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African water and equatorial space weather focus of inaugural Alcantara workshop

28 February 2014

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Researchers from three continents gathered at ESA's technical heart in the Netherlands for the inaugural Alcantara initiative workshop - fostering cooperation between research groups in Europe and those beyond, to jointly tackle key knowledge gaps in space research.

"Named for Spain's ancient Roman bridge, Alcantara was initiated by ESA's General Studies Programme in 2012 to foster links between leading academic institutions inside and outside Europe to study areas of mutual benefit," explained Andres Galvez, head of ESA's future-oriented GSP.

Alcantara partnerships take place within existing ESA programmes - two in the first phase. One is the Agency's long-running TIGER initiative, supporting African countries in applying Earth observation technology to water management.

The second being ESA's Monitor programme, seeking to understand how space weather in the vicinity of the equator - far stronger and less predictable than anywhere else in the world - affects satnav performance.

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