New Earth Observation Handbook released

CEOS Earth Observation Handbook
27 September 2002

Just released and available online, the Earth Observation Handbook provides a valuable reference tool for researchers, national and international policymakers, and those just interested in learning more about the systems, tools and applications of this space technology.


Prepared by ESA on behalf of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), the handbook explains the vital role played by Earth observation satellite programmes in providing the information needed to make the decisions, define the policies, and implement the strategies for a sustainable future, one resistant to man-made climate change, population growth and increasing development.

The handbook presents the status of existing and planned Earth observation satellite programmes sponsored by governments through national and regional space agencies. It describes how these programmes are meeting the requirements for information on Earth’s planetary processes, and how this data is used to support critical national and international objectives.

The role of CEOS as the organization responsible for coordinating these efforts is explained, including its role in the Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership to ensure that future space- and ground-based observation systems will be harmonised to address the most critical requirements.

"The current ambitions for greatly enhanced understanding, monitoring, management and mitigation of key Earth system processes will be realized only with the measurement capabilities offered by Earth observation satellite programmes," commented Prof. José Achache, ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes and current CEOS Chairman. "I hope that the CEOS Handbook will serve as a valuable reference source for a variety of users, including those with needs in Earth system research, and decision-makers in political and socio-economic sectors."

The 2002 CEOS Earth Observation Handbook is available here.

Hardcopies of the EO Handbook or further information can be obtained from: Josef Aschbacher, EOP-C,, tel. +33 1 5369 7707.

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