The Asia-Pacific Region is a dynamic region which presents excellent growth opportunities for international cooperation that have been already explored and proven to be fruitful for European companies operating in different market segments (e.g. automotive, insurance, ICT, healthcare, oil & gas). Notwithstanding these initiatives, a lot of opportunities appear yet to be seized.
The development of more advanced operational and technology capabilities such as big data solutions, cloud platform and more powerful data access/management make the integration process easier and easier thereby facilitating penetration of services and applications developed by European companies.
The use and integration of space technologies and services is considered especially suitable and relevant in this region due to its geographical characteristics, being vast with large areas of difficult accessibility.
Many examples can be provided as reliance on Satellite Earth Observation data for monitoring applications or on Satellite Communications assets for providing connectivity to remote regions. The positioning and navigation capabilities of Satellite Navigation signals are useful ubiquitously in many applications and services.
The Kick-start Activity proposed must demonstrate the application of space-based data and technology:
- Satellite Earth Observation (SatEO): enables global collection of data for production of images, maps, information e.g. for crop monitoring, change detection, weather forecasting, environmental monitoring.
- Satellite Navigation (SatNav): enables precise positioning, navigation and guidance to support local information collection, track and trace applications.
- Satellite communication (SatCom): provides connectivity for any data and information services whenever the terrestrial communications is not reliable enough or absent at all.
Targeted topics benefiting from space assets and services include for example:
- Urbanization: by 2018, more than half of Asia-Pacific’s population is expected to live in urban areas, making it the biggest challenge for the region’s governments and cities. Urbanization brings opportunities for the population move from the rural area (e.g. easier access to job opportunity, improve access to wealth creation, less isolation). On the other side it also severely impacts the environment: there are less natural resources available, more waste produced, more congestion and more pollution, etc.
- Pollution: One of the most negative aspect associated to urbanisation is pollution of air, land and water. The World Health Organization reported e.g. in 2012, that 70% of the deaths caused by air pollution occurred in the Asia and Pacific region. Therefore services capable of monitoring and improving air, land and water quality are urgently needed.
- Renewable Energy: To reduce pollution, several countries in Asia, with China in the lead, are adopting global energy transformation to promote renewable energies (mainly wind and solar energy) and to reduce the dependency on coal. As the operation and the maintenance of renewable energy sites is complex, services which make the management of the site more efficient and reduce maintenance/operation costs are of interest.
- Food security: Rice is the major food staple in ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries and thus plays a significant role for the food security in the region. Beside rice also other crops are of relevance, e.g. grain legumes produced in Australia. Food suppliers, processors and distributors are all concerned that their food is processed, transported, and stored safely and that hygiene and other specific requirements (e.g. for organic certification) are met.
Illustration Photo: The average seasonal rice yield in the Tamil Nadu region of India is 3.5–5.0 tonnes per hectare. This map of the Samba crop season for 2016–17 shows a lower yield and even some complete crop failures owing to severe drought. These losses have been detected and quantified thanks to observations by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission throughout the whole crop season and have allowed farmers to receive appropriate compensation. Copyright contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by RIICE/TNAU