ESA trains the next generation of land remote sensing specialists in Athens

ESA SEOM Land Training course participants
11 July 2013

ESA’s series of advanced training courses brings every year world-renowned remote-sensing experts and PhD students together to ensure tomorrow’s scientists are able to make the most of the Earth Observation data available for scientific research and applications.

More than 70 PhD students from 31 countries gathered from 1st to 5th July 2013 at the HAROKOPIO University in Athens Greece to attend a week-long advanced training course devoted to exploit ESA Earth Observation remote sensing data for land applications, such as forestry, fires, floods and water availability.

The course organized under the ESA Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions (SEOM) programme element, introduced students to remote sensing science, applications and illustrated the use of specific software tools for scientific exploitation of Earth Observation (EO) data from ESA’s and Third Party operational missions. A selection of lectures have been streamed on the ESA portal during the week to follow the training remotely.

ESA SEOM Land Training Course practicals

Prof. Isaac Parcharidis local organizer for the training course said: 'Initially I would like to thank ESA to choose our University for organizing the seminar. Education through the seminars of this type enables young scientists to come into contact with advanced Earth Observation scientific issues and discuss with colleagues from different institutions of Europe. From a similar seminar, titled 'From optical to radar', held in 90’s at ESRIN began my scientific journey with SAR data and interferometry'.

The course had a particular focus on the theoretical concepts of radar, optical and thermal sensors. Accounting for the different remote sensing backgrounds of the students, the fundamentals of the course were presented in parallel sessions covering both basics and advanced concepts in each field.

Dr Kostas Papathanassiou from the German Aerospace Center stated 'The new generation of scientists are highly interested and well informed about the new ways in SAR remote sensing opened by the next generation of European and international SAR missions.' He added 'The Environmental and mapping applications reflected most of the questions and interest. The level of students is improving from year to year.'

A full set of high level lectures on Land Remote sensing with ESA Earth Observation satellites is now available via the ESA portal.

The lectures include basic and advanced concepts in SAR - optical - thermal remote sensing and the main applications such as land cover, land use, multi-temporal analysis, agriculture, forest and crop mapping, forest fire detection and glaciers monitoring.

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