We’re Off To Living Planet!!

GOES-17 image of Earth’s Western Hemisphere acquired on May 20, 2018, using the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). Image courtesy of NOAA/NASA.

ESA’s 2019 Living Planet Symposium takes place next week between the 13th and 17th May in Milan, Italy. The Symposium takes place every three years and is an important one for the industry as it highlights how Earth Observation (EO) contributes to science and society.

It is one of the biggest EO conferences in the world with visitor registrations this year topping four thousand so far and we’re excited about this one as half the company is attending! Not only are we involved in a couple of presentations and a poster, but we’re really looking forward to some of the other opportunities amongst the packed programme where there are as many as eleven concurrent sessions.

Milan is the sixth version of the Symposium following Prague (2016), Edinburgh (2013), Bergen (2010), Montreux (2007) and Salzburg (2004). This year the Symposium is focused around five themes:

  • Earth Science
  • Earth Observation Missions
  • Space 4.0 – disruptive technologies and their impact on EO
  • Resilient Society – managing risks, growth and sustainable development
  • Public Private Partnerships

Tuesday is the big day for us with two oral presentations are on that day. First up, after morning coffee, will be ‘Proba 1: Current Status and Time Series Analysis’ in the Advances On Hyperspectral Imaging and Processing session taking place in Brown 3 – Floor 2. Sam’s presentation, given on behalf of Telespazio VEGA UK, will focus on the Compact High-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (CHRIS) instrument onboard the Proba-1 satellite which was launched over 17 years ago. Sam will highlight the CHRIS-Proba dataset, current time-series analysis work together with how this satellite was influenced by historic missions, and how it is influencing future hyperspectral ones.

We’re also presenting in the afternoon, again after the coffee break, with a presentation on ‘Supporting Ecological Productivity Assessment In Colombia Using Earth Observation Data’. This will describe the initial Earth Observation work undertaken as part of the Ecological Production Management Information System (EcoProMIS) project, including developing Leaf Area Index (LAI), Land Surface Temperature (LST), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Evapotranspiration products from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 and USGS/NASA Landsat-8 satellite missions, to both assess productivity and crop development.

This project is part of the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP), and we’re part of a consortium led by Rothamsted Research, working with Agricompas in the UK alongside CIAT (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture), Cenipalma (Colombian Oil Palm Research Center), FEDEARROZ (Colombian National Rice Growers Federation) and Solidaridad in Colombia. This presentation is in the Agriculture Mapping to Monitoring: Yield modelling (2) session taking place in Space 2 Floor 0.

Sam is also one of the authors on the poster ‘Bulk processing of the European Space Agency (ESA) Landsat Multi Spectral Scanner (MSS) archive: recent improvements and developments’ which will be displayed in the Optical Cal/Val session on Friday lunchtime.

Alongside the scientific programme there is also an educational one, with Open Days for 8 – 12 year olds, a School Lab event for 13 – 18 year olds and three half-day training courses covering SAR, Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-5P data respectively. As well as this support for STEM activities, ESA also supporting the developing STEAM agenda where the A stands for Art.

Shane Sutton, an Irish based street artist, will be exhibiting a collection of original works which explore the idea of ‘taking the pulse of our planet from space. Shane won ESA’s Climate from Space art competition last year and has been working with the ESA on their Climate Change Initiative – a project which Pixalytics is also involved – and the satellite-derived climate data records it generates. Shane will also be working during the conference to compete the final exhibition piece based on atmosphere monitoring satellite, Copernicus Sentinel-5P

Next week looks set to be an exciting, interesting and exhausting week – we do hope to have the chance to catch up with people either at out talks or generally during the week.

Looking forward to it!

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