Sep 19, 2014

ESA trains tomorrows earth observation scientists

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World-renowned remote sensing experts gathered in Valencia, Spain, last week to train the next generation of Earth observation scientists in the exploitation of satellite data for land applications.

As part of the Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions programme, ESA organises the advanced Land Training Course each year.

The aim is for students to learn the theoretical principles of land remote sensing and how to exploit satellite Earth observation data with scientific toolboxes for research in domains such as agriculture, forests, hazards and water availability.

In its fifth edition, more than 70 PhD students from 36 countries gathered last week at Spain’s University of Valencia to attend the week-long event.

Particular focus was given to theoretical concepts of radar sensors, as well as optical and thermal sensors. Taking into consideration the different backgrounds of the students, the course was organised in parallel sessions, covering both basics and advanced concepts in each field.

“Training the next generation of scientists that will be able to transfer the satellite data into scientific knowledge and practical applications is always essential, particularly in this moment when a new era is starting with the launch of Sentinels,” said Prof. Jose Moreno, local organiser for the training course.

The Sentinel satellites are being developed for Europe’s Copernicus environment monitoring programme. The first of the fleet, Sentinel-1A, was launched last spring carrying an advanced radar.

“With the series of Sentinel satellites and the latest generation of its meteorological satellites, Europe has taken on a leading role in the peaceful use of space technology for environmental monitoring,” said Prof. Wolfgang Wagner from the Vienna University of Technology.

“This training course was an important contribution for training scientific experts that are capable of developing and operating innovative algorithms for processing petabyte of data.”

Source: European Space Agency