The National Observatory of Athens (NOA) has been historically nominated by the Greek government as the sole institution in charge of natural disasters monitoring, with a clear mandate to conduct innovative research for the benefit of the Greek citizens. At global level it hosts, a) the UNESCO Chair for Natural Disasters, established within the framework of UNESCO-BRESCE, b) the Secretariat of the South Eastern European (SEE) Disasters Risk Assessment and Mitigation Network, and c) the Focal Point on the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS), one of the four national GEO Offices in the World.
The Institute for Astronomy Astrophysics Space Applications & Remote Sensing (IAASARS) of NOA, through its systematic participation to EC and ESA-funded projects, has achieved a considerable excellence in the area of EO-based environmental and natural disaster monitoring and management during the last decade. It has been providing support for Emergency Planning and Emergency Support, and Disaster Recovery to Environmental Monitoring, Civil Protection and Public Governmental Authorities in Greece, while it has consistent participation to EC, ESA and Copernicus projects.
IAASARS is has a constant presence and activity in EO using space-borne and ground-based Remote Sensing techniques. The RS group of IAASARS focuses on scientific research and development of products and services related to environment dynamics assessment and on-going climate change, with the objective to monitor, study and assess the physical phenomena and natural disasters occurring at Earth’s environment. The research portfolio covers a broad spectrum of phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanoes, atmospheric hazards, fires, fire smoke, dust storms, air quality and impacts to human health, floods, landscape and ecosystem dynamics, plant ecophysiology, mineral exploration, urban heat island phenomena, and marine applications.
IAASARS/NOA develops innovative integrated observational solutions (i) allowing to a multitude of monitoring networks (space borne and ground-based) to operate in a complementary, unified and coordinated manner, (ii) creating archives and databases of long series of observations and derived higher level products, and (iii) making these observations and products available for exploitation with the involvement of stakeholders, scientists and/or institutional users, applicable for down-streaming to their specific needs.
Over the years, through the systematic participation to EC, ESA, Copernicus and national projects, NOA has consolidated state-of-the-art scientific equipment including a satellite ground station for missions Meteosat, NOAA/AVHRR, MODIS, NPP, FYI, MetOP and future NPOESS. NOA hosts the first Collaborative Ground Segment of the management and dissemination of data flows from the Sentinel family of satellites.