Contributor: Terry Arvidson
This year’s Landsat Ground Station Operators Working Group (LGSOWG-37) meeting was held in China September 15-19, 2008. The meeting was organized by USGS and hosted by the Center for Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE), Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Shanghai, China. Participants from 11 countries, including members of the USGS Landsat and LDCM projects and NASA staff as well as representatives of 17 international ground stations, discussed a wide range of programmatic topics. Discussions included presentations on the Landsat-5 and -7 mission status, the Pilot Project for web-enabled product distribution, the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation initiative, and other programmatic issues and future plans. With Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) sensor and spacecraft development well underway, this was the primary topic of discussion with presentations on the project and ground system status; downlink agreement concepts; ground system and downlink overview; data archive, production and distribution; and the Landsat Science Team.
Each International Cooperator briefed the programmatic status of their systems, provided information regarding the business model and organizational structure of their stations, and addressed the future satellite mission and ground system plans of their agencies.
• The Japanese delegation presented data distribution status for the Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS), as well as a report from JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency, on current and future Earth Observation missions.
• The German delegation presented information about several recent and future programs, including TerraSAR-X (launched June 2007), TanDEM-X (to be launched end of 2009), EnMap (to be launched in 2011), and RapidEye (launched 29 August 2008).
• The Brazilian delegation presented the status of the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) 2B, launched 19 September 2007.
• The Argentinean delegation presented the status of the Satélite de Aplicaciones Científicas-D (SAC-D) spacecraft, scheduled for launch in May 2010.
•ESA briefed the group on the many ESA programs in progress, including the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programs.
Given the Global Earth Observation (GEO) activities in which most countries are participating, sharing information about ongoing and future remote sensing programs is of increasing importance. Li An, of CEODE, concluded the meeting with a delightful presentation that blended the sights and events of the 2008 Olympics with our LGSOWG 37 participants and activities, resulting in a slide show unanimously deemed worthy of a gold medal!
The Pale Blue Dot Visualization Challenge—aimed at making Earth observation data accessible to everyone—has officially kicked off.