On March 6, 2018 in Hanoi, the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC) under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) organized a workshop introducing Vietnam DataCube Satellite Data System. This was an important occasion to debut the free and open data system (Vietnam DataCube system) for Vietnamese application agencies after a period of development at VNSC under the assistance of the international community.
The seminar was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Science and Technology, the Academy of Science and Technology, Mekong River Commission, universities and a large number of experts coming from space aviation agencies around the world, such as Australia, the United States, France and Japan.
At the conference
The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) is a founding partner of the DataCube Initiative, in order to find a valuable data architecture solution for global users and enhance the role of earth observation satellite data. The goal of DataCube is to provide open and free exploration tools, and to promote the development of the community, and maintain applications in both width and depth.
As an official member of CEOS since 2013, Vietnam has received support from space agencies around the world to develop Vietnam DataCube. Specifically, the Vietnam DataCube system is formed and developed based on the international integration and cooperation between Vietnam (Vietnam Space Center under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) and main partners which are Australia (CSIRO - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), the United States (USGS - the U.S. Geological Survey, IMSG Company), Japan (JAXA - The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and France (CNES - France National Space Research Center).
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Van Kiem, Vice President of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, speaks at the seminar
Opening the workshop, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Van Kiem, Vice President of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, said that as an official member of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites since 2013, VAST, and in particular the Vietnam National Space Center, has been actively involved in CEOS activities and initiatives. Specifically, VAST will host the CEOS Chair and hold a plenary session of CEOS in 2019. To contribute to the CEOS common initiative to make satellite data easier to access for users, meeting the specific needs of application through the DataCube satellite data sharing system, Vietnam has received the support of space agencies in the world to develop Vietnam Data Cube.
VAST is committed to provide Vietnam's suitable satellite data through the Vietnam Space Center project in order to expand its service network not only to Vietnam but also to the Mekong sub-region and Southeast Asia. The workshop was hoped to be an opportunity for countries to share information, experience and knowledge in research and application of satellite data technology in order to effectively exploit Vietnam Data Cube system for sustainable socio-economic development and communities’ practical benefits.
Illustrated image of Vietnam Data Cube system
The Vietnam Data Cube has been developed to provide users with Vietnam earth observation satellite data, an imagery satellite database and free exploitation tools which are capable of reducing the length of time and professional knowledge needed to use satellite data; analyzing effective period of time to support the application of a change of forest coverage and land use status; using multiple sets of satellite data; supporting customers and Vietnamese users. At the same time, Vietnam Data Cube looks to improve the capacity of users in the application of earth observation satellite data in Vietnam, thus contributing to global priority programs, such as programs in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG) and the Paris and Sendai agreements.
Currently, earth observation satellite data has been used not only in research but also in reality, serving sustainable development targets. Applications of satellite data hold great potential in addressing important environmental, economic and social issues at the local, regional and global levels. In fact, new generations of earth observation satellites are providing increasingly large amount of data on a global scale, and therefore, for many applications, the challenge is no longer in the lack of data but how to connect data, applications, and users.
Many satellite data are not tapped, despite modern analytical and computing facilities. The challenges of data management and analysis, due to the huge increase in open and free satellite data volumes, can be overcome by new computers, technologies and data structures such as “DataCube”. New computing devices, technologies and data structures, such as the DataCube, can help manage and analyze data, confronting challenges arising from the massive free and open data volumes.
A solution like DataCube can completely help providers streamline the distribution and management of data, while reducing technical barriers for users, also reducing the cost compared with traditional methods, helping users maximize the potential of satellite data.
Thanks to the support of IMSG (United States), a modern server system capable of storing up to 200 TB has been established at the Vietnam Space Center. Together with it, the DataCube software system is provided by CSIRO (Australia). In the first stage, Vietnam DataCube gathers LandSat satellite data (United States), Sentinel (European Union), ALOS (Japan) for the whole territory and develops applications for Vietnam for managing forests, rice and water surface.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Space Center, addresses at the seminar
Speaking at the seminar, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, General Director of the Vietnam National Space Center, expressed his belief that through a free satellite image database and open source tools, the Vietnam Data Cube system would contribute to creating more applications, serving the sustainable socio-economic development not only in Vietnam but also in other countries in the region. Additionally, Vietnam wants to continue to receive imagery satellite data from CEOS members and the cooperation of organizations in the region to expand the Vietnam Data Cube system into the Mekong Data Cube system for other countries in the Mekong Subregion, for developing applications serving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Illustrated image for Vietnam DataCube in monitoring forests
During the workshop, experts delivered presentations introducing DataCube and specific applications in countries around the world; Vietnam DataCube serving the forest, rice and water monitoring; the need to use satellite remote sensing data for the Mekong Basin, as well as the need to use satellite remote sensing data at the Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (FIPI).
International Vietnamese delegates’ reports confirm that the Vietnam DataCube system will not only be a trusted address sharing free and open satellite data for Vietnamese users, but also a useful tool with powerful analysis capabilities, which makes it easier to implement satellite imaging applications in Vietnam.
Translated by Phuong Huyen
Link to Vietnamese version