Melbourne, Australia: The 22nd Congress of the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) was inaugurated on an elegant note here with the Council calling on the community of researchers and academicians to work towards ‘Imaging a Sustainable Future.’
In his inaugural address, David Black, Secretary General, International Council for Science (ICSU), emphasised on the need to strengthen international science for the benefit of the society and the importance of building effective collaboration mechanisms among scientific unions. Prof. Orhan Altan, President-ISPRS, noted the progress in the fields of photogrammetry and remote sensing in the past four years and informed that ISPRS has been active in connecting spatial information science with other domains. The occasion also saw the presentation of awards to distinguished scientists. Prof. Franz Leberl of Graz University was awarded the prestigious Brock Gold Medal Award, while Jon-Henrik Haunert bagged the Otto von Gruber Award. Konrad Schindler and his team were awarded the UV Helava Award. Prof. Ian Dowman of University College London and Dr Deren Li of Wuhan University were chosen as Honorary Members.
With an impressive line up of dignitaries, the plenary opened to a packed auditorium on the second day. Gordon Mc Bean of Western University Ontario and President-Elect of ICSU gave a perspective on the future through the knowledge of the present. He said that photogrammetry and remote sensing information are fundamental to understand earth, its resources and the changing weather patterns. Major disasters like floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis often make sustainable development impossible, he pointed out and added that reliable information about earth and environment collected using remote sensing techniques make mitigation and management of disasters possible. He then deliberated on the ways to bring information together from a variety of systems and cited the example of ‘Future Earth’, a 10-year initiative by a global alliance of UNEP, UNESCO, ICSU, ISSC etc. He called on the remote sensing and photogrammetry community to come together to create awareness and build capacities.
Rainer Sandau of International Academy of Astronautics discussed the trends in small satellites and the opportunities and challenges involved in the use of small satellites. He opined that to implement flexible space systems for security and prosperity of people is to pursue activities to develop and operate cost-effective earth observation missions, particularly small satellite missions. Small satellites have a large influence on launch costs, provide more frequent mission opportunities and large variety of missions and rapidly enable the expansion of technology and scientific knowledge base, he said. Small satellites are supported by several contemporary trends like the advances in electronic miniaturisation and new satellite launchers. Small satellites create avenues to reduce mass, volume and power while increasing performance. Satellite constellations and formations increase time resolution and daily coverage and enable the substitution of complex satellite systems using different instruments on small satellite platforms. Bringing complementing capabilities to large earth observation satellites, small satellites can provide high spatial and spectral resolutions while being economically feasible, he concluded.
Talking on the trends in radar remote sensing, Prof. Madhu Chandra of Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany, gave his perspective to remote sensing from an engineering point of view. He enumerated the basic scientific and technology areas including radar scattering, radar engineering and radar data analysis, which are the principal areas of research. Radar calibration, radar data visualisation and end-user implementation constitute the dependent areas of research at present. He concluded with the observation that the end user and industry will determine the course of future developments.
ISPRS 2012 is packed with technical sessions, tutorials and technical tours. With as many as 12 parallel sessions, ISPRS 2012 is also loaded with short presentation sessions with interactive, digital posters and has an engaging social programme of cultural and sporting events.