International updates: Space Symposium, CEOS SIT-37, EnMAP launch, ARD and more

What a week for our Earth observation community, here are a few milestones from the CCEO team:

Our representatives at the 37th Space Symposium, Colorado (USA)

  • A small team from the CCEO travelled to the USA to attend the 37th Space Symposium (Colorado Springs) joining a larger Australian delegation, including colleagues from our CSIRO US Office. They will lead strategic business development meetings in California to advance projects and build new relationships.
  • CEOS SIT meeting: more than 110 participants from all over the world attended the Committee on Earth Observation Satellite Strategic (CEOS SIT-37) meeting, yet again run remotely over 3 days. The Centre for Earth Observation coordinated CSIRO’s contribution. 
  • The Australian Government announced an almost $1.2 billion investment in a new National Space Mission for Earth Observation (NSMEO). The program will be led by the Australian Space Agency in partnership with other Australian Government agencies including CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology and Department of Defence. You can read our public statement on

The Australian Space Agency joined the CEOS SIT meeting to share the news about the NSMEO with the international community. It is an historic investment in Earth observation which will reinforce “our relationships with like-minded countries so we can continue to draw on the data from their satellites for the benefit of all Australians”. The program will include the design, construction, launch and ongoing operation of several new Earth observation satellites. 

Australian Space Agency communicating on the recent investment for Earth observation at the CEOS SIT-37 meeting

Australian Space Agency communicating on the recent investment for Earth observation at the CEOS SIT-37 meeting

In addition to learning about the NSMEO, strategic priorities were discussed over the three days. The topics, linked to global Agendas (and hence relations between CEOS and UN Agencies) and relevant to CSIRO’s priorities, included: Climate & Carbon, Sustainable Development Goals, Biodiversity, Disasters, New Space, and Ocean & Coast. The group also reviewed data quality issues, analysis ready data (ARD), and the relationship with the Group on Earth Observation (GEO).

  • CEOS ARD: a new Analysis Ready Data Product Family Specification on Aquatic Reflectance has been endorsed in February, and is now available for use (the CCEO plans to use it for future missions).
  • CEOS SDG: we continue to play a key role in CEOS efforts to help progress the 2030 Agenda. CEOS is currently publishing a series of articles (see the latest here on SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation) in support of the 2022 CNES CEOS Chair’s and the 2022-23 ESA SIT Chair’s priorities. The articles are directly drawn from the previous SDG ad hoc team, co-lead by CSIRO and ESA until late 2021 and is an example of our SIT Chair term impact.
  • Last but not least, Friday 1st April (18.24 CEST) was an important day for our colleagues from DLR (German Space Agency). The environmental satellite EnMAP (Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program), the first hyperspectral satellite developed and built in Germany, was officially launched. If you missed it, you can watch the replay here. EnMAP data will help to answer current questions in the fields of environment, agriculture, land use, water management and geology on a global scale. The CCEO calval team (led by Cindy Ong) will be supporting the mission in the commissioning phase (6 months). Please get in touch with us if you are interested to learn more. Congratulations to the EnMAP mission team for the hard work and successful launch!