The President of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso, is participating at the 54th edition of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, held at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria, between 30 January – 10 February 2017.
During the session held on 30 January, Dr. Marius-Ioan Piso made a statement on latest developments in the space sector globally and in Romania, in particular.
At a global level, he highlighted the most important space developments and trends: the confirmation of gravitational waves, the emergence of mega-constellations of satellites — a disruptive innovation with direct effects on the industrial and economic framework — and the increased number of space actors.
Regarding the development of space activities in Romania, Dr. Piso highlighted the country’s involvement in 17 major ESA Optional Programmes, a commitment reinforced during the recent ESA Council at ministerial level.
Romania has extended its participation to space exploration, in particular to the programmes of the International Space Station, where two satellites are to be launched this year. Romanian scientists are involved in science and exploration missions, including Euclid and JUICE. At the same time, Dr. Piso declared that Romania is interested in further participating in the Global Exploration Roadmap.
The President of ROSA commended the active role of Romanian industry involved in the development of the latest European launchers, Ariane 6 and Vega-C, but also the work of Romanian scientists toward building a small size launcher for Low Earth Orbit.
Applications were developed in the field of smart agriculture, telemedicine and disaster management. Dr. Piso highlighted the development of a portal that uses radar satellites such as EU’s Sentinel-1 for high resolution forestry monitoring, including illegal cutting of trees. Other applications targeted monitoring of large buildings, power plants and dams, by means of satellite remote sensing data.
During the session, the President of ROSA informed participants that Romania will be involved in defining the ESA L5 mission and in building ground infrastructure to monitor space weather events.
Significant technical progress has been recorded in building the Solar coronograph for the PROBA-3 ESA mission, while other Romanian scientists and engineers are involved in the early stages of defining the ESA/NASA international mission, AIM-AIDA, focused on asteroid impact deflection assessment. The satellite communication ground station at Cheia is being retrofitted to contribute to European efforts of detecting and tracking space debris and Near Earth Objects.
Dr. Piso also declared that a new atmospheric lidar ground station in Romania coupled with an airborne system developed by Romanian scientists in cooperation with ESA, will be able to measure parameters of the atmosphere utilised in global warming models.
The President of ROSA mentioned some of the 2016 key events in Romania: the 5th Conference on Space Systems as Critical Infrastructures, the 5th Copernicus conference dedicated to the East European Copernicus users, and a workshop and plenary session organised under the Romanian Parliament’s presidency of the 18th European Interparliamentary Space Conference (EISC).
Dr. Piso closed his speech by mentioning the importance of public engagement, education and training and confirmed Romania’s continued active role in addressing global issues through representation in international collaboration such as: UN COPUOS, GEO, COSPAR, IAF and IAA.
Image credit: ROSA