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  • 17 Dec 2015 8:26 AM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: European Commission: Article: Copernicus Newsletter


    The GMES & Africa initiative was established in order to promote cooperation between the European Union and the African Union, to strengthen coordination amongst Earth Observation initiatives, and to facilitate the development of Space-based technologies on the African continent. In October 2015, the Development Cooperation Instrument committee of the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) approved funding support from the Pan-African programme related to this initiative. Three priority topics will be addressed during the initial implementation phase of the initiative (2016 – 2020): long term management of natural resources, marine and coastal areas monitoring and water resources management.

    The GMES & Africa initiative was established in 2007 as a firm commitment to cooperative action between Europe and Africa towards the development and implementation of Earth Observation (EO) applications tailored to African requirements. A specific roadmap was developed which applied the programmatic approach of the EU's Copernicus programme (known as GMES at the time) to the African continent. The GMES & Africa initiative takes place in the wider context of the Africa-EU partnership, aimed at the sustainable development of the African regions and scientific cooperation between Europe and Africa.

    The GMES & Africa partnership approach arose as a result of the consensus reached at the Lisbon Summit in December 2007, as part of the 8th Joint Africa-EU Strategy Partnership on Science, Information Society and Space. The Lisbon declaration on GMES & Africa laid out the actions to be undertaken in order to formulate the GMES & Africa Action Plan (GAAP). GMES & Africa will strengthen Africa's capacities and its ownership of EO activities, acknowledging the importance of past and present African programmes and recognising the need to coordinate actions so as to avoid duplication, increase synergies and enhance complementarities.

    After extensive consultations over several years, the African and European experts involved in this initiative defined nine thematic areas for the GMES & Africa information services: i) infrastructure and territorial development, ii) long term management of natural resources, iii) marine and coastal areas, iv) water resources management, v) impact of climate variability change, vi) natural disasters, vii) food security and rural development, viii) conflicts and political crises, ix) health management issues. In addition, five cross-cutting issues were identified: governance, infrastructure, capacity building, financial and monitoring & evaluation.

    Nine GMES & Africa information services defined after extensive consultations. The three topics marked in orange will be implemented during the first phase (2016-2020) under the auspices of the Pan-African Programme of the EC's DG DEVCO.

    The GMES & Africa coordination team, comprised of experts from the African Union Commission (AUC), the European Commission, African and European Member States, regional organisations, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), and the European Space Agency (ESA), selected three of the above-mentioned topics as priority areas to be addressed during the initial implementation phase of the initiative: long-term management of natural resources, water resources management and monitoring of marine and coastal environment.

    In October 2015, the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) committee of the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) backed this initiative, providing funding support from the Pan-African programme (EU financial instrument for the development of the cooperation strategy between the European Union and the African Union).

    Presently, African organisations are submitting concept notes - expression of interest - to a call issued by the African Union Commission for the implementation of services in the three priority areas.

    GMES & Africa will be coordinated by the AUC through a dedicated secretariat to be established (and mandated) once the African Space Policy and Strategy will have been adopted by the African Heads of State at their summit scheduled for February 2016.



    Reinforcing links in Earth Observation: 6th EU-Africa Space Troika

    The EU-Africa Space Troika is a forum that was set up in 2011, bringing together representatives of the Africa Union Commission Departments and European Commission Directorates involved in Space matters in order to advance cooperation in Space and in monitoring the implementation of projects.

    The forum also aims at enabling Africa to exploit its Space resources and to coordinate synergies amongst Space initiatives on the continent, so that Space systematically contributes to Africa's sustainable development efforts.

    The 6th EU-Africa Space Troika, organised in Brussels on April 20th 2015, was dedicated to Earth Observation matters, and particularly to GMES & Africa. The forum called for the application of approaches developed in the context of the Copernicus programme for the implementation of GMES & Africa: taking advantage of free, full and open access to Space data, focusing on services which are already operational, and involving the private sector in service development.

    The African private sector involved in remote sensing and geospatial technology has grown immensely over the past 20 years. A better understanding of this sectors' expertise and capabilities is, however, needed in order to assess its health and state and to better harness its potential.  To this end, the EC's DG GROW (Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) is initiating the creation of a "yellow pages" inventory of African private sector actors in this field who could potentially contribute to the GMES & Africa initiative. This tool will enable to play an important role by the African private sector companies during the development and provision of information services in the context of GMES & Africa, and facilitate joint ventures between European and African companies.


    Original Article

    Copernicus newsletter: December 2015

  • 02 Nov 2015 9:53 AM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: The Cairo Post


    Egypt and Russia will sign a contract in late 2015 to establish a new Egyptian satellite for remote sensing, Vladimir Solntsev, head of Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, told Ria Novosti Wednesday.

    The satellite is planned to be launched in three years, Solntsev said.

    Egypt’s first Earth remote sensing satellite EgyptSat-1, made in Ukraine, was launched in 2007, but Egypt prematurely lost contact with it in 2010. The country’s second satellite, produced by Energia, was launched in April 2014.

    Egypt says it is adamant to launch a remote sensing satellite for scientific purposes.



    Original article

  • 29 Oct 2015 3:04 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Nasarawa State Government, Nigeria embarked on a large-scale land-based investment of US$16,876,561.00(2.7 billion Nigerian Naira), using modern geospatial technologies to develop a modern geospatial data infrastructure for the state.


    Nasarawa State is one of the thirty six (36) federating states of Nigeria. It was created in 1996 and is located in the north central part of the country. It is bound by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to the west, Kaduna and Plateau States to the north, Taraba State to the east and Benue and Kogi States to the south (See Figures 1 & 2). It has a total land area of 27, 290sq km. with a population of over two million people, where most of them practice subsistence agriculture.


    Presence of naturally made land is a very important resource to the government and people of the state. In this context, the proper management of land in the state is imperative. Its close proximity to Abuja, FCT (See Figure 2) has made the state to always react to events that it has no control over. Development activities within Abuja, FCT in the last 38 years has significantly affected in Nasarawa State. Most of the impact has been on land and could be said to always be negative in a lot of cases. For instance, a large number of the FCT’s work forces are resident in the neighboring Karu Local Government Area of the state. Though no reliable official figures are available, various estimates put the figures at between 45% and 50% of the FCT work force living in Nasarawa State and commuting daily. This has multiple effects on housing needs, transport and other social services. Past administrations of the state have unfortunately not been able to address land issues within the entire state. Land and important means of production were completely ignored until the year 2012.



    The state government realized early in 2011 that the entire system of land administration and management within the state was in chaos. Records available within the lands department are old and not easily retractable if and when needed. Under this scenario it was easy to see that no meaningful development could be achieved without putting in place a modern system that could address the serious issues in a holistic manner once and for all. In addition to this the state government was (and is still) in a precarious financial situation. It could not depend on the federation account allocation for its sources of funds if it wants to serve its people properly. Due to this issue, the state government decided to look inward and harness the land resources at its disposal. It decided to embark on a large scale land-based investment of US$16,876,561.00(2.7 billion Nigerian Naira), using modern geospatial technologies in order to develop a modern geospatial data infrastructure for the state. The project has three components – Orthophoto Mapping, Geographic Information Service and Urban Planning & Urban renewal, commenced in May 2012.




    Under this project, the state land mass of 27, 290sq km was flown. Six townships were flown at 10cm GDS, while the remaining parts of the entire state were flown at 25cm GDS. The data acquired were stored in a GIS platform of Nasarawa Geographic Information Service (NAGIS). Land use and land cover maps were also produced for the entire state. This is an unprecedented development as not more than one state in Nigeria has performed such a feat so far.


    This paper essentially set up to examine the impact of this large scale land-based investment by the state government:


    - The development of spatial data infrastructure in the last two and half years as well as the challenges faced during the implementation stages. Lessons learnt so far as well as the remarkable improvement in service delivery recorded in land administration and land management practices are unprecedented.


    Project overview

    The development of spatial data infrastructure in the state – known as Nasarawa Development Platform Project – was conceived to address the many issues of Land Administration and Management within Nasarawa State. The sharing of a common border with Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Abuja City makes for a strong case for addressing squarely the problem of urban poor in respect of land ownership and its attendant social consequences. This project has three components:-

    • Digital Aerial Mapping of the Whole State and Six selected Urban Areas Nasarawa Geographic Information Services (NAGIS).
    • Urban Renewal & Planning of three Townships (Lafia, Keffi& Karu)

    Commenced in May 2012, the project spilled over to the year 2015 even though it had an initial completion period of 24 months at a total cost of UD$ 16,876,561.00


    Read full article

  • 28 Oct 2015 12:28 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: Quartz, Article: Annalisa Merelli


    Lake Volta, in the eastern part of Ghana, has long been a center of endemic child slavery: trafficked children are abducted from their homes and employed in the local fishing industry, where they are exploited, working up to 19 hours a day performing hard and dangerous tasks.

    There are relief organizations that want to help put an end to these practices. But it’s hard to tackle a problem when you don’t know how big it is. According to the International Labor Organization (pdf, p.22), an estimated one-third of the 1.2 million child laborers in Ghana are located in the Volta region. How many are currently employed in fisheries is harder to pinpoint.

    Martina Ucnikova, an executive for the Global Fund to End Slavery, tells Quartz that given how large the lake is—8,502 square kilometers (nearly 3,380 square miles)—it’s difficult to get an accurate count of all the boats, buildings, and fish cages that have sprung up in, on, or around the lake.

    There is, however, a relatively easy way to scan the lake for signs of fishery—looking from high above, through a satellite image. This is why the Global Fund to End Slavery partnered with Tomnod, a crowdsourcing research project that makes high-resolution satellite images provided by satellite company DigitalGlobe (of which Tomnod is part) available online.

    As it’s done before with other projects—notably, crowdsourcing the search for the missing Malaysian Airline flight 370 in 2014, and in its relief work after natural disasters—Tomnod is asking its community to simply look at the arial images of Lake Volta and tag any boats, buildings, and fish cages they see.

    The campaign, launched on Oct. 12, has so far attracted 9,000 volunteers—half of them returning Tomnod members, who have helped with other searches, and half new members, attracted by this specific effort—who have collectively tagged 80,000 objects with remarkable accuracy, Caitlyn Milton, DigitalGlobe’s crowdsourcing manager, tells Quartz.

    Participation is simple, and open to anyone with an internet connection and a few minutes to spare. Users are presented with digital images and asked to drop tags on boats, buildings, or fish cages. Once a tag is dropped, an algorithm verifies its accuracy based on elements including tags that others have left on the same object, and the experience of the tagger. Gradually, the entire surface of the lake gets explored in depth, as the same area is searched by several volunteers.

    “Part of the overarching story is that this type of exploration is easy for everyone,” Milton says, noting that the tagging community includes elementary students completing the explorations as part of their classwork, as well as elderly or disabled people who find the work to be a gratifying way to exercise their motor skills. The average search lasts only five minutes, though often people engage in multiple search sessions.

    Milton estimates that at present, 65% to 75% of the initial area is left to explore before this search is complete. Once that’s done, the Global Fund to End Slavery will be able to know “how big is the industry and estimate the size of the child trafficking,” Ucnikova tells Quartz. Right now the organization believes there are an average of 1.7 enslaved children per fishing boat.

    This will probably lead to other collaborations, Milton says, perhaps to use crowdsourced satellite image search in the same area to identify artisanal, illegal mines.


    Original article




  • 28 Oct 2015 12:18 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: Penn State News


    A new Penn State project aimed at improving the food system in East Africa by enhancing pollination services and promoting bee-derived products has received a Food Systems Innovation Grant from the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation, based at Michigan State University.

    The long-term goal of the two-year project is to create an information-gathering and decision-support system that combines global positioning systems, geographic information systems and cell phone technologies to translate field data into reliable, evidence-based management recommendations for smallholder farmers. Researchers will test the effectiveness of this approach by applying it to the management of honey bees, said lead investigator Maryann Frazier, senior extension associate in entomology, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.

    "The honey bee is an important native pollinator and income-generator in East Africa and is well known as a key pollinating species throughout most of the world," she said. "However, in Africa, little work has been done to understand its role in agro- or natural ecosystems or what improvements might be attained through enhanced pollination services. In addition, honey bees provide income and an important source of calories for thousands of rural East Africans."

    Frazier noted that the project builds on six years of collaborative research between Penn State (including its Center for Pollinator Research and Center for Chemical Ecology), Kenya's International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology, and, more recently, South Eastern Kenya University.

    "In our earlier work, 29 beekeepers surveyed at 14 locations across Kenya all confirmed that they are unable to meet the local demand for honey through their current production," Frazier said. "In addition, beeswax, a by-product of honey production, traditionally has been discarded by East African beekeepers. But pesticide-free beeswax is now in great demand on the international market and could provide added income for African communities."

    In the initial phase of the project, hives owned by beekeepers and placed into the local environment to capture migratory honey bee swarms will be mapped using their GPS coordinates. Research team member Patrick Kariuki, of South Eastern Kenya University, will use GIS and other satellite imagery to map the landscape, including native plant and crop coverage, and will monitor climatic conditions within the foraging range of hives.

    Using cell phone text messaging, participating beekeepers will submit honey bee population data, such as timing, location and size of the swarms colonizing the hives. They also will provide information about their management practices and honey and wax production.

    Eric Lonsdorf, visiting assistant professor of biology, Franklin and Marshall College, then will use a sophisticated model to correlate the landscape data with the information submitted by the beekeepers. The combined data will be used to characterize the best management strategies to maximize hive occupation and honey and wax production. Resulting recommendations will be shared with beekeepers via cell phone.

    "Once we have demonstrated the reliability of our methods, we will scale up this approach to determine if increased pollination by honey bees can improve yields of nutrient-rich food crops such as beans, cowpeas, pigeon peas and fruits," Frazier said. "Such increases in yields potentially could offset crop reductions due to drought and/or climate change."

    In addition, long-term monitoring of migratory honey bee populations also could provide useful information about the changing climate and its impacts on native plants and ecosystems in Africa, according to co-principal investigator Harland Patch, research scientist in entomology, Penn State.

    Other members of the research team include Christina Grozinger, professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research, Penn State, and Elliud Muli and Benjimin Muli, of South Eastern Kenya University.

    The Global Center for Food Systems Innovation is a consortium led by Michigan State University in partnership with Wageningen University, The Netherlands; The Energy and Resources Institute, India; and Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. One of eight development labs funded by the USAID Global Development Lab under the Higher Education Solutions Network, the center's goal is to create, test and enable the scaling of innovations in the food system, using an approach that is multi-disciplinary, focused on the entire food system and forward-looking.


    Original article

  • 28 Oct 2015 11:54 AM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: Phys.org, Article: Angela Page


    In 2011, an influx of remote sensing data from satellites scanning the African savannas revealed a mystery: these rolling grasslands, with their heavy rainfalls and spells of drought, were home to significantly fewer trees than researchers had previously expected given the biome's high annual precipitation. In fact, the 2011 study found that the more instances of heavy rainfall a savanna received, the fewer trees it had.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-10-trees-african-savanna.html#jCp
    In 2011, an influx of remote sensing data from satellites scanning the African savannas revealed a mystery: these rolling grasslands, with their heavy rainfalls and spells of drought, were home to significantly fewer trees than researchers had previously expected given the biome's high annual precipitation. In fact, the 2011 study found that the more instances of heavy rainfall a savanna received, the fewer trees it had.

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-10-trees-african-savanna.html#jCp

    In 2011, an influx of remote sensing data from satellites scanning the African savannas revealed a mystery: these rolling grasslands, with their heavy rainfalls and spells of drought, were home to significantly fewer trees than researchers had previously expected given the biome's high annual precipitation. In fact, the 2011 study found that the more instances of heavy rainfall a savanna received, the fewer trees it had.

    This paradox may finally have a solution due to new work from Princeton University recently published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. In the study, researchers use mathematical equations to show that physiological differences between trees and grasses are enough to explain the curious phenomenon.


    "A simple way to view this is to think of rainfall as annual income," said Xiangtao Xu, a doctoral candidate in David Medvigy's lab and first author on the paper. "Trees and grasses are competing over the amount of money the savanna gets every year and it matters how they use their funds." Xu explained that when the bank is full and there is a lot of rain, the grasses, which build relatively cheap structures, thrive. When there is a deficit, the trees suffer less than grasses and therefore win out.


    To establish these findings, Xu and his Princeton collaborators Medvigy, assistant professor in geosciences, and Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, professor of civil and environmental engineering, created a numerical model that mimics the actual mechanistic functions of the trees and grasses. "We put in equations for how they photosynthesize, how they absorb water, how they steal water from each other—and then we coupled it all with a stochastic rainfall generator," said Xu.


    Whereas former analyses only considered total annual or monthly rainfall, understanding how rainfall is distributed across the days is critical here, Xu said, because it determines who will win in a competition between grasses and trees for the finite resource of water availability.


    The stochastic rainfall generator draws on rainfall parameters derived from station observations across the savanna. By coupling it with the mechanistic equations describing how the trees and grasses function, the team was able to observe how the plants would respond under different local climate conditions.


    The research team found that under very wet conditions, grasses have an advantage because they can quickly absorb water and support high photosynthesis rates. Trees, with their tougher leaves and roots, are able to survive better in dry periods because of their ability to withstand water stress. But this amounts to a disadvantage for trees in periods of intense rainfall, as they are comparatively less effective at utilizing the newly abundant water.


    "We put realistic rainfall schemes into the model, then generated corresponding grass or tree abundance, and compared the numerical results with real-world observations," Xu said. If the model looked like the real-world data, then they could say it offered a viable explanation for the unexpected phenomenon, which is not supported by traditional models—and that is exactly what they found. They tested the model using both field measurements from a well-studied savanna in Nylsvley, South Africa and nine other sites along the Kalahari Transect, as well as remote sensing data across the whole continent. With each site, the model accurately predicted observed tree abundances in those locations.


    The work rejects the long held theory of root niche separation, which predicts that trees will out compete grasses under intense rainfall when the soil becomes saturated, because their heavy roots penetrate deeper into the ground. "But this ignores the fact that grasses and trees have different abilities for absorbing and utilizing water," Xu said. "And that's one of the most important parts of what we found. Grasses are more efficient at absorbing water, so in a big rainfall event, grasses win."


    "Models are developed to understand and predict the past and present state—they offer a perspective on future states given the shift in climatic conditions," said Gaby Katul, a Professor of Hydrology and Micrometeorology in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, who was not involved in the research. "This work offers evidence of how shifts in rainfall affect the tree-grass interaction because rainfall variations are large. The approach can be used not only to 'diagnose' the present state where rainfall pattern variations dominate but also offers a 'prognosis' as to what may happen in the future."


    Several high profile papers over the last decade predict that periods of intense rainfall like those described in the paper will become more frequent around the globe, especially in tropical areas, Xu said. His work suggests that these global climate changes will eventually lead to diminished tree abundance on the savannas.


    "Because the savanna takes up a large area, which is home to an abundance of both wild animals and livestock, this will influence many people who live in those areas," Xu said. "It's important to understand how the biome would change under global climate change."


    Furthermore, the study highlights the importance of understanding the structure and pattern of rainfall, not just the total annual precipitation—which is where most research in this area has traditionally focused. Fifty years from now, a region may still experience the same overall depth of precipitation, but if the intensity has changed, that will induce changes to the abundance of grasses and trees. This, in turn, will influence the herbivores that subsist on them, and other animals in the biome—essentially, affecting the entire complex ecosystem.


    Xu said it would be difficult to predict whether such changes would have positive or negative impacts. But he did say that more grasses mean more support for cows and horses and other herbivores. On the other hand, fewer trees mean less CO2 is captured out of the atmosphere, as well as diminished habitat for birds and other animals that rely on the trees for survival.


    What the model does offer is an entry point for better policies and decisions to help communities adapt to future changes. "It's just like with the weather," Xu said. "If you don't read the weather report, you have to take what nature gives you. But if you know in advance that it will rain tomorrow, you know to bring an umbrella."


    This work was supported by the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University.


    Original article

  • 28 Oct 2015 11:50 AM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: EE Publishers, Article: Position IT


    GISSA recently held a GIS career day for the University of Pretoria Geomatics, Geography and Geology students. Two geospatial experts shared their experience in their GIS careers, offered advice on entering the field, and answered students’ questions on work opportunities. James Saunders, a remote sensing ecologist at Southern Mapping, and Prevlan Chetty, a senior GIS specialist at GCS, explained the work they are involved in and their career paths.

    Chetty, who also represented GISSA, told students about the benefits of belonging to an organisation such as GISSA. He explained that the organisation offers special student membership, with benefits that include rubbing shoulders with experts in the industry and staying up to date with the latest developments in the field.


    Appropriate academic qualification also enhances employment opportunities, and employment opportunities in GIS are well distributed between the private and public sector, Chetty explained. He made reference to the “GIS as a tool versus GIS as a discipline” debate, and how bodies and organisations like Plato and GISSA treat GIS as a discipline with standards for work accountability.

    He also recommended students register with Plato for this reason, adding that networking with experts could lead to interesting MSc topic ideas and good work opportunities when graduating. Still being associated with the university places them in goods standing to join these organisations.

    Saunders showed students some of the work he has done in mineral mapping using GIS. Remote sensing, a field in its own right, is also seeing an explosion of new technology and opportunities, and Saunders said GIS is a great way to approach remote sensing.

    The main arguments for considering GIS careers however appeared to be that GIS is a young and a dynamic, crosscutting discipline in which one gets to deal with many aspects of a business and many interesting people and projects.


    Original article

  • 28 Oct 2015 11:07 AM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: EE Publishers, Article: PositionIT


    Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality (NMMDM) is advocating for the quality production of spatial data, as well as promoting the use of spatial data to inform proper planning, decision making, policy development, and to help enhance basic service delivery through various initiatives, as required by the law, the Spatial Data Infrastructure Act (SDIA) and related legislations.


    One of these initiatives was the creation of a GIS road show for rural schools, the first of which took place in 2013. Through multiple partnerships the district was able to reach eight remote schools within a period of four days with a total number of 272 Grade 10 and 11 learners in attendance who were accompanied by twelve Geography teachers, subject specialists, and other officials from the Provincial Department of Education. Educating these rural communicates about spatial information has resulted in a 5 to 6% increase in the pass rate in the subject of Geography in schools which participated in the GIS roadshow. Following demands from within the profession, NMMDM decided to seek support from key role-players in taking this initiative to another level.

    As a result from 12 to 16 October 2015, the municipality is hosting another GIS road show which will involve even more stakeholders, and which aims to establish a strong collaboration that will assist capacity building and endorse functional enterprise GIS district wide, and harmonise working relations with other data custodians. With this initiative NMMDM is aiming to take the geomatics profession to local communities, facilitate capacity building for the enhancement of basic service delivery, and source technical expertise as well as monitoring and evaluation. It also aims to pursue resources for the improvement of geospatial tools, ensure skills development and mentorship, and assist the five constituent local municipalities in implementing the recently enacted Spatial Land Use Management Act (16 of 2013) and all the related legislations.

    Contact Flora Makgale, Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, Tel 018 381-9400, makgalef@nmmdm.gov.za


    Original article

  • 27 Oct 2015 3:11 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)

    Source: AZERNEWS , Article: Nigar Orujova


    A second satellite program in Azerbaijan will cost over $191 million, the State Procurement Agency of Azerbaijan reported.

    These funds will be spent on the construction of the second geostationary satellite Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 and the purchase of ground satellite equipment.

    The second satellite program will be financed with long-term and concessional loans from Export Development Canada.

    Canadian Space Systems/Loral, a leading provider of commercial satellites, will build Azerbaijan’s second telecommunications satellite.

    The satellite design is based on the highly reliable SSL 1300 satellite platform, which provides flexibility for a broad range of applications and technology advances.

    Azerspace-2 is scheduled for launch in late 2017-early 2018. Work on the installation of ground station equipment must be completed no later than 2017, and the ready satellite shipped to the launch site before the end of 2017.

    Azerspace-2 will be launched into orbit by a French company, according to Communications and High Technologies Minister Ali Abbasov.

    The country’s first satellite was launched on an Ariane 5 ECA carrier rocket from French company Arianespace.

    He said that the second satellite would be a part of a new satellite constellation, which includes radar satellites as well. This advantage will allow Azerbaijan to use not only the telecommunications capabilities of the spacecraft, but also enhance its ability to monitor the Earth's surface.

    Azerbaijan entered the space club less than two years ago with the launch of the first Azerbaijani telecommunications satellite Azerspace-1, which provide services such as digital television, data transmission, VSAT multi-service networks, and governmental communications.

    The total value of the Azerspace-1 project is about $230 million.

    Azerspace-2 will be placed in an orbital position of 45 degrees east longitude and the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization rents 45.9 percent of its resources.

    Azerspace-2 will cover a service area of Europe, South-East Asia, Middle East and Africa.

    The geostationary satellite Azerspace-2 will be equipped with Ku- and Ka-band transponders, designed to provide digital broadcasting, Internet access, data transmission, the creation of VSAT multi-service networks, and other services.

    Moreover, Azerbaijan's satellite operator Azercosmos operates the AzerSky low-orbit satellite.

    Azersky has a broad range of applications including defense and security, emergency response, the exploration of natural resources, maritime surveillance, sea faring, environmental protection, urban planning, cartography, and tourism.

    The satellite is capable of shooting 6 million square kilometers of the surface of the Earth. The resolution of the images obtained will be 1.5 meters. The satellite will work in orbit for 12 years.

    Pictures taken from AzerSky will be used in agriculture, the Communications and High Technologies Ministry reported earlier. The satellite will capture photos of the earth's surface before late 2015.

    Pictures will be obtained both from the AzerSky satellite and the Pleiades satellite of the French Airbus Defence and Space Company. The resolution of images obtained from the Pleiades satellite, is 0.5 meters, and 1.5 meters from the Azersky satellite.


    Original article


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    Cost of second Azerbaijani satellite to exceed $19M

  • 26 Oct 2015 2:09 PM | AARSE Admin (Administrator)
    Source: African Union


    Background

    The AU took a Summit Decision EX. CL/Dec.420 (XIII) to reconfiguration all sectorial Ministerial Conferences into ‘Specialized Technical Committees” with the objective of enhancing the methods of work, and improving sectorial relationships, synergies, effectiveness and efficiency. In this regard, Education, Science and Technology were merged under the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Education, Science and Technology (STC-EST).
    There is no doubt that the Education, Science and Technology sectors are complementary and should effectively drive Africa’s social and economic development and accelerate the transition of African countries to innovation-led, knowledge-based economies. Hitherto, the African Union Commission has been convening separately the African Ministers responsible for education (COMEDAF) and Ministers responsible for Science and technology (AMCOST).
    Consequently, the Commission will convene the first Ordinary Session of the STC on Education, Science and Technology from the 27th to the 30th of October 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting will ensure continuity and consideration of the outcomes and progress in the implementation of the last meetings of AMCOST V and COMEDAF VI, as well as agree on the future functional governance of education and STI in the continent. There will also be an exhibition of model TVET programmes and on Space Sciences.


    Objectives
    1. To update the Ministers on the status of on-going programmes and on RECs and Member States’ performance in the education, science and technology sectors;
    2. Discuss AU Summit Decisions relevant to the conduct of education, science and technology on the continent;
    3. Consider the Education and TVET strategies and the STISA implementation plan;
    4. Consider the Africa Space Policy and Strategy;
    5. Consider funding and mobilisation of resources, especially domestic resources; and
    6. Establish precedence for conducting AU continental business in the fields of education, science and technology


    Expected Outcomes
    1. Endorsement of the Continental Strategy for Education for Africa (CESA 16-25) and other continental strategies, roadmaps and implementation plans in education, science and technology;
    2. Report on the first meeting of the STC on Education, Science and Technology;
    3. Agreement on reporting and follow up mechanisms for the continental agenda;
    4. Actions for decisions during the next Summit of Heads of State.


    Participants
    • AU Ministers of Education, Science and Technology
    • Senior Education, Science and Technology Officials
    • Regional Economic Communities
    • Development Partners (as observers)


    Original article



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