Top Stories
Top Stories
Top news stories from Sensors & Systems online magazine.
Heat Accelerates Dry in California Drought

May 29, 2015—Although record low precipitation has been the main driver of one of the worst droughts in California history, abnormally high temperatures have also played an important role in amplifying its adverse effects, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey and university partners.

Global Climate on Verge of Multi-Decadal Change

May 27, 2015—A new study, by scientists from the University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre (NOC), implies that the global climate is on the verge of broad-scale change that could last for a number of decades.

NASA Awards $5 Million to UTEP to Develop Next Generation Rocket Engines

EL PASO, Texas, May 29, 2015 — The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) has been awarded a $5 million grant from NASA to develop the next generation of rocket engines using liquid methane.

Seisland Surveys Wins Esri Canada’s Award of Excellence in GIS

CALGARY, Esri Canada User Conference, May 29, 2015 — Rapid access to asset information is valuable to companies in nearly all industries, especially to those in oil and gas where there is constant risk of pipeline ruptures, oil spills and fires.

MEMSIC to Showcase its Latest Sensing Solutions at Sensors Expo and Conference 2015

Andover, MA, May 29, 2015 — MEMSIC, Inc. plans to demonstrate its latest advanced technologies at the Sensors Expo and Conference, to be held June 10-11 2015 at the Long Beach Convention Center, CA, booth number 245.

Register now – it’s Pivotal

May 29, 2015 — We have been busy curating the program for Pivotal 2015, an international calibre event attracting the world’s brightest minds in spatial technologies.

New Mapping Agreement to Benefit United Kingdom and Ireland Location Data Users

May 29, 2015 — A new three party agreement between Ordnance Survey (GB), Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) and Land and Property Services (LPS) Northern Ireland is set to improve access and availability of mapping services for customers and government users operating across the UK and Ireland.

NOAA: Below-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season is Likely this Year

May 27, 2015—NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will likely be below-normal, but that’s no reason to believe coastal areas will have it easy.

Governing Land and Natural Resources in a Global Economy

May 28, 2015—Routledge Journals is pleased to announce a Special Issue from Society & Natural Resources entitled Formalization as Development in Land and Natural Resource Policy. This special issue, edited by Dr. Louis Putzel, Senior Scientist, Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia, spans the globe, with innovative research on formalization cases from Ethiopia, Cameroon, Indonesia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Zimbabwe, and South Africa and takes an in-depth look at the political, environmental, and economic challenges surrounding “formalization”— efforts to regulate natural resource access and trade. OPEN ACCESS is now available to Formalization as Development in Land and Natural Resource Policy.

DJI and Accel Launch SkyFund to Seed Innovation Across the UAV Ecosystem

SHENZHEN, China & PALO ALTO, Calif., May 27, 2015—Global adoption of commercial, industrial and consumer unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) illustrates a tremendous opportunity for developers, entrepreneurs and businesses. To accelerate market innovation, growth and maturity, DJI and Accel today launched the SkyFund as the first-of-its-kind investment vehicle to stimulate the UAV developer ecosystem through access to capital, technology and resources.

Registration is Now Open for UAS Mapping 2015 Reno

Bethesda, Md, May 28, 2015—The second annual technical UAS symposium sponsored by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) is approaching (September 29-30)!   The current fee for ASPRS members to attend the event is only $350. The current fee for non-ASPRS members to attend the event is only $400.  Student rates are available.  Exhibitors are provided an exhibit booth and benefits which include two complimentary registrations for only $650.  All rates will go up in price on August 15, 2015, so register now!

Summer Tropical Storms Don’t Fix Drought Conditions

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Popular opinion says that tropical storms and hurricanes that make landfall mitigate droughts in the southeastern United States. But that simply isn’t true, according to a Florida State University researcher.

ORNL-led Team Spearheads Approach to Improve Ecosystem Models

May 28-2015—Predicting how forests will respond to increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide involves understanding the interplay among carbon dioxide, nutrients, water, plant and soil processes. This multitude of variables challenges scientists who are trying to gauge how future ecosystems will react in a changing climate.

First Satellite Tracking of Neonate Flatback Turtles Underway

May 28, 2015—Scientists from Florida Atlantic University, the Department of Parks and Wildlife and James Cook University in Australia, have partnered on an international project to track for the first time the whereabouts of neonate flatback sea turtles to identify important developmental habitat for these animals and determine what factors might influence their habitat preferences. Flatback sea turtles only nest in Australia and are predominantly found in Australian waters. Very little is known about where they go once they enter the sea as hatchlings to when they appear as large juveniles or adults in nearshore waters.

AgTechTalk Owner Chad Colby Joins 2015 Commercial UAV Expo Advisory Board

Portland, Me., May 28, 2015 – SPAR Point Group, organizer of Commercial UAV Expo, announced today that Chad Colby, owner of AgTechTalk and industry expert in UAV technology and agriculture policy, will join the 2015 Commercial UAV Expo Advisory Board. The inaugural event will take place October 5-7, 2015 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Monarch Migration Gets a Boost from Ohio Collaboration

The Pollinator Partnership (P2) along with The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation will launch a new program this week called "Monarch Wings Across Ohio" in response to the Presidential directive on supporting the monarch migration. As many people know, the monarch migration is in peril. The number of monarchs making the annual migration has plummeted in recent years, but Ohioans have stepped forward in unprecedented numbers to make a difference.  Support for monarchs starts with one thing that everyone can do: plant for monarchs!   The planting begins next week across Ohio with the delivery of two semi-trailer trucks filled with milkweeds and other essential nectar plants.

Monarch butterflies require regionally specific host milkweeds on which they can lay their eggs as well as nectar-supplying plants for energy to successfully complete the migration. Monarch Wings Across Ohio is working with a diverse collation of partners to install nearly 20 monarch habitat research plots across partners' land in the following settings; urban ecosystems, agriculture, corporate lands, and public gardens. Monarch habitat research plots will beautify the spaces they will occupy and provide valuable insight into monarch foraging preferences.

Regionally-based field researchers have been hired across Ohio to collect data on the nectaring plantings monarchs prefer to feed on to fuel their migration. Planting will occur in June (close to National Pollinator Week – June 15-21), and the plots will stay in place for at least three years. 

The coalition of partners across Ohio that have joined the program is still growing and includes:


MWAO Project leader, Mary Byrne, has made this unique collaboration her top priority. “At the Pollinator Partnership, we believe that partnerships are the key element for successful on-the-ground change, and the solid science behind all of our collaborations is the single most important influence guiding Monarch Wings Across Ohio. Northeast Ohio organizations have shown remarkable commitment to and leadership in stabilizing the monarch migration.””

"Here at Canal Corners Farm we are always looking for ways to improve our farming techniques. Supporting pollinators and the monarch migration just makes sense to our bottom line. We are looking forward to participating in habitat research and improving knowledge base for creating monarch habitat in all kinds of settings," says Meghan Wingenfeld, Owner Canal Corners Farm, Monarch Wings Across Ohio Partner.

“Monarch Wings Across Ohio is bringing together so many sectors to work towards the common goal of helping monarchs, it’s really inspiring to see what people can do when they join forces and it is a perfect response to the Federal Strategy for Pollinators announced by President Obama on Monday.” Laurie Davies Adams, P2 Executive Director. “Ohio is showing real leadership by providing on-the-ground change through resources, research and results.”

The Monarch Wings Across Ohio program is fueled by tax-deductible donations.  To find out how you can get involved, please contact Mary Byrnes at, and to find out more about the program visit


Established in 1997, the Pollinator Partnership is the largest 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the health, protection, and conservation of all pollinating animals. Pollinator Partnership’s actions for pollinators include education, conservation, restoration, policy, and research.  P2’s financial support comes through grants, gifts, memberships and donations from any interested party.  Its policies are science-based, set by its board of directors, and never influenced by any donor.  To make a donation or for information on events during Pollinator Week visit

Global Geospatial Experts Gather for GeoDATA 2015 Brussels & Amsterdam

May 27, 2015—There are just two weeks to go until international experts at the forefront of geospatial innovation gather at GeoAware's GeoDATA 2015 Brussels and Amsterdam seminars. These one-day events, which are free to attend, comprise industry-focused presentations on the latest advances in geospatial technology and solutions with a strong emphasis on learning and application. GeoDATA 2015 Brussels is taking place at Diamant Conference & Business Centre: 9 June 2015 GeoDATA 2015 Amsterdam is taking place at Moevenpick Amsterdam City Centre Hotel: 11 June 2015 Pre-registration is essential at

Airbus Defence and Space and Spectrum Conduct a Joint Analysis of Hydrocarbon Potential in Ireland’s Porcupine Basin

May 28, 2015 — Airbus Defence and Space and seismic multi-client acquisition and imaging specialist Spectrum Geo have launched a 2D seismic and seep study programme for the Porcupine Basin, just ahead of the Irish Licensing Round.

Airbus Defence and Space: 65th successful launch in a row of Ariane 5

May 28, 2015 — Ariane 5 has been successfully launched from Kourou, French Guiana, for the 65th time in a row, once again confirming the reliability of the European launcher.

Updated Global Mapper LiDAR Module Now Supports NIR LiDAR Data

Hallowell, Maine, May 28, 2015 — Blue Marble Geographics ( is pleased to announce the availability of an upgrade to the Global Mapper LiDAR Module. Released in conjunction with Version 16.2 of Global Mapper, the latest version includes numerous functional enhancements and performance improvements that have been designed to help streamline the processing of LiDAR data.

MAPPS Announces Summer Conference, July 12-15 in Sunriver, Oregon

Reston, VA, May 28, 2015 — MAPPS, the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States, today announced its annual Summer Conference will be held July 12-15 in Sunriver, Oregon.

QuakeAlert Early Warning App Being Tested by the U.S. Geological Survey

Santa Monica, Calif., May 27, 2015—Earthquake Early Warning App “QuakeAlert” to be tested by USGS, CalTech and other university researchers.

USGIF Announces Seven Keynote Speakers for GEOINT 2015 Symposium

Herndon, Va., May 27, 2015—The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) announced leaders from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Office of the Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and more are confirmed to give keynote addresses at the GEOINT 2015 Symposium.

Geography a Stronger Indicator of Weed Diversity than Glyphosate-Resistant Crop Trait

The potential long-term impacts of glyphosate-resistant crops on biodiversity of the agricultural landscape have been the subject of controversy. A new article in the journal Weed Science describes a large-scale study analyzing the effects of glyphosate-resistant crops on the diversity of agricultural weeds. This study examined 156 field sites with at least a 3-year history of growing glyphosate-resistant crops in six states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, and North Carolina. Researchers analyzed the effects on weed communities of cropping system and crop rotation, including frequency of planting glyphosate-resistant crops.

IGN France International takes part in the 16th FICA Forum Dedicated to Border Issues

May 27, 2015 — The 16th IHEDN (Higher Institute of National Defence) forum concerning the African continent (FICA) will take place in Paris from May 28 th  to June 4 th  2015.

Timmons Group to Develop and Implement Enterprise GIS for Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office

Richmond, VA, May 27, 2015 — The state of Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office (CLO) contracted with Timmons Group to develop and implement an Enterprise GIS to support their land and mineral lease management. 

Saab and DigitalGlobe Announce Vricon Joint Venture to Create the Globe in 3D

May 27, 2015 — Defence and security company Saab and DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI), a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions, today announced the creation of a joint venture – Vricon, Inc. to produce photo-realistic 3D products and digital elevation models globally for enterprise and government geospatial markets with unmatched coverage and delivery timelines.

Adelos Unveils Distributed Acoustic Sensor Solution for Upstream Oil & Gas

POLSON, Montana, May 27, 2015 – Adelos Inc. today introduced Adelos 2.0, a fiber optic sensor system designed and optimized for commercial acoustic applications, including upstream oil & gas operations. Deployed as a system of systems, Adelos 2.0 adds value to oil and gas sectors, such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking), through a world-class combination of fiber optics sensors, advanced classification algorithms and real-time data processing.

Starved for Fire, Wisconsin’s Pine Barrens Disappear

MADISON, May 27, 2015—A century spent treating wildfires as emergencies to be stamped out may have cost Central Wisconsin a natural setting that was common and thriving before the state was settled.

Boise State Historian Mapping out a New View of the Medieval World

May 26, 2015—Maps show us the way and identify major landmarks – rivers, towns, roads and hills. For centuries, they also offered a perspective on how societies viewed themselves in comparison to the rest of the world.