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Vietnam And France Discuss Earth Observation And Space Climate Observatory Cooperation

Vietnamese engineers integrating the MicroDragon microsatellite. Photograph courtesy of the Vietnam Space Center (VNSC).

The President of the Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES), Jean-Yves Le Gall, met with Chau Van Minh, President of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) at the CNES head office in Paris on 27 May 2019, in the presence of Pham Anh Tuan, Director of the Vietnam National Space Center (VNSC), and Bui Trong Tuyen, Director of the Space Technology Institute (STI). It was an opportunity for the two Presidents to review the current status of France-Vietnam space cooperation and to discuss the next steps regarding Earth observation, the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) and space applications.

Their last meeting was held during the French Prime Minister’s visit to Vietnam in November 2018, when the CNES President signed a letter of intent with VAST on climate.

Chair of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) for 2019, VAST has partnered with CNES and the Centre d’Etudes Spatiales de la BIOsphère (CESBIO) in developing a set of Sentinel-1 data processing algorithms to monitor forests and rice farming via the Vietnam Data Cube platform.

Together, VAST and VNSC have made Vietnam one of the driving forces behind the SCO—CNES’s international initiative to study the effects of climate change. Vietnam’s involvement in the project will again centre around its Data Cube, expanding the platform’s scope to take in the entire Mekong delta and involving Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar, in coordination with the Mekong River Commission.

In the field of space applications, CNES will take part in the second Vietnam Summer School of Earth Observation in Quy Nhon this September, in partnership with the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi and science exchange body Rencontres du Vietnam, on the theme of surface water mapping. CNES has also invited VAST to take part in the 2020 ActInSpace hackathon plus its international launch at the Paris Air Show on 19 June.

Following today’s meeting, Jean-Yves Le Gall said, “I am delighted by these latest discussions with VAST, which mark a new milestone in France-Vietnam space cooperation and in particular for the Space Climate Observatory, with the forthcoming signature of a CNES-VAST/VNSC bilateral agreement. Altogether, this will enable our industry to continue using its experience and expertise to support the development of Vietnam’s space sector.”

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