can anticipate that this information might be used by intergovernmental
bodies for decision-making and global governance to ensure
sustainability, and also more locally as countries, regions,
and industries compete for larger shares of smaller reserves
of natural resources in order to support their growing populations
and economic ambitions. Observations of planet Earth itself,
of our environment, might be regarded as the most important
information of all, as the context for all decisions.
current ambitions for greatly enhanced understanding, monitoring,
management and mitigation of key Earth system processes will
be possible only with the measurement capabilities offered
by the Earth observation satellite programmes being planned
by the worlds space agencies. The major aim of the Committee
on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) is to achieve international
coordination in the planning of Earth observation satellite
missions and to maximize the world-wide utilisation of data
from these missions. This role includes participation in the
activities of the Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership
(IGOS-P), to ensure that future space-based observing systems
and Earth-based observing systems will be suitably harmonised
to address the most critical requirements.
gives me great pleasure, on behalf of CEOS, to present the
2002 Edition of the CEOS Handbook, prepared by the European
Space Agency (ESA) as the Chair Agency of CEOS in 2002.
The report presents the main capabilities of Earth observation
satellites and their major current and future applications,
and a systematic overview of present and planned Earth observation
satellite missions and their instruments.
hope that the CEOS Handbook will continue to serve as a valuable
reference source for a variety of users, including those with
needs in Earth system research, and decision-makers in political
and socio-economic sectors. I further hope that it can assist
the harmonisation of our efforts on a global scale, which
is central to our future success.
Director of Earth Observation Programmes
CEOS Chairman (2002)
European Space Agency