World-class scientists, engineers and educators have gathered in Munich, Germany, this week to discuss the latest developments in remote sensing and exchange ideas with other members of the international scientific community.
The 32nd annual International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium – IGARSS – is being held this week.
With over 2400 participants, it is the largest IGARSS since the annual conference began 31 years ago.
At the plenary session on Monday morning, representatives from ESA, the DLR German Aerospace Center and the World Climate Research Programme began the week-long event
"Space is a key to tackle global challenges," said Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Chairman of the Executive Board of DLR.
He went on to discuss how remote sensing with satellites benefits society, industry and science, and touched on the importance of international collaboration and merging data.
He then hailed Europe’s future Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme as a strong example of ‘data fusion’, with its objective of combining data from multiple missions to provide services to the international community.
During the course of the week, sessions will be devoted to the services being developed for GMES and to the family of Sentinel missions and their potential scientific exploitation.
In his keynote speech, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes Volker Liebig also looked forward to the future of Earth observation, but first reflected on the legacy of former missions like Envisat.
"The archives are still waiting for you," Prof. Liebig said to the plenary attendees, calling on them to continue exploiting ten years of data from the pioneering satellite, whose mission ended this spring.
Ghassem Asrar, Director of the World Climate Research Programme, outlined some of the accomplishments, challenges and opportunities of Earth observation. He stressed the need for a solid foundation on which to build the future of satellite remote sensing.
"International cooperation and continued investment in the future generation of scientists and engineers are key to success.
"The future is bright for us if we seize the opportunities that come our way."
During the course of the week, sessions will be held on a variety of topics such as remote sensing techniques, technologies and applications.
IGARSS is jointly organised by the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, the DLR German Aerospace Center and ESA.