21 March 2001


VIENNA, 21 March (UN Information Service)-- Access, analysis and interpretation of satellite data will be the main focus of a joint workshop for educators and scientists organized by the United Nations with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). The workshop on Data Analysis and Image Processing Techniques is held in Damascus, Syria, from 25-29 March 2001.

While the scientific applications of satellite data may cover a wide range of topics from environmental monitoring to astronomy and from meteorology to remote sensing, the basic techniques of satellite data processing -- with the necessary software -- would essentially be common to these activities. The Workshop will consider data analysis and image processing techniques so that the vast bank of such data could be utilized by a larger cross-section of scientists in developing countries.

The Workshop is being organized by the United Nations' Vienna-based Office for Outer Space Affairs under the auspices of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications for the benefit of experts from Western Asia countries. The Workshop will be hosted by the Government of Syria through the General Organization of Remote Sensing (GORS) and will be held at the premises of GORS in Damascus.

The Workshop is a part of an ongoing effort by the United Nations to make the benefits of space science and technology available to all countries. Conferences, training courses and workshops organized by the Office for Outer Space Affairs aim not only at making experts in the fields of space technology and development planning, especially in developing countries, aware of the latest developments in space science and technology, but also focus on identifying the ways and means for them to integrate these technologies into the socio-economic development of their countries.

The main objective of the Workshop is to provide a platform for interaction between scientists who generate satellite data for various scientific applications and those - particularly in developing countries who are involved in the access, processing, analysis and interpretation of satellite data for scientific investigations and practical applications in the area of their expertise. The Workshop will equip participants with an expert knowledge of the tools available for access, analysis, and interpretation of data acquired by digital data acquisition systems for a variety of educational and scientific applications. As such, the Workshop continues a series of similar Workshops organized in the USA (1992), Brazil (1997), and India (2000).

Basic and advanced principals and methods will be presented and reinforced with practical examples from everyday data access, analysis, and interpretation operations. The interaction between data access, analysis, and interpretation will be emphasized. The Workshop will also foster communication between developers and users with a wide range of expertise in the production and use of software packages to pursue data management in remote sensing, satellite meteorology, natural disaster prevention, and space science.

Over fifty experts from Algeria, Austria, Egypt, Germany, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, as well as from the European Space Agency and the United Nations are expected to participate in the Workshop.

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