10th SCO France meeting
Organized by CNES on 24 January 2024, the 10th Inter-Organizational Committee (IOC) of SCO France was held at the Toulouse Space Centre, where guests were welcomed by Laurent Boisnard, Deputy Director of the Orbital Systems and Applications Directorate, Earth Observation (EO) Data and Applications Mission. Responsible for the EO data applications segment, including the SCO programme, he highlighted CNES's strong investment in data hub activities, which are the source of most SCO projects. According to Laurent Boisnard, "The SCO is emblematic of the downstream sector, and leads the way in many areas. Rooted in the sciences, it is proving that we can implement credible solutions for adapting to the impacts of climate change. In doing so, it is supporting the national fabric to ensure this transition by enabling companies to build their skills in climate services. Thanks to this, several of them have been able to promote their expertise in response to France 2030 calls for tenders for operational demonstrators of targeted national services, such as water management".
The morning session
After an international review of the second half of 2023, the members of SCO France discussed their own review, including an analysis of the project portfolio. In particular, it emerged that project development times remain below 24 months, in line with initial ambitions.
👉 With its dynamic participation in major events, the SCO is increasingly visible in France and abroad.
👉 Since October 2023, the tools delivered by SCO projects have been presented in a dedicated menu, the "Applications Toolbox", which gives access to the online service if it is freely available, or allows you to get in touch with the company that markets it.
◀︎ Evolution of the SCO France project portfolio. © SCO
The IOC members also mentioned the success of the quarterlies meetings, and expressed the wish to organize them on an international scale.
As most of the IOC participants are members of the reviewers on the French Project Labelling Committee, an update was also given on the current processing of responses to the french call for 2024 projects: 27 applications submitted, studied by 29 reviewers, with 5 projects per reviewer and 5 reviews per project. Between now and mid-February, pitches will be given by project promoters whose proposals require some clarification or adjustment before they can be approved, or not.
👉The reviewers present at the IOC all expressed satisfaction with the labelling process, noting "a real improvement in both the process and the quality of the projects submitted".
At the end of the morning, Vincent Lonjou, a remote sensing specialist at CNES's Lab'EO, gave participants a real "SCO story", starting with Thermocity, one of the very first projects accredited in 2020 to make better use of spatial thermal data in urban environments. This pioneering work is a direct legacy of two SCO projects, including Sat4BDNB, which now produces a nationwide measurement of albedo (the reflectivity of a surface) using Sentinel-2 data. By cross-referencing this albedo with land cover, it is possible to produce accurate and reliable maps of urban heat islands. The adventure will continue with the application of these technological building blocks to real-life adaptation cases, and we'll be bringing you all the details very soon!
After a look back at Communication in 2023, the session closed with a chat full of messages praising the "excellent presentations" and "a very fine development by the SCO".
Space centers are synonymous with satellites, control centers and the exploration of the Universe, as the IOC members were able to discover on a tour specially designed for them:
- Discover the control center of the SWOT oceanography and hydrology satellite (see opening photo);
- Visit the concurrent engineering centre, dedicated to satellite design;
- Presentation of the GAIA astrometric mission and its incredible catalogue of stars.
▲ The day ended with a presentation of the Gaïa mission, which is emblematic of the exploration of the Universe and blew the audience away! With 500 million measurements taken every day 😮, Gaïa feeds a catalogue containing information on more than 1.8 billion stars, 4.8 million galaxies and many other celestial bodies! © SCO
The Inter-Organizational Committee (IOC) brings together the 24 member institutions of the SCO in France. It meets twice a year for a half-yearly review and to look ahead to the next six months.