conclusion document from the workshop, the draft of which had undergone a prior open email discussion, will be amended with the inputs received and a representative user group will follow up the implementation steps.

Press Release- WS, ENTR-H3, 26-10-05

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published a report advising governments to use space technology more wisely in order to address civil needs.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
has published a report advising governments to use space technology
more wisely in order to address civil needs.

Space technology can be used in
particular to tackle five major challenges, according to the report:
environmental problems, including natural disasters; the use of natural
resources; the increasing mobility of goods and people; growing
security threats; and the development of the information society. And
in order to make the most of this technology‘s potential, it is
recommended that governments do three broad things: implement a
sustainable space infrastructure; encourage public use and encourage
private sector participation.

According to the OECD, this report is unusual in two respects: it is
written from the point of view of society and addresses governments
rather than industry; and it focuses on the demand side rather than the
supply side of space technology.

‘Most past studies of the space sector
have focused on the supply side: technological advances and the types
of new capabilities that can be developed. They assume, often
incorrectly, that development eventually follows such advances. This
publication [Space 2030: Tackling Society‘s Challenges] explores
instead how governments can get the most out of future public and
private space investment,’ states the OECD.

A number of conditions must be met if
governments are to reap the benefits of space. Primarily, barriers such
as institutional arrangements and regulations must be addressed.

The space sector usually involves three
sets of actors: space agencies, public and private operators of space
applications, and the upstream segment of the industry (spacecraft and
launcher manufacturers and providers of launching services). Countries
must clarify the role of each, and also define the relationships
between the actors, according to the OECD. Different countries may
adopt different solutions according to their priorities, and in some
cases this may distort competition at international level, the report
adds.

Moving onto the legal framework affecting space technology, the report
notes that a number of countries still do not have national space laws,
and that this represents ‘a source of uncertainty for space actors,
especially private ones’. Also, because international space law is a
public regime, it is not well suited to business transactions, and
national laws that do exist are not always business-oriented as they
were often developed with a view to security and strategic
considerations rather than business.

The regulatory framework, says the OECD,
‘should ideally provide basic rules of the game’ that ensure a stable
and predictable environment for business, stimulate innovation and
encourage entrepreneurship. ‘This is far from the case,’ states the
report, citing the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
procedure for allocating frequencies and orbital slots, which ‘raises a
number of issues and is a source of uncertainties’, according to the
OECD. Space debris is another area that is inadequately addressed,
while several standardisation questions remain open, the report claims.

The OECD carried out a number of studies
before writing this report, and is therefore confident of the accuracy
of its warning that ‘the potential of space will not be realised unless
governments take decisive action to improve the framework conditions
that govern space activities.’

Another problem highlighted by the OECD
is the lack of public awareness about space activities. General
perceptions are distorted due to the media focus on exclusively
sensational successes and failures, states the report. As a result,
citizens have a poor understanding of the value of space-based services
for their daily lives and thus do not fully support further investment
in this technology.

Prospects for the
downstream segment of the sector – space applications – are looking far
more promising than those for the upstream sector- space asset
manufacturing and launch services, according to the OECD. The upstream
segment suffers from ‘a situation of chronic oversupply’ owing largely
to a desire of governments of space-faring nations to establish and
maintain independent access to space for strategic and national
sovereignty reasons.

While the future looks bright for certain
applications, not all should be pursued with the same intensity, the
OECD believes. The report points to information-intensive applications
such as satellite-based telecommunications, Earth observation and
navigation as having huge potential, but casts doubt on the prospects
for transport and manufacturing applications on account of the
decreasing cost of access to space.

Governments are advised to broaden their view of which policy areas are
relevant to space. Research, economic, social and environmental polices
all impact upon space activities, and decision-makers should be aware
of this, advises the report.

The report is intended by the OECD to
provide recommendations for actions in the short and medium term while
looking at space from a long-term policy point of view.

Category: Miscellaneous

Data Source Provider: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Document Reference: Based on the OECD report ‘Space 2030: Tackling Society‘s Challenges’

Subject Index : Aerospace Technology; Social Aspects;
Environmental Protection; Economic Aspects; Innovation, Technology
Transfer

RCN: 24030

(Credits OECD and CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities)

UNOSAT is a United Nations initiative to provide the humanitarian community with access to satellite imagery and Geographic Information System (GIS) services.

UNOSAT is a United Nations initiative to provide the humanitarian
community with access to satellite imagery and Geographic Information
System (GIS) services. UNOSAT is implemented by the UN Institute for
Training and Research (UNITAR) and managed by the UN Office for Project
Services (UNOPS). In addition, partners from public and private
organizations constitute the UNOSAT consortium.

The UNOSAT core team consists of UN fieldworkers as well as satellite
imagery experts, geographers, database programmers and internet
communication specialists. This unique combination gives us the ability
to understand the needs of our users and to provide them with suitable,
tailored solutions.

The goal of UNOSAT is to make satellite
imagery and geographic information easily accessible to the
humanitarian community and to experts worldwide working to reduce
disasters and plan sustainable development. To do this we acquire
satellite images from all commercial providers.

UNOSAT is a unique cooperation initiative between the UN, science and
satellite industry that ensures low-cost and high quality solutions.

UNOSAT provides services in the following areas:

  1. Satellite imagery selection and procurement assistance
  2. Image processing
  3. Map production
  4. Methodological guidance
  5. Technical assistance
  6. Training

(Credits UNOSAT)

Under the 6th Framework Programme for Research (FP6) activity ‘Global
Monitoring for Environment and Security’ (GMES), the Commission will
provide €1.1m support for a new research project, called “ASSIST”, on
improving risk warning and risk management of landslides, avalanches,
debris flows and floods in Alpine regions.

Under the 6th Framework Programme for Research (FP6) activity
‘Global Monitoring for Environment and Security’ (GMES), the Commission
will provide €1.1m support for a new research project, called “ASSIST”,
on improving risk warning and risk management of landslides,
avalanches, debris flows and floods in Alpine regions. The results of
this project can easily be extended to other mountainous areas. Under
GMES, the Commission is currently funding 14 projects. ASSIST is the
latest and fifteenth project.

Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen stated: “With the closure of
the latest call for proposals for space research projects, the
Commission has taken an important step in fostering dialogue between
stakeholders from both the provider and the user side of information in
the fields of environment and security. Whilst making the lives of
citizens safer, we are also helping EU industry to become more
competitive through developing a strong and innovative industrial pole
both for information services and space/terrestrial infrastructure.”

Mountain ranges or chains account for 30%
of EU territory, with some 30 million inhabitants. Areas include the
Alps, Sierra Nevada, the Island of Crete, the Pyrenees, the Apennines,
the Sierra de Estrela, the Massif Central, the upper Tatra and the
Carpathians. Mountain areas represent over 50% of the territory in
Italy, Spain, Greece, Austria, Switzerland and Portugal. The goal of
ASSIST is to implement pre-operational services and establish advanced
integrated safety and information services for the Alps.

Several important benefits can be obtained from an integrated use of
satellite based earth observation data, combining the all-weather
capabilities of SAR (synthetic aperture radar) images with high
resolution optical satellite data as a complement to existing airborne
and meteorological data. At a technical level, the project utilises
so-called “Service Nodes”, which are autonomously operated, such as
police, hospitals, air rescue, fire-fighters, etc. The nodes will be
laid out to support a) day-to-day monitoring and predictions of risk
mitigation scenarios and b) operation during actual crisis situations.
Seven partners from Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, engaged in
different areas of research, satellite remote sensing, communication
technology, and alpine safety management, are collaborating in the
development of a product portfolio of safety and risk information for
direct use in the participating alpine safety information centres.

GMES
is a joint initiative of the Commission and the European Space Agency
aimed at improving environmental and security-related information to
better manage crisis situations.

The call for proposals constitutes a crucial part of the wider GMES
Action Plan which focuses on dialogue with and among stakeholders (e.g.
through the GMES Forum), user involvement (e.g. GMES Steering
Committee), cooperation and partnership (think tanks and networks, e.g.
the European Environment Agency – EEA) as well as information exchange
and information dissemination. Operational GMES services may be
provided by industry on a commercial basis, a prerequisite to the
development of a European industrial pole.

More information http://europa.eu.int/comm/space/programmes/gmes_en.html

(Credits EU – Communiques de Presse Rapid)

One Planet, Many People is intended for environmental policy makers,
non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academics, teachers
and citizens.

One Planet, Many People is intended for environmental policy
makers, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academics,
teachers and citizens. This colorful and approachable atlas contains
photographs, satellite images, maps and narratives that provide
insights into the many ways people around the world have changed, and
continue to change, the environment.

Objectives

The main purpose of this hard-cover,
332-page, large-format atlas is to document visual evidence of global
environmental changes resulting from natural processes and
human-induced activities. Special objectives of One Planet, Many People
include:

  1. generating awareness of human interactions with the environment that alter the environment in demonstrable ways;
  2. providing scientific measurement of over-exploitation of the environment and consequences of such action.

To meet these objectives, the atlas provides:

  1. a collection of spectacular “before and after” satellite image pairs on various themes for 80 sites around the world;
  2. over 30 environmental case studies supported by narratives, images and ground photographs;
  3. and a compilation of recently released environmental maps.

A fantastic collection of maps and satellite images, which will enrich the environmental section of any library.

“One Planet Many People Atlas of Our
Changing Environment clearly illustrates that our ozonosphere has been
threatened by human activities. It also shows that this problem has
been practically solved due to the collaborative efforts of the
different sectors of our society. We all need to work together to
address the many other problems that affect the health of our planet.
As illustrated in this atlas, we need integrated, interdisciplinary
approaches to mitigate the adverse effects of human-induced activities
on the environment”.

Mario J. Molina

Co-winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in
Chemistry for his work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly
concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone. Institute
Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“One Planet Many People Atlas of Our
Changing Environment demonstrates how our growing number of people and
their consumption patterns are shrinking our natural resource base. The
challenge is how do we satisfy human needs without compromising the
health of ecosystems. One Planet Many People is an additional wake-up
call to this need”.

Ola Ullsten

Co-Chair World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development Former Prime Minister of Sweden

(Credits UNEP Atlas)

Agreement on Contribution to the 2005 World Summit Reached; Space and Water Discussed.

VIENNA, 20 June (UN Information Service) —

During
its 48th session, which was held in Vienna from 8 to 17 June, the
United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS)
agreed on a text that could be transmitted to the President of the
United Nations General Assembly by Member States of COPUOS for
incorporation into the draft outcome document of the 2005 World Summit,
to be held from 14 to 16 September 2005.

“The work that is conducted by the
Committee is strongly linked to the work of the other entities of the
United Nations system, and takes into account a great number of the
priority goals of the General Assembly, in particular the matters
relating to sustainable social and economic development”, the President
of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Jean Ping,
told the Members of COPUOS in his opening statement.

Topics of discussion included space and water, space and society, ways
and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes, spin-off
benefits of space technology, as well as issues raised in the
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee
earlier this year. Those issues included space-system-based disaster
management support, space-system-based telemedicine, space debris, the
use of nuclear power sources in outer space, examination of the
preliminary draft protocol on matters specific to space assets and the
practice of States and international organizations in registering space
objects.

The Committee endorsed the activities of
the United Nations Programme on Space Applications for the second half
of 2005 and for 2006. It also reviewed the activities of the
International Satellite System for Search and Rescue (Cospas-Sarsat).
Among other activities, the United Nations Programme on Space
Applications holds training courses on satellite-aided search and
rescue.

Space and water

The Committee continued to consider its
agenda item on space and water. Space applications could contribute to
cost-effective water resource management as well as to forecasting and
mitigation of water-related emergencies. Remote sensing satellites
contribute to determining various water management indicators, such as
precipitation and changes in underground water storage, while
communication satellites are used for gathering data on water quality.
The Committee agreed to continue its discussions of this topic next
year.

Implementation of the recommendations of UNISPACE III

The Committee discussed the implementation
of the recommendations of the Third United Nations Conference on the
Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III). In October
2004, the General Assembly reviewed the progress made in the
implementation of those recommendations and endorsed a set of future
actions proposed by the Committee in its report to the Assembly. The
Committee discussed some of those proposals.

Among other things, COPUOS agreed on
steps to establish a closer link between its work relating to the
implementation of the recommendations of UNISPACE III and the work
being carried out by the Commission on Sustainable Development.

The Committee also reviewed the progress
made in the work of the ad hoc expert group that is conducting a study
on the possibility of creating an international entity to coordinate
space-based services for use in disaster management.

Space and society

Under the agenda item on space and society,
COPUOS focused its discussions on space and education. The Committee
received information from Member States on several national
tele-education initiatives that are providing educators and students at
all levels, including those living in remote areas, with high-quality
education consisting of the latest teaching resources, vocational and
teacher-training and adult education, in fields such as women‘s
empowerment, family planning and skills for local artisans.

Symposium

A symposium on “Space and Archaeology” was
held on Monday, 13 June. The symposium was co-organized by the United
Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the
Institute for Global Mapping and Research of Austria. The symposium
addressed topics such as the current and future uses of space
technology in archaeology and archaeology‘s contribution to human
development, UNESCO‘s Open Initiative on the use of space technologies
to support the World Heritage Convention, space applications in
archaeological exploration and documentation in Syria, understanding
cultural and natural heritage information using space technology in
China, and remote sensing and virtual reconstruction of archaeological
landscapes.

The Committee agreed that a symposium on space and forests should be held during its next session, in 2006.

New permanent observer

The Committee granted the European Space
Policy Institute, an international non-governmental entity, based in
Vienna, permanent observer status with COPUOS.

Membership

COPUOS has the following 67 Member States:
Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin,
Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China,
Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan,
Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco,
Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines,
Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi
Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan,
Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United
States, Uruguay, Venezuela and Viet Nam.

The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of
Outer Space (COPUOS) was set up by the General Assembly in 1959 to
review the scope of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of
outer space, to devise programmes in this field to be undertaken under
United Nations auspices, to encourage continued research and the
dissemination of information on outer space matters and to study legal
problems arising from the exploration of outer space. COPUOS and its
two Subcommittees each meet annually to consider questions put before
them by the General Assembly, reports submitted to them and issues
raised by the Member States. The Committee and the Subcommittees,
working on the basis of consensus, make recommendations to the General
Assembly.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space
Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of
the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two
Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal
Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international
cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting
developing countries in using space science and technology.

Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at http://www.unoosa.org/.

(Credits Spaceref)

On 20 June 2005, a summit between the European Union and the United
States of America brought together the Prime Minister and current
President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission
President José Manuel Barroso, and US President George W. Bush in
Washington D.C.

On 20 June 2005, a summit between the European Union and the
United States of America brought together the Prime Minister and
current President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker,
Commission President José Manuel Barroso, and US President George W.
Bush in Washington D.C. The leaders explored means to eliminate
impediments to further economic integration and to develop a
forward-looking strategy to enhance the EU-US economic partnership.

A new EU and US Initiative was launched
to enhance transatlantic economic integration and growth. Both
countries will increasingly rely on innovation and advanced
technologies to stimulate economic growth and prosperity: the aim is to
increase synergies across the Atlantic as both economies become more
knowledge-based.

More particularly, activities will be
carried on to promote cooperation using civilian space-based
technologies for sustainable development, science/exploration, and
deepening the knowledge society. Targeted initiatives will encourage
collaboration on long-term basic research within the context of the
EU-U.S. Science and Technology agreement, and develop exchanges of good
practices concerning the policies needed to support science and
innovation.

(Credits EU-Space)

The 2005 Edition of the CEOS Earth Observation Handbook has been prepared by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The 2005 Edition of the CEOS Earth Observation Handbook has been
prepared by the European Space Agency (ESA). The report presents the
main capabilities of satellite Earth observations, their applications,
and a systematic overview of present and planned Earth observation
satellite missions and their instruments. It also explores society’s
increasing need for information on our planet. As humanity exceeds the
planet’s capacity to sustain us, such information is playing a vital
role in understanding, monitoring, managing and mitigating key Earth
System processes. This is true on a global scale, in support of
improved global environmental governance and the underlying conventions
and treaties (such as the Kyoto Protocol), and on regional and national
scales, as countries adapt competitively to shrinking reserves of
natural resources and to the basic needs of expanding populations.
Earth System information may be considered as the essential foundation
for sustainable development policies aimed at ensuring our continued
health and prosperity.

Source information

Comments on the presentation of April 5th on preliminary elements of European Space Policy (Interface with Industry). Paul Kamoun on behalf OF EARSC

Priorities

First of all, Europe needs a global space vision and associated
policies. This does not exist at the right level today except for the
realisation that present focus should be to put Space at the service of
the citizen. Within this context and for political, economic, social,
environmental, strategic, defence, technology, and industrial reasons
the priority must be put on Earth Monitoring as a whole including the
Environmental and Security dimensions, its Earth Observation,
Telecommunications and Navigation components and both its related space
and ground infrastructures. Such a priority must be translated in
short, mid- and long term planning and budgets.

Without swift and strong actions in these directions, the risks for the industrial space sector are that:

Satellite and sensors capabilities could be left to diminish in
large part,
Ground infrastructures could be left to receive mostly non-European
satellites data which mean no insurance of continuity of operation,
Value-added companies could face increase vulnerability in access to
data, as well as a paucity of European data leading to some VA
retailers elimination,
Users would face a lack of strategic and critical data, thus limiting
their autonomy,
European decision makers would face a loss of independence on the world
scene,
European stature in EO downstream market might decrease (it is now
about 300 Me annual i.e. 1/10 of U.S.; Ref.: ESYS, 2005).

The GMES programme as a flagship would be an important step forward
but must be fully deployed in its science and applications, technology
convergence and international dimensions.

Roles and responsibilities

EU should federate institutional demands and needs in relation with:
GMES
Security
Navigation
Regional Needs

EU should play an important regulating role:
On location based services linked to GALILEO
Widening universal service in broadband
Emphasising the strategic and political nature of space activities

Industry is eager to see in Europe quick decisions on, and a clear
definition of, who is doing what. First outlines of roles and
responsibilities given in page 8 of the “Preliminary Elements of the
ESP” are satisfactory in the XX-led area but must be quickly detailed
in the XX-Contribution area.

Industrial Policy Principles

The main concerns of European Remote Sensing companies are related to:
Maintaining the competitiveness and technological independence of European Industry,
The needs for the support of public authorities,
The urgency to start GMES with existing users, without waiting for future end-users to join in,
The needs for real programmes and not only FP,
The needs for proper financing mechanisms, at 100% level for non commercial applications,
The poor funding received by EO companies in the last years due to emphasis on space transport