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  4. -No.037, 18/ Jan/ 2008

News Mails - 2008

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1. [[New Year Message]] Dr. Mustafa Din Subari, Acting Director General of the National Space Agency of Malaysia (ANGKASA)

2. [[New Year Message]] Dr. Chin-Young Hwang, Director of the Policy& International Relations Department, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI)

3. [[New Year Message]] Dr. Jose Edgardo L. Aban, Technical Secretariat of the Science and Technology Coordinating Council Committee on Space Technology Applications (STCC-COSTA), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Republic of the Philippines

4. Report on the Asian Conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS) 2007 by Dr.Salmah BINTI KASIM, Head of the Corporate Division of the Malaysian Centre for Remote Sensing (MACRES)

5. Observation of Amazon Rainforest by Japanese Earth Observation Satellite ALOS

6. [[Event Information and APRSAF Website Updates - January - March 2008]]


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1. [[New Year Message]] Dr. Mustafa Din Subari, Acting Director General of the National Space Agency of Malaysia (ANGKASA)
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The year 2007 was a fruitful year for us, especially with the successful launch of our angkasawan (the Malay word for astronaut) who went to the International Space Station (ISS). We eagerly look forward to achieving more things in 2008.

Malaysia's first operational Earth observation satellite, Razaksat, is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2008. Hopefully by the middle of this year, its 5.0 meter multispectral and 2.5 meter panchromatic images will be available for the remote sensing community, especially those images covering the Near Equatorial Region.

The year 2008 is also a year to begin our next satellite development project, which concerns a medium-size geosynchronous communication satellite. The Fixed Satellite System (FSS) is intended to provide communications pipes for governmental public services, mainly for providing a much-needed backbone for the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) flagship programs such as e-government, e-health and smart schools.

Full text of the message:
http://www.aprsaf.org/interviews_features/features_2008/feature_41.php#a


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2. [[New Year Message]] Dr. Chin-Young Hwang, Director of the Policy& International Relations Department, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI)
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South Korea has completed a new roadmap for Korean space development and announced a plan to launch its first lunar explorer by 2020. This coming April, Korea's first astronaut, Mr. Ko San, will fly to the ISS in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for scientific missions. Korea's first spaceport Naro Space Center is scheduled to be completed by early this year. The Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV) program, which will be a stepping-stone for Korean space activities, will also be finished by the end of this year. This national space program will enable us to launch our own satellites from our land using Korean rockets.

Last year, South Korea decided to participate in Sentinel Asia Project, and this year we expect to be more involved than ever in supporting disaster management in the Asia-Pacific Region.

I confidently believe that the countries in Asia will contribute to a better world through space development programs and will become leading space nations sooner rather than later.

Full text of the message:
http://www.aprsaf.org/interviews_features/features_2008/feature_41.php#b


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3. [[New Year Message]] Dr. Jose Edgardo L. Aban, Technical Secretariat of the Science and Technology Coordinating Council Committee on Space Technology Applications (STCC-COSTA), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Republic of the Philippines
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The year 2007 was a very dynamic and eventful year for the Philippine Space Technology Applications sector in general and in particular for our organization, the Science and Technology Coordinating Council-Committee on Space Technology Applications (STCC-COSTA).

The past year was monumental in that we were fortunate to have co-hosted with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) the Fourth Joint Project Team Meeting (JPTM4) under the aegis of the Sentinel Asia Project. Also, 2007 marked the holding of the second biennial event, dubbed the National Congress for Space Technology Applications and Research (NC-STAR), which paves the way for bolder steps by the Philippine government in implementing and institutionalizing space technology application programs that are current and relevant to the local needs and situations in the Philippines.

We at the Secretariat of the STCC-COSTA would like to extend our heartfelt felicitations for the New Year and look forward to revitalized and renewed collaborations with our neighbors, in pursuit of common, sustainable development in the region.

Full text of the message:
http://www.aprsaf.org/interviews_features/features_2008/feature_41.php#c


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4. Report on the Asian Conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS) 2007 by Dr.Salmah BINTI KASIM, Head of the Corporate Division of the Malaysian Centre for Remote Sensing (MACRES)
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ACRS2007 was successfully held from November 12 to 16, 2007 at Kuala Lumpur. This is the third time that Malaysia has hosted this event, the previous two being in 1989 and 1997. A total of 863 participants attended the conference from 20 countries. Besides technical presentations, several workshops (a tsunami workshop and white elephant and student sessions) and a plenary session were also held. In all, 150 technical papers were presented and 210 posters on technical subjects were exhibited.

A total of 36 organizations from various agencies took part in the exhibition, which was held throughout the conference's duration. ACRS2007 served as a platform for intellectual discussions and the exchange of ideas among scientists and researchers from various countries who are involved in the application of space technology, aiming to use advanced technologies to improve the quality of life in the region.

ACRS2007 was very well received by participants from all over the world, with the number of participants exceeding all other previously held ACRS conferences. Technical visits were organized to MACRES Headquarter and MACRES Ground Receiving Station (MGRS). Social visits involving 65 participants were also organized.

Full text of the message:
http://www.aprsaf.org/interviews_features/features_2008/feature_42.php


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5. Observation of Amazon Rainforest by Japanese Earth Observation Satellite ALOS
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The 13th Conference of Parties (COP13) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) was held in Bali, Indonesia from December 3 to 14, 2007.

"Forest Day" organized by the Indonesia Ministry of Forest (MOF) and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) was set up on December 8 during the period of the conference, and a side event was held called "Sustainable management of Forests and Carbon: Modeling, Monitoring, and Accounting for Forests and Carbon," which was organized by the Forest Agency of Japan and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). At this event, there were many presentations on monitoring techniques that use satellite information.

As one of the presentations, Dr. Masanobu Shimada, Research Field Leader of Japan Exploration Agency (JAXA) along with Dr. Ake Rosenqvist, from the European Commission of Joint Research Center presented about the efficiency of techniques for observing the Amazon Rainforest that use PALSAR (Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar) data from ALOS.

Dr. Shimada said "PALSAR is an L-band microwave sensor to receive microwaves that, because they have a long wavelength of 23.6 cm, can penetrate through cloud and rainfall and acquire image data regardless of the weather or the time of day. They can also partially penetrate forest and go through to the ground. Therefore, PALSAR is suitable for observing the Amazon Rainforest which is very cloudy in the rainy season. Mastering the technique of analyzing PALSAR image data is also very useful for observing illegal logging activities and can help to prevent deforestation."

Full text of the message:
http://www.aprsaf.org/interviews_features/features_2007/feature_40.php


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6. [[Event Information and APRSAF Website Updates - January - March 2008]]
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*January 14-25, 2008
Mountain GIS e-Conference
Kathmandu, Nepal
http://www.mtnforum.org/rs/ec/index.cfm?econfid=15

*January 17-18, 2008
ESRI Asia Pacific User Conference
Tokyo, Japan
http://gis2.esri.com/intldist/events/index.cfm

*February 6-8, 2008
Map India 2008
New Delhi, India
http://www.mapindia.org/

*February 26-29, 2008
IEEE-DEST 2008 - 2nd IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems
and Technologies
Phitsanulok, Thailand
http://www.ieee-dest.curtin.edu.au/2008/index.php

*March 3-7, 2008
International Conference on Rivers in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Ecology and Environmental Assessment
Kathmandu, Nepal
http://www.icimod.org/home/page.php?p=ann2

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