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Editorial Summer 2016

June brings the EARSC annual general meeting which is the opportunity to meet and talk with many members of the Association.

Our chairman stepped down and Chetan Pradhan of CGI was elected as the new chair. I wish to express my personal thanks to Han Wensink for all the support he has given to me and to the Association over the last 7 years and wish him all the best with his many new ventures. Han will remain as a director and has the goal to extend and increase participation of SME’s. Giovanni Sylos from Planetek was elected as the new vice-chairman and two new directors – Andre Jadot of Eurosense and Massimo Comparini of E-Geos – were elected to the board

One of the highlights, as for the last two years, was the presentation of this years’ award to the EARSC EO Company of the year. Deimos Imaging are the third winner of this now well-appreciated recognition for a European company which has made a significant contribution to the development of the business in the previous 12 months.

This year also saw a new award going for the European EO Product of the year. The challenge was for the most innovative new product integrating any source of open data. The winner was Jeobrowser for Rocket: The Earth in your Pocket. For more information on both winners please see our web-site

We have just published the 3rd and final case in the series looking at the economic value generated by EO products. After Winter Navigation in the Baltic and Forestry Management in Sweden, Pipeline Infrastructure Monitoring in the Netherlands again show significant value being generated by the use of satellite imagery.

In this case, ground deformation is being measured using SAR interferometry. This allows pipeline management companies to learn where there is a risk of gas connections breaking where they enter the house. Consequently, they can manage their network more efficiently and make better use of their investment in maintenance to reduce risk. The application is quite recent and has not yet been extended to the whole of the Netherlands. Once it will be, we estimate a total benefit of between €15m and €18m will be achieved.

The study has shown some extraordinary results; much higher value than I expected to find at the outset. Each of the cases has left some questions open and it is likely that the value is under-estimated. I hope to continue this work to look at further cases but also to revisit these 3 to squeeze even more out of them! We have also published a video on all 3 cases which we hope can help all those interested in the use of satellite imagery to help make the case for investment. You can find the video here

Satellites benefiting citizens from EARSC on Vimeo.

Another completed activity was to support our colleagues in the African Association for Remote Sensing to gather information on the industry across the African continent. Please find the report on our web-site. It is the first such inventory, which should be repeated next year, and in future years giving a view of African industry. The survey uses the same basic methodology as our survey of the European industry which should allow for some interesting comparisons in the future.

At least for those of us in northern Europe, summer has arrived and I am certainly looking forward to a break. We have had a very intensive period of activity which looks set to continue for the rest of the year. I am starting to look for someone to join our small team and help relieve some of the strain!

To all of you for whom summer is also starting, have a great break and come back refreshed for the 2nd half of the year.

Geoff Sawyer