Australia and EO in the spotlight for the next two years – October 2019

CSIRO, in partnership with Geoscience Australia, officially became the ‘Strategic Implementation Team” Chair of the international Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) at its Plenary held in Hanoi mid-October. Our small but energetic CSIRO ‘SIT Chair Team’ is comprised of staff from the Centre, CSIRO Energy and CSIRO Minerals. Australia, and CSIRO, keeps ‘punching above our weight’ in international forums like these, despite not owning or operating any EO satellites in our own right.

In Hanoi, alongside the CEOS Plenary, we held high-level bilateral meetings with key CEOS Agencies representatives (CNES, EC, ESA, ISRO, JAXA, NASA, UKSA, USGS, VNSC…) to discuss current activities and potential collaboration areas. The Australian team has been consulting broadly across CEOS Agencies to set outcomes and milestones that are globally significant and reflect societal needs. So as SIT Chair we intend to address 3 key priorities: (1) Implementation of a CEOS ARD (Analysis Ready Data) Strategy for space agencies, (2) Improved coordination of satellite-based observations of the earth’s carbon & biomass stocks, and (3) continue to support CEOS activities linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SIT Chair holds two key annual SIT meetings for face-to-face strategic & technical coordination among agencies, the next one we will host in Hobart (24-26th March 2020), followed by the next one in Zagreb, Croatia in September 2020. The Hobart 2020 SIT meeting will surely be another great opportunity for Australia to host the international EO community and promote our activities … as well as Tasmania, a unique island!

Attendees at the CEOS 33rd Plenary in Hanoi, Vietnam