14-17 November 2017 (Bengaluru, India)
The 24th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) was held from 14 to 17 November in Bengaluru, India. It was co-organized by the Department of Space (DOS), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
APRSAF was established in 1993 to enhance space activities in the Asia-Pacific region. Attended by space agencies, governments, and international organizations such as the United Nations as well as companies, universities and research institutes, this forum is the largest space-related conference in the Asia-Pacific region. APRSAF has four Working Groups: the (1) Space Applications Working Group (SAWG), (2) Space Technology Working Group (STWG), (3) Space Environment Utilization Working Group (SEUWG), and (4) Space Education Working Group (SEWG). APRSAF participants share information about their activities and the future plans for their countries and regions in each working group. APRSAF also supports international projects designed to find solutions to common issues such as disaster management and environmental protection.
The Sentinel Asia initiative is one such activity, and involves the use of space-based information in the form of satellite images for disaster management in the Asia-Pacific region. ADRC has been tasked with the responsibility of receiving emergency observation requests from ADRC member countries and Joint Project Team (JPT) members. ADRC joined the Space Applications Working Group (SAWG) and reported on Trends in Emergency Observation Requests of Sentinel Asia.
Sentinel Asia marked its 10th anniversary in 2016 and its continued development is expected in 2017 and beyond. ADRC is planning to strengthen its network with disaster management organizations and to develop standard operating procedures for Sentinel Asia.