United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

United Nations Programme on Space Applications

Programme's news ( Archived)

Seventh meeting of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG)

11 December 2012 - The International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG) met in Beijing, China, from 5 to 9 November 2012, to continue reviewing and discussing developments in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and to allow ICG members, associate members and observers to address recent developments in their organizations and associations with regard to GNSS services and applications. ICG also addressed GNSS professional, mass-market and scientific applications. Representatives from industry, academia and governments shared views on GNSS services. The Meeting was hosted by the Government of the People's Republic of China.

The ICG working groups focused on the following issues: compatibility and interoperability; enhancement of the performance of GNSS services; and reference frames, timing and applications. The meetings agendas and the presentations made at the ICG plenary sessions, its Providers' Forum and the ICG Working Groups will be available on the ICG Information Portal at:
http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/SAP/gnss/icg/meetings.html

ICG accepted the invitation of the United Arab Emirates to host its Eighth Meeting in Dubai, from 10 to 14 November 2013. The Office for Outer Space Affairs, in its capacity as the Executive Secretariat of ICG and its Providers' Forum, will assist in the preparations for the meeting and for interim planning meetings and Working Groups activities. ICG noted the expression of interest by the European Union to host the Ninth Meeting of ICG in 2014.

The ICG had been established by the United Nations General Assembly as a forum to promote cooperation on matters of mutual interest to its members related to civil satellite-based positioning, navigation, timing and value-added services, as well as cooperation on the compatibility and interoperability of global navigation satellite systems, and to promote their use to support sustainable development, particularly in developing countries. The Office for Outer Space Affairs acts as the Executive Secretariat for the ICG and the Providers' Forum.

First activities of the Programme in 2013

6 December 2012 - UN-PSA starts its 2013 programme of work by organizing the United Nations/Pakistan International Workshop on Integrated Use of Space Technologies for Food and Water Security, which will be held from 11 to 15 March 2013 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The workshop will be hosted by the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), and it will address space technologies, applications, information and services that contribute into sustainable economic and social development programmes supporting agricultural and water security, primarily in developing countries. Interested candidates can get detailed information as well as apply for participation on-line at the Workshop's webpage available on the UN-OOSA website.

The next scheduled activity is the United Nations/Croatia Workshop on the Applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems. The meeting will take place in Baška, Krk Island, Croatia, from 21 to 25 April 2013, and it is hosted by the Faculty of Maritime Studies of the University of Rijeka, Croatia. Objectives of the workshop are to: (a) update on-going activities related to the use of GNSS technology; (b) enhance institutional and human capacity on utilizing GNSS technology; (c) identify the specific needs of individual plans and projects on GNSS at the regional and international levels for near-, medium-, and long-term applications; (d) develop a regional plan of action that would contribute to the wider use of GNSS technology and its applications; (e) define recommendations and findings to be forwarded as a contribution to the ICG. Detailed information and on-line application forms are available at the workshop's webpage.

Complete schedule of activities to be carried out by PSA in 2013 will be published on the Internet by the end of 2012, and it could be accessed through the following link:
http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/SAP/sched/index.html

UN-PSA organized ISWI Workshop in Ecuador

23 October 2012 - The United Nations/Ecuador Workshop on the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) ( http://iswiecuador.epn.edu.ec), hosted by Ecuador for Latin America and the Caribbean, was held on 8 - 12 October 2012 in Quito under the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications (UN-PSA). The Workshop discussed the possibilities that exist and made contribution to the prospective solutions of the issues related to solar-terrestrial interactions, and thus to continue space weather research and education into the year 2013 when the next Solar Maximum is expected to occur. The workshop was co-organized and co-sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the International Center for Space Weather Science and Education of Kyushu University of Japan ( http://www.serc.kyushu-u.ac.jp). About 75 scientists, engineers, and policy makers from 20 countries attended the Workshop.

The milestone result of the Workshop is contained in the resolution of the Workshop, unanimously adopted by the workshop participants. Participants noted that space weather is important to our society, which increasingly relies on space technology for education, business, transportation and communication. Participants also noted that the International Heliophysical Year (IHY) and ISWI have made significant progress in the installation of new instrumentation for the understanding of space weather impacts on Earth's upper atmosphere generating new data streams useful for space weather in regions unobserved before. With the support of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, the ISWI has facilitated the operation of nearly 1000 instruments operating in more than 100 of the United Nations member states. The data from these instrument arrays is a unique resource for the study of space weather influences on Earth's atmosphere. The IHY and ISWI schools have trained several hundred graduate students and young scientists, many of whom are becoming mature scientists or engineers as evidenced by their publications. The annual United Nations workshops on ISWI have facilitated instrument deployment, information dissemination, and close international scientific collaboration. Thanks to ISWI, many scientists in developing nations are able to develop and sustain research efforts in their own countries.

The participants of the United Nations/Ecuador workshop, therefore, recommended that ISWI be continued as part of the Space Weather agenda item of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of COPUOS, starting in 2013.

International Water Portal on the Internet

 

19 September 2012 - Following the recommendations of the 1st and the 2nd International Conferences on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management, the International Water Portal was developed and became operational on the Internet. It was initiated as a joint effort of the UN Programme on Space Applications and the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) aimed at creation of a comprehensive on-line forum and database for all parties that are professionally involved in water management. Its unique design combines the functionality of a professional database, an on-line digital library, and a professional networking site.

Originally, the Portal was envisioned as a water professional database, which would host a roster of researchers around the world, as it had been recommended by the 1st International Conferences on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management which took place in 2008 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and was jointly organized by UN-OOSA, UNISCO, PSIPW and the King Abdulaziz Center for Science and Technology (KACST). The second Conference jointly organized by UN-OOSA, Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE) of Argentina and PSIPW in 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has expanded the concept of the project.

PSIPW team implemented the project and developed an interactive database for water researchers and professionals, water-related organizations and companies that has networking functionality where specialists can contact each other, exchange information and add publications to a searchable on-line library, thus providing a single platform for enhancing international cooperation, communication and access to information.

The International Water Portal was officially presented both at the 49th session of Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the COPUOS in February 2012 and at the 55th session of the COPUOS in June 2012. The Portal is hosted by PSIPW and it can be accessed at: http://water-portal.com

5th Meeting of the Governing Board of the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology

23 July 2012 - The fifth meeting of the Governing Board of the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology (CRASTE-LF), affiliated to the United Nations, Rabat, Morocco, was held on 26 June 2012 in Algiers, Algeria. The Meeting considered in detail and subsequently endorsed (i) the report of activities of CRASTE-LF in the period of time from July 2007 through December 2011; (ii) CRASTE-LF's programme of activities for 2012 -2013; and (iii) CRASTE-LF's budget for 2012 - 2013.

The Office for Outer Space Affairs of the United Nations, as the Executive Secretariat for the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG), and its Providers' Forum identified two areas for enhanced cooperation with regard to the further development of the Regional Centres as information centres for ICG: the technical level, which would include various global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) technologies; and the cooperative level, with industry leaders and linkages (seminars, training and supporting materials) with current and future system and augmentation system providers, as well as communication and outreach to the wider community through the ICG information portal, mailing lists, brochures and newsletters.

More information about the Regional Centres is available at: http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/SAP/centres/index.html. Detailed information about ICG and its Providers' Forum is available at: http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/SAP/gnss/icg.html.

Humanitarian Benefits of ISS Were Discussed by International Expert Meeting

16 July 2012 - The United Nations Expert Meeting on the International Space Station Humanitarian Benefits was held in Vienna, Austria, from 11 to 12 June 2012. The Meeting was part of the Human Space Technology Initiative (HSTI) carried out under the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.

Organized by the Office for Outer Space Affairs of the Secretariat in cooperation with the ISS Partner agencies, namely, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), the Meeting aimed at bringing experts from around the world and representatives from relevant United Nations organizations as well as from ISS Partners together to discuss ways to realize the potential of the ISS for the benefit of humanity, specifically, in the areas of Earth observation and disaster response, global health, and educational activities.

Please visit HSTI webpage for more details.

New Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education opens in Western Asia

29 May 2012 - The Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Western Asia, affiliated to the United Nations, opens in Amman, Jordan. The Centre will offer research and application programmes for university educators and research and application scientists on space-based remote sensing, satellite communications, satellite meteorology and space sciences.

"This is another landmark in the development of the UN Programme on Space Applications that was mandated to promote the use of space technology for peaceful purposes, in support of national, regional and global development," said Mazlan Othman, UNOOSA Director at the inauguration ceremony, under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II at the Royal Jordanian Geographic Centre, where the new Centre is located.

The newly inaugurated regional centre in Amman joins the existing four regional centres, located in India for the Asia-Pacific region; in Morocco and Nigeria for French and English communities in Africa respectively; and two campuses of the regional centre for Latin America and the Caribbean, located in Brazil and Mexico. The Centres that are affiliated with the United Nations through an agreement with UNOOSA assist Member States in enhancing local capabilities in different areas of space science and technology that have the potential to advance social and economic development.Each Centre provides 9-months in-depth education, research and application programmes for university educators, as well as research and application scientists with an initial emphasis on remote sensing and GIS, satellite communications, satellite meteorology and space sciences.

More information about the Regional Centres is available at: http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/SAP/centres/index.html

United Nations/Japan Nano-Satellite Symposium

1 May 2012 - In-follow up to the series of three UN/Austria/ESA Symposiums on Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development, held in Graz, Austria, from 2009 to 2011, the United Nations Programme on Space Applications will organize Workshops on Basic Space Technology Development in the regions that correspond to the United Nations Economic Commissions for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Asia.

The first such Workshop in 2012 will be hosted by the University of Tokyo, co-hosted by the University Space Engineering Consortium (UNISEC) and it will be held from 10 to 13 October in Nagoya, Japan, in conjunction with the Japan Aerospace 2012.

The Workshop will include the final presentations of projects submitted to the 2nd Mission Idea Contest, special sessions on the topic listed below, a poster session and discussions on the drafting of a Space Education Curriculum in Aerospace Engineering.

Applications for funding support to partcipate in the Symposium are being accepted until 1 June 2012.

   

United Nations/Malaysia Expert Meeting on Human Space Technology

6 December 2011 - The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) organized the first Expert Meeting on Human Space Technology (HSTEM), held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, from 14 to 18 November 2011, under its newest Human Space Technology Initiative (HSTI) that was launched within the United Nations Programme on Space Applications with the objective to promote international cooperation in human spaceflight and space exploration-related activities.

The meeting, hosted by the Institute of Space Science (ANGKASA), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, resulted in a general enthusiasm for establishing capacity building programmes and international collaboration on human space technology and developed a number of practical recommendations to be undertaken by HSTI, in cooperation with the developing countries, in particular those represented at the meeting.

The meeting was attended by more than 120 participants from 23 countries, including those representing the following space agencies: Canadian Space Agency (CSA), China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Space Agency of Malaysia (ANGKASA), Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos).

Please visit HSTI webpage for more details.

UN/Austria/ESA Symposium on Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development: Implementing Small Satellite Programmes: Technical, Managerial, Regulatory and Legal Issues

17 October 2011 - Under the framework of the Basic Space Technology Initiative (BSTI), the UN Programme on Space Applications successfully concluded this year's Symposium on "Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development - Implementing Small Satellite Programmes: Technical, Managerial, Regulatory and Lecal Issues ", held in Graz, Austria, from 13 to 16 September 2011. It concludes the series of three Symposiums dedicated to small satellite actvities.

This year the Symposium focused on the programmatic and management aspects of small satellite development activities. It was attended by more than 100 small satellite experts from 39 countries and several international organizations.

The presentations made at the Symposium will be posted at the Symposium Webpage of the Programme's web site.

United Nations International Conference on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

6 April 2011 - 2nd United Nations/Argentina International Conference on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management, organized by the UN Programme on Space Applications in cooperation with European Space Agency (ESA) and Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW), was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 14 to 18 March 2011. The meeting was hosted by the Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE) on behalf of the Government of Argentina.

The Conference discussed how space technology could contribute to better management of water resources, including combating desertification, ensuring access to safe drinking water and managing water-related emergencies in developing countries, with the following primary objectives: (i) to enhance capabilities of countries in the use of space-related technologies, applications, services and information for identifying and managing water resources; (ii) to strengthen international and regional cooperation in this area; (iii) to increase awareness among decision-makers and research and academic community of space technology applications for addressing water-related issues; and (iv) to promote educational and public awareness initiatives in the area of water resources management, as well as to contribute to capacity building process in this area.

The programme of the Conference included 6 technical sessions and the special "Water Prize" session organized by PSIPW. Overall, 43 oral presentations were delivered during four days course of the technical sessions, and 6 papers were submitted for a poster session. Technical sessions were followed by meetings of two Working Groups which were established to prepare observations and recommendations of the Conference, as well as to develop proposals for follow up projects and to examine possible partnerships that could be launched.

This Conference was the second international event focusing on water-related issues in the series of biannual meetings organised in co-operation with, and with financial assistance of, the PSIPW and ESA. The first meeting took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in April 2008. The 3rd conference is planned to be held in 2013 in Asia, and the 4th one will be held in 2015 in Africa.

HSTI outreach seminar

 

23 February 2011 - The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), under the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, is launching the Human Space Technology Initiative (HSTI) with the objective to promote international cooperation in human spaceflight and space exploration-related activities.

On 8 February 2011, at the margins of the forty-eighth session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), the Office, in cooperation with the International Space Station (ISS) partners, held an outreach seminar concerning the International Space Station.

The seminar presented the status of education and research activities on the ISS and provided information on utilization and cooperation opportunities. Please check the outreach seminar web page for more information.

The main achievement of the seminar was for the first time under the auspices of the UN, to bring together ISS partners and other countries, especially developing countries, giving them a unique opportunity to start discussions on possible cooperation and on how HSTI could play a role as an interlocutor between the ISS partners and non-ISS partners.

The seminar confirmed that HSTI could be a meaningful mechanism for promoting ISS and other exploration-related initiatives to countries, regions, and potential users that have to date not been involved with such activities, thereby contributing to capacity building in space science and technology education and research.

United Nations/United Arab Emirates Workshop on the Applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)

 

25 January 2011 - Within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) organized in Dubai, from 16 to 20 January 2011, a five-day Workshop on the Applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).

The workshop was hosted by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) on behalf of the Government of the United Arab Emirates and was co-sponsored by the United States of America through the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG).

The aim of the workshop was to augment the exchange of information, collaboration and advances in the use of GNSS in a wide range of applications (e.g. aviation, marine, roads and highways, rail, space, agriculture, forestry, and natural resource exploration, surveying and mapping, scientific applications) with a view to establish a regional cooperative mechanism.

The workshop programme included plenary sessions and discussion panels that allowed participants to identify priority areas where pilot projects could be launched and possible partnerships could be established. Throughout the Workshop, national and regional success stories were demonstrated and potential applications were explained. The sessions stimulated discussion on how to establish a link between the global reference frame (International Terrestrial Reference Frame - ITRF) and the existing IGS (International GNSS Service) stations in the region in order to be incorporated in the continues operating GNSS network.

More opportunities for students and young professionals to attend the UN/IAF Workshop and IAC in Cape Town, South Africa

 

 

17 January 2011 - Since 1991, the UN Programme on Space Applications and the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) have been working jointly on organizing a series of annual international workshops on space science and technology applications for benefit of developing countries. The theme of the 21st workshop in the series is "Space for Human and Environmental Security", and it will take place from 30 September to 2 October, 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa, in conjunction with the 62nd International Astronautical Congress (IAC), that also will be held in Cape Town from 3 to 7 October 2011.

Each year co-organizers of the workshop provide a number of qualified applicants from developing countries with financial support needed to attend the workshop and the Congress. In addition to this assistance, in 2009 IAF started a Youth Grants Programme that supports participation of students and young professionals in IAC, the UN/IAF workshop and other events associated with the Congress. The 2011 IAF Youth Grant Programme is open to individuals between the age of 21 and 35, who are interested in pursuing careers involving the development, application and use of space systems, space science research, the policy, legal, social and cultural aspects of space activities, international cooperation on space programs and other similar subjects, and who would not otherwise be able to attend the Congress due to financial reasons.

The announcement of grant opportunities for 2011 and detailed information on application requirements are available on IAF website: http://www.iafastro.com/index.html?title=Youth_Grants

United Nations/Japan Long-term Fellowship Programme on Nano-Satellite Technologies

 

 

21 December 2010 - The Programme on Space Applications is now accepting applications for the three-year Doctorate in Nano-Satellite Technologies (DNST) Programme, a Long-term Fellowship Programme established by the United Nations and Japan with the cooperation of the Kyushu Institute of Technology (KIT).

Tuition, living and travel cost for up to two candidates per year will be covered by KIT and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.

The programme starts on 1 October 2011 and will last for three years for each participant. The fellowsip programme will provide extensive research opportunities in nano-satellite systems through the use of the nano-satellite development and testing facilities available at KIT.

The deadline for application is 30 April 2011.

Fifth Meeting of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG)

Click on images to enlarge them

8 November 2010 - The Fifth Meeting of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG) took place in Turin, Italy, from 18 to 22 October 2010. The event was jointly hosted by Italy and by the European Commission on behalf of the European Union.

This year the meeting addressed GNSS technology in the era of multi-systems receivers and the impact of GNSS interoperability on timing and other users' applications. The representatives of the major Italian industries involved in GNSS activities were invited to hold a round table on the "European GNSS in the frame of the international cooperation". The ICG Working Groups met on 19 and 20 of October and focused on the following issues: compatibility and interoperability, enhancement of the performance of GNSS services, information dissemination and capacity building, and reference frames, timing and applications.

The ICG had been established by the United Nations General Assembly as a forum to promote cooperation on matters of mutual interest to its members related to civil satellite-based positioning, navigation, timing and value-added services, as well as cooperation on the compatibility and interoperability of global navigation satellite systems, and to promote their use to support sustainable development, particularly in developing countries. The Office for Outer Space Affairs acts as the Executive Secretariat for the ICG and the Providers' Forum.

Further information and the presentations made at the meeting are available at the ICG Information Portal: www.icgsecretariat.org

UN-PSA events at the 2010 International Astronautical Congress:
20th United Nations/International Astronautical Federation International Workshop on "GNSS Applications for Human Benefit and Development", 11th United Nations/International Academy of Astronautics Workshop on Small Satellites in the Service of Developing Countries and BSTI presentation at Cluster Forum



2 November 2010 - The twentieth UN/IAF Workshop on "GNSS Applications for Human Benefit and Development" was held in Prague, Czech Republic, from 24 to 25 September 2010, as an associated event of the 61st International Astronautical Congress. The Workshop discussed GNSS technologies, applications and services that contribute into sustainable economic and social development programmes, primarily in developing countries.

The Workshop was jointly organized by the UN Programme on Space Applications and International Astronautical Federation (IAF), and it was co-sponsored by European Space Agency (ESA) and the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG). The event was hosted, on behalf of the IAC Local Organizing Committee, by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. The co-sponsors provided financial support required for the participation of 31 individuals from 28 developing countries. Overall, more than 80 participants from 43 countries that had registered for this event have attended the workshop; representatives of a number of international organisations, institutions and NGO, such as ESA, IAF, IAA, SGAC and the United Nations were also present.

The Programme of the workshop included 3 technical sessions. Two sessions held on the first day of the workshop considered applications of GNSS technologies and services, and they also included presentations on practical experiences and case studies by participants. The third session held on the second day of the meeting dealt with international and regional initiatives and cooperation, and with capacity building in the area of GNSS technology and services application. Overall, 24 oral technical presentations were delivered during two days course of the technical sessions, and 13 papers were submitted for poster sessions. Technical sessions were followed by the concluding Round Table discussion, which took place on the second day of the Workshop.

The Round Table discussion was moderated by Dr. Dorin Prunariu, Chairman of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), and it included the following six panelists: Dr. Jan Kolář (Head of Czech Space Office and Chairman of the IAC LOC), Mr. Ken Hodgkins (Director, Office of Space and Advanced Technology, Department of State, USA), Prof. Alexey Romanov (Deputy Director General, JSC "Russian Space Systems", Russia), Prof. Bernhard Hofmann-Wellenhof (Institute of Navigation and Satellite Geodesy, Graz University of Technology, Austria), Dr. Giorgio Solari (Directorate of Galileo and Satellite Navigation Related Activities, ESA), Prof. Mustapha Amghar (Director of Galileo Morocco Group, Morocco). Prior to the Round Table, two Working Groups were established in order to summarize critical issues/focal themes identified in the presentations delivered at the technical sessions of the Workshop for addressing those to the panelists. The first Working Group focused on issues related to capacity building, institutional strengthening and international cooperation, and the second one discussed practical aspects of GNSS applications for sustainable development.

All presentations made at the Workshop have been posted at the IAF website.

The annual international workshop on Small Satellites in the Service of Developing Countries was organized by the Programme in cooperation with International Academy of Astronautics as a part of IAC, and it was held on 28 September 2010. One of the main objectives of this workshop was to review the benefits of small satellite programmes, with particular emphasis on the contribution that small satellites could make to supporting scientific, Earth observation and telecommunication missions. Emphasis was placed on international cooperation, education and training and the benefits of such programmes for developing countries. Among those attending the Workshop were several participants of previous workshops, who provided valuable continuity and were able to assess the progress that had been made in the course of the workshop series.

This half-day event was attended by about 100 registered participants of the IAC, and it featured 13 technical presentations dealing with the use of space technology for the benefit of developing countries.

The United Nations Programme on Space Applications also presented its Basic Space Technology Initiative (BSTI) at the 2nd International Cluster Forum - Nanosatellite Event held on 29 September 2010 as part of the Congress.

2nd small satellite symposium in Graz, Austria, has been organized by the Programme

24 September 2010 - In the framework of the Basic Space Technology Initiative (BSTI), the United Nations Programme on Space Applications successfully conducted the second Symposium on "Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development - Payloads for Small Satellite Programmes", held in Graz, Austria, from 21 to 24 September 2010.

This year Symposium focused on the development and applications of payloads for small satellites in the 1-100 kg class. More than 115 small satellite experts from more than 35 countries and international organizations took part in the Symposium with lectures and working groups focusing on the status of world-wide small satellite activities, international and regional cooperation, the potential of using small satellites for education, research and operational applications, the technical and programmatic issues of developing payloads for small satellites and the relevant regulatory issues, such as frequency allocations, space debris mitigation and registration of satellites.

The Programme's activities have been featured in the Space Policy journal

15 September 2010 - Article entitled "The United Nations Programme on Space Applications: Status and direction for 2010" had been written by PSA staff and then published in August 2010 in the volume 26, issue 3 of the Space Policy journal (ISSN 0265-9646). The paper briefly reviews history and mandate of the Programme as well as describes the status and direction of Programme's activities in 2010 as approved by the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). The article can be accessed through this link.

Space Policy is an international, interdisciplinary journal which draws on the fields of international relations, economics, history, aerospace studies, security studies, development studies, political science and ethics to provide discussion and analysis of space activities in their political, economic, industrial, legal, cultural and social contexts.

New directory on educational opportunities in aerospace engineering and small satellite development

8 September 2010 - As part of its Basic Space Technology Initiative, the United Nations Programme on Space Applications has published a new directory on Educational Opportunities in Aerospace Engineering and Small Satellite Development (UN document ST/SPACE/53).

The publication lists information about relevant programmes offered by 43 academic institutions in 18 countries.

Planning the HUMSAT Nano-satellite Constellation Project, Vigo, Spain

Humsat-University of Vigo

Humsat-Model

29 June 2010 - UN Programme on Space Applications was invited to present its Basic Space Technology Initiative (BSTI) at a conference organized by the Universida de Vigo, Fundacion Caixagalicia and the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion of the Government of Spain.

Following the conference, representatives of Calpoly, CRECTEALC-Campus Mexico, European Space Agency (ESA), International Astronautical Federation (IAF), UNOOSA and Universida de Vigo met to discuss progress on the planned HUMSAT Nano-satellite constellation.

The HUMSAT constellation will provide messaging services through small user terminals and is open for international collaboration with organizations developing nano-satellites. The project has been presented at the UN/Austria/ESA Symposium on Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development, held in 2009, and is endorsed by the Basic Space Technology Initiative, implemented by the Office for Outer Space Affairs in the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.

At the UN/Austria/ESA Symposium on Small Satellite Programmes for Sustainable Development: Payloads for Small Satellite Programmes, to be held 21-24 September 2010, a special session will be dedicated to the HUMSAT project.

 

Basic Space Technology: Survey of Aerospace Engineering and Small Satellite Programmes

 

3 June 2010 - The United Nations Programme on Space Applications is conducting a comprehensive survey of world-wide academic programmes in aerospace engineering and small satellite development. The purpose of this survey is to compile a directory which will allow Member States to assess the availability of relevant education opportunities and to help prospective students - including those from developing countries and emerging space nations - to select suitable programmes they may wish to apply for. Relevant academic institutions are invited to complete the survey.

Please visit BST page for more details.

Governing Board meeting of ARCSSTE-E

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19 May 2010 - The 3rd Governing Board meeting of the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English Language (ARCSSTE-E) was held in Abuja, Nigeria on 23 March 2010. Representatives from 10 African countries participated in the meeting. Various issues related to the work of ARCSSTE-E were discussed.

Dr. Takao Doi, UN Expert on Space Applications, visited the ARCSSTE-E located on the campus of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria on 24-25 March and had opportunities to talk to students and staff members. This year 27 students from 7 countries are taking university courses in remote sensing and geographic information system, satellite communication, and basic space and atmospheric science. The students at the ARSSTE-E performed their studies with great enthusiasm and dedication. They also considered the further development of manned space flights as very important for the future of their nations.

Please click here to get more information on activities of the Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education, affiliated to the United Nations.

New booklet on the UN Programme on Space Applications has been published

8 April 2010 - A new brochure on the United Nations Programme on Space Applications has been published in February 2010 as the UN document ST/SPACE/52.

The colorful publication describes history and mandate of the Programme and provides a comprehensive overview of its current activities.

International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG): 2010

16 March 2010 - The Office for Outer Space Affairs, as the Executive Secretariat for the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG) and the Providers' Forum, organized the ICG Working Group on "Enhancement of performance of GNSS services" special meeting on "GNSS User Positioning Integrity" on 8 March 2010 immediately preceding the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit 2010, 9 - 11 March 2010, Munich, Germany. The meeting was devoted to a discussion on the technical solutions being considered to address the problem of user positioning integrity and in particular the benefits that multi-constellation interoperability would bring to these solutions. Presentations made at the meeting are available at the ICG Information Portal at www.icgsecretariat.org

 

Conclusion of IYA2009

http://www.astronomy2009.org

7 January 2010 - The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) has been successfully concluded.

The UN Programme on Space Applications, through its Basic Space Science Initiative (UNBSSI), supported IYA2009 as an Organizational Node and disseminated information on that activity world-wide and specifically to state Members of UNCOPUOS. A final review of the Programme's contributions to IYA2009 was undertaken as part of the UN/ESA/NASA/JAXA Workshop on Basic Space Science and the International Heliophysical Year 2007, hosted by the Korea Institute for Astronomy and Space Science (KASI) in September 2009 ( http://bssihy.kasi.re.kr/unbssw1.aspx).

First issue of the ISWI newsletter

4 January 2010 - The first, inaugural, issue of the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) Newsletter is out!

The Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN-COPUOS, beginning at its session in 2010, will consider a new agenda item entitled "International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI)" under a three-year work plan with specific focus on the effects of space weather on the Earth. Major elements of ISWI will be dissemination of information on the ground-based world-wide instrument arrays through an ISWI Newsletter and through the ISWI Website http://www.iswi-secretariat.org/. The ISWI Newsletter is published by Kyushu University, Japan.

Subscription to the Newsletter is available by sending a blank email to ISWInewsletter-on@mail-list.com. On an exceptional basis, the inaugural issue of the ISWI Newsletter has also been distributed as hard copy.

Centre's performance assessment

31 December 2009 - Since 1988, the Office, through the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, supports the establishment and operation of UN-affiliated Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education. Such Regional Centres exist for Asia and the Pacific in India, for Africa in Morocco and Nigeria, and for Latin America and the Caribbean in Brazil/Mexico. Regional Centres are organizing, on an annual basis, nine-month post-graduate courses in remote sensing and GIS, satellite communications, satellite meteorology and global climate, and space and atmospheric science.

At the 14th Governing Board Meeting of the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP), New Delhi, India, 7-10 September 2009, the first ever comprehensive report on Performance Assessment and Outlook for the Future for a UN-affiliated Regional Centre was published.

CSSTEAP was inaugurated in 1995 and the report contains full information on all achievements and issues that have been encountered by CSSTEAP in the past 15 years. Hard copies of this report are available on request to oosa@unoosa.org.

UN Climate Change Conference

16 December 2009 - UN-OOSA took part in the work of the UN Climate Change Conference which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 7 to 18 December 2009. Following decisions of 2007 Conference in Bali, the Copenhagen Conference was expected to conclude a strong international climate change deal, which was to cover the key issues of mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions), adaptation (coping with the inevitable consequences of climate change) and finance and technology (needed to help developing countries to step up actions to limit the growth of their emissions and adapt to climate change impacts).

The Conference attracted a huge number of participants, including 8,000 delegates from parties, 750 participants from the UN Secretariat and specialized agencies, 700 participants from intergovernmental organization, and more than 20,000 registered participants from NGOs. In addition to plenary events of COP, CMP, SBI and SBSTA, the Conference featured more than 300 side events (seminar-like meetings, each event attracted around 100 participants in average), as well as a large exhibition.

During the first week of the Conference, the Office and PSA were presented at plenary meetings of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), as well as PSA representative participated, as panelist, in the UNCCD-organized side event on the role of land under the new climate change policy framework.

PSA co-organizes the 2nd International Symposium on GNSS

World-map showing ISWI instrument distribution, most of them GPS supported http://www.iswi-secretariat.org/

8 December 2009 - The Programme co-organized the Second International Symposium on Global Navigation Satellite Systems, Space-Based and Ground-Based Augmentation Systems and Applications. The symposium took place in Berlin, Germany, from 30 November to 2 December 2009. It was hosted by the Government of Germany, and co-organized by the Senate of Berlin, the International EUPOS Steering Committee and the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems. This series of Symposia was initiated by the establishment of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG) and encouraged by UNOOSA, acting as the Executive Secretariat of ICG. The Symposium addressed objectives, activities, organization, and achievements of both the EUPOS cooperation and the European Reference Frame (EUREF). The potential of space-based geodetic techniques, in particular GNSS and differential GNSS reference station networks, was recognized for the use of modern and precise continental reference frames in the Eurasian tectonic plate. The Symposium was appraised of the status of the development of the ICG and the newly established International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI). Eurasian countries were encouraged to participate at and contribute to the ICG and ISWI.

Space weather workshop in Morocco has been organized by PSA

25 November 2009 - The Programme co-organized the Workshop to Establish Scientific and Instrument Collaborations for Observing the Consequences of Space Weather from Morocco. The meeting took place from 18 to 24 November 2009, and it was hosted, on behalf of the Government of Morocco, by the University Mohammed V in Rabat, Morocco. Formal presentations from IHY/ISWI instrument providers (CALLISTO, GPS-Africa, MAGDAS, RENOIR, SCINDA, SID/AWESOME) were made to prospective instrument hosts at Moroccan Universities. Tentatively two magnetometers (MAGDAS), two GPS receivers (GPS-Africa and SCINDA), and one radio spectrometer (CALLISTO) will be transferred to Moroccan observational sites. The UN-affiliated African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in French language, located in Rabat, will participate in the operation of the two GPS receivers. The Moroccan Academy of Science and Technology Hassan II and the ISWI Secretariat entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with regard to the development of distributed ionospheric observatories in a number of universities of Morocco.

UNCOPUOS, at its fifty-second session in 2009, noted the importance of continuing to build upon the success of the International Heliophysical Year 2007 and noted with satisfaction that the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee will consider a new agenda item entitled International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI) under a three-year work plan with specific focus on the effects of space weather on the Earth and its impact, inter alia, on satellite communications and satellite positioning, navigation, and timing.

Small Satellite Development Workshop has been organized by the Programme for UNOOSA staff

20 November 2009 - The UN Programme on Space Applicationa has organized a three day technical Small Satellite Development Workshop for the staff of the Office for Outer Space Affairs. The Workshop was held from 18 to 20 November 2009, and it provided the UNOOSA staff with an insight into the fundamental physical and technical aspects, capabilities and latest trends in the development of small satellites.

Instructors at the Workshop were Prof. Hans-Peter Roeser and his colleagues - Dipl. Ing. (FH) Michael Lengowski, Dipl. Ing. Felix Boehringer, and Dipl. Social. Science Regina Kreutzmann from the Institute of Space Systems of Stuttgart University.

The Workshop supports activities the United Nations Programme on Space Applications related to capacity building in basic space technology development. The activities are part of an initiative that takes account of the increasing interest in a growing number of countries to build indigenous space technology development capacities. In particular the development of small satellites - due to their growing affordability - is now also in the reach of many developing countries. With the capabilities of smaller satellites increasingly rivaling those of larger and more expensive satellites, adequate levels of indigenous space technology development capacities can help a country to optimize the benefits it can derive from the use of space technology and its applications.

Real-time solar activity data are now on display at the UNOOSA exhibit

8 November 2009 - Since 1990, the UN Programme on Space Applications leads the United Nations Basic Space Science Initiative (UNBSSI) by contributing to the international and regional development of astronomy and space science through annual UN/ESA/NASA/JAXA workshops on basic space science, International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY 2007), and the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI). The programme also coordinates the development of IHY/ISWI low-cost, ground-based, world-wide instrument arrays.

One of such instruments - Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance Monitor (SID) - has been recently installed at UNOOSA exhibit to demonstrate how data on solar activity are received and processed in real tome.

When energy from a solar flare reaches the Earth, the ionosphere suddenly changes its physical characteristics, most notably in the way it reflects radio waves from terrestrial sources. Travelling with speed of light, the radiation reaches Earth in eight minutes and can disrupt radio communication and navigation system. The SID monitor measures the effect of these sudden disturbances on very low frequency radio wave transmissions and stores the data on an attached PC for uploading to the Solar Center at Stanford University where analysis and comparison to other sites in the SID worldwide network takes place. The graph at the left shows data collected during a twenty four hour period with marked changes in the signal strength as flares occur during day time.

 

   
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