On the sidelines of the fiftieth session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee of the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which took place in Vienna, Austria from 11 - 22 February 2013, UN-SPIDER signed agreements with two new partners to establish Regional Support Offices (RSO).
UN-SPIDER inaugurated on 11 February 2013 its 4th Annual meeting of Regional Support Offices (RSOs) on the premises of the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. The meeting is a side event of the annual session of the Scientific and Technical Sub Committee of the Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) taking place from 11-22 February 2013. The meeting's participants included representatives from eleven of the thirteen RSOs and representatives of agencies from Russia, Indonesia and Nepal.
UN-SPIDER inaugurated on 11 February 2013 its 4th Annual meeting of Regional Support Offices (RSOs) on the premises of the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. The meeting is a side event of the annual session of the Scientific and Technical Sub Committee of the Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
A scientific workshop about finishing the project “Establishment of an environmental monitoring and remote sensing laboratory at Károly Róbert University College” was held at the College at the end of 2012. This new laboratory provides an excellent opportunity for students to get information about the most recent Remote Sensing technologies and methods.
The UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office in Ukraine (Space Research Institute NASU-NSAU) supported the relief efforts following the September floods in Cameroon by providing flood maps. In September 2012, the northern part of Cameroon was hit by severe floods. Subsequently, the International Charter “Space and Major Disasters” was activated to acquire satellite images over affected regions.
The Argentinian National Space Activities Commission (CONAE) became UN-SPIDER's thirteenth Regional Support Office by signing a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). CONAE’s work as a Regional Support Office for UN-SPIDER includes promoting the development and strengthening of national capacities in Latin American and Caribbean countries, providing horizontal cooperation and technical assistance to the countries and organizations involved in disasterprevention and mitigation.
CONAE (Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales), is the national space agency of Argentina and has a mandate to design, manage and execute space-related projects and activities for peaceful purposes, under the scope of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship.
CONAE's actions and projects are developed according to the National Space Program which is periodically updated and extended to ensure that it suits the socioeconomic and productive requirements of the country. The 2004-2015 issue of the Program is in force and currently a new revision of it is being developed for the period 2013-2024.
Argentina's Space Program includes three satellite series: SAC, SAOCOM and SARE. Since its creation CONAE has placed in orbit 4 satellites: SAC-A, SAC-B, SAC-C and SAC-D/Aquarius.
SAC-D/Aquarius, launched on June 10th 2011, is an observatory for ocean, climate and environmental monitoring. The mission's primary goal is to estimate sea-surface salinity and also several oceanic, atmospheric and land geophysical parameters. The satellite is equipped with eight instruments, including contributions from NASA/JPL, ASI, CNES and CSA. The SAOCOM 1A spacecraft is currently under construction and also SAOCOM 1B. SAC-E/SABIAMAR and SARE satellites are foreseen to be developed in the next few years. All CONAE´s missions are operated from the Agency´s Space Center in the province of Córdoba. The Space Center is also home to the Mario Gulich Institute for Advanced Space Studies.
The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated on 13 August 2012 to provide satellite imagery for the forest fires that have been ravaging the north of Algeria since June. They are a result of hotter than average summer heat waves that have been reported to reach as high as 50 degrees . Three people have been reported killed in the fires, two of which were a firefighter and forest worker attempting to put out a blaze.
The Colombian Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC) and the Regional Corporation of the State of Antioquia (CORANTIOQUIA) signed an agreement to develop the project “Estimation and elaboration of cartography of flood and landslide hazards in the CORANTIOQUIA jurisdiction, with the use of geospatial technologies”. The project consists of three phases and aims to map the flood activity and landslide events in a specific area using optical and radar images.
The Hungarian RSO, Károly Róbert College, Gyöngyös became the first institution from Hungary having membership in OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium). HUNAGI (the Hungarian Association for Geo- Information) will provide assistance in dissemination and related joint actions. The membership became effective in May 2012.
The Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) has been hosting the UN-SPIDER Algeria Regional Support Office since 2009. ASAL, which was established in 2002, implements national policies concerning the promotion and development of the use of space for technological, scientific and practical applications. Kamel Tichouiti is the Head of the Department on Major Risks and Geoenvironment in the Space Applications Centre.