This week representatives from public services, science and industry are meeting in Innsbruck to assess opportunities for Earth observation (EO) research and development as well as downstream activities that may be the basis for future investments of the European Space Agency (ESA).
Thanks to their abundant resources and despite their challenging topography, the Alps are home to nearly 14 million people. In this context, Earth observation represents a great opportunity to support science, applications and information services to face some of these challenges, while at the same time acting as a potential catalyst for innovation and growth in the region. Driven by the step change in observation capacity offered by the Sentinel missions, we are currently entering a new era for EO science and applications. To maximize the full exploitation of this unprecedented ability of space-borne Earth monitoring by the scientific community, industry and the public sector, dedicated research and development efforts are required, as well as data access, processing and analysis capabilities facilitating these efforts and multiplying their results. During the workshop opportunities for the future are presented and discussed.
In that respect, our colleague Andreas Walli holds a presentation about “Space solutions supporting security for Alpine Summer Tourism” focusing on the Austrian Alps. Here the capacities of the relatively new European satellite infrastructures with new concepts in data fusion could provide an operational monitoring solution component of the aforementioned hazards enabling a decision support ultimately safeguarding mountain accidents.
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