Earth Observation Express

EO Express

Sea surface level variations off the Pacific Coast

February 13 2013 – no 58

1. Development of Advanced RADARSAT-based Products and Services

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), through its Earth Observation Applications Development Program (EOADP), has issued a Request for Proposals entitled "Development of Advanced RADARSAT-based Products and Services". With this RFP, Public Works and Government Services (PWGSC) will award contracts to qualified Canadian suppliers to develop advanced methods, systems, products and/or services to optimize the utilization of RADARSAT data that address Government of Canada priorities and application needs. For more information: www.merx.com

2. New closing date: March 1st, 2013. Science and Operational Applications Research - Education International (SOAR-EI) Initiative

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), in partnership with MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. - MDA Geospatial Services Inc., is implementing the SOAR-EI initiative. This initiative is intended for researchers in the international education community. In the proposal, the Principal Investigator must demonstrate interest and ability in terms of transforming RADARSAT-2 images that would lead to a useful informative value added product. The announcement of opportunity will be opened for a limited three month-period to submit a proposal until March 1st, 2013. For more information about the SOAR-EI Initiative, please visit regularly EO Current Opportunities of the SOAR Program: www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/programs/soar/default.asp. For more information, contact SOAR-EI@asc-csa.gc.ca

3. The Government of Canada Launches Final Stage of RADARSAT Constellation Project

On January 9th 2013, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), launched the next and final stage of Canada's RADARSAT Constellation project. The RADARSAT Constellation Mission will provide complete coverage of Canada's vast land mass, oceans and coastal approaches, at least once per day, and up to four times daily in the high Arctic. Data produced by the Constellation will support key Government of Canada priorities related to: the Northern Strategy, especially in the Arctic; Defence; Safety, Sovereignty and Security; the Environment; Natural Resources; and Agriculture. The RADARSAT Constellation Mission project is led by the CSA and supported by its principal users: the Department of National Defence, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Public Safety Canada. To read the press release, please visit: www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/media/news_releases/2013/0109.asp

4. 15th Congress of the Quebec Association of Remote Sensing: September 25-27 2013, Rimouski

The 15th Congress of the Quebec Association of Remote Sensing, titled "Surveillance and monitoring of global changes" will be held at the Hotel Rimouski (Rimouski, Quebec, Canada) on September 25-27 2013. This event is an opportunity to present and promote your Earth Observation (EO) activities, researches and projects in different sectors (i.e. agriculture, climate, cryosphere, ecosystems, disaster, energy, forestry, health, water, etc.). It's the perfect occasion for networking with the EO community (universities, industries, governments, etc.). The Congress will include a thematic workshop on "Water Science and EO Applications: Environmental and Socio-Economic Benefits". Invited speakers will present new EO satellites and tools to better face present and future water challenges. Thematic presentations will cover EO applications and its benefits in line with national and international water priorities. The general and thematic call for abstracts and the registration system will be available very soon: www.laqt.org. Important dates are: April 30th (abstracts deadline), May 15th (abstracts acceptance), June 1st (commercial booths deadline). It will be a pleasure to welcome you in Rimouski. For more information, please consult the web site and communicate with Pierre Larouche (President of the organizing committee, Pierre.Larouche@dfo-mpo.gc.ca) and Alain Royer (president of the Association, Alain.Royer@USherbrooke.ca). The Canadian Space Agency participates to the organization of this important event in partnerships with federal and provincial departments, the EO industry and universities.

5. Disaster Risk Management in the Canadian Arctic: Demonstrating the Role of RADARSAT-2 in the Northwest Territories

In the Northwest Territories (NWT), annual spring ice break-up begins in April along the southern parts of the Mackenzie River. This break-up process typically lasts for approximately 10 weeks, during which, ice jams have the potential to cause damaging floods in several communities. The timing of river and lake freeze-up and ice break-up also present risks and challenges for safe transportation on winter roads and ice crossing between communities (i.e. weights alerts) and for mining and oil and gas activities. The area that requires monitoring is large and remote, which means that satellite Earth Observation (EO) technologies are of considerable interest to territorial government departments. Through the Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) Earth Observation Applications and Utilizations (EOAU) Rapid Information Products and Services (RIPS) disaster initiative, Hatfield Consultants are developing lake and river ice products with RADARSAT-2 for future disaster situations in partnership with the NWT Centre for Geomatics. This initiative also includes collaboration with the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) and Department of Transportation. Demonstration RADARSAT-2 products will be provided to all partners, as well as Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). As a result of the project, the NWT government will gain an understanding how RADARSAT-2 data and products could be integrated into Federal and Provincial emergency management planning. This RIPS project also contributes to the CSA engagements in the CEOS, where "Disaster Risk Management" and "Climate Change on Polar Regions" are priorities. For more information: guy.aube@asc-csa.gc.ca, adean@hatfieldgroup.com, Colin_Avey@gov.nt.ca.

6. Alberta Oil-Sands: Operational Monitoring of Fish Habitat and Instream Flow Needs

In December 2010, Hatfield was awarded a contract by the Canadian Space Agency through the Earth Observation Applications Development Program (EOADP) titled Using RADARSAT-2 Data for Operational Monitoring of Fish Habitat and Instream Flow Needs (IFN) in the Alberta Oil-Sands Region. Hatfield worked closely with two federal agencies, Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada as well as the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) for the oil sands region, to study feasibility of RADARSAT-2 to support long-term, year-round operational monitoring requirements for Federal and Provincial monitoring needs (IFN, fish habitat availability, and flood mapping) in the Athabasca oil-sands region. The project was successful in confirming use of RADARSAT-2 data as a way to detect areas of grounded ice, monitor changes in the amount of available fish habitat, and connectivity of water-bodies. This application could provide organizations with information on general changes in the river that may influence decisions in the amount of water that can be withdrawn for oil-sands operations. For more information, please contact pierre.nadeau@asc-csa.gc.ca and mdavies@hatfieldgroup.com.

7. Crop Management: Soil Moisture Experiments and Applications

Accurate and timely estimates of soil moisture improve weather, crop production and flood forecasts. Extremes in soil moisture lead to reductions in agricultural productivity due to drought or reduced acres planted. The SMAP Validation Experiment 2012 (SMAPVEX12) was designed to support the requirements of soil moisture retrieval algorithms and products; mainly, extended time series measurements performed under diverse vegetation conditions, including ground, passive and active satellite and aircrafts acquisitions. Data from this experiment will also be used to prepare for the inclusion of SMAP passive and active data into the Canadian Land Data Assimilation System developed at Environment Canada. From June 7-July 18 2012, Canadian and U.S. scientists conducted the SMAPVEX at a site in Manitoba. Participants included Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environment Canada, three Canadian Universities (Guelph, Sherbrooke, Manitoba), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, NASA, JPL and 10 U.S. universities. NASA flew their PALS (L-Band active and passive) and UAVSAR (L-Band active) sensors 16 times during SMAPVEX, complementing acquisitions from RADARSAT-2 and TerraSAR-X. The 75 participants collected 45,000 soil moisture measurements over 700 locations, as well as vegetation bio-physical data at 300 locations within the Manitoba SMAPVEX site. The AAFC SMAPVEX activities are supported by the Canadian Space Agency Government Related Initiatives Program (GRIP). An article about the SMAPVEX campaign and AAFC RADARSAT-2 applications and use was published in December 2012 in the "Top Crop Manager" publication. To read the news, please visit: www.mydigitalpublication.com/publication/index.php?i=0&m=1031&l=1/&p=14&pre=&ver=flex

8. Federal Committee on Geomatics and Earth Observation (FCGEO)

January 2012 saw the creation of a new federal government Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) level committee, the Federal Committee on Geomatics and Earth Observation (FCGEO). Twenty (2020) federal departments and agencies, whichthat are providers and/or users of geospatial data and information, have come together to identify and address common opportunities and challenges in order to achieve greater efficiencies and effectiveness in the acquisition, use, management and dissemination of federal geospatial information, services and applications. Currently two priority deliverables have been established for 2012-13: (i) the Federal Geospatial Platform Initiative and (ii) the International Engagement Strategy and Protocol Initiative (IESPI). A business case is under development for the creation of a common federal platform, the Federal Geospatial Platform, which will be a collaborative Internet-based environment consisting of authoritative geospatial data, services, and applications that will enable the government's most relevant information to be managed spatially as well as analyzed and displayed in a visual format. This will enhance decision-making support for government priorities. The platform will also provide accessible and reusable geospatial information and visualization services publically in order to foster innovation and ensure better service for Canadians. The IESPI will focus on strengthening the Government of Canada's voice and presence in the international Geomatics and Earth Observation community through priority setting and improved coordination. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is one of the four founding departments of the FCGEO along with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Environment Canada (EC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN). The Director General of Space Utilization, Luc Brûlé, is CSA's representative on the FCGEO. Member departments also include: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, National Defence, Elections Canada, Health Canada, Industry Canada, Parks Canada, Public Safety Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Shared Services Canada, Coast Guard of Canada, Treasury Board of Canada, and Statistics Canada. For more information, please contact Jeannine.Parent@asc-csa.gc.ca.