Jul 30, 2012

Space Technologies Tackle Human and Environmental Security Problems

Estimated Article Reading Time: 4 min.

Newswise — Secure World Foundation is pleased to announce the release of the Summer 2012 issue of Imaging Notes magazine dedicated to highlighting the urgent, interrelated issues of Earth remote sensing for security, energy and the environment.

Highlighted in the publication, a Secure World Foundation Forum underscores the needed use of remote sensing for remote areas, particularly in Latin America, now being characterized as part of “the Global South.”

Imagery from remote sensing satellites, combined with high accuracy positions obtained from GPS receivers, melded with broadband satellite Internet and TV service – this is a powerful coupling of technologies for problem solving, be it for curbing diseases or providing health care to isolated rural communities.

To make progress in space for human and environmental security, the countries of Latin America need to cooperate more effectively. That was a clear message from an April 2012 three-day forum hosted by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City in its role as the Pro Tempore Chair of the Space Conference of the Americas, said Dr. Ray A. Williamson, editor of Imaging Notes and Secure World Foundation’s Senior Advisor.

Secure World Foundation (SWF) teamed up with the Mexican Space Agency and the Regional Center for Science and Technology Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRECTEALC) to bring an international set of participants from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the European Union, Mexico, Portugal, the United States, and Venezuela. Together officials explored the utility of space technology for tackling many of the pressing human issues faced by Mexico and other countries of Latin America.

“The forum also emphasized the role of space policy and law in space sustainability, SWF’s primary theme,” Williamson said. The recent gathering explored the responsibility of emerging space States in adhering to the international space treaties, agreements, and United Nations resolutions, he said, in order to maintain the long term ability to use outer space constructively for peaceful purposes.

Community Remote Sensing – a legal look

In SWF-sponsored research, Annelie Schoenmaker, External Relations and Legal Officer for zero2infinity in Barcelona, Spain, takes a legal look at Community Remote Sensing (CRS).

“As with every human activity, legal issues need to be taken into consideration. At each stage of a CRS project – data collection, data access and usage, sharing and distribution of data and/or information – some legal threats can be found and it is important to be aware of them before embarking on a CRS project,” Schoenmaker explains.

Failure to address legal concerns — national security, privacy, intellectual property rights, and liability — when considering a CRS initiative, Schoenmaker writes, “may eventually harm the project or have negative impacts on future projects.”

Disaster management

The Summer 2012 issue of Imaging Notes also explores how best to bridge space technologies and disaster response communities. Detailed is the important work of the United Nations’ Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) Program.

Recognizing the importance of efforts carried out by volunteer and technical communities, UN-SPIDER and SWF have been conducting a host of activities to identify specific actions that could ensure closer cooperation among the crowdsource mapping, disaster management and space technology communities.

The teamwork between UN-SPIDER and SWF in this area continues in 2012: follow-up expert meetings, disaster management simulations, exercises and other relevant activities.

The newly issued Imaging Notes also contains informative articles on mapping seafloor habitats, the “Green Belt” movement, as well as the future of counterinsurgency and the increasing use by the energy industry of Earth imagery and geographic information systems to tap solar, oil and gas resources.

Secure World Foundation established a partnership with Imaging Notes magazine in 2009.

To access the Summer 2012 Imaging Notes and its content, go to:http://www.imagingnotes.com/

NOTE: Qualified professionals may receive Imaging Notes by mail or via digital subscription.

Please go to:http://www.imagingnotes.com/subscribe

For more information on monitoring climate change, health, and national security issues using space-based systems, contact:
Dr. Michael K. Simpson
Executive Director
Secure World Foundation
Phone: +1-303-554-1560
Email: msimpson@swfound.org
Dr. Ray Williamson
Senior Advisor
Secure World Foundation
Phone: +1-303-554-1560
Cell Phone: +1-303-501-0430
Email: rwilliamson@swfound.org

About Secure World Foundation

Secure World Foundation (SWF) is a private operating foundation dedicated to the secure and sustainable use of space for the benefit of Earth and all its peoples.
SWF engages with academics, policy makers, scientists and advocates in the space and international affairs communities to support steps that strengthen global space sustainability. It promotes the development of cooperative and effective use of space for the protection of Earth’s environment and human security.

The Foundation acts as a research body, convener and facilitator to advocate for promoting key space security and other space related topics and to examine their influence on governance and international development.

Secure World Foundation is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, with offices in Washington, D.C. and Brussels, Belgium.

For access to the SWF website, please go to:http://swfound.org/