Following the South Africa-Japan Space Colloquium hosted at the University of Pretoria under the theme Promoting Space Exploration and Earth Observation: Contribution of Japan and South Africa to Humanity six Japanese Professors visited Hartebeesthoek. The visit took place on the 4 October 2012, marking the start of World Space Week 2012 under the theme Space for human safety and security. The Professors were accompanied by representatives from the Japanese Embassy of staff and aimed to learn more about the business activities of the two SANSA directorates co-located at Hartebeesthoek. In the absence of both Managing Directors, Dr Paida Mangara welcomed the visitors.
The South African National Space Agency's (SANSA) Earth Observation directorate will be distributing its annual Fundisa disk to tertiary institutions around South Africa in the form of a Road Show this October, to coincide with World Space Week.
The Fundisa disk is an initiative started in 2009 to provide students with an overview and gateway to remote sensing. 'Fundisa,' which means to teach in Zulu, is an appropriate way of describing the functionality of this geospatial tool. "SANSA's Fundisa disk is made up of an assortment of earth observation data such as satellite imagery, a variety of vector data, open source software, and sample imagery," explains Dr Jane Olwoch, Managing Director at SANSA Earth Observation. The disk will allow students and instructors interested in pursuing studies in geospatial sciences, free access to a range of data and tools.
Thuli Wistebaar recently attended a satellite application technology training workshop offered by CAST Shenzhou Institute (CSI) in Beijing.
The duration of the training was from 9 to 27 July and involved 22 participants from across Africa, including: Algeria, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Congo, Cambodia, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Sudan, Turkmenistan and South Africa. The training was divided into three components: i.e. satellite project essential knowledge, satellite application technology and on site-visits.
The site visits took place at Dong Fang Hong Satellite company Co, Ltd, CAST ground station in Yun Gang, China Satellite Communications Co, Ltd ground station; National Satellite Ocean application Service Centre, National Satellite Meteorological Services Centre and the National Centre for Space Weather, The National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC) , National Administration of Surveying and Geoinformation as well as the Centre for Earth Observation and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Science.
The risk of natural disasters can be reduced by understanding our environment and the fundamental forces that shape it. Earth-observing satellites can provide vital information to mitigate and prepare for disasters.
To raise awareness and demonstrate the capabilities of Earth observation further, ESA has set up five urban risk assessment pilot studies in collaboration with the World Bank
Dr Nicky Knox delivered a week long workshop on the theoretical and practical applications of hyperspectral remote sensing.
The course primarily targeted the Honours level GIS and Remote Sensing students from the NMMU Dept of Geosciences. These students are currently participating in the remote sensing module of the course, of which this workshop was a component.
In addition to learning about the theory and practical considerations of hyperspectral image and spectral processing, students were also given hands on practical on the operation of their spectroradiometer (Stellar Net EPP 2000C).
The workshop was attended by 14 participants with ten of the participants studying toward honours in Geosciences, two students were MSc students in Geosciences, one student who plans on starting a PhD program in Geology, and the Professor of the department also attended the course.