Skip to content

Editorial Spring 2008

While the environmental consciousness is increasing in the public and in political circles, the remote sensing techniques and systems are considered more and more as essential tools to help manage our planet. With the start by the European institutions and Industry of the Sentinels satellite programs, in 2007 for Sentinel-1 and in April 2008 for Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3, Europe is setting the cornerstone of its future operational Earth Observation program of Global Monitoring of Environment and Security, in the footsteps of the successful European Meteorological operational program.

This system component is being developed hand in hand with the service segment constituted by Core and Downstream services, according to the terms agreed upon at European level. While the place of industry in the development of the Space segment is clear, its role in the development and implementation of GMES services at large is not. It is to attempt an assessment of the European industry achievements and of the way to create new opportunities for industry in GMES Services that the 2008 EARSC Workshop
convened in Brussels on March 19, 2008 with the support of the EU and of ESA.

Thanks to the large, diverse and knowledgeable attendance a thorough survey of risks and opportunities for the development of the service industry has been conducted leading to a set of recommendations relayed to the EU to help in the preparation of their future call for proposals. Such recommendations relate to the four key areas which are Data Policy, Governance, Budget and Operations. Last but not least the need to foster regular exchanges and information days has been highlighted. Within the framework of the excellent collaboration between EARSC and European institutions in the organisation and running of this event, the dialogue is continuing to analyze the workshop results and to attempt to draft a roadmap for the implementation of its recommendations.

The next milestone to rally stakeholders will be the GMES Conference in September 2008 organized under the French presidency of the EU in Lille. This event targeted mainly at users will be the occasion for the official launch of the GMES Pre-Operational services (emphasis to be put on end-to-end demonstrations), the development of a new approach to climatic change and the presentation of a GMES governance and funding scheme. Presentation of industrial capabilities will be possible in the exhibit and EARSC is naturally considering a presence there.

In the mean time, on behalf of the EARSC Directors, let me wish you a fruitful spring, looking forward to meet all our members at the Annual General Meeting on June 25th, 2008, in Brussels.

With best regards,

Paul Kamoun
EARSC Chairman