Dubai: Advanced technology experts from around the world came together in Dubai yesterday to explore ways of maximising the use of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) to support international sustainable development.

In a series of workshops hosted by the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) in conjunction with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA); the space exploration community convened at Dubai Men's College for the first time in the UAE.

"This workshop provides a platform that brings representatives from different nations to discuss policies and future plans of the application of GNSS across all sectors," said Ahmad Al Mansouri, Director General of EIAST. "The exploration of GNSS is an important issue that affects all nations and countries."

The workshop aims to establish a broad framework for regional and international cooperation to allow for the strengthening of information exchange. It provides opportunities for international collaborations and advances in the use of GNSS across sectors such as aviation, maritime, space, agriculture and natural resource exploration.

"The space sector is a very small one globally and this workshop gives us an opportunity to bring together decision makers to exchange their experiences and discuss policies," said Al Mansouri. It is workshops such as this one, ending on Thursday, that aim to foster the culture of research in the UAE; bringing the country one step closer to the goal of establishing a knowledge based economy.

The workshop is an UNOOSA initiative born out of the Third United Nations (UN) Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III) in 1999.

The International Committee on GNSS (ICG) was established in 2005 under the UN and serves as a tool for implementing global navigation and positioning satellite systems programme through a series of regional workshops and international meetings.

It is such workshops organised by EIAST in conjunction with UNOOSA that focus on capacity building in the use of GNSS in various areas to support sustainable development, particularly in developing nations.

Remote sensing

Location information is needed for a large number of remote sensing applications, some of which support strategic areas for development such as disaster management, monitoring and protecting the environment, management of natural resources and food production.

With the availability of high-resolution images, some applications will require a location precision of the order of one metre. GNSS provide signals that can serve this purpose and in addition could be used for a large range of other applications with economic benefits for the user.