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SPIE European Symposium on Security and Defence

  • 26 Sep 2016 - 29 Sep 2016
  • 08:00
Western Europe
Edinburgh International Conference Centre

On 28 September, industry leaders will offer insight on opportunities for new end-use applications resulting from the rapid emergence of innovative dual-use technologies in the defence, security, and sensing markets. Wim Bastiaanssen, Professor of Global Water Accounting, will give plenary talks. The conference will be a showcase for multi-disciplinary research and should provide an excellent opportunity for individuals and organisations to explore new opportunities to collaborate with new partners from other fields of activity. The event will be co-located with the 23rd SPIE Symposium on Remote Sensing, which further enhances opportunities to collaborate with new partners and/or individuals from related fields of activity.

Earth Observations for Improving Water and Food Security

Prof. Wim Bastiaanssen will give a plenary talk on Earth Observations for Improving Water and Food Security.

Insecurity is considered a risk that needs to be averted. Security not only relates to income, health and protection, but also to food production and its water footprint. At various fronts we are increasing our intelligence, but in agricultural water management there is still a long way to go. Our knowledge regarding crop types, cropped areas - both for rainfed and irrigated crops - crop yield (i.e. productivity per unit of land) and the amount of water consumed in order to acquire a certain amount of food, feed, fiber and timber (i.e. productivity per unit of water) is not acceptable.  While the United Nations set some major directions in producing two times more food by 2050 to feed the growing world and increase water productivity by 50%, implementation on the ground will not occur without local and global intelligence from earth observations.  

Earth observations with spatial resolutions varying between 10 to 375 m are nowadays available to determine the photosynthesis and evapotranspiration of crops. Low resolution images such as VIIRS and ProbaV are excellent to measure the globe daily, and freely available Landsat and Sentinel images are needed for zooming in to particular fields. Several remote algorithms developed and tested by academia over the last 25 years will be presented. The gaps in land and water productivity needs to be closed, and this can be achieved only if we better measure local production and irrigation systems, and define their target values. Commercial farmers, farming communities, irrigation districts and extension services require technical assistance from earth observation to better do their job. Hence, the challenge is to convert progress in science to operational services.  Clouds are the biggest enemy for water and food security related intelligence. It will be pleaded that robotic drones should get more governmental support and permits for operations. Without zooming into our crops, ecosystems and hydrological processes, food and water security may decrease during the next years. Not exactly what we have in mind in our modern society where sustainability and aiming to obtain lower footprints of natural resources is high on the political agenda