Archive for November, 2013

ESA is giving away a 5000 Euro prize http://www.learn-eo.org/ for the best EO lesson.

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Last chance to register for this free conference in Ashtown Dublin, next week (Thurs 5 Dec).

The conference with speakers from met eireann and, EPA and Teagasc will look at farming and extreme weather events: are they increasing in severity or frequency? How can farming and farmers cope and become more resilient to these vents in light of the 2012/13 Fodder Crisis.

Details here and email with your name and details to weatherconference2013@teagasc.ie


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The call documents for the Horizon 2020 research calls are now hitting the public (http://ec.europa.eu/research/horizon2020/index_en.cfm?pg=h2020-documents)

Most of you will have seen these docs in draft forms over the last months but know they are out in the open.

Earth Observation and remote sensing is relevant across many of the themes and challenges  across the whole call – but for now lets look at the “hard core”.

Space is covered under “Industrial Leadership” and within that call there is a specific Earth Observation Sub- Call:

Call “Earth Observation” – 2014

EO 1 – 2014: New ideas for Earth-relevant space applications
Specific challenge:
…the Copernicus data, including the Contributing Missions (current and future), are expected to provide improved data quality, coverage and revisit times, and increase the value of Earth Observation data for scientific work and future emerging applications. Equally, space data obtained for specific purposes can subsequently reveal novel scientific insights which were not specifically intended or expected at the time of space sensor launch. …In this context space data (i.e.. remotely-sensed data as well as in-space located measurements, gravity data, magnetic data, GNSS signals) could be relevant to a wide variety of Earth-related topics (relevant to earth environment, atmosphere, agriculture, land use, risk, emergency management, security, cultural heritage and archaeology etc.), thereby widening the data scope beyond conventional EO images.

EO 2 – 2014: Climate Change relevant space-based Data reprocessing and calibration
Specific Challenge:
Research areas such as Climate Change address long time periods of data records, where historical data are essential to identify reliable trends and anomalies. The data from past remote sensing missions available either from European and non-European missions, must be made accessible in a way to establish seamless time series of similar observations, contributing to the generation of Climate Data Records across sensors and technologies over two decades and more. At the same time, the relevance of space derived variables and products needs to be critically examined, and enhanced to optimally fit the requirements arising from current policy issues in a variety of EU sectors. This includes the needs of assessment of impact of climate change, as well as mitigation and adaptation strategies in different societal benefit areas. This work is complementary to efforts undertaken by ESA in the Climate Change Initiative (CCI), and will require coordination with on-going efforts accordingly.

EO 3 – 2014: Observation capacity mapping in the context of Atmospheric and Climate change monitoring

Call “Earth Observation” – 2015

EO 1 – 2015: Bringing EO applications to the market
Specific challenge:
If space investments made in earth observation are to generate economic return, it is essential that EO products and information generation are taken out of the research environment and products are put into the market. Such EO products often realise highly automated processes with minimum manual intervention. For such applications and developments to succeed, the product needs to be shaped according to users’ demands, to be validated and proven. This needs to be achieved in an environment integrated at the user, in order for users to accept the innovative potential which the product promises. This will require also specific attention to be given to the various processes in place in the users’ workflows which incorporate the EO information. Furthermore, the commercial providers will have to prove that they can sustain their product operationally based on market revenues. To this end a credible planning for the 3 years after the end of public funding shall be part of the proposal.

EO 2 – 2015: Stimulating wider research use of Copernicus Sentinel Data
Specific challenge:
Europe’s investment in the Copernicus Sentinel satellites will provide Europe with an unprecedented source of operational satellite data. The first and largest streams of data will become available from Sentinel 1 (SAR data) during 2014, to be followed shortly thereafter with data from Sentinels 2 and 3 (optical imaging data), as well as Sentinel 5p. In the longer term also major contributions for atmospheric measurements will be made by Sentinels 4 and 5. Data streams are expected to amount to several terabyte per satellite orbit, thereby delivering unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution and data continuity, calling for new data handling and processing paradigms. While this data is ingested into the operational Copernicus services, wide use by the scientific community and industry researchers for developing products is still limited and needs to be stimulated with easy-to-use interfaces for performing R&D. Where appropriate, integration into operational services such as Copernicus may require the efficiency of highly automated processes with minimum manual intervention.

EO 3 – 2015: Technology developments for competitive imaging from space
Specific Challenge:
Observation concepts based on fractionated sensors (e.g. telescope arrays) have revolutionised astronomy, and their observation potential from space (swarm missions, satellite constellations…) has yet to be realised. This represents a departure from an approach of many different sensors residing on one satellite, in favour of many smaller single-sensor missions. It remains to be established for which areas of Earth observation (land monitoring, atmospheric measurements, water quality, maritime surveillance, emergency management, security, etc.) this approach might be particularly effective, be it in performance, risk management and cost effectiveness. Equally, it needs to be understood which technologies would be needed to allow a network/constellation to act as one instrument. Specific requirements for the sensors may also be needed to allow benefit to be taken of such mission concepts

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Remote sensing on TV

The clip of Tim McCarthy and me, talking remote sensing , on Science squad on RTE is now up on the teagasc you tube channel:


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The third issue of “Satellites Going Local” is the first to focus on one theme – water – a timely contribution to the UN International year of Water cooperation.

It presents operational examples of local and regional administrations and companies who use geospatial information, satellite navigation and satellite communications to improve water management locally, regionally and cross-border.

Go to eurisy for more detail

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Some great opportunities for recent graduates (MSc) to work for one year on the ESA graduate training scheme. More than 30 openings with a good salary:


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New R routine for downloading MODIS now that FTP is gone, via Babak Naimi on linked in:


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