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Dragon 2 Cooperation Programme


The Dragon Programme was a cooperation between ESA and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China. The first Dragon Programme commenced in 2004 and was completed in April 2008. The second Dragon Programme lasted for four years and formally commenced at the 2008 Beijing Symposium.

Dragon 2 focussed on the exploitation of ESA, ESA's Third Party Missions (TPM) and Chinese Earth observation (EO) data for science and applications development in land, ocean and atmospheric applications. The Programme brought together joint Sino-European teams to investigate 25 thematic projects.


The Dragon 2 Programme was targeted towards land, ocean and atmospheric investigations in China. The expected benefit and contribution were to:

  • Promote the use of ESA, TPM and Chinese EO data for science and application development
  • Stimulate scientific exchange in EO science and application by the formation of joint Sino-European teams
  • Publish co-authored results of the research and applications development at the mid term stage and at the end of the programme
  • Provide training in processing, algorithm and product development from ESA, TPM and Chinese EO data in land, ocean and atmospheric applications

Dragon Symposiums

The 2008 Dragon symposium served as the close of the first phase of the Dragon Programme (2004 to 2007) and kick off for the Dragon 2 projects.

Download Symposium 2008 Programme

The 2009, 2010, 2011 Dragon 2 Symposium brought together the joint Sino-European teams after each year of activity. On a project-by-project basis, the 25 project teams reported on the progress of their projects to date.

Download Symposium 2009 Programme

Download Dragon 2 Programme - Brochure 2009

Download Symposium 2010 Programme

Dragon 2 Programme Mid-Term Results 2008–2010

Download Symposium 2011 Programme

Download Dragon 2 Programme - Brochure 2011

The 2012 Dragon Symposium served as the close of the Dragon 2 Programme (2008 to 2012) and kick off for the Dragon 3 projects.

Dragon 2 Final Results & Dragon 3 Kick Off Symposium


Land Training 2008 and 2010

The 2008 and 2010 training courses were dedicated to land remote sensing theory and applications. The programmes were organised around four main components:

  • Theoretical fundamentals:
    • SAR remote sensing: basic principles, interferometry, polarimetry and polarimetric interferometry
    • Optical remote sensing: Radiative transfer, atmospheric corrections, parameters retrieval, modelling
    • Thermal remote sensing: Surface Energy Balance
  • EO missions and products:
    • China: CBERS, Beijing-1, HY, HJ
    • Third Party Missions: ALOS, Proba
  • EO land applications lectures:
    • Land Applications for Land Use and Land Cover forestry, agriculture
    • Disaster monitoring applications: Floods, Fire, Terrain motion
    • Soil moisture, droughts
  • Practicals:
    • Introduction to ESA toolboxes: BEAM, BEST, POLSARPRO
    • Land resources monitoring
    • Flood monitoring
    • Terrain motion
    • Soil moisture

The objectives of these advanced Dragon training courses were:

  • To stimulate and support the exploitation of ESA, Chinese and TPM Earth Observation remote sensing data for land applications
  • To introduce available software tools and methods for the exploitation of these data
  • To enhance the academic exchange and cooperation between Asian and European remote sensing scientists.

Download Land Training 2008 Programme

Download Land Training 2010 Programme

Atmosphere 2009

The training course was devoted to atmosphere applications over China using several remote sensing instruments, in particular tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry and dynamics, as well as air quality monitoring.

Download Atmosphere 2009 Programme

Ocean 2011

See event details:

ESA-MOST Dragon 2 cooperation programme: 2011 Advanced Training Course in Ocean Remote Sensing

Land 2012

See event details:

ESA-MOST Dragon cooperation programme: 2012 Advanced Training Course in Land Remote Sensing