SANSA’s excursion to various Japanese Earth Observation institutions

Representatives from SANSA’s directorates undertook a trip to a number of Japanese Earth Observation institutes from the 8- 13 October 2012. These institutes include the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT), the Remote Sensing Technology Centre of Japan (RESTEC), Japan Space Systems and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The aim of the visit was to establish collaborations in Earth Observation between Japan and South Africa through SANSA. This outcome is significant for SANSA since it clearly indicates that the prospective partnerships with Japanese institutions are strongly endorsed by the governments of Japan and South Africa.

SANSA visited NICT on the 9 October 2012. NICT undertakes research and development in the field of Information Communication Technology (ICT). Of interest to SANSA is NICT’s Space Weather and Environment Informatics Laboratory and the Radio wave (radar) Remote Sensing Centre.

The following day, SANSA and the DST held a meeting with RESTEC. RESTEC is mandated to implement basic and advanced research and development of remote-sensing technology for studying global phenomena and earth resources using satellite based data. Similar to SANSA, RESTEC generates and propagates knowledge of remote-sensing technology and promotes national economic growth and social development. Cooperation in the above areas will clearly not only benefit South Africa but the SADC as whole.

On 10 October 2012, SANSA visited Japan Space Systems. The meeting with Japan Space Systems was centred on earth remote sensing. Other areas of mutual interest included international cooperation on the practical use of remote sensing data and the promotion of the space industry through data utilisation.

Vaneshree Maharaj