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From land management to disaster monitoringKARI is currently controlling and operating the Arirang and Cheollian satellites, which are national satellite assets; it plans to manage and utilize systematically the integrated national satellite information to prepare for the multi-satellite era. The Institute is in charge of record planning, receiving, processing, and distributing images for the Arirang and Cheollian satellites; it is planning research and development to promote satellite image processing and utilization. Satellite images have recently been used as important big data that create high added value in the 4th Industrial Revolution era. KARI promotes the use of satellite images acquired from various satellites, including the world's best high-level resolution imaging satellites. The Arirang generates about 100,000 satellite images per year, including sub-meter high-resolution satellite images, radar images, and infrared images provided to the public and private sectors. The Cheollian continuously generates satellite images for meteorological, ocean, and environmental observations. These satellite images are crucial in various fields such as land management, disaster monitoring, marine water resource management, agricultural and forestry applications, environmental weather observation, national security, industrial activities, and daily life.
Integrated satellite operation and efficient use of satellite informationKARI operates the National Satellite Information Utilization Support Center, a national organization for national satellites' integrated operation and promotion of systematic, efficient satellite information utilization. The National Satellite Information Utilization Support Center plays the role of enhancing the support and utilization system based on the private demand for satellite information to promote the use of various kinds of satellite information acquired by satellites, promoting the industries using satellite information and use services, and constructing the infrastructure for the satellite information utilization industry. The Center has formed the Satellite Information Utilization Council to supply satellite images to 31 government agencies to satisfy public demand according to the national mid- to long-term space development policy. Moreover, the Center builds the national satellite information integration database and platform so that the public and private sectors can readily use the national satellite data and enhance the added value of national satellite data to access satellite data easily.
Satellite Information Utilization CouncilKARI performs four major tasks through the operation of the council. First, it acquires and processes the satellite information required by the government council and produces and distributes standard and high value-added images. It also constructs and operates the information management system by acquiring Korean Peninsula images recorded by foreign satellites such as PeruSat-1. KARI has constructed a platform dedicated to using satellite information for the council by systematically implementing and enhancing the council operation support system and developing the order management system for the systematic management of the council's satellite information. Moreover, it operates the additional processing system it has implemented to produce high value-added information. It also operates the large-capacity database management system it has developed for the stable management of high value-added satellite information. KARI plans to develop commercialization technology for satellite information to help the council collaborating institutions utilize satellite information efficiently. It intends to secure technology that can analyze urban changes, forest damage, and farming land changes to support field service organizations. Moreover, it is developing tools to support the council users in checking and processing images.Lastly, it has organized a specialized group for each council's division to operate the council and provide user education. It is also holding use seminars and providing users' technical education to support the council's field service. Moreover, it holds workshops on utilizing satellite information and annual meetings to share satellite information utilization technology and know-how.
International cooperation for sharing and using satellite imagesThe international charter Space and Major Disasters is an international cooperation program to understand the damage situation and support recovery by recording and providing satellite images quickly during major disasters such as earthquake, typhoon, snowstorm, fire, and oil spill. The charter began operation in 2000 with the proposal by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the French Space Agency (CNES) at the 3rd United Nations Conference on Space Exploration and Peaceful Utilization (UNISPACE III) held in 1999. It is participated in by 17 countries that operate earth observation satellites. As of November 2020, it had supported 688 disasters in 126 countries, and the number of supported cases has reached approximately 50 cases annually in the past five years. KARI joined as an official member of the charter in November 2011 and provided high-resolution images recorded by the Arirang. It has been expanding the image support since it joined the charter and has recently been providing more than 500 images each year. The Arirang is used for analyzing damage caused by floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions that frequently occur in Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America, including the Indonesian Tsunami in December 2018 that killed more than 300 people. Moreover, overseas satellite images from the international charter were used to analyze the damage from the Pohang earthquake in November 2017, the Gangwon-do forest fire in April 2019, the flood in August 2020, and the typhoons Bavi, Maysak, and Haishen. They were very helpful in natural disaster management.
International activities to address global climate and environmental problemsThe Group on Earth Observation (GEO) is an international cooperation program formed at the 2005 Earth Observation Ministers' Meeting to promote earth observation and use of spatial information to address global climate and environmental problems. As of November 2020, 112 countries and 133 international organizations are participating as members. Korea has participated as one of the founding members, and it is still a member country of the Executive Board. Having recognized that data-based decision making is critical to achieving the common human goal related to climate change, disaster reduction, and sustainable development, the GEO is constructing GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) to support it. In Korea, the Ministry of Science and ICT is responsible for the Korea Earth Observation Group (K-GEO). Korea is a leading member of the K-GEO and a co-chair country of the Asia-Oceania Earth Observation Group to expand the usage base of earth observation satellite data and secure the world market's competitiveness.