Contributor: Terry Arvidson
This year’s Landsat Ground Station Operators Working Group (LGSOWG-36) meeting was held in South Africa October 15-19, 2007. The meeting was organized by USGS and hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Satellite Applications Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. Participants from 12 countries, including members of the USGS Landsat project and NASA staff as well as representatives of 20 international ground stations, discussed a wide range of programmatic topics. These included presentations on the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, the Mid-Decadal Global Land Survey (now referred to as the Global Land Survey 2005), Landsat-5 and -7 mission status, the Pilot Project for web-enabled product distribution, and other programmatic issues and future plans. A special topic of discussion was the consolidation of Landsat archives currently located around the world at International Cooperator stations. Each International Cooperator briefed the programmatic status of their systems, provided information regarding the status of their Landsat archives, and addressed the future satellite mission and ground system plans of their agencies. The Thailand delegation presented status and business model information about the Thailand Earth Observation System (THEOS) satellite that is scheduled to launch in December 2007. The German delegation presented information about the TerraSAR-X satellite that was launched June 15, 2007. The Brazilian delegation presented the status of the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) 2B, launched September 19, 2007. ESA continued a topic from last year’s meeting by presenting the European strategy for long-term data preservation for the many satellites and programs that they support. Archive preservation and accessibility is a top priority for the LGSOWG.
The Pale Blue Dot Visualization Challenge—aimed at making Earth observation data accessible to everyone—has officially kicked off.