ESA’s European Space Research Institute is hosting two international meetings this week at its headquarters outside Rome in Italy.
The UN Expert Meeting on the status and future developments of the Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education commenced on 3 September and is followed on 6 September by the second meeting of the Working Group on Education and Training of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS).
The Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education were set up on the recommendation of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UN OOSA), in order to improve the capabilities of UN Member States in areas of space science and technology, and to advance their social and economic development. Centres have now been established in India for Asia and the Pacific, Morocco and Nigeria for Africa, Brazil and Mexico for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Jordan for western Asia. Each Regional Centre provides post-graduate education in research and application programmes with emphasis on remote sensing, satellite communications, satellite meteorology and space science.
During its plenary sessions the meeting is reviewing the status and operation of the Regional Centres. Topics under discussion by the working groups include management of the centres, the education curricula for remote sensing and satellite meteorology, satellite communication and space science, as well as the results of the recent nine-month post-graduate courses organised by the centres.
For the meeting of the CEOS ad hoc Working Group on Education and Training CEOS has joined forces with the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing to enable participants to benefit from the experience and knowledge of both organisations. Experts from 18 countries are attending the meeting as well as representatives of the UN OOSA, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), EUMETSAT and, of course, ESRIN.
ESA actively promotes education and training activities, particularly in the field of remote sensing, and regularly organises training courses, together with the UN, in many areas of the world. In addition, ESA hosts trainees in its establishments throughout Europe and develops training tools through its Earth Observation Training and Promotion Section based at ESRIN.