Newsletter 5 – May-June 2006

PORSEC Newsletter 5

May-June 2006


Dear PORSEC Association Members!


Hope you are all beginning to plan your participation in the PORSEC 2006. It is shaping up to be a very interesting event.


This is now just 5 months before the Pan Ocean remote Sensing Conference of 2006. Please try to log into our PORSEC Association website. Let us know right away if you have any difficulties in accessing our website and especially if you have trouble with the link to the 2006 Conference information, registration and abstract submission pages. We have been working on these. It appears that not all browsers work the same in regard to the web-pages, but we think most difficulties have been corrected by now.


Please read some of the details about the up-coming conference there and learn about abstract submission (deadline is July 15) a delay of one month from our earlier announcement). The Korean Society of Remote Sensing is handling this aspect, which is a major help to our organization. The web site address is: . Click on the link to conferences and find 2006 Korea. You will see that the conference is held jointly with the International Remote Sensing Symposium.


The ISRSPORSEC2006 dates are November 2-4, 2006. There will also be some workshops and PORSEC Steering Committee meetings on Nov. 1, so plan your travel accordingly. This is a change from the first announcement and my information in Newsletter 4. The registration cost is kept low by the shared conference preparations. We will work to keep the PORSEC family atmosphere and collegiality even though we will be in a larger forum.


The themes to be covered at PORSEC 2006 have now evolved substantially and we have several special focus sessions with the following titles and conveners with their email addresses. Please contact them directly if you wish to contribute to these sessions. However, all topics of remote sensing in oceanography are encourage for the general sessions.




Scientific Application of Active and Passive Microwave Sensors

Convener: W. Timothy Liu (W.Timothy.Liu at


QuikSCAT has provided global coverage of ocean surface wind/stress vectors and other terrestrial and cryospheric measurements since 1999.  Data with improved spatial resolutions are being produced. Wind speeds measured by synthetic aperture radar and microwave radiometer have also been combined with other wind direction information to produce wind vector fields.   Microwave radiometers (TMI and AMSR) on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and on Aqua have provided sea surface temperature under both clear and cloudy conditions, besides wind speed, water vapor and rain. Strong sensor and science synergism exist between the two kind of spacebased sensors. They complement each other in monitoring the momentum, energy, and water transport in the ocean and atmosphere, and exchanges between them.  Results on the application of each sensor and in combination with other space-based sensors are welcome in this session.


Ocean Color

Convener: James Gower, (gowerJ at


Satellite observations of water color (optical spectral reflectance) have now become a standard tool for studying oceans, coastal seas, estuaries and lakes. New applications for detecting and monitoring patterns of productivity and blooms of harmful and other algae are still being developed. The session will concentrate on observations of the west Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean, but relevant studies of any area are welcome.


Studies in the South China Sea

Conveners: Antony K. Liu (NASA/ONRG) and Kenji Hotta (Nihon University), (LiuA at


The South China Sea is one of the most active marginal seas in the Southeast Asia. All studies in SCS are welcome to submit in this special session on activities in shpping, fisheries, naval and high-tech ocean exploration, remote sensing, modeling, and data assimilation. Recent field experiments in SCS have included ASIAEX (Asian Sea International Acoustics Experiment), NLIW (NonLinear Internal Waves) Initiative, Luzon Strait Experiment, and Spratlys Mapping Projects. Studies on remote sensing using SAR, LANDSAT, MODIS, SeaWiFS, SPOT, Altimetry, and QuikSCAT have provided many applications for ocean processes and environmental monitoring (e.g., waves, current, eddies, fronts, typhoons, ships, navigation, bathymetry, and red tides). Results of all studies in the South China Sea are welcome in this special session, and hopefully can promote more future international collaboration.


Space Agency Contributions to Science and Development in Asia

Convener: K.Katsaros (katsaros at

(This session will be similar to what we had on the last day in Concepcion during PORSEC 2004 (for those of you who were there.)


We are inviting the Space Agencies, who operate in the Asian region, which includes the large space agencies as well as emerging space agencies in Asia to present what they are doing now that is useful for the Scientific Research and Applications in Asia and also what is in the future. Countries that do not have their own space program to date are encouraged to contribute how they use remote sensing from the world’s satellite systems and what their needs are. This may be a full half-day session or longer depending on the number on contributors and should include ample time for discussions.



Convener: Tom.Allan (tom at


Following the tsunami disaster of Dec 26 2004, it has been suggested that it is appropriate to convene a Special Session on the potential contribution of satellites to future early warning systems, which are presently planned around conventional “in situ” measurements. It is hoped that representatives of countries threatened by tsunamis will be able to participate. This is a session in the PORSEC 2006 program.


An Associated Workshop on Tsunami and Other Marine Hazards will take place on the day preceding the conference days, that is on November 1.

Convener for the workshop is also Dr Tom Allan tom at

At this stage the organizers remain flexible about the details of the presentation in the workshop, but papers should fall into 3 main categories:


  1. i)      Review of present status of the IOC programme
  2.  ii)   Potential contribution of satellite remote sensing
  3. a)To the detection of marine hazards including tsunamis
  4. b)To the longer-term research programmes

iii)    An integrated approach – how can countries/agencies work together?


Papers should be confined to remote sensing, not satellite communications per se. They should also focus on what could be achieved with existing, proven technology rather than speculating on what might evolve in 5 – 10 years.

Countries that are particularly vulnerable to tsunamis and/or have suffered extensive damage in the past are listed. Representatives from these countries are particularly encouraged to participate:


�       Australia

�       Chile

�       India

�       Indonesia

�       Japan

�       Kenya

�       Mexico

�       Morocco

�       Portugal

�       Sri Lanka

�       Thailand

�       USA


We would like to encourage a wide range of individuals and organizations to participate in this discussion. The basic aim is to identify and evaluate the level of support satellites might provide to the networks of in situ sensors now being planned and installed by the IOC Regional Working Groups. This is an issue that must surely appeal to the community of marine remote sensors who for almost two decades analyzed and interpreted data from the many individual research missions launched to reveal details of ocean processes. It may be time to consider if and how that technology, developed and improved over the years, can now be exploited to forewarn of impending marine disasters in the shorter-term.


Possible Session —Capacity Building in Asia

Convener: (possibly Joannes Berque of the IOC still to be confirmed)


This session concerns enhancing the use of remote sensing for oceanography and coastal issues in developing nations. Such a session was held in Concepcion 2004. Please communicate with katsaros at for now, if you have something to contribute in this area. More information to come.


We have received commitment for some funding from the IOC’s capacity building program.


PORSEC Training Course: October 25-27

Contact information for the course application will be available on the PORSEC web-site soon

There will be a training course offered the week before the conference, October 25-27, sponsored by PORSEC and largely funded by ESA for the teachers. However, funds from other agencies may contribute to student and professional participant support.


The main topic will be Synthetic Aperture Radar, a tutorial of principles and currently available instruments in space, as well as application for regional research. The course will be taught by Prof. Werner Alpers, Dr. Pascal Lecomte, and others. Details will be forthcoming soon. We expect to provide some financial support for participants. We hope to provide subsistence and registration costs, while travel should be procured from other sources. We expect to support about 20 students. By student is meant either university students or young professionals. The course only requires the person to be somewhat familiar with microwave remote sensing and satellite oceanography. You may contact the following two people to inquire about financial support:


Please indicate what your professional interest is in this course and your background (preparation level). Also let us know if you have requested support for your travel and whether your professor or superior is supportive of your participation in the course. (A letter from that person would be valuable as we sort through whom to support.)


EMAIL CONTACTS: You should all have received information about the membership email list earlier.

We have tried hard to connect with all known members and have verified your email addresses. Please check with your colleagues in your country, who might be part of PORSEC Association to make sure we are reaching them, and if you know that someone has recently changed email address, please send the new address to Gad Levy (see below) so we can reconnect with that person. Email is the only practical way for us to communicate in such a far-flung organization. We would appreciate if one or two members in each country (China, Japan, Korea, U.S.A., India ….) would volunteer to be the membership representative in their country, so we can ask them to investigate when we get a message returned. These volunteers would be members of the Membership Committee of the PORSEC Association automatically. (See the Statues and By-Laws section of the webpage.) So far I have only had one volunteer, I think. That is Naoto Ebuchi of Japan.


It is so important to reach people by email these days. We do not expect to mail announcements by post since we expect all folks involved in remote sensing today have access to email.


Each one of you is encouraged to solicit some support from space agencies in your home country for yourself to come to the Conference and also for some students that could then be sponsored by the PORSEC Association (especially from countries where we are trying to build up remote sensing capabilities). We will have a competitive announcement for such support. Your agency would be listed as a co-sponsor of the PORSEC 2006. Let me know if you know of such possibilities and if the Executive Board of PORSEC can help with the solicitation. We also need to know who is sponsoring our members of PORSEC association to participate in the conference, so we can properly show our appreciation. It is the sum total of all the participants that makes a great conference!


With that I wish you all a great time preparing to come to Busan in about 4 months time!



Kristina Katsaros

President of PORSEC Association


The PORSEC Executive Board consists of:

Vice President: Antony Liu, LiuA at

Treasurer: W. Timothy Liu, W.Timothy.Liu at

Executive Secretary: Gad Levy, gad at

Past President: Yasuhiro Sugimori

Past Vice Presidents : Ming-Xia He, Z. S. Liu, James Gower,


PORSEC Association Committee–Chairs:

Publications: Bill Emery

Awards: Mal Heron

Elections: Jose Stuardo

Program: Local Organizing Committee for PORSEC 2006, Busan, Korea is lead by:

Dr Yeong-Sup Kim and Dr. Young- Cheul Suh (both of Pukyung National University

Dr. Hong-Joo Yoon is the person behind the invitation to Korea for PORSEC 2006.

He chairs the overall program committee.

E-mail Addresses:

yoonhj at at at

(See further the list of members of the LOC in the PORSEC 2006 announcement on the webpage)