Thursday, February 26, 2009

ISU Conference: Space for a Safe and Secure World

Wednesday was the first day of the ISU conference that I had come to Europe to attend. I started to learn my way around town, taking the streetcar out to the ISU campus (though I mostly just followed Doha, Halit, and Hugo). The lectures were interesting – the first morning focused on a variety of international perspectives on security. There were talkes by the NASA innovation office, the ESA development office, and from the University of Japan, among others. We had a very nice catered lunch of French food, and then continued on with the presentations in the afternoon.
The aftenoon sessions focused on space for civil security. For example, talking about how satellites can be used to track packages and large shipping containers to ensure security. There was also a presentation looking at how satellites can be used to aid the understanding of diseases and how they spread.

The normal conference precedings ended around 6pm and were followed by a reception and poster session. It was a nice chance to talk to some colleagues and meet some new people. There were a few posters I found interesting, particularly looking at space activities in developing nations, an area in which I have recently become very interested.

We had dinner at home – thanks to Hugo who cooked for Jeff and me. Then we headed out to “Mosquito,” a bar the ISU students go to often. It’s actually a Spanish bar, and lots of visiting students go to it – it even has an Erasmus party on Mondays. (Erasmus is the inter-European student exchange program.) We went from there to the living room, another student hang out. Jeff and I retired a bit early, knowing we still had a busy week.

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