African Association of
Remote Sensing of the Environment


All the latest news on AARSE and remote sensing.
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  • 17 Oct 2017 3:39 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    [NAIROBI] Policies that promote the adoption of geospatial technologies such as remote sensing could help Sub-Saharan Africa address key development challenges in the agricultural sector, says a meeting.

    The conference of Kenya-headquartered Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) that took place in Kenya last month (27-29 September) aimed to share knowledge on how African countries could use earth observation data to find lasting solutions to challenges such as drought, famine and water scarcity.Read more...

  • 16 Oct 2017 9:27 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    A new NASA study provides space-based evidence that Earth’s tropical regions were the cause of the largest annual increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration seen in at least 2,000 years.

    Scientists suspected the 2015-16 El Nino — one of the largest on record — was responsible, but exactly how has been a subject of ongoing research. Analyzing the first 28 months of data from NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite, researchers conclude impacts of El Nino-related heat and drought occurring in tropical regions of South America, Africa and Indonesia were responsible for the record spike in global carbon dioxide.Read More...

  • 16 Oct 2017 9:10 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    Over the course of a year, ESA collected huge amounts of satellite data to create the first high-res image of the African continent.

    From space, Africa appears like a rich tapestry of wildly different environments ranging from the barren dunes of northern Africa, to the dense, green jungles of its heartland.

    Now this view can be seen here on Earth thanks to the efforts of the European Space Agency (ESA), which has spent the past year collating satellite data to create the highest resolution image of the continent to date.Read more...H

  • 12 Sep 2017 12:50 PM | Administrator (Administrator)


    A record-shattering NASA astronaut touched down to Earth on Sunday, finishing a 288-day mission that put her over the top as the American who has spent the most cumulative amount of time in space.

    Peggy Whitson, 57, is also the oldest female astronaut in the history of space exploration, was the first female International Space Station commander, and holds the record for number of spacewalks (10) by a woman.Read more...

  • 12 Sep 2017 12:41 PM | Administrator (Administrator)


    As Hurricane Irma churned through the Caribbean and up Florida’s coast, DigitalGlobe’s satellites have been capturing high-resolution images of the storm’s damage.

    Imaging in the Caribbean became possible over the weekend as the clouds moved out of the area. The before-and-after imagery below was captured between Friday, September 8 and 11 of several places in the Caribbean: Tortola, Turks and Caicos, Sint Maarten, Necker Island, Barbuda and Saint Martin.

    The “after” images were taken by DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3, WorldView-2 and GeoEye-1 satellites, with the dates included in the file names. Once the weather moves further out of the area, DigitalGlobe will be offering more images for viewing. Read more... 

  • 14 Aug 2017 1:23 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    20-24 November 2017 , United Nations Conference Center(UNCC), Addis Ababa

    Registration Is Now Open

    Paper abstracts must be submitted by September 30th 

     Registration,Sponsor and Exhibitor information can be found on:

    AfricaGIS 2017

    Other inquiries should be emailed to

  • 18 Jul 2017 8:58 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    SA delegates at the BRICS meeting in China

    The South African National Space Agency (SANSA), the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), the State Space Corporation "Roscosmos" (ROSCOSMOS), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) have today formally joined forces to create the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation.

    A Joint Committee Meeting was held in Haikou, China, on 3 July 2017 to review and deliberate on the progress of the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation and to discuss a Draft Agreement to be signed later this year. It was stressed that the BRICS Satellite Constellation is the first substantive project in the field of space cooperation.

    There are two Phases proposed for the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation, namely, Phase 1 comprising of a virtual constellation of existing satellites, and Phase 2 to comprise of a new satellite constellation to be discussed and defined in the near future.

    The intention of the virtual constellation is to establish the remote sensing data sharing mechanism and avail to the partners, space solutions that meet the challenges faced by humanity, such as global climate change, major natural and technological disasters and environmental protection.

    "We remain committed to ensuring the integration of African space-based knowledge and technology in improving the lives of fellow Africans and welcome such esteemed partners in achieving this important objective.' said Dr Valanathan Munsami, SANSA CEO at the meeting.

    There is a consensus that the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Virtual Constellation is a practical step towards high-tech cooperation between these countries that will assist in attaining the sustainable development goals and challenges pertaining to our respective economies and societies. This will also inject new vitality into the strategic partnership among BRICS States.

  • 18 Jul 2017 8:42 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    GSAT19 was launched on GSLV MKIII payload by ISRO. GSAT19 is being termed as the ‘Game Changer’ Satellite by ISRO. What makes GSAT-19 A Game Changer Satellite? We spoke exclusively to the Director of Space Application Center [SAC] to find out more details.

    • How will it help us get rid of call drops
    • How will it help us get better internet connectivity
    • How it will help India connect the remotest part
    • Know all about GSAT-19

    Q. You talked about the satellite that it’s a game changer. In what way is it a game changer?

    Ans- Today you have a mobile there. Cells are there. If the cell is big then the number of the population becomes big… but the central antenna, which is transmitting, has the same capability. So if the cell is big then per capita data rate is less. That’s the reason why we have call drops. Cells, which were built 15 years ago with a certain population density. They are not able to sustain coz population has increased, the number of users has increased and per capita, data rate has reduced. And since an operator cannot manage that, he stops your calls. Imagine that if I focus on a narrow area then per capita data rate increases. And it is exactly like the cellular architecture, but all the central antenna of the cells is shifted to satellite. GSAT-11 will be launched in the beginning of next year. Prior to those lots of ground, technologies have to experiment… it’s a KA band now. The future is in KA band…but the user is comfortable with KU Band. We put user terminals in KU band and the half in KA bands. Covering the 60% of India, covering almost all major minor cities.

    Related: NavIC can find frequency error independently; more accurate than GPS, other systems

    GSAT-20, which will be flying at the end of next year. It will be KA cross KA. We have to graduate the user from transponder to selective data rate requirement. All the KA band electronics will be developed in India.
    Visual experience will improve. We will have more data rates for DTH that will improve the visual quality of HD channels.

    Q. Will you also include the Internet in that?

    Yes! For the Internet, we have to go through a via media. Because for the Internet you have to transmit also. In that regard, what we have proposed is that we will have a central receiving station with a large antenna. So that it can support a very large bandwidth. It will distribute the signal horizontally through Wi-Fi. Because today all these smart cities are coming up with Wi-Fi. Through wifi, you can connect even a remote village through Wi-Fi.One may argue that why not lay out fiber cable. But that is for big cities. If you have to connect a remote village of Jharkhand then you need wifi. In future, the cost will come down, as everything will be made in India. It will become backbone coz it is high data rate capable [GSAT-19] at a much cheaper cost using satellite.

    Watch video here.

        By Amit Raj Singh



  • 16 Jun 2017 9:20 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    La Reunion Island via laser

    Image credit: modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2017), processed by ESA

    ESA today unveiled the first Sentinel-1 satellite images sent via the European Data Relay System’s world-leading laser technology in high orbit.

    The two images were taken by the radar on the Copernicus Sentinel-1A over La Reunion Island and its coastal area. The first was scanned in a high-resolution mode, the second in a wide-swath mode that provides broad coverage of surrounding waters, and used in particular for maritime surveillance.

    Sentinel-1A, sweeping around the globe at 28 000 km/h, transmitted the images to the EDRS-A node in geostationary orbit via a laser beam at 600 Mbit/s. The laser terminal is capable of working at 1.8 Gbit/s, allowing EDRS to relay up to 50 TB a day. EDRS immediately beamed the data down to Europe.


    The transfer between the two satellites was fully automated: EDRS connected to Sentinel from more than 35 000 km away, locking on to the laser terminal and holding that link until transmission was completed. 

    The German Space Operations Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, tasked by the Mission Operating Center of Airbus Defence and Space in Ottobrunn, received the raw Sentinel-1A data at its station in Weilheim, Germany. They were then passed to the ESA-managed Sentinel-1 ground segment, where they were processed to generate the final products.

    EDRS will dramatically improve access to more urgent and potentially life-saving coverage from space than ever before.

    Satellites like the Sentinels can help to survey areas struck by natural disasters. When the situation on the ground is changing rapidly, hours-old satellite information is of little use to rescue teams. EDRS will allow access to time-critical data acquired around the world. 

    EDRS will help in disaster relief as well as for operational monitoring services like maritime surveillance by relaying the data as quickly as possible to Europe, thanks to its network of ground stations like the one in Oberpfaffenhofen.

    La Reunion Island via laser

    Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, said at the Berlin Airshow today, “With today’s first link, EDRS is close to becoming operational, providing services to the Copernicus Sentinel Satellites for the European Commission.

    “EDRS is the world’s first laser relay service and features technologies developed by European industry.”

    Volker Liebig, ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes, stated: “The Sentinels are the anchor customer of the new commercial EDRS service and the Copernicus system wins new downlink flexibility. So we have a real win-win situation."

    “SpaceDataHighway is no longer science fiction,” noted Evert Dudok of Airbus Defence and Space. “It will revolutionise satellite communications, and help to keep Europe’s space industry at the forefront of technology and innovative services.”

    For Sentinel-1, EDRS adds flexibility, increasing the availability of products to users. It will also allow fast downlink of data acquired outside of Europe, helping services requiring products in real time, as well as in emergency and crisis situations.

    The Space Data Highway is a public–private partnership between ESA and Airbus Defence and Space. The DLR German Aerospace Center funded the development of the cutting-edge laser technology that forms the backbone of the system.

    The first node, EDRS-A, was launched on 29 January 2016 as a hosted payload on the Eutelsat-9B satellite. The second, the dedicated EDRS-C satellite, will be launched in 2017.

    The European Commission’s Copernicus Sentinel satellites are the first users of the EDRS service.

    ESA is planning the GlobeNet programme to extend EDRS by 2020, providing additional security services to satellites, aircraft and drones.

    The laser communication technology used today will be able to bridge up to 75 000 km, sending data from one node over the Asia–Pacific region (EDRS-D) to another over Europe (either EDRS-A or EDRS-C). This global coverage will provide quasi-real time services around the world linking instantaneously back to Europe. 

  • 06 Jun 2016 1:27 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Geomakani 2016 – Geospatial Technologies Conference - was recently held in Cairo, Egypt. The conference was organized by a local company, Edge Pro – for Information Services.

    This year’s conference took place on May the 17th and was held at the Royal Maxim Palace Kiminski in Cairo.

    Geomakani is an excellent platform to increase awareness and exposure for Egypt’s geo-spatial experts representing private companies and organizations; however the majority of the private sector comprised of services providers from the Western World. 400+ participants from eleven countries attended the conference.

    The programme consisted of three plenary sessions that targeted new technologies and societal benefits including:

    • Natural Resources and Infrastructure
    • Defense, Security and Intelligence and Lidar
    • AR and Optical Sensors

     The thematic areas of the conference were Remote Sensing, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), global positioning system (GPS), Photogrammetry, VHR satellite imagery, Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) & Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).

    Four technical workshops were held prior to the conference highlighting technological themes in the geospatial information arena.

    • 3D Geospatial Data Applications and Industries for Decision Making,
    • Ground and Airborne Hyperspectral Systems and Riegl LiDAR Technology,
    • Airports and Airbases, Ports and Bases, and Facilities and Cantonment Areas, and
    • Smart Enterprise GIS Solutions for Utilities

    AARSE was invited to attend the conference and was represented by AARSE’s Vice President for Northern Africa - Dr. Islam Abou El-Magd

    Dr. El-Magd, spoke of the major role AARSE plays on a continental level, to widen the network of the geospatial information community and the aim to open dialogue between professionals and policy makers alike.

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