Ocean and Atmosphere

June 3, 2016

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New Zealand has approximately 15,000 km of coastline, with a marine environment of over 4 million square kilometers of ocean, making it one of the largest exclusive economic zones (EEZ) in the world. The coastal and marine region is profoundly important, ecologically, culturally and economically. Remote sensing provides one of the most effective tools to monitor, understand and manage a vast resource as New Zealand’s marine environment. Globally, the application of hyperspectral data is developing rapidly, particularly with increased spatial and spectral resolution. Due to the high costs of ocean research and monitoring, our knowledge of the physical and biological state, and resource availability, in New Zealand’s EEZ is lacking. Of particular interest is the use of space-based measurements for monitoring and managing marine habitats and associated Customary Protection Areas (CPAs). When CSST is established, it will support the science community by providing easy access to the wealth of existing remote sensed ocean and coastal data and will therefore facilitate more robust research at lower cost.

The access to big data is a barrier to industrial R&D and commercial implementation of innovative solutions to regional problems. Often the required knowledge to handle remote sensing data as supplied by space agencies lies outside the field of expertise of possible users and these data are therefore not regarded. Thus, the development of formats and access protocols, along with analysis by the CSST science partners, will be enable New Zealand’s R&D community to use the available remote sensing data.

Immediate goals for CSST would be:

  • Consult widely with weather services, fisheries, defence, communications, coastal and ocean management agencies to define the contemporary and future requirements, and how they could be met through space-based measurements.
  • Consult widely with CRI’s and regional councils to understand their needs and how CSST’s products focused on coastal and marine information could contribute to research and knowledge.
  • Investigate potential measurements that could be made from New Zealand’s first satellite to support sustainable fisheries and coastal / ocean management.