University-based network of Space Monitoring Centers: establishment pre-condition and the outlook
Significant social and economic changes take place nowadays in the modern society. Those changes are first of all connected to rampant development of knowledge-intensive production. The key success factor for establishment of “new economy” is proactive adoption of new ideas, systems and technologies, readiness to promptly realize scientific developments into production. This provides for necessity of constant personnel reeducation and sets out new requirements to levels of specialist training. New requirements arise with regard to the processes of integrating science, education and business.
The center for this integration shall be constituted by Universities. Presently, universities provide grounds for interactive structures (technoparks, business incubators, scientific test sites, consulting organizations), that demonstrate prospects of the trilateral interaction.
In developed countries universities are legally competent subjects of national and regional development per many indices along with government authorities and economic structures.
In Russia, the processes of integrating science, education and business are not developing as rapidly as they are in the west.
This is due to the fact that partners have difficulties in casting away historical stereotypes being a disincentive to innovative activities.
In addition, in recent years the segment of “Innovative” universities has already taken shape, where quite a few technologies and corresponding products were developed utilizing results of scientific research and experimental design works, which can be commercialized even today.
Since the first day of its functioning (1989) the ScanEx Research and Development Center has come to understanding of the need to interact with educational institutions and scientific organizations.
Taking into account that current rampant development and introduction of space-based Earth observation facilities and GIS-technologies requires training of highly professional contemporary specialists, in the past few years ScanEx RDC have supplied UniScan ground stations to over 20 high educational institutions in Russia, Kazakhstan and Spain. Those stations served as basis for creating scientific and educational centers for space monitoring, which now provide training and refresher training of specialists with modern knowledge in Earth remote sensing and geoinformation systems, as well as training on real-time satellite imagery-based technologies supporting decision-making process.
Another activity exercised on the basis of space monitoring centers is implementation of fundamental and applied research on scientific research specializations. In addition a center of this kind ensures maximum efficiency in regular monitoring of local and neighboring regions in near real-time mode and display information received by the station on the geoportal for further analysis and decision-making by economic entities in the area of nature management, agriculture, land-property relations, town-planning practice, road construction, infrastructure building, etc.
Nonetheless, centers of space monitoring already established throughout universities are currently functioning as stand-alone entities, without cooperation with each other. Lack of interaction and exchange of experience between space monitoring centers of the universities discourage their intensive development. In late 2010 ScanEx RDC put forward the idea of creating the university-based network of space monitoring centers. The idea was supported by many higher education institutions, where such space monitoring centered have already been installed (fig. 1): Belgorod State University, Northern Arctic Federal University, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Urals Federal University (fig. 2), Samara State Aerospace University, Siberian Federal University, Kazakh-British Technical University, University of Valencia (Spain), University of Valladolid (Spain), etc.