Dragon Symposium highlights success of projects

Nearly 200 scientists are gathered in Lijiang city in the Yunnan Province of the People's Republic of China to attend the third annual five-day Dragon Symposium.

Opening the symposium, Dr. Liao Xiaohan, Vice Director of the Department of High Technology and Industrialization, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China, highlighted the success of the Dragon Programme and the scientific results achieved so far, after two years of fruitful cooperation. The Dragon Programme a joint undertaking between ESA, MOST and the National Remote Sensing Centre of China (NRSCC) is a wide-ranging research initiative designed to encourage increased exploitation of ESA Earth Observation (EO) satellite data within China.

In his address, ESA's Dr. Stephen Briggs, Head of Department of EO Science, Applications and Future Technologies, also welcomed the success of the Dragon Programme and spoke of the progress in EO at ESA since last year's Dragon Symposium in Greece.

The Lijiang Symposium, held from 10-14 July, brings together the joint Sino-European teams assigned to work together after more than two years of activity to report on the progress and results of each project to date.

Presentations will include details of research being done into the use of ESA's Envisat and ERS satellite sensors for the building up of land, ocean and atmosphere observations for thematic mapping of key environmental phenomena in China. Supporting in-situ data measurements required to validate the satellite results will be detailed and reports will be presented on joint field missions undertaken by the project teams in 2005.

There are currently 16 Dragon projects including agricultural and forest monitoring, water resource assessment, atmospheric chemistry, terrain measurement, desertification, the ocean environment and climate change. The joint Sino-European teams are led by Chinese and European lead investigators. Since September 2004, 13

Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
DOE/Sandia National Laboratories

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