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IGARSS keynote speakers and general co-chairs included (from left) Ghassem Asrar, director of the World Climate Research Program; Volker Liebig, ESA’s director of Earth Observation Programs; Johann-Dietrich Wörner, chairman of the Executive Board of DLR; Yves-Louis Desnos, head of ESA’s Research and Development Section and senior advisor of its Science, Applications and Future Technologies Department; and Alberto Moreira, director of the DLR Microwaves and Radar Institute.

This year’s International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium—IGARSS 2012—was held in Munich, Germany. Jointly organized by the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, the DLR German Aerospace Center and the European Space Agency (ESA), IGARSS attracted more than 2,600 participants from 67 countries who generated more than 2,500 scientific presentations.

“This is a true success for Earth observation in Europe,” said Yves-Louis Desnos, head of ESA’s Research and Development Section, senior advisor for its Science, Applications and Future Technologies Department and co-chair of IGARSS 2012.

The legacy of ESA’s Envisat satellite came into focus, with special sessions devoted to the satellite’s numerous achievements. The Envisat mission ended in April 2012 after doubling its lifetime. The focus is now on the exploitation of its 10 years of data available for further scientific investigations.

The future of Earth observation was a hot topic, with half a day dedicated to the Sentinel missions being developed for Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program.

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