Australia proposed the establishment of an “Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) Regional Readiness Review for Key Climate Missions (Climate R3)” as a major outcome of APRSAF-17. Climate R3 is proposed to determine the ability of APRSAF countries and institutions to benefit from the data and information which will be provided by selected climate-related satellite missions in coming years
The emphasis is on the applications of space-derived information, and not just on the satellite systems; and identifying future measures to enhance regional capacity to exploit the significant investment being planned worldwide in the coming decade.
Three priority areas have been identified for the pilot study: precipitation information (inspired by the advent of Global Precipitation Measurement satellites within a few years); soil moisture (SMOS, SMAP, and Aquarius); and, land use/mapping (noting the continuity offered by ALOS series, Sentinel 1/2 series, Landsat, and the China–Brazil Earth Resources Satellite program series within the next few years). All three of these areas are noted to be of high societal relevance to APRSAF governments.
Climate R3 will look at all stages and aspects of the process of acquiring and exploiting the data and information from these missions in support of national needs. This would include: regional coverage and the need for local reception facilities; data storage and processing capabilities and know-how; product development priorities; product development and dissemination capabilities. Institutional arrangements in each country would be considered and the key user agencies identified and consulted. High priority actions and recommendations will be identified to improve regional readiness to benefit from the key climate missions studied.
The objectives of this review are to:
- Assess benefits to APRSAF countries arising from selected future climate-related satellite missions;
- Raise awareness of mission benefits for APRSAF governments and societies; and
- Emphasise applications of space-derived information and the identification of future measures to enhance regional capacity and leverage global investment.
This project is being lead by the Space Policy Unit in collaboration with Geoscience Australia, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO and other interested Australian government agencies. Additional support is being provided by ESA, NASA, USGS and JAXA, and is fundamental to the success of this initiative.