Vincent Ambrosia, Associate Program Manager in the NASA Applied Science Program
Interview by Dr Georgia Kouta, Post-Doctoral Researcher, ERC
How you perceive the impact of the establishment of an Earth Observation Centre of Excellence in a regional perspective, taking into account the scientific importance of another research Centre on EO with ground stations.
From the regional perspective, I believe that the ECoE is strategically situated geographically and scientifically at the crossroads of a dynamic frontier. In geographic terms, the Centre is in a strategic location that links Europe, North Africa, the Levant and the Middle East, providing a centralized location for sharing Earth Observation capabilities to support common biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere research on interactions and inter-dependencies.
Further, Cyprus (CUT) is the closest EU nation to those regions and provide a gateway of easy access between the economic strength of the EU and the burgeoning developments in the surrounding regional communities.
Scientifically, the ECoE would also be a gateway for those peripheral regional entities to access the scientific foundations and knowledge of the ECoE collaborations team. It will assist in advancing their understanding, adaptation and use of Earth observations, models, and applications to foster greater advancement in their own ecosystems management practices, and allowing grater economic development regionally.
CUT and the proposed ECoE, therefore can play a role that no other country in the EU can naturally claim.
There is no other location in the southern European region that can provide the satellite data reception / coverage area that Cyprus can, especially with coverage from the downlink station able to reach Israel, Lebanon, Syria, the Levant, northeast Africa, as well as Turkey and southern EU regions. The establishment of a receiving station in Cyprus would allow the ECoE to be a regional broker and collection / archiving entity for the Eastern Mediterranean areas, a significant advantage to the proposed establishment of the ECoE in Cyprus.