Top Stories
Top Stories
Top news stories from Sensors & Systems online magazine.
ACRI-ST Deploys Quantum's StorNext 5 System To Manage And Preserve Critical Satellite Imaging And Remote Sensor Data

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 22, 2014—Quantum Corp. (NYSE: QTM) today announced that ACRI-ST, a service provider in remote sensing and modeling of physical and environmental phenomena, has selected and deployed a Quantum StorNext 5 scale-out storage system to enable content collaboration and preservation for 400 TB of geospatial data today and 7 PB of data over the next 10 years.

Michael Byrne Awarded the 2014 Citizen Services Medal

This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to citizen services (including economic development, education, health care, housing, labor and transportation).

New Research Released on Forest Carbon Accounting

The Society of American Foresters (SAF) has published "Forest  Carbon Accounting Considerations in US Bioenergy Policy" in the Journal of Forestry. The article, which was authored by an SAF-sponsored team comprised of some of the US's leading forest carbon experts, identifies and examines scientific-based insights essential to understanding forest bioenergy and "carbon debts."

GIS Webinars from UCGIS

The fall 2014 series of webinars offered by UCGIS begins next week. Join us for these hour-long sessions guaranteed to boost your knowledge about GIS and GIScience in higher education. Everyone is invited to attend!

Radar Remote Sensing – Research for Agriculture and Climate

The 2014 harvest season is coming to an end, and throughout Germany the signs are of good yields for wheat, corn and similar crops. But the differences are large depending on the location. Hence, for optimum cultivation, it is important to be constantly aware of the condition of the soil and the crops. Radar images are particularly suitable for providing large-scale observations – using an aircraft or a satellite.

Aireon Announces Air Traffic Surveillance System as a Public Service

Aireon LLC, developer of the world’s first space-based ADS-B global air traffic surveillance system, today announced its plan to provide the Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (Aireon ALERT) service, a global emergency tracking solution that will be provided as a public service to the aviation community, free-of-charge. The Aireon ALERT service will allow rescue agencies to request the location and last flight track of any 1090 MHz ADS-B equipped aircraft flying in airspace currently without surveillance.

Australian Scientists Develop an Approach to Calculate Emissions

An international team of climate scientists has come up with a practical way to address the carbon squabbles that have dogged international climate negotiations. They have developed a simple way for countries to calculate their emission targets under any global carbon sharing proposal. The method also gives insights into how one country’s targets impact others.

Ethiopia Prepared to Launch an Urban Land Information System

The Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Construction (MUDHCo) is about to launch the implementation of Urban Land Information System project. One of the objectives of the Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Construction (MUDHCo) is to curb the problems of mismanagement and increase the real pension in urban areas through the establishment of the Cadastre and Real Property Registration System.

USGS Model Provides Insight into Snake Valley’s Groundwater

Proposed increases in water withdrawals in Snake Valley and surrounding areas will likely result in declining groundwater levels and a decrease in natural discharge to springs, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study and simulation model.

GIS Researchers Receive Grant to Explore Spatial Data Error

DALLAS, Tex., Sept. 22, 2014, —Two researchers in UT Dallas’ School of Economics, Political and Policy Sciences will explore uncertainty in spatial data with a grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health.

The project focuses on documenting, visualizing and utilizing data error and uncertainty information in spatial analysis, said Dr. Daniel A. Griffith, Ashbel Smith Professor of geospatial information sciences (GIS) and the principal investigator. Dr. Yongwan Chun, an assistant professor of GIS, will serve as co-investigator on the project.

Uncertainty refers to how much the data — and, subsequently, the results of a statistical analysis — can be trusted. There are many sources of uncertainty; the researchers will investigate how the potential sources impact public health data analyses.

“When data undergo spatial aggregation, corruptions introduced through the process are not documented,” Griffith said. “Data users are not aware of the magnitude of error in and uncertainty accompanying a given data set.

“Ignoring error in spatial data is detrimental to the formulation of effective policies and the making of sound decisions.”

The collaborative grant with George Mason University totals approximately $304,000 for one year, and the expected project total for three years is more than $860,000.

The researchers also will investigate how to effectively visualize uncertainty.

Griffith said existing mapping tools fail to sufficiently include high-quality information. This is particularly true of health data, such as geocoded cases in databases like the Florida Cancer Registry, with which the researchers will work.

Data users often ignore data error, treating spatial data and associated maps as error-free, Griffith said. Some analyses, such as geographic cluster detections — like a crime hotspot or spatial distribution of cancer rates — are performed without considering the quality of data.

The researchers aim to:

Enhance future data gathering and processing efforts.
Enable users to consider different types of error information.
Improve the reliability of spatial pattern detection by incorporating data quality information and translate uncertainty information into maps.
Communicate data quality information to users.

“I believe that our research will be beneficial to people who use spatially aggregated data, such as cancer rates and survey data, in their analyses,” Chun said. “It is an exciting project to show how analysis results might not be very reliable numerically and visually.”

NASA Launches RapidScat Wind Watcher to Space Station

A new NASA mission that will boost global monitoring of ocean winds for improved weather forecasting and climate studies is among about 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of NASA science investigations and cargo now on their way to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft. The cargo ship launched on the company's Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 10:52 p.m. PDT Saturday, Sept. 20 (1:52 a.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 21).

Aerial Technology Enters the Farming and Agriculture Industry Offering UAS Technology for Mapping Strategies and Analytics

Clackamas, Ore., September 19, 2014—Aerial Technology (ATI) expands their UAS technology into the farming and agriculture Industry to provide useful data that will enable farmers and produce growers the ability to make cost-effective decisions. ATI provides data through video, thermal imaging, multi-spectral imaging and tailored software applications, integrated into their UAS technology. “Precision Agriculture is the application of 21st century technology to one of the world’s most ancient professions,” ATI co-founder Stephen Burtt explains.

Purdue University Mapping Technology Could Help Farmers Better Understand Soil Functionality

A Purdue University agronomist has developed soil mapping technology that provides visual information about soil functionality and productivity, which could increase profitability for farmers as they cultivate crops.

Esri and 1776 Team Up to Support Emerging Businesses

Esri, the world leader in geospatial technology and mapping software, welcomed 1776, a startup incubator in Washington, D.C, today as the newest addition to the Esri Emerging Business Program. The three-year program is designed to empower small companies to solve big problems with the use of geospatial technology.

URISA Members Recognized for Exceptional Volunteer Service

During GIS-Pro 2014, URISA’s 52nd Annual Conference in New Orleans last week, a number of individuals were recognized for their exceptional volunteer service to the association. URISA was pleased to recognize these outstanding members during the Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, September 10.

Geospatial Analysis Tool Built to Support Army Intelligence Analysis

Geospatial intelligence can help commanders to gain better insight about which route to send their troops -- a more concealed longer route versus a shorter more direct route that leaves the troops exposed to enemy fire.

Digital Coast Act to Aid Great Lakes Communities in Water Management, Disaster Response, Long-Term Planning and Restoration

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today introduced legislation to help Wisconsin communities along the Great Lakes better prepare for storms, cope with varying lake levels, and strengthen economic development planning efforts along the shore.

3D Laser Mapping and Neptec Technologies Sign Global OEM Agreement

3D Laser Mapping, a global developer of laser scanning solutions for the infrastructure and mining sectors is pleased to announce it has signed a global OEM agreement with Neptec Technologies, an innovative provider of real-time intelligent 3D robot vision products.  The agreement will lay the foundations for the creation of mobile mapping systems specifically for the mining industry.

PlanetiQ Team Selected by Air Force to Provide Hosted Payload Solution to U.S. Government

Under a new contract with the U.S. Air Force, PlanetiQ LLC will provide an adaptable on-orbit platform for hosting U.S. government payloads as a subcontractor to Millennium Engineering and Integration Company. PlanetiQ, which plans to launch the first commercial constellation of weather and climate satellites, and Millennium are partnering under a contract awarded by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) through its Hosted Payload Solutions program. The multi-award contract is worth up to $495 million.

FEMA Announces First Meeting of the Technical Mapping Advisory Council

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced that the first public meeting of the Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) is scheduled for September 30 to October 1, 2014, at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Auditorium in Reston, Virginia.

PrecisionHawk Raises $10 Million in Series B Financing

PrecisionHawk, an information delivery company that uses a small, lightweight UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] and cloud-based software to collect, process and analyze aerial data, today announced it has closed a Series B financing round of approximately $10 million led by New York City-based investor Millennium Technology Value Partners.

MAPPS Applauds Introduction of Digital Coast Act in U.S. Senate

A bill to establish a "Digital Coast" program whereby the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) develops a coordinated and comprehensive national mapping effort for coastal, State and territorial waters of the United States has been introduced in the U.S. Senate, earning praise from MAPPS, the national association of private sector geospatial firms.

GAF AG and Partners Contracted to Map European Riparian Zones

A European consortium headed by GAF AG has been contracted by the European Environment Agency (EEA) to implement the latest element of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service’s Local Component: the Riparian Zones Project. The project team mainly consists of four experienced European service providers: GAF AG (Germany), INDRA (Spain), Metria (Sweden) and GeoVille (Austria). The consortium has signed a 3.7 million € framework service contract with the EEA and conducted a successful project kick-off in Copenhagen in July 2014.

Precision Farming Market Review on Technology and Components with Forecasts & Global Analysis

Global precision farming market is forecast to hit $3,721.27 million by 2018 at an estimated CAGR of 13.36%. The growth of precision farming industry is expected to be remarkable with major active players of the market being Deere & Co. (U.S.), Trimble Navigation (U.S.), Topcon positioning systems (U.S.), Raven Industries (U.S.), Precision Planting (U.S), AGCO (U.S.), and so on. Complete report titled Precision Farming Market by Technology (GPS/GNSS, GIS, Remote Sensing & VRT), Components (Automation & Control, Sensors, FMS), Applications (Yield Monitoring, VRA, Mapping, Soil Monitoring, Scouting) - Global Forecast & Analysis (2013 - 2018).

European LiDAR Mapping Forum 2014 Programme Posted

The European LiDAR Mapping Forum (ELMF) 2014 Conference Programme has been posted online, event organizer SPAR Point Group announced. The 2014 ELMF Programme contains full abstracts and presenter bios for the more than 30 presentations that comprise this year’s programme. The event will take place 8-10 December at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

URISA Seventh Caribbean GIS Conference - 26-30 October

The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) invites your participation in its Seventh Caribbean GIS Conference, taking place October 26-30, 2014 at the Santa Barbara Resort in Curacao.

Announcing First Speakers for 2014 Satellite Masters Conference

The first Satellite Masters Conference is much more than just a networking event: It is a unique marketplace for sharing innovations based on satellite navigation and Earth observation capabilities and connecting with the world's leading network for downstream satellite business.

GEO Business 2015 Launches Calls for Papers

GEO Business 2015 offers an unrivalled opportunity to exchange global information about the latest geospatial technologies and services.  The success of the last conference reflected its unique position within the industry; with over 115 abstracts received.  For GEO Business 2015, the committee welcomes papers which will address the key commercial and technical issues facing the industry.  This could include reporting on recent cutting-edge geospatial projects; approaches to unlock the potential of Big Data for geospatial professionals; smart GIS; data processing, presentation and applications; BIM meets geospatial; survey operations and systems integration; international and local specifications and standards; a focus on geospatial education; location intelligence and emerging technologies; asset management; hydrographic and coastal developments; boundary disputes and legal issues; or a look at geospatial developments around the world and their impact on Europe.  Abstracts can be submitted online at: before 17th December 2014.

Headed up by Graham Mills, Chairman of Technics Group and President of The Survey Association (TSA), the GEO 2015 Technical Conference Committee is made up of leaders from top geospatial organisations.  Mr Mills commented, ”It’s my pleasure to stand as Conference Chairman for GEO Business 2015, especially at a time when we're on the cusp of great change within our industry.  I especially look forward to working alongside an outstanding Conference Technical Committee to review what we hope will be an abundance of abstracts following our call for papers.  The aim is to attract work-in-progress reports on all aspects of geospatial technology and applications, with a particular emphasis on papers that address the key commercial and technical issues facing the industry and new approaches to data capture, data analysis and information management.”

Alongside the conference, GEO Business 2015 will be running a dynamic international exhibition - which will be nearly 400m2 bigger than the 2014 event – the response has already been overwhelming with 78% of the exhibitors from the 2014 show signed up within 2 weeks.  Exhibitors will have the opportunity to demonstrate their products and services through commercial workshop sessions and an outside demonstration area; these sessions were a huge success at the launch event.  Companies booking a stand before 2nd February 2015 will receive a complimentary workshop session (further details are available from Caroline Hobden: or +44(0)1453 836363).

Also at GEO Business 2015 will be a vibrant social programme to maximise possibilities for informal networking, including a gala dinner that was a sell-out at the 2014 show.  With so much positive feedback about the launch event, the organisers are expecting an even greater turnout of visitors to GEO Business 2015, surpassing the level of 2014 which in itself achieved over 2000 people attending each day.

For full information about GEO 2015 at the Business Design Centre in London on 27-28 May 2015, or to register for FREE, please visit:

Sensors Everywhere Could Mean Privacy Nowhere, Expert Says

Just as we are coming to grips with having less privacy in our lives thanks to the Internet, a new use of the technology is poised to present new questions about security and privacy - and create a new threat to society.

OceanWise and Seatronics deliver a Port-Log Tidal Monitoring and Display System to Bayanat, UAE

Independent marine data management, publishing and GIS specialist, OceanWise, in collaboration with Seatronics (Abu Dhabi), have delivered Phase 1 of a Port-Log Tidal Monitoring and Display System (TMDS) to Bayanat. UAE. The TMDS receives input from 18 existing tidal monitoring stations in the Arabian Gulf operated by Bayanat on behalf of UAE's Department of Transport. The stations consist of a number of Valeport Tidemaster and VRS20 Radar Gauges, as well as some older acoustic gauges which are to be upgraded in due course.