Archived radar data from the Envisat mission are playing an important role in mapping landslides in Switzerland. The mission’s vast archives continue to prove useful for mapping ground deformation. Landslides are a natural hazard... read more

Publishing Date: 27/09/2012

A major reassessment of 18 years of satellite observations has provided a new, more detailed view of sea-level change around the world. Incorporating the data from a number of spacecraft, the study re-affirms that ocean waters globally are rising by just over 3mm/yr. Measuring ocean surface shape from satellites has a relatively short history. Routine observations began with Europe's ERS-1 spacecraft in 1991, and this has subsequently been followed up by a series of international missions. The benchmark today is arguably Jason/Poseidon - a cooperative venture between the US and Europe (principally France). Now in its third incarnation, the Jason satellite circles the globe making a... read more

Publishing Date: 25/09/2012

The United Nations is holding a Symposium on Data Analysis and Image Processing for Space Applications and Sustainable Development: Space Weather in Graz, Austria, from 18 to 21 September 2012. This is the first event in a new series of annual symposia that will address the use of space-derived data analysis and image processing tools in support of sustainable development. Organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), in cooperation with the Government of Austria and supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), the 2012 Symposium focuses on Space Weather data, a timely topic in light... read more

Publishing Date: 20/09/2012

The second Metop satellite was launched yesterday, 17 September 2012 from the Baikonur cosmodrome, in Kazakhstan, atop a Russian Soyuz launcher, as planned. Metop-B will ensure the continuity of the weather and atmospheric monitoring service provided by its predecessor Metop-A, which has been circling the globe from pole to pole, 14 times a day, since 2006 and has now exceeded its design lifetime. The Soyuz-Fregat vehicle lifted off at 16:28 GMT on Monday, 17 September. The Fregat upper stage manoeuvred to release the satellite into a... read more

Publishing Date: 18/09/2012

The European Environment Agency (EEA) unveiled on 4 September 2012 an interactive map that shows the heatwave risk for European cities; this and other maps are included in a recently published EEA report entitled “Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe”.

The interactive maps allow users to explore data from more than 500 cities in Europe and get a quick impression of some of the adaptation challenges in Europe’s cities.

Southern Spain, parts of southern France, Italy, Greece, Serbia and western Turkey are the most... read more

Publishing Date: 05/09/2012

In the early hours of 1 March 2002, the largest Earth observation satellite ever built soared into orbit from ESA’s launch base in Kourou, French Guiana. For a decade, Envisat has been keeping watch over our planet. The eight-tonne satellite has doubled its planned five-year lifetime, circling Earth more than 50... read more

Publishing Date: 05/03/2012

Thales Alenia Space today signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to supply Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites for Eumetsat, the European meteorological satellite organization.

Thales Alenia Space is prime contractor for this large-scale program, in partnership with German company OHB. The first phase of this program started in November 2010, and has now been definitively approved by the ESA industrial policy committee. Thales Alenia Space has built Meteosat satellites since... read more

Publishing Date: 29/02/2012

Europe’s next fleet of meteorological satellites is set to debut in 2017, following today’s signing of the development contract. While Meteosat Third Generation will ensure full continuity with the current Meteosat satellite family, it will also introduce significant improvements. At an event held today at ESA’s headquarters in Paris, the contract between ESA and Thales Alenia Space for developing the new Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) family of satellites was signed. Following on from Meteosat Second Generation, MTG is a cooperative venture between Eumetsat... read more

Publishing Date: 29/02/2012

PR 34 2011 - Council underlined the importance of space systems for security. They drew attention to the role of satellite systems – particularly Galileo, EGNOS and GMES – as the backbone for improving Europe’s response to emergencies.

Pre-operational Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) services are already available.... read more

Publishing Date: 07/12/2011

Eight member states have raised concerns about future funding for the EU's GMES space programme.

The countries used a letter to the commission to lodge a formal protest against what some believe could be possible funding reductions for the EU-wide scheme.

The move comes after the commission proposed funding for GMES 'outside' of the multiannual financial framework for the spending period from 2014-2020.

In addition, the commission has announced recently that it is considering regulating the funding of GMES by an intergovernmental agreement.

Both proposals have raised concerns in some quarters that future funding for the programme may be cut or at best frozen.

The letter is signed by France, Germany, Finland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK.

It was sent to commission vice-president for industry and entrepreneurship Antonio Tajani, budget and financial programming commissioner Janusz Lewandowski, and Máire... read more

Publishing Date: 21/11/2011

Emergency services working in the immediate aftermath of disasters will benefit from fast access to pan-European mapping created from interoperable, geospatial data thanks to an agreement between EuroGeographics and the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The agreement, signed on 16th November 2011 at the Group on... read more

Publishing Date: 17/11/2011

Broader and improved access to satellite data is boosting the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme.

The aim of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme is to provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information. This will improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and... read more

Publishing Date: 13/10/2011

Satellites are helping to forecast the location of urban areas most affected during heat waves, helping planners to design cooler, more comfortable cities.

The temperature in densely urbanised areas can be several degrees higher than in nearby rural areas – a phenomenon known as the ‘urban heat island’ effect. These ‘heat islands’ are particularly noticeable at night. During the day, cities accumulate solar radiation and release the energy after the Sun sets. The negative effects of this increase in urban temperatures are multiple: health problems, higher energy demand, air pollution... read more

Publishing Date: 29/09/2011

ESA is helping to take the bite out of mosquitoes and their deadly diseases by tracking their distribution and habitat via observation satellites, satnav, and mobile communications.

The Vecmap initiative is testing the accurate mapping of mosquitoes in Europe, in particular, mosquitoes carrying diseases, for public health agencies and regional mosquito controllers. Testing began in 2009 in the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy. Transmitters of disease such as mosquitoes are known as vectors.
With this information, the insects can be kept below the level where they become a nuisance or able to spread disease.

“Diseases such as Dengue or West Nile fever that... read more

Publishing Date: 25/05/2011

Improving the safety and daily lives of European citizens thanks to radio navigation, guiding tractors by satellite for high-yield crops, optimizing response to humanitarian crisis…This crucial role of space is reflected in the European Commission communication as a first step of an integrated Space Policy to be developed with the new legal basis provided by the Lisbon Treaty. The new Communication aims at reinforcing Europe’s space infrastructure and calls for increasing support for research... read more

Publishing Date: 06/04/2011

Planetek Italia is starting the activities to set up the INSPIRE Geoportal, the central portal for environmental information in the European Union. The company has been awarded the tender for the "Development of the technical components of the INSPIRE Geoportal at European Level", of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) - Institute for Environment and Sustainability.

The INSPIRE Geoportal is the unique access point to global European Environment Geoinformation resources shared and made available by all member states within the framework of the "Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community" (INSPIRE) Directive.

The main objective of this project is to... read more

Publishing Date: 30/03/2011

When a major disaster strikes in remote parts of the world, knowing if the area is populated, and how densely, is crucial for the effective organisation of humanitarian operations. The Global Human Settlements Layer (GHSL), developed by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), will soon provide this detailed information for the first time on a global scale. The breakthrough is new advanced algorithms, developed by the JRC, that allow automatic analysis of medium resolution data provided by European... read more

Publishing Date: 22/02/2011

The University of Leicester (UK) is going to launch a "Centre of Excellence in Earth Observation Research Training" with the aim of teaching and training young researchers to use the latest satellite technologies to tackle environmental issues. The centre is supported by the "Initial Operations Network for Earth Observation Research Training" (GIONET) project and funded by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the Marie Curie Programme.

GIONET project seeks to develop new and better methods for research, for addressing... read more

Publishing Date: 26/01/2011

Satellite information on snow cover is now available through ESA’s GlobSnow project soon after it snows. Understanding snow conditions helps us to predict floods and advance climate studies. Seasonal changes in snow cover mostly occur in the northern hemisphere. The one-year, near-real time demonstration service makes information about snow cover and snow amount publicly available online on the GlobSnow website.

For more information, please visit... read more

Publishing Date: 05/11/2010

Regional Support Office

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The UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office (RSO) in Romania is hosted by the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA).  The cooperation agreement between ROSA and UNOOSA was signed on occasion of the 52nd COPUOS, 4 June 2009.

Established in 1991, by the Government Decision no. 923/ 20 Nov 1995, ROSA is an independent public institution.

The mission of the Agency:

  • to coordinate the national space research and applications programs
  • to promote space development
  • to be the Government representative in the international space cooperation
  • ... read more


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