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  • European Commission
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  • Specific research programmes (EEC) to be implemented by the Joint Research Centre - Application of remote sensing techniques -, 1992-1994

Framework programme


Previous programme


Official Journal Reference

L 141 of 1992-05-23

Legislative Reference

92/273/CEE of 1992-04-29
To develop more advanced remote-sensing techniques, such as laser-induced fluorescence and microwave sensors, and to apply conventional remote-sensing techniques, including airborne sensors, in areas such as land use planning, the monitoring of renewable resources and marine pollution and productivity.


Part of the third Framework programme for Community activities in the field of research and technological development (1990 to 1994) under subactivity II.3: "Environment", the programme continues and builds on the work carried out in the previous JRC programme in the field of remote sensing.

In the global change area, applications of remote sensing focus on the interactions between land and ocean surface parameters and climate. The development of remote sensing methods applied to critical components of global change is also a target.

Environmental monitoring by remote sensing focuses on advanced techniques: Research, with development of techniques for applications of data derived from earth observation satellites, on environmental mapping and monitoring; application of similar techniques as a contribution to global change programmes with emphasis on the monitoring of marine environment and on processes related to large-scale changes in terrestrial ecosystems; development of a series of advanced techniques, their technologies and engineering, for use in connection with the exploitation of new earth-observation systems, including microwave remote sensing, imaging spectroscopy and data processing.


Four research areas (Institute for Remote Sensing Applications, Ispra):

- Monitoring of land resources and their use:
Development of methods for environmental observation, mapping and modelling using data from earth observation satellites and experimental sensors in conjunction with collateral data;

- Monitoring of the marine environment:
Remote sensing of coastal pollution dynamics using ocean colour data;

- Global change:
To develop remote sensing based approaches to the study of terrestrial and marine biospheres with particular emphasis on changes in vegetation distribution and regional (northeast Atlantic) and temporal variations of sea surface temperature and biological activity;

- Advanced techniques:
. European Signature Laboratory:
To undertake signature research in the microwave and optical regions of the electromagnetic spectrum of natural and man-made targets;
. Signal processing facility:
To develop software tools for data calibration, geophysical validation, geo-referencing, polarimetric data analysis, automatic analysis of ERS-1 data, radar imaging techniques;
. Advanced spectrometric techniques:
To evaluate the use of multi-channel optical high resolution spectrometry for a detailed analysis of ecosystem status and the relationship of signatures;
. Laser fluorescence:
To provide scientific and technical support to the helicopter-mounted Time Resolved Laser Fluorescensor (TRLF), and to develop analysis techniques for use of the TRLF in sea truth and coastal transport applications.


The Commission, assisted by the Board of Governors of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), is responsible for carrying out the programme by means of the services of the JRC and in parallel with other relevant specific programmes of the third Framework programme (1990-1994).

The programme comprises research and technological development (RTD) projects and accompanying measures. The RTD projects are carried out in collaboration and in concert, whenever feasible, with national research bodies in the Member States, taking into account as far as possible regional development aspects of RTD activities and their potential socio-economic effects. Particular attention will be paid to associations with industry, notably with SMEs, in collaborative schemes around the projects.

The research is carried out by the Institute for Remote Sensing Applications (IRSA) at Ispra.

The Commission is authorized to negotiate international agreements with third country members of COST, in particular member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Central and Eastern European countries, with a view to associating them with the programme. However, no contracting body based outside the Community may benefit from the Community financing granted to the programme. Such a body shall contribute to the general administrative costs.

Research projects open to international cooperation shall include cooperation measures with international research laboratories and make provision for the exchange of researchers. Supplementary measures should allow cooperation with research laboratories and institutions located in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

The total funds estimated as necessary for the execution of the JRC's specific programmes in the field of the environment (Environmental Protection, Application of Remote Sensing Techniques, Industrial Hazards, Centre for Earth Observations) amount to ECU 148.5 million, 6% of which may be used for exploratory research. A sum representing 1% of the total JRC budget for 1992-1994 is reserved as a contribution from the JRC's specific programmes to the centralized action on dissemination and exploitation of results (VALUE II).

Knowledge gained through the realization of the projects will be disseminated by the programme itself as well as by the centralized action.

The Commission shall each year before 31 March present to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee a report on the implementation of the programme, together with the observations of the Board of Governors. At the end of the programme an evaluation of the research shall be conducted by a group of independent external experts and a report on the evaluation, accompanied by the opinion of the Board of Governors, shall be forwarded to these same bodies.
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