The Outline: Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, CAS was founded in 1979 with approval of State Council of People’s Republic of China. The predecessor of IRSA is Second Department of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS. Several famous experts in remote sensing had been as the director of IRSA successively, former directors of IRSA are academician, Mr. Chen Shupeng; Prof. Yang Shiren; academician, Mr. Tong Qingxi; academician, Mr. Xu Guanhua; Prof. Guo Huadong; academician, Mr. Li Xiaowen, current director of IRSA is Prof. Gu Xingfa, IAA academician.
The Research Directions and Structure: IRSA is an organization does research on the basic theories of remote sensing, advanced technologies, applications and integrated applications of remote sensing. There are 14 research laboratories under IRSA, as innovative basic units. Radiation transfer and remote sensing laboratory, Environment remote sensing Laboratory and Remote Sensing and Earth Systematic Simulation Laboratory are doing research on basic theories of remote sensing. Hyperspectral remote sensing laboratory, Microwave remote sensing laboratory, Remote sensing calibration and validation laboratory and Remote sensing image processing laboratory are doing research on advanced technologies of remote sensing. Agriculture and ecological remote sensing laboratory, Land resource remote sensing laboratory, Non-renewable remote sensing laboratory and Disaster and emergency remote sensing laboratory are doing research on integrated applications of remote sensing. Spatial information system laboratory and Digital earth and navigation positioning laboratory are doing research on spatial information technology and service. IRSA also contains four national organizations of remote sensing, which are State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Information Sciences, Demonstration Center for Space-borne Remote Sensing cooperated with National Space Administration, National Engineering Research Center for Geoinformatics and State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Satellites Remote Sensing Applications. The research supporting system of IRSA contain MODIS satellite receiving station, remote sensing experimental test site and online remote sensing data center.
IRSA has six affiliate companies, in which have 212 technical employees. The net assets of these six companies in 2008 are 79.1 million, and gross profit is 5.11 million. They provide service which related to following technology. Such as organizing technology of virtual quadtree data; TB spatial information technology service; 3D digital earth technology; spatial information platform of digital city; searching technology of spatial information network. The arrange of technologies they provided takes the leading position in China.
The Research Team and Education: IRSA has 216 existing staff, including 158 scientific research staff, among which are 4 academicians of CAS, 28 research-fellows and 50 associated research-fellows, 34 visiting research-fellow and scholars. IRSA is also a basement for Master, PhD and post doctor graduates educations in cartography and geoinformatics system, and signal and information processing. Currently, IRSA has 197 PhD students, 131 Master students and 15 post doctors.
Since IRSA has launched a new stage of knowledge innovation program, IRSA paid more attention on talent recruitment and science & technology team enlargement. In 2007, IRSA recruited a researcher whose part of “Hundred Talents Program” of CAS and other three outstanding researchers. At the same time, IRSA established Youth Innovation Fund. The average age of IRSA research team is 41 years old, 41% of the team has PhD degree. The team represents the characteristics of being juvenile and resourceful.
The achievements: On 28th November 2008, IRSA applied for operating the National Engineering Laboratory for Satellite Remote Sensing Applications as the juridical organization, which got approved by National Development and Reform Commission. IRSA had 191 on-going projects last year, most of them are supported by government agencies.
IRSA published 552 journals totally in 2008, in which 112 are SCI journals, 74 are EI journals, and 366 are CSCD journals. Compare to the number of SCI journals published in 2007, the number of SCI journals which published in 2008 has increased significantly. IRSA applied three invention patents in 2008, and has 12 software copyrights. Airborne remote sensing system of Multi-functional Non-man airplane, that IRSA took place in developing, won the second prize and science and technology progress award from State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping.
The Geographical Society of China, Environment and Remote Sensing Branch, and the secretariat of Remote Sensing Society of China are affiliated to IRSA. “Journal of Image and Graphics” and “Journal of remote sensing” are publications sponsored by IRSA. They are the core publications of Chinese science and technology journals. “Journal of Remote Sensing” has been continuously awarded as one of 100 outstanding academic journals of China at past three years.
The International Cooperation: In 2008, IRSA established intergovernmental cooperating relationship with Ministry of Education and Sciences of Kazakhstan, University of West Hungary and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia. General Director of IRSA, Prof. Xingfa Gu became the co-chair of the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) since 2008. Prof. Peng Gong won the AAG Remote Sensing Specialty Group (RSSG) Outstanding Contributions in Remote Sensing Award in 2008. At 2009, IRSA successfully held the 30th Asian Conference on Remote Sensing, Prof. Xingfa Gu was elected to be Deputy Secretary of Asian Association on Remote Sensing.