Over 500 participants from Russia, CIS and foreign countries gathered at the 4th International Conference âEarth from Space â the Most Effective Solutionsâ convened on 1-3 December 2009 at the Moscow Region âVatutinkiâ recreation centre of the RF President Administration. The organizers of the conference were ScanEx RDC and NGO Transparent World. Sponsors included ImageSat Int. N.V., SPOT Image S.A., Infoterra GmbH, MDA Corporation, e-Geos, and Yandex. Representatives from 270 organizations of 27 countries took part in the conference. The majority of the participants (88%) were from Russia, represented by 40 country regions. Commercial companies outnumber other organizations (36%), followed by government agencies (27%) and scientific and educational institutions (28%).
Over three conference days, 98 oral reports were delivered and 29 poster presentations were exhibited. Compared to the 2007 Conference, participant numbers increased by 50% and the number of events doubled. The conference has become the largest event on the territory of Russia and CIS in the sphere of space technology.2009 Conference Program was highly topical â the following events took place in addition to plenary sessions and thematic sections:â¢ 2 workshops and 6 master-classes dedicated to data processing software tools and technology;â¢ âSpace dataâ master-class;â¢ Master-classes of world leading Operators: GeoEye, e-Geos, Infoterra;â¢ âEarth from Spaceâ association founderâs meeting;â¢ âWeb&GISâ mini-conference;â¢ Training courses on spatial data processing and thematic interpretation;â¢ Exhibition of Earth remote sensing technology innovations and services.The first day of the conference was dedicated to large national and regional projects using satellite-based data and technology. Representatives of governmental structures â Russian Federal Space Agency, National Aerospace Agency of Azerbaijan, State Non-Financial Organization âCenter of Geodesy and Gartographyâ (Armenia), as well as representatives of business community â ScanEx Research & Development Center (Russia) and Geosystems Polska Ltd. (Poland). In the course of the âRegion managementâ plenary session the discussions took place on the issues related to the application of space information for solving tasks of regional economy, for mobilization of revenues related to land tax, land lease and sales into local budgets, for management of land and property of the Russian Railways; issues concerning the use of space imagery, when carrying out major cartographic projects, as well as issues of creating regional centers of monitoring from space based on universities as a tool to resolve certain decision-making tasks.World largest Operators spoke about the specifics of current space programs operations and about future launches within the frames of the âPrograms of Earth observation from spaceâ plenary session. Conference participants listened to the reports of the representatives of optical imagery programsâ Operators: ImageSat International N.V. (EROS A/B series of very high resolution satellites, Israel), Spot Image S.A. about the future program of the Pleiades satellitesâ constellation (France). GeoEye (USA) company representative talked about the results of first 10 months of commercial operations of the GeoEye-1 satellite; Hitachi Software Engineering Co. â about a pair of VHR satellites â WorldView-1 and WorldView-2. Presentation of the Geoinformatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) from Thailand about the first year of THEOS satellite operation was a novelty. CosmoSkyMed, TerraSAR-X and RADARSAT-2 radar imaging programs were described by e-GEOS (Italy), Infoterra GmbH (Germany) and MDA (Canada) Operators respectively. The last report within the frames of the plenary session âSatellite-based methods of maritime monitoringâ was delivered on December 2.âSpace dataâ master-class was held in parallel with the plenary sessions on December 1, arousing much interest of the audience. The attendees were informed, which tasks can be resolved using space imagery, how the required RS data can be properly selected from the existing variety and how interactive catalogs can be used to search for and order data, etc.The concluding chord of the first day of the conference âEarth from Space â the Most Effective Solutionsâ was the âEarth from Spaceâ Association Founderâs Meeting. The association is founded for the purpose of carrying out educational activities and promoting legislative initiatives for harmonizing relationships in the area of Earth remote sensing. Presently the Charter of the organization has been developed and so has been the concept of the draft law âOn Earth Remote Sensing from Spaceâ, the development of which will become the primary goal of the association at the first stage of its activities.DATA PROCESSING TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY (SOFTWARE APPLICATIONS).Two workshops and six master-classes were held on December 1 and 2 devoted to data processing tools and technology. The line of software products for RS data processing of ScanEx company was presented to the audience, issues of departmental and commercial satellite data archivesâ management, automation of large data volumes processing and batch processing using GISEYE software tools were thoroughly discussed. The audience also learnt about modern possibilities of thematic processing of space images in ScanEx Image Processor application, with special attention paid to thematic processing in the Thematic Pro module.Issues of 3D terrain models creation using TerraSAR-X images were addressed in the Infoterra GmbH representativeâs report. âRacursâ company shared knowledge and experience of operating with remote sensing data and the advantages of radar data processing in âPhotomod-Radarâ software application. General Director of the OOO âGeo-Allianceâ company spoke about new possibilities and peculiarities of the Geomatica software complex.Master-classes of ScanEx company, dedicated to remote sensing data processing using proprietary software products, were attended by over 150 people. In addition to demonstrations of basic features of ScanMagic and ScanEx Image Processor software application the audience enjoyed master-classes on RS data thematic processing and 3D modeling, on creation of satellite imagery data archives and web-mapping services based on GeoMixer technology. At the poster booth of ScanEx company specialists held individual consultations on the issues of handling remote sensing data, demonstrated possibilities of different software products and performed real-time processing of images of different types.The conference illustrated that software tools for space images processing have been rapidly improving to resolve a variety of tasks in different industries and that more and more specialists start to master the remote sensing technology and its products.THEMATIC DAY â DECEMBER 2.Remote Sensing to reduce risks of natural calamities and to estimate impacts of natural and technological disasters.In the course of the session on emergency 6 reports of representatives from Italy, Switzerland, Russia and Kazakhstan were delivered. Head of the Space Monitoring Department, Deputy Head of the Federal State-Financed Organization âNational Center for Crisis Managementâ Alexander Yepikhin delivered the report on the creation and modern possibilities of the Space Monitoring System of the Russian Emercom. To date, three domestic UniScan stations have been installed in Krasnoyarsk, Vologda and Moscow and are operational per the Space Monitoring program of the Emercom of Russia. In addition, a special geoportal âKosmoplanâ was installed in the National Center for Crisis Management this year, operating based on space data, which is one of the principle information resources for day-to-day operations of the National Center for Crisis Management.Karl Neiman shared the experience of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in satellites applications and crisis management (Operational Satellite Applications Program (UNOSAT), Switzerland). Conference participants learnt about the satellite-based monitoring of emergencies in Kazakhstan from the Deputy Director of the Institute of Space Research of the Republic of Kazakhstan Lev Spivak. A representative of the Italian Operator of CosmoSkyMed satellites (e-Geos) spoke about the geoinformation services in support of land and infrastructure objects protection.Satellite-based methods of maritime monitoring. For the first time in the history of the conference a plenary session dedicated to the issues of satellite-based maritime monitoring was held. Seven presentations of the participants from Norway, Canada, France and Russia were delivered. Representatives of three companies - world leaders in sphere of satellite-based maritime monitoring â took part in the conference: KSAT (Norway), MDA (Canada) and CLS (France). Conference participants spoke about services and products on the basis of the data of new Canadian RADARSAT-2 satellite, about practical experience of Norway in sphere of pollutions detection and ice and ship navigation situation control in the seas of the Arctic and Europe, about different services based on the combined application of SAR satellites and transmission of measured data from small-size radio beacons of situation control. The achievements and problems of space technology development for marine control were highlighted by specialists from Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, St-Petersburg Central R&D Institute of Robotics & Cybernetics, Tranzas and ScanEx companies.It was noted during the session that the current level of domestic technology now enables to establish a national system of maritime monitoring of oil pollutions, to take environmental protection measures, to detect ships, involved in pollutions and provide information support to oil pollution emergency response actions.Remote sensing in forestry.Five presentations were listened to during this thematic plenary session. Primary attention was paid to the issues of operational supply and processing of data in the programs of remote monitoring of forests, definition of quality and quantity properties of the forest fund based on the high resolution optical and radar imagery.As Roslesinforg Deputy General Director V. Manovich marked in his oral presentation, the co-operation between Roslesinforg organizations and ScanEx RDC stepped up to a new quality level for the past few years and âScanEx has never failed us with the images supplyâ. Representatives of the Roslesinforg affiliations from all over the country (from Petrozavodsk to Khabarovsk), of forest enterprises, higher education institutions and research centers took part in the forestry plenary session. Space imagery data users asked questions of a quicker transition to 2.5 m resolution imagery of forested areas, as well as questions of data supply both to federal and regional forestry agencies.Agriculture.The primary topic of the âAgricultureâ plenary sessionâs reports was the application of multispectral remote sensing data for the purposes of agricultural monitoring and its geoinformation support. The reports included the description of software products and spatial data geoinformation analysis methods. ArcGIS (ESRI, USA), GIS Â«PanoramaÂ» (Panorama, Russia) and Scanex Image Processor (ScanEx RDC, Russia) software applications were reviewed as software systems for monitoring data processing.The most interesting and topical were the presentations of the Dokuchaev Soil Institute of the Russian Agricultural Academy on the space imagery application for the creation of the integrated information system âSoils of Russiaâ and of the АО âNational Center of Space Research & Technologyâ of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the application of multi-year vegetation indices as a rationale of agricultural lands use.A heated discussion was stirred up around the functionality of applied geoinformation software applications and methods of spatial analysis, as well as questions of security and large-scale maps license clarity. If the first issue boiled down mostly to user preferences in assessing efficiency of this of that product, the second one turned out to be more problematic. The discussion revealed that the problem of secrecy and maps license clarity is a topical one, whereas the users of space images interpret its aspects differently.Nature protection.Interesting reports on the application of satellite imagery and geoportals for the solution of monitoring tasks and reduction of anthropogenic impacts on nature were voiced up at âNature protectionâ section. A representative of the Greenpeace-Russia association spoke about the experience of satellite data application in the works of forest enterprises in Russia, Indonesia and other countries. In the joint study, prepared by employees of the Geographic Department of MSU and WWF, described the unique results of detection of the Kamchatka river and littoral area turbidity âsurgesâ on account of mining operations of different companies.Experience of optical and radar satellite data application in nature protection projects of ScanEx RDC was described taking the joint project with IFAW and other organizations on monitoring the White Sea ice navigation as a case study. The project goal was to save lives of the âwhitecoatsâ (harp seal calves) and to change the shipping routes bypassing the harp seal nursery areas.In the presentation prepared by IUCN experts positive and negative aspects of using currently operating geoportals to resolve nature protection tasks were revealed. Presentation of the NGO Transparent World summed up the projects and methods, managed for the past years, on the application of remote sensing data and visualization of the obtained results through the use of web-technologies. The section activities were wound up with the report â Space Monitoring of the Baikal Natural Areasâ, presented by the representatives of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Federal Geological Fund. MASTER-CLASSES OF WORLD LEADING OPERATORS.Master-class of GeoEye company.With GeoEye-1 satellite launched, the number of images received can increase almost up to one million square kilometers per day. GeoEye company representative A. Shumakov told the participants of the master-class about the tools of image search and view, developed by the company, and demonstrated how to use GeoFUSE technology for imaging process monitoring. Armed with new tools, GeoEye clients are now enabled to view imagery data archives, to quickly find, preview and order images, meeting their requirements.Master-class of e-GEOS company.Russian specialists donât know much about the new constellation of COSMOSkyMed radar satellites, which enjoys a great success in many world countries. Conference participants had a unique opportunity to get information about COSMOSkyMed images âat first handâ. e-GEOS company representatives demonstrated the possibilities of COSMOSkyMed images application for environmental monitoring, emergency response, oil spills detection, etc., which is part of services rendered by e-GEOS within the European GMES program (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security). COSMOSkyMed system is capable of delivering images of the areas of interest several times per day regardless of weather. Thanks to its unique features COSMOSkyMed opens a new era of operational application of satellite-based data in different industries.Master-class of INFOTERRA company âTerraSAR-X Data Application Pilot Projects Results in Russiaâ.TerraSAR-X images are well-known in Russia along radar imagery specialists, resolving tasks in sphere of interferometry and operational near-real time satellite-based monitoring. The idea of the master-class was to illustrate the experience of Russian users in working with TerraSAR-X data used in pilot projects. Representative of five organizations - ZAO âRacursâ, laboratory of the RAS Institute of Forest Science, Center for Introduction of Space Technologies of OAO NIIAS, laboratory of the Fryazino Branch of V.A. Kotelnikov RAS Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics, ScanEx RDC, delivered their reports at the master-class. Reporters highlighted a variety of topics - TerraSAR-X data application for monitoring of transportation infrastructure in dangerous karst and landslide areas, seasonal floods on the rivers of the Russian northern territories, small-size cuttings, etc.ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM.A friendly gala-dinner on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the ScanEx RDC company was held on December 2 in the restaurant of the âVatutinkiâ complex to the music the famous Russian folk-music band of Peter Nalich. EDUCATION AND âWEB&GIS 2009â MINI-CONFERENCEââ 3rd DAY OF THE CONFERENCE.Education, science and business integration for sustainable development.The plenary session was opened by the Rector of the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography V. Malinnikov, speaking about the development of the human resources system of spatial data national infrastructure and about positioning space technologies. In his presentation Vasily Malinnikov noted that the need of the Russian economy in specialists in geodesy and cartography is almost twice as much as the number of higher education institutionsâ graduates. In addition, the alumni with major in cartography and geodesy, available on the labor market do not fully meet the requirements of the scientific and production organizations of the industry. Today, specialists in sphere of spatial data infrastructure and application of ground and aerospace geo-navigation systems are already in great demand. Issues of aerospace training of the graduates-specialists in nature study were also highlighted by the professor of the MSUâs Department of Geography Yu. Knizhnikov, emphasizing that new MBA programs are required, new disciplines for cartographers and geo-information scientists in sphere of remote sensing application for sustainable development and an additional training of geographers of different specialization in sphere of aerospace research need to be included into the new generation educational standards.One of the factors of science, education and business integration is the creation and development of the university-based educational and scientific innovation centers in sphere of geo-informatics and nature use â marked Valladolid University Professor Jose-Luis Casanova and First Pro-rector of the Belgorod State University T. Davydenko. A number of problems has to be resolved on the way:1. integration of educational and scientific structures with internal and external users on all interaction levels;2. provision of inter-disciplinary approach during integration;3. assistance of university to regional industrial complexes;4. attraction of business structure representatives to taking part in education and innovation processes and university management;5. teaching entrepreneurship skills to students and university personnel;6. provision of economic interest of integration processes subjects, as well as within private-public partnerships, through the creation of university-based small innovation enterprises;7. using protectable results, obtained during the execution of fundamental and applied research studies at the university. The round table was dedicated to the discussion of all these issues straight after the plenary session. The round table attendees noted that regional centers of monitoring from space had already been established in Russia, Kazakhstan and Spain at leading universities, based on the ScanEx technology. These centers ensure training and refresher training of specialists, who acquired knowledge in sphere of Earth remote sensing and geoinformatics, as well as monitoring of the areas of respective regions and provision of data to economic entities in sphere of nature use, agriculture, land and property relations, town planning, road construction, creation of infrastructure, etc. The operations of the Space Monitoring Center of the Southern Federal University were illustrated by its director F. Surkov, whereas O. Sizov, Space Monitoring Center Head at Tyumen State University, shared the experience of the center operation. With the publication of the Federal Law #217 in August 2009, the Russian universities received a possibility to establish small enterprises (economic entities). The law entitles to commercialize intellectual property of the universities and regulates the interaction of institutions with business structures and other users of the university âknow-howâ. That was the issue stressed by Pro-rector of the Stavporol State University A. Likhovid, whereas professor of the Moscow State Pedagogical University E. Bolotova highlighted the issues of legal interaction between education, science and business. Presentation of A. Grechischev â director of the Innovation Scientific & Educational Center âGeomonitoringâ (established at the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography with the support of ScanEx RDC) â was a good illustration of such an interaction.Round table participants came to the conclusion that all prerequisites for the development of university-based ground infrastructures of remote sensing data reception had been already created in Russia. Regional university centers are ready and capable of resolving both educational/scientific and industrial/commercial tasks, such as: region monitoring and provision of data in near real-time mode in support of decision-making of respective business entities.Network interaction of such regional centers is another topical issue, as well as the possibility of receiving images from national satellites and the assistance of the government in payments of license fees for the RS data reception from foreign satellites.The second round table was dedicated to priority trends of interaction with the school-university-business system. The task of increasing the competitive edge of the Russian economy cannot be resolved without attracting the youth to the selection of future profession, associated with technology innovations. Creation of âEarth from Spaceâ labs at schools, of creative scientific and technical centers for the youths and of additional professional education institutions, implementing projects in sphere of Earth observation for education, scientific research work and applied studies, enables to mould ecological expertise of the students, to increase the motivation of schoolchildren to study and to prepare them to the informed choice of the future profession related to science-intensive technology. Head of the BMSTU Youth Space Center V. Mayorova told about the application of monitoring from space to implement educational technology innovations. Director of School №1294 L. Salonina and Deputy Director of the Physico-Mathematical Forum âLensky Territoryâ of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) P. Nikitin presented the results of âEarth from Spaceâ school labsâ activities. During the discussions round table participants also recorded an active involvement of students, teachers and researchers in the contests, held by NGO Transparent World together with ScanEx RDC, whereas the teacher of geography and informatics M. Martyshkova (school #6, Kholmsk, Sakhalin Region) was awarded with a precious gift for the study âTutorials on the Application of Earth Observation Data from Space at Schoolsâ.âWeb&GIS 2009â mini-conference.âWeb&GIS 2009â mini-conference was held on December 3 for the first time in Russia. The Organizers were Yandex and ScanEx companies. The mini-conference gathered around 200 participants. Before plenary presentations a series of master-classes took place, where web-mapping technologies were presented as an alternative to traditional GIS, as well as web-services of access to global geodata archives as an additional option of joint application together with geodata, stored in local archives. Representatives of DoubleGIS, Google (Russia), Yandex, âData+â, Regio (Estonia), Advanced Flash Components (USA) companies, of GIS-Lab, OpenStreetMap, Internet Project Wikimapia.org associations and others organizations delivered their reports at the plenary session. Presentations and more details about the conference results are available on the mini-conference web-site. EXHIBITION OF TECHNOLOGIES AND SERVICES IN SPHERE OF EARTH REMOTE SENSING.The exhibition was presented by 13 companies: ImageSat International N.V. (Israel), Infoterra GmbH (Germany), SPOT Image S.A. (France), e-Geos (Italy), MDA (Canada), ООО âGeonavigatorâ (St-Petersburg, Russia), ZAO âRacursâ (Moscow, Russia), GeoEye (USA), ООО âYeniseilabâ (Krasnoyarsk, Russia), NGO Transparent World (Moscow, Russia), Hitachi Software Engineering Co., Ltd (Japan), ООО âGeo-Allianceâ (Moscow, Russia), ОАО PNIIIS (Production and Scientific and Research Institute of Engineering Surveys in Construction (Moscow, Russia).LAST BUT NOT LEAST.Upon completion of the main agenda of the conference 24 participants from Russia and Switzerland took part in free training on mastering software applications of ScanEx RDC on December 4-6, 2009, when they acquired knowledge of how to perform standard image processing operations themselves. The training courses were organized in three primary directions: âBasics of RS data processing - ScanMagicâ, âIn-depth RS data processing technology - ScanEx Image Processorâ, âThe Arts of thematic interpretation â Thematic Proâ at the united Laboratory of the Institute of Geodesy & Cartography and ScanEx RDC â âGeomonitoringâ.
Author: ScanEx RDC, Moscow
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