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May 6, 2020
BARSC Members Enjoy an ‘Awesome’ Virtual Cuddle

Version six of the popular BARSC Cuddle networking meetings, was held in line with Government advice and hence, took place online.

For ninety minutes on Friday 1st May, members of the British Association of Remote Sensing Companies enjoyed the opportunity to hear from and interact with, presenters from ICEYE, AC Geospatial and the Met Office

Outgoing Chairman, Alistair Maclenan of Quarry One Eleven opened the event with a reminder about the UK Space Agency’s COVID-19 Hub and a look at how the changes in behaviour has resulted in an apparent drop in air pollution.

Alistair also provided a couple of examples of digital marketing (a Satellite Memory Game and the Scene From Above Podcast), to make the point that the current situation has made digital marketing ever more important and that the imaginative use of this channel is more important than ever.

Melanie Clift, UK & ESA Account Director for ICEYE then provided a fascinating insight into the development of the world’s first small Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite developer and operator.

With three satellites already in orbit and two more planned for launch in Q3 of this year, ICEYE can provide vital information about the planet’s surface through cloud and even at night, many times a day. 

Next up, was Andrew Cutts of AC Geospatial whose presentation walked the assembled audience through the development of Awesome-EarthObservation-Code which is, as the name suggests, a collection of code resources that are directly applicable to modern Earth observation and are, to be frank, awesome! 

Andrew is curating this new list on GitHub that now includes over 260 tools, code snippets, tutorials, links and other useful ‘stuff’ that exists specifically for remote sensing studies and work.

Lastly, the Cuddle presentations were completed by Stewart Turner, Space Programme Manager for the UK Met Office. Stewart gave a fascinating insight into the creation and workings of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and how the UK plays its part within it.

Further, Stewart presented three hypothetical scenarios about how Met Offices around the could interact with private data and service suppliers. These potential new business models generated a lot of conversation.

BARSC Cuddles have always been informal affairs and the meeting ended with the traditional ‘open forum’ that allows members to ask questions of the speakers and each other.

Given the restrictions, the format and technology (provided and managed by incoming Chair, Alastair Graham) stood up well and feedback from those who attended was overwhelmingly positive. The next Cuddle is planned for late June.

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