Abu Dhabi-UAE: 07 June, 2015 – Masdar Institute of Science of Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced that members of its Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) outreach program for 2015 gained valuable insight into the fast-growing commercial satellite imaging industry.
The YFEL members participated in a ‘Workshop on Remote Sensing and GIS’ organized at the Masdar Institute campus. Titled ‘Remote Sensing and GIS,’ the event provided an understanding of the technology and applications of satellite remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) in mapping and monitoring the environment.
Zainab Al Ali, Program Manager, YFEL, said, “With the UAE earnestly entering the modern space race with its Mars mission, such workshops on remote sensing and GIS have become significantly relevant for the YFEL members. Through the support of the country’s leadership, the YFEL program continues to offer various avenues for professional and academic development for youth. Judging by the depth of participation we witnessed at the event, we believe this workshop has resonated with our YFEL members.”
The workshop was led by Dr. Prashanth Marpu, Assistant Professor, Water and Environmental Engineering, and Head of the Earth-Observation and Hydro-Climatology Lab (EOHCL), and Dr. Marouane Temimi, Associate Professor, Water and Environmental Engineering, and Head of Coastal and Environmental Remote Sensing and Modeling Lab, Masdar Institute.
Covering a range of remote sensing and GIS tools and techniques to address environmental issues at the local, regional and global level, the workshop offered hands-on experience in satellite data analysis, digital image processing, the generation of maps and manipulation of layers of spatial information. Some of the technical topics covered during the workshop included multi-spectral and multi-temporal analysis, supervised and unsupervised classification, change detection and GIS.
The first module provided students with an understanding of remote sensing and applications for mapping and monitoring the natural environment, while the next module gave an introduction to GIS and its applications in spatial analysis of location-enabled data.
For YFEL member Hamda Abdulla Al Mazrouei, the workshop showed her the real-world application of GIS and remote-sensing research here in the UAE. Al Mazrouei said, “Working with Dr. Marpu and Dr. Temimi offered me insight into their current research in remote sensing. I am proud of the research work they are doing in the Arabian Gulf along the UAE’s coastal areas using just a small boat. I also learnt about the software and other materials they use for research following an activity we did around Masdar City.”
Remote sensing and GIS have wide applications in industries such as oil and gas pipeline security assessment, detecting oil spills for marine life and environmental preservation, forestry, agriculture, soil mapping, navigation of ships, weather forecasting and for estuarine ecosystem analysis.
According to a report from market consultancy firm Transparency Market Research, the global commercial satellite imaging market is estimated to expand from US$2 billion in 2012 to a market value of over US$5 billion by the end of 2019 – representing an impressive 13.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Such growth prospects make the workshop more relevant to YFEL members, who are keen to explore this growing sector.
The ‘Workshop on Remote Sensing and GIS’ is part of the three intensive workshops organized every year by the YFEL program covering technology, policy and leadership. In addition, three lectures by renowned guest speakers are also organized during the year.