GNSS: UK drops efforts to patent satellite signals
Fri Jan 18 2013
The United States and United Kingdom announced on January 17, 2013 that the British government would end efforts to obtain patent or intellectual property (IP) rights related to GPS, as InsideGNSS reported.
The announcement apparently concludes a contentious effort by a commercial affiliate of the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) to gain patents rights to elements of Global Navigation Satellite...
Beidou: China opens Navigation System for Civilian Use
Thu Jan 17 2013
China recently opened Beidou (its version of GPS or “Global Positioning System”) to civilian use and expects to grab a major share of the satellite navigation market from the original U.S GPS system by the end of the decade, as the website Strategypage reported. Currently China has 14 of 35 Beidou ("Compass") navigation satellites in service. This is sufficient to provide...
Azerspace: Azerbaijan's first satellite to be launched
Wed Jan 16 2013
Azerbaijan's first satellite Azerspace/Africasat-1a will be launched on 7 February 2013 with the Ariane 5 rocket from the spaceport in French Guiana. The pre-launch checkout is underway, as Satnews reported.
Azerspace/Africasat-1a was designed and built by Orbital Sciences Corporation based on its STAR-2 platform, under contract to the Republic of Azerbaijan's Ministry of Communications and...
Smog: Terra Satellite captures air pollution in China
Tue Jan 15 2013
Currently, China is experiencing one of the worst periods of air quality in recent history. Residents of Beijing and many other cities in China were warned to stay inside. The Chinese government ordered factories to scale back emissions, while hospitals saw spikes of more than 20 to 30 percent in patients complaining of respiratory issues, according to news reports.
The Moderate Resolution...
Roscosmos: Plans for GLONASS Programme
Mon Jan 14 2013
Russia will build and launch 13 GLONASS-M and 22 GLONASS –K satellites between now and 2020, according to an outline of the nation’s space program published on the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) website, as Inside GNSS reported. GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System), is a radio-based satellite navigation system operated for the Russian government.
The document, "Space...
UNOOSA activates International Charter for Floods in Israel
Mon Jan 14 2013
On 10 January 2013 the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" was activated for floods in Israel to provide satellite imagery and derived maps. UN-SPIDER/UNOOSA requested the activation on behalf of UNOCHA, Pt Jerusalem Office. The National Space Organization (NSPO) already provided a Formosat2 image taken on 12 January 2013 over Palestine. The Imagery was processed by the...
NASA: Launch of Landsat Earth Observation Satellite
Mon Jan 14 2013
NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) is scheduled to launch Feb. 11 2013 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mission, LDCM will add to the longest continuous data record of Earth's surface as viewed from space.
LDCM is the eighth satellite in the Landsat series, which began in 1972. The mission will extend more than 40 years of...
Disaster Risk Reduction: UN task team develops second Thematic Think Piece
Fri Jan 11 2013
The UN system task team on the post-2015 UN development agenda has developed their second Thematic Think Piece on Disaster Risk and Resilience to support discussions on the post-2015 development agenda. The paper outlines the modus operandi of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction partnership in working with and empowering stakeholders to build partnerships and political legitimacy...
Radarsat: Canadian Space Agency contracts construction of three new satellites
Fri Jan 11 2013
The Canadian Space Agency has given out a seven-year contract for the construction of three new Radarsat satellites to be launched in 2018 and for the oversight of initial operations. The major component of surveillance will be covering Canadian territory and neighbouring property, notably monitoring of land and water in the Arctic. The $706-million contract was won by MacDonald Dettwiler and...
NASA's Aqua satellite sees Australian bushfires from space
Thu Jan 10 2013
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured an image showing the large bush fires burning in eastern New South Wales, Australia, on 9 January 2013. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires.
Temperatures cooled somewhat in New South Wales on January 9, 2013, a day after...
USGS: End of Mission for Landsat 5
Thu Jan 10 2013
On 21 December 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced that Landsat 5 will be decommissioned over the coming months, bringing to a close the longest-operating Earth observing satellite mission in history. By any measure, the Landsat 5 mission has been an extraordinary success, providing unprecedented contributions to the global record of land change. The USGS has brought the aging...
ESA: Ice mission satellite has high potential for flood mapping
Wed Jan 9 2013
ESA’s ice mission is now giving scientists a closer look at oceans, coastal areas, inland water bodies and even land, reaching above and beyond its original objectives. Launched in 2010, the polar-orbiting CryoSat was developed to measure the changes in the thickness of polar sea ice, the elevation of the ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica, and mountain glaciers.
International Charter: December Newsletter now available
Tue Jan 8 2013
The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" published the fourth issue of their newsletter. The publication is available online on the Charter's website and covers the following topics:
CNES takes over chairmanship of International Charter (incl. an article from the CNES Ethics Adviser)
The International Charter promotes Universal Access
JAXA leadership for the Charter from...
GMES renamed Copernicus
Tue Jan 8 2013
On 11 December, the European Union's Commission announced the renaming of the European Commission’s Earth Observation Programme, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security). GMES is now called Copernicus.
In a world facing an increased risk of natural and other disasters Copernicus aims to monitor the state of the environment on land, at sea and in the...
Károly Róbert University College establishes new Remote Sensing Laboratory
Mon Jan 7 2013
A scientific workshop about finishing the project “Establishment of an environmental monitoring and remote sensing laboratory at Károly Róbert University College” was held at the College at the end of 2012. This new laboratory provides an excellent opportunity for students to get information about the most recent Remote Sensing technologies and methods. Students working...
Weather forecasts can save thousands of lives
Fri Jan 4 2013
In a recent article in Nature, Peter J. Webster, professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, underlines the importance of regional weather forecasts to avoid losses of live and property.
Hurricane Sandy was not as fatal as it could have been, thanks to accurate and long-range meteorological data and satellite imagery. However, the state of affairs is...
HOT looks back on a successful year 2012
Thu Jan 3 2013
Over the last two and a half years the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) has been continuously ensuring access to geodata in order to foresee and respond to natural disasters and crises. By coordinating and communicating with responders and data providers, the HO-Team helped to fill gaps in geographic data, which supported the response to crises in the Philippines, the Democratic Republic of...
SUPARCO/FAO issue study on rapid crop damage assessment in Pakistan in 2012
Mon Dec 31 2012
Pakistan faced floods and tormenting rains during the last three consecutive monsoons from 2010 to 2012. Experts from UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office SUPARCO in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) started generating data on a daily basis on flood extent, damage to households, infrastructure crops and undertaking detailed Damage Need Assessment (DNA).
International Workshop on flood risk mapping using spatial technologies
Fri Dec 28 2012
Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) - host of one of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Offices - conducted a five-day training/workshop on “Flood Risk Mapping Using Spatial Technologies” from 5 to 10 December, 2012.
The workshop was jointly organized by SUPARCO and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with...
ESA monitors water resources in the Mediterranean from space
Fri Dec 28 2012
The effects of climate change, population growth and economic development in the Mediterranean are posing a threat to the water supply in the region. As part of ESA’s TIGER initiative, satellite data are supporting water management by identifying water resources. The demand for water is growing around the Mediterranean and is especially crucial in areas that do not receive regular rainfall...