EARSeL is a scientific network of European remote sensing institutes, coming from both academia and the commercial/industrial sector. EARSeL is unique in that it represents the interests of these institutes rather than individuals, although individual membership is possible (see membership fees). Currently, there are about 250 member laboratories (see EARSeL Directory of Members).
The European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL) is a scientific network of European remote sensing institutes, coming from both academia and the commercial/industrial sector. It was founded in 1977 under the auspices of the European Space Agency, the Council of Europe and the European Commission, and registered on 13 December 1977 under French law by the Tribunal d’Instance in Strasbourg, France.
EARSeL is run by a Council of elected national representatives from each country where there are member laboratories and an executive Bureau, elected by the Council.
The latest statutes of the Association, ratified at the General Assembly in June 2018, can be found here in English. Every 4 years, EARSeL holds elections for Special Interest Group chairpersons representing very important groups of remote sensing within the EARSeL member laboratories. The EARSeL SIG chairperson election process is described in more detail here in English.
The principal activities are:
- stimulating and promoting education and training related to remote sensing and Earth observation,
- initiating and co-ordinating application-oriented research,
- forming a bridge between technology and applications of interest to the wide user community,
- assisting the sponsoring agencies in the development of new sensors and systems and in any technical matters of relevance,
- providing a network of experts for the agencies in Europe,
- carrying out joint research projects on the use of remote sensing for research, monitoring and education,
- promoting co-operation between remote sensing experts and the environmental managers and decision-makers.
The main scientific efforts of EARSeL are concentrated in Special Interest Groups (SIGs). These SIGs form the foundation of the activities of EARSeL and its ‘raison d’être’. They encourage co-operation and foster innovative applications of remote sensing. The science is at its highest level, the state-of-the-art is well established and advances are being made and are foreseen.
The SIGs organise workshops and specialist meetings. Papers presented at these meetings are published as proceedings on CD-Rom or as Special Issues of the EARSeL co-journal EuJRS (European Journal of Remote Sensing).