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ASPRS Holds Specialty Conference on Platforms and Sensors 11.27.2002

November 27, 2002
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Nearly 1,000 attendees benefited from the specialty conference Integrating Remote Sensing at the Global, Regional and Local Scale, in Denver, Colorado November 10-15, jointly organized by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). This conference represented the combination of four meetings, Pecora 15/Land Satellite Information IV Conference, ISPRS Commission I Mid-Term Symposium, Remote Sensing for Transportation Conference, and Future Intelligent Earth Observing Satellites Conference.

The week began with 11 workshops, covering a wide range of topics and applications including digital aerial imaging, hyperspectral image processing, cost effective orthophotos, as well as utilization and integration of lidar for mapping and GIS. The ASPRS Certification Preparation workshop was also given.

The Keynote Session was opened by Conference Chair James Sturdevant of USGS with additional welcomes from ISPRS President John Trinder, and U.S. Department of Transportation representative K. Thirumalai.. G¿rd Brach¿ formerly director general of the Centre National d’¿udes Spatiales, spoke on Earth Imaging from Space: New Actors, New Sensors, Better Products, and a Brighter Future. He was followed by Mary Cleave, Deputy Associate Administrator (Advanced Planning), Office of Earth Science at NASA, who discussed Turning a Great Idea Into Real Science and Applications.

William T. Pecora Awards were presented during the opening session to the 2001 and 2002 individual and group winners. The 2001 individual winner was Ronald J.P. Lyon, Stanford University, and the 2001 group award was given to the Landsat-7 Team, which was accepted jointly by R J Thompson, USGS, and Darrel Williams, NASA/Goddard. The 2002 individual award went to Ichtiaque Rasool, while the group award went to the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) Team and was accepted by Carl Reber of NASA/Goddard The Pecora Award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals and/or groups toward the understanding of the Earth by means of remote sensing. The Pecora award is sponsored jointly by the Department of the Interior and NASA.

The three sold-out exhibit areas opened with a bountiful reception on Tuesday evening. More than 50 commercial companies and government agencies were among the exhibitors. The conference participants and the exhibitors were able to renew relationships and establish new ones in a very relaxed atmosphere.

The international community was well represented at this conference due in large part to the co-sponsorship of ISPRS Commission I. The second general session led by Stanley Morain, chair of ISPRS Commission I, entitled Integrating Sensor Data from International Programs included panelists from France, Japan, and England.

Technical sessions were organized by conference tracks, which included Disasters & Hazards, Environment, Law & Policy, Natural Resources, and Transportation as well as ISPRS and FIEOS presentations, were held on Wednesday and Thursday. All sessions were well attended with a great deal of audience participation. The Applications Showcase and Poster Sessions, held on Wednesday and Thursday with different displays each day, included nearly 85 presenters using both electronic and traditional means of exhibiting their work. During the mid-day break on Wednesday and Thursday, attendees were invited to view NASA/NOAA Electronic Theatre 2002, Visions of Our Planet’s Atmosphere, Land & Oceans: Spectacular Visualizations of Our Blue Marble given by Arthur F. Hasler, NASA.

General Sessions covered commercial, government, international, and policy issues relating to remote sensing. William Stoney, Mitretek Systems, chaired the Wednesday opening session on The Future of the Satellite Earth Observation Industry: Views of the Commercial Data Providers with CEOs Herbert Satterlee – Digital Globe, Matthew O’Connell – Orbital Image Corporation, Gene Colabatisto – Space Imaging Solutions, Patrick Rosenbaum – ImageSat International, and Vic Leonard – Resource21. The Thursday morning session, Directions in the Spatial Information Industry: The RAND Studies and the ASPRS Industry Forecast, was chaired by Trinder with presentations by Beth Lachman, RAND and James Plasker, ASPRS. In addition, Issues in Civil Remote Sensing Programs, with Gregory Withee, NOAA; Mary Cleave, NASA; and Charles Groat, USGS covered the role that U.S. government agencies play in managing the U.S. government civil remote sensing programs. The final session, chaired by Donald Lauer, scientist emeritus with USGS, explored the Policies Affecting the Use of Satellite Imagery with panelists from the news media, law, academia, state government, and private industry.

A Classified Session, co-chaired by Wendy Budd, of USGS, and William Stein, of NIMA, was held on Friday at a TRW facility in Aurora, Colorado and focused on Homeland Security. With 74 attendees, this event was very well received and it is anticipated that a similar session will be held during the 2004 ASPRS Annual Conference in Denver. Other technical tours held on Friday included visits to USGS Rocky Mountain Mapping Center, Space Imaging, and Digital Globe.

To obtain a copy of the conference final program, contact ASPRS headquarters at asprs@asprs.org. The conference proceedings, on CD-ROM, may be purchased from the ASPRS Distribution Center ($50 list price; $35 for ASPRS Members) on line or by calling 301-617-7812 or emailing asprspub@pmds.com.

Plans are well underway for the ASPRS Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska, May 5-9, 2003. More than 450 technical papers have been accepted for presentation at the planned 105 sessions spread over three days. Special sessions will cover a wide range of topics including dealing with imagery on the internet and web-based GIS, GPS, and Aqua and Landsat satellites.

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