The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA is an international organisation with 17 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.
ESA’s 17 Member States are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic also participate in some projects under cooperation agreements.
ESA's headquarters are in Paris which is where policies and programmes are decided. ESA also has centres in a number of European countries, each of which has different responsibilities:
EAC, the European Astronauts Centre in Cologne, Germany;
ESAC, the European Space Astronomy Centre, in Villafranca del Castillo,
ESOC, the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany;
ESRIN, the ESA centre for Earth Observation, in Frascati, near Rome, Italy;
ESTEC, the European Space Research and Technology Centre, Noordwijk, the
ESA also has liaison offices in Belgium, USA and Russia; a launch base in French Guiana and ground/tracking stations in various parts of the world.
ESRIN, known as the ESA Centre for Earth Observation, is one of the five ESA specialised centres situated in Europe. Located in Frascati, a small town 20 km south of Rome in Italy, ESRIN was established in 1966 and first began acquiring data from environmental satellites in the 1970s
Earth Observation data has grown in importance as more and more international and national agencies recognise the many uses to which it can be put.
Satellites for Earth observation keep a constant watch over the Earth and the data they provide help to safeguard the planet in which we live.
Since 2004, ESRIN has been the headquarters for ESA's Earth Observation activities. Dr Liebig, the Head of ESRIN, is also the Director of Earth Observation.
The RSL at TAU
The RSL at TAU is the leading laboratory in Israel for imaging spectroscopy remote sensing applications expert in soil mapping and environmental monitoring. The laboratory situated in the Department of Geography and Human Environment in the Tel-Aviv University the largest university in Israel. In the University six faculties, 1200 professors and 30,000 students for all degree levels. In the RSL, here are 3 Post Docs, 6 Ph Ds student, 6MSc students, 1 visiting scientists and 2 technicians. The projects in the laboratory are financed by governmental administration (infrastructure, science, environment and agriculture), private sectors, municipalities and bi national relationship funding. More than 120 review and proceedings papers have been published from the laboratory dealing with new methods to remote sensing of soil, water, atmosphere, rocks and sand. Recently RSGL has established an IS group composed of several leading scientists in Israel with governmental and commercial entities. This group was established to prompt imaging spectrometry (IS ) activity in Israel. The group is composed of scientists from universities, governmental research institutes, and from the industry. The core for this activity is supported by the Ministry of Science under a project entitled: "Establishing of a National Infrastructure for Imaging spectroscopy Remote Sensing (IS) Processing: Quantitative Novel Approaches to Map the Earth's Surface ". The major goal of this group is to invent new applications for utilization of civilian hyper-spectral remote sensing from in order to produce final thematic products. The group is seeking international collaboration with similar groups world wide and with those who wish to allocate new innovative solutions to existing problems using state-of-the-art remote sensing methods including laboratory, field, air, and space. A secondary goal will be to establish a center excellence for imaging spectroscopy remote sensing and to lead this technology for the benefit of humanity. To achieve these goals will launch and process IS missions and discussing and sharing results and knowledge in open workshops. The group will also carry out exchange program in which leading scientists in the IS technology will be invited to Israel to discuss and execute mutual missions.
www.tau.ac.il/humanities/geography/ : Department of Geography
www.tau.ac.il/humanities/geography/rsl/ : The Remote Sensing Laboratory
www.tau.ac.il/~hsrgroup : The Israeli Hyperspectral Group
As a member of the Helmholtz Association, the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ) is the national Research Centre for Geosciences in Germany. It is an interdisciplinary structure of currently ~750 employees performing a wide range of geoscience research, with departments on physics and chemistry of the Earth, geodynamics, geoengineering, geodesy and remote sensing. Most of the GFZ research is carried out in broad national and international collaboration.
The GFZ Remote Sensing section lead by Prof H. Kaufmann has developed in the last 10 years a solid reputation in the processing and application of recent remote sensing technology for geological and environmental applications, and design and validation of advanced optical sensors. A strong emphasis was given to the development of a spectral laboratory, which holds currently 8 field and laboratory spectroradiometers covering the VNIR-SWIR and thermal range, and a laserscanner device to develop accurate 3D surface models. Major scientific expertises of the Remote Sensing section of GFZ Potsdam are in the fields of data processing, sensor definition and applications dedicated to various disciplines. In particular, the group has developed a recognized expertise with hyperspectral imagery and reflectance spectroscopy, and retrieval of biophysical /geochemical variables for geological and environmental applications (e.g. swelling soils, landslides, urban areas, erosion and land degradation, biodiversity). In the frame of the ARES project, an airborne imaging spectrometer is purchased jointly with GFZ and DLR and will be available to the user community from 2008. In the frame of the EnMap project, the GFZ is P.I. of a DLR-funded hyperspectral satellite program, launch planned in 2011.
Elbit Systems Electro-Optics Elop Ltd. (Elop), a subsidiary of ELBIT Systems, is a globally recognized multidisciplinary electro-optics systems house – incorporating the full range of related technology and facilities under one roof. Among the company's outstanding achievements is the receipt of the Israel Defense Award for development of an imagery intelligence system with unique anti-terrorism warfare capabilities. Elop is one of the world's leading electro-optics houses with direct control over every aspect of electro-optics. With in-house capabilities ranging from research, development, engineering and manufacture of sub-assemblies and sensors to the production and integration of multidisciplinary systems all under one roof, we can meet all customers’ requirements.
At the core of all activity is close customer cooperation in specifying and developing tailor-made solutions, based on existing building blocks and technologies across its areas of specialization.
Built on more than six decades of experience and a high level of vertical integration, we offer a diverse range of products and systems that are market leaders in both commercial and military applications. All products and systems are backed by our comprehensive worldwide marketing and customer support network.
Elop has a rich heritage of successful projects for leading military forces worldwide in all its areas of expertise since the company was established in the 1930s, and works in close cooperation with these customers and many of the leading corporations of the world.
Our vertically integrated capabilities range from the R&D and manufacture of sub-assemblies and sensors through the production and integration of multidisciplinary systems, to the full after-sales customer and product support & services. All activities are carried out in-house, assuring rapid, reliable, on-time and on-budget responses. Elop is certified for quality management systems ISO 9001:2000, environmental standards ISO 14001, safety and health standards OHSAS 18001 and aviation standards SAE AS9100B.
Elop’s principal activities include research, development and the manufacturing of Electro-Optics products and systems, including:
- Laser Systems
- Displays Products
- Thermal Imaging Systems
Observation & Surveillance Systems
- Air and Space IMINT (Imagery Intelligence) Systems
- Integrated Sights & Robotic Systems
EO Countermeasures Systems
- Security Products and Systems
IMINT DIVISION OVERVIEW
Elop Space IMINT Systems BU has been engaged in the development, manufacture and testing of advanced Electro-Optic observation systems for a variety of space applications for governmental, commercial and scientific customers since the
mid-1980s. With vertically integrated facilities, cutting edge technology and a unique space heritage that enables the company to serve as an international turnkey systems supplier.
The Space IMINT Systems BU has earned recognition for solutions which suit micro and mini satellites.
Air IMINT Systems are part of Elop’s Air and Space IMINT BU.
We offer several high performance IMINT systems at the forefront of long-range airborne photography, for internal and external installation in a variety of fixed-wing aircraft. These systems provide electro-optical coverage 24/7 over very large areas from long standoff distances. They enable image storage or transmission to sophisticated ground stations - all in real-time.
Elop is developing a Hyper Spectral (HS) system. The HS Imager is based on the exploitation of continuous very narrow spectral bands in the 0.4-2.5 mm range (VIS, NIR, SWIR).
The HS image is a simultaneously gathered reflected radiation of 200+ spectral channels from a ground target.
With spectral resolution of » 10 nm a plot of quasi-continuous spectral signature is possible.
The high performances system can be use for variety of applications.
Norsk Elektro Optikk A/S (NEO)
Norsk Elektro Optikk A/S was established in 1985 as a privately owned research oriented company within the field of electro optics. The company is today one of the largest independent research and development organisations in electro optics in Norway and has established itself as a manufacturer of advanced electro optical products for an international market. NEO regularly also participate in international research projects (e.g. funded by the European Space Agency or the EU) where applications of electro optical and spectroscopic methods are essential.
NEO has been a pioneer in developing gas monitoring instruments based on spectroscopic techniques utilising the unique spectral properties of tuneable diode lasers. This work has resulted in a unique range of gas monitoring instruments for a number of applications in industrial process and emission control. The single mode (i.e. single frequency) characteristics of the diode laser makes it possible to measure the absorption of a particular gas using only one single absorption line, thus avoiding effectively the interference from other gases in the same gas volume, resulting in a highly accurate instrument capable of measuring very low concentration levels when required. The gas monitoring business has been transferred to a subsidiary company, NEO Monitors AS, which has the right to manufacture, market and sell all gas monitoring products developed by the parent company. The two companies are co-located at Solheimveien 62A, 1473 Lørenskog, Norway and employ 30 persons in total.
NEO has been involved in underwater optics since the mid. 1980`s. The majority of the work the last years has been concentrated around development of an innovative new inspection system for the underwater oil- and gas pipelines. The latest development involved an inspection system consisting of wide-angle line scan cameras imaging and 3d profiling the inside of the pipeline with a resolution better than 1 mm. The complete imaging system, which is used during normal production of gas is battery operated and stores all image information in digital form on hard disks. The main objective with the system is to detect defects or signs of corrosion as early as possible, thus allowing preventative actions to be taken.
NEO has been developing Hyperspectral Imaging systems for more than 10 years, starting with a definition study for ESA of a Hyperspectral Imager for Small Satellites (HISS, 1995). This work was directly followed by a development of a Hyperspectral Imager for airborne applications and new versions have been added continuously in order to cover new and emerging markets in various airborne (military and civilian) as well as ground based (industrial, laboratory and field spectroscopy) applications. The Hyperspectral Imagers come in several versions, the VNIR covering the spectral range 400 nm to 1000 nm, and the SWIR covering the spectral range from 1000 nm to 1700 nm or alternatively up to 2500 nm. Both VNIR and SWIR versions of the Hyperspectral Imagers have since 2006 been available commercially under the trade name "HySpex". The majority of applications so far have been related to remote sensing for forestry, agriculture, geology and archaeology, but the imagers are also being used in various industrial applications such as quality control of food and characterisation of various materials, as well as sorting of waste and different recycled materials.
NEO has also been actively engaged in space related projects since the late 1980`s. The work has included consulting work, feasibility studies, breadboarding and product development of sub-units and -systems for spaceborne instruments.
ASD Inc. is a global provider of high-performance analytical instrumentation solutions addressing the most challenging real-world materials measurement problems for industrial professionals and scientific researchers. ASD is the world leader in remote sensing, helping researchers classify and quantify the environment for leading edge research
Delivering Data Visualization and Analysis Faster
ITT Visual Information Solutions (formerly Research Systems, Inc.) has a 31-year history as a leading developer of data visualization and analysis and image processing software solutions. Our customers around the world use our products - IDL, ENVI and IAS - to process, analyze and deliver data and imagery, and to develop and deploy premier software applications.
Our flagship product, IDL, is recognized as a core technology for data visualization with over 200,000 users worldwide.
ITT Visual Information Solutions product portfolio includes:
- IDL - the ideal software solution for data analysis, visualization, and cross-platform application development.
- ENVI – the complete image processing package for analyzing remotely sensed images, now integrates fully with ESRI ArcGIS through the geodatabase and lets you generate maps with ENVI data and images using ArcMap. ENVI includes a unique set of workflow tools to support a variety of image processing tasks, whether you’re using panchromatic, multispectral, or hyperspectral data.
Today’s ENVI provides the scientific foundation you rely on, and the ease-of-use you need to process and analyze your imagery efficiently. ENVI 4.6 will build on significant advances in workflow efficiency introduced in recent releases by providing even more of the versatility you’ve asked for. And, in keeping with a longstanding ENVI tradition, ENVI 4.6 will support more data formats, so you know that the imagery you use is the imagery ENVI supports.
- IAS – or Image Access Solutions gives users of geospatial imagery the ability to transmit, store and access images faster than ever before.
- SARscape – A comprehensive suite of tools that allow you to easily read, process, analyze and output your SAR data, while giving you the option to integrate that information with your other geospatial data and tools. This unique data analysis capability takes your data from hard-to-interpret numbers to meaningful, contextual information.
Combined with a host of support services, including customized training, consulting and technical support, ITT Visual Information Solutions offers the most complete data visualization and image analysis solutions available.
Our employees possess a dedication to our products and the industries they serve. As a synergistic group of individuals with a long history of collaborative experience, we are meteorologists, scientists, nuclear physicists and PhDs, who are uniquely qualified to understand your industry and provide superior solutions to the problems you face every day.
Our Mission Statement: At ITT VIS, our mission is to empower people to easily extract useful information from complex data in the pursuit of discovery.