We actually mentioned Europe's answer to GPS, Galileo, in 2005. Yesterday the following story was discussed over Slashdot, Galileo Navigation System Gets Go-Ahead From EU Parliament.
Their summary: "Plans to start up the EU's first global satellite navigation system (GNSS) built under civilian control, entirely independent of other navigation systems and yet interoperable with them, were approved by MEPs on Wednesday. Both parts of this global system — Galileo and EGNOS — will offer citizens a European alternative to America's GPS or Russia's Glonass signals. The Galileo system could be used in areas such as road safety, fee collection, traffic and parking management, fleet management, emergency call, goods tracking and tracing, online booking, safety of shipping, digital tachographs, animal transport, agricultural planning and environmental protection to drive growth and make citizens' lives easier."
Here's the recent geonews in batch mode. With FOSS4G 2013 next week, I expect exciting news soon!
On the open source / open data front:
On the Esri front:
On the Google front:
In the everything-else category:
[It's Summertime! I'm on holiday this week and will share more geonews next week]
We mentioned DIY remote sensing imagery before, now it went in a new direction with a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding for the ARKYD telescope. Here's the direct link to the ARKYD Kickstarter project dubbed "a space telescope for everyone" which gathered over 1M$ and there's still 4 days for you to contribute to get your own pictures from space.
The Slashdot summary: "Most of you know about Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company, and their Kickstarter campaign in the finest spirit of Heinlein's The Man Who Sold the Moon. The campaign has reached its minimum $1M goal to get funded with eight days left to go. In celebration, PR's CEO and Chief Asteroid Miner Chris Lewicki does an interview with Forbes where he discusses the future opportunities, the potential pitfalls, and the unlimited potential of private sector space exploitation. It's well worth the read. Planetary Resources' kickstarter has some worthy stretch goals that are well worth looking at, and the sort of supporter premiums that many Slashdotters will not want to miss. Only $175,000 more and they get a second ground station, at $2M they add exoplanet search capability. Both of these stretch goals are within reach."
Another similar story recently discussed over Slashdot is named CubeSats Spurring Satellite Revolution.
The Slashdot summary: "Thanks to the miniaturization of electronics, small CubeSat satellites have quickly become the standard for orbital Earth monitoring. Their modular design and lower cost makes them accessible to many, from university researchers to backers of crowdfunding campaigns. This year, the number of CubeSats launched will at least double the number in orbit to date."
Canada's RADARSAT-1 satellite had problems in late March and has been declared no longer operational earlier this month by the Canadian Space Agency. Continuity was planned with RADARSAT-2 which started providing imagery in early 2008 and RADARSAT-C slated for orbit in 2018.
From the press release: "During its 90,828 orbits around the earth it provided 625,848 images to more than 600 clients and partners in Canada and 60 countries worldwide. It assisted with information gathering during 244 disaster events and literally mapped the world, providing complete coverage of the World's continents, continental shelves and polar icecaps. Among its many accomplishments, RADARSAT-1 conducted Antarctic Mapping Missions (AMM) in 1999 and 2000 and delivered the first-ever, unprecedented high-resolution maps of the entire frozen continent. It also delivered the first stereo-radar coverage of the planet's landmass, the first high-resolution interferometric coverage of Canada, and produced complete single season snapshots of all the continents."
Finalizing my geonews catching up, here's the recent Direction Magazine articles that I wanted to share with our readers.
I'm currently abroad but wanted to share the good news that Landsat 8 Satellite Successfully Launches Into Orbit.
The Slashdot summary: ""The Landsat Data Continuity Mission is now in orbit, after launching Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. After about three months of testing, the U.S. Geological Survey will take control and the mission, renamed Landsat 8, will extend more than 40 years of global land observations critical to energy and water management, forest monitoring, human and environmental health, urban planning, disaster recovery, and agriculture." We still need more new observation satellites to avoid losing Earth observing capabilities as the work horses of the NASA/USGS fleet die of old age."
Here's the recent geonews in batch mode.
On the open source front:
On the Esri front:
On the Google front:
In the miscellaneous category:
In the maps category:
That's the name of a recent DM article, Everything You Need to Know about Landsat 8. From the article: "It is anticipated that over 400 images per day will be collected, the most ever by any previous Landsat satellite."
From the NASA press release: ""LDCM will be the best Landsat satellite yet launched in terms of the quality and quantity of the data collected by the LDCM sensors," said Jim Irons, LDCM project scientist at Goddard. "OLI and TIRS both employ technological advances that will make the observations more sensitive to the variation across the landscape and to changes in the land surface over time." OLI will continue observations currently made by Landsat 7 in the visible, near infrared, and shortwave infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It also will take measurements in two new bands, one to observe high altitude cirrus clouds and one to observe water quality in lakes and shallow coastal oceans as well as aerosols. [...] TIRS will collect data on heat emitted from Earth's surface in two thermal bands, as opposed to the single thermal band on previous Landsat satellites. Observations in the thermal bands are vital to monitoring water consumption, especially in the arid western United States."
Here's the NASA Landsat Data Continuity Mission website.
Via internal email, I learned that a few minutes ago the Government of Canada announced the final stage of the RADARSAT Constellation project.
From the press release: "The contract with MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), announced today, will lead to the completion of construction; the launch of the three satellites, planned for 2018; and the first year of operation of the mission."
Technical details available here, "The RADARSAT Constellation is the evolution of the RADARSAT Program with the objective of ensuring data continuity, improved operational use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and improved system reliability. The three-satellite configuration will provide complete coverage of Canada's land and oceans offering an average daily revisit, as well as daily access to 95% of the world to Canadian and International users."
Those of you doing remote sensing or have an interest in satellite capabilities will be interested by the WMO O.S.C.A.R. online tool; the 'Observing Systems Capability Analysis and Review' tool. There's a 10-minutes screencast that demonstrate what OSCAR can do for browsing satellites capabilities based on specific needs and variables. The tool is very well done and easy to use.
OSCAR is described like this: "OSCAR is a resource developed by WMO in support of Earth Observation applications, studies and global coordination. It contains quantitative user-defined requirements for observation of physical variables in application areas of WMO (i.e. related to weather, water and climate). OSCAR also provides detailed information on all earth observation satellites and instruments, and expert analyses of space-based capabilities."