Message from the Director
This page carries the message from the Director.
Message from the Director
Climate change with its consequences such as weather-related disasters and alarming conditions on water/food availability, environmental pollutions due to various causes, and building a sustainable social system by adopting to the changing environment ? all these are considered urgent issues that are facing human society today. Although occasionally these arise as local problems, solutions are often required on a regional or even global scales, and in this context, we need the approach of environmental remote sensing. Nowadays satellite remote sensing has become an indispensable technology for monitoring the global environment as a means of simultaneously and continuously observing the Earth surface.
The first time human beings acquired the images of the Earth from outer space can be traced back to the Tiros 1 satellite launched by NASA in April 1960. Over two months of operation, more than 20,000 cloud images were recorded by a TV camera and sent to the ground station. Subsequently in 1972, NASA launched the first satellite of the Landsat series, which have been continuing up to now, and this epoch opened the era of full-scale satellite remote sensing.
At Chiba University, in 1986, the "Research Facility of Natural Color Engineering" attached to the Faculty of Engineering was reorganized into the university-level collaborative education and research facility of "Remote Sensing and Image Research Center", in which the analysis of satellite images such as Landsat and meteorological satellites was undertaken. On the basis of this background, the Center for Environmental Remote Sensing (CEReS) was established as a nationwide joint research center in 1995. The purpose of this institution was to contribute to the development of "global environmental studies" using remote sensing. The state-of-the-art researches were started with the following three research divisions: sensor / atmospheric radiation, global environmental information analysis, and database, in addition to the section of database development operation.
Subsequently, the National University Corporation system was started in 2004, with the implementation of the Midterm Goals and Midterm Plans (MGMP) established every six years. In 2010, at the start of the second MGMP period, CEReS was selected and accredited by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a nationwide joint research center in the field of environmental remote sensing. At the same time, the research activity of CEReS was reorganized from the previous “research project system” to the “program system” composed of (PG 1) Innovation in remote sensing technology and algorithm, (PG 2) Integrated use of geoinformation, and (PG 3) Advanced application of satellite remote sensing. In addition to these programs, CEReS accumulates and disseminates satellite and related environmental data to research communities in Japan and Asia aimed at further developing environmental researches utilizing CEReS data.
From the characteristics of research field per se, remote sensing has close relations with a number of disciplines such as geography, meteorology, atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric radiation studies, hydrology, agriculture, horticulture, civil engineering, urban environmental engineering, applied optics, applied physics, electronics engineering, etc. Through collaborative research networks with researchers in such a variety of fields, CEReS promotes researches in the fields of development of remote sensing sensors, information extraction from satellite imagery, and evaluation of environmental changes, and applies the research outcomes to coping with social problems.
Recent achievements of our center include (PG1) the development of a circularly polarized synthetic aperture radar (CP-SAR) aimed at small satellites and aircrafts, (PG2) the data archive of the third generation geostationary meteorological satellite, Himawari-8 and its use for environmental information extraction, and (PG3) the utilization of precise remote sensing in the damage assessment of paddy-rice agricultural insurance being developed in Indonesia (a SATREPS program). Also CEReS researchers play important roles in analyzing the data of Japanese satellites such as the thermal infrared bands of GOSAT satellite for the global monitoring of greenhouse gases, as well as the climate change observation satellite GCOM - C for precise evaluation of the carbon fixation by global vegetation.
Model research also plays an important role in linking remote sensing data and data products to solving social issues including sustainability. In this regard, CEReS has expanded its wing to cover model studies, mainly in the field of vegetation-related bio-geosciences. In addition, CEReS has been contributing to the joint activities of four research centers concerning the climate change studies (Virtual Laboratory on Climate Change Studies, cooperated by research centers of The University of Tokyo, Nagoya University, Tohoku University, and Chiba University). Also, CEReS serves as the secretariat of Future Earth, an international project that Chiba University has officially participated in as a member of Japan consortium, contributing to the construction of a sustainable social system through interdisciplinary research activities.
Please visit the CEReS website to see various types of CEReS activities, including the satellite and related data products: http://www.cr.chiba-u.jp/english/index.html