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NASA supports Vietnam scientists in space technology


More than 60 Vietnamese and international scientists have participated in NASA’s “International Science Team Meeting and Field Work” in collaboration with the University of Natural Sciences under Hanoi National University.

The project aims to build a database on the status and changing rate of land coverage and land use in order to make maps on the change of the population and demography in these countries.

It’s known that rapid Land-Cover Land-Use Change (LCLUC) has occurred over Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, especially the loss of important forest regions since the turn of the 21st century. It’s considered as ecocide. Now a key question is what has happened over those deforested and non-deforested lands in terms of the current land use status. The next component is quantifying spatial patterns and temporal trends of LCLUC. The observations of LCLUS together with the LCLUC patterns, trends, and rate of change are coupled and integrated with the population and demographic data for each country.

Accordingly, NASA allows scientists to use data from its remote sensing satellites to investigate and assess land use, change and impact in the area. Particularly, NASA’s Big Data source and the research and consultancy of the scientists participating in the project will be used for the research and training in the field of space science which is still young in Vietnam.

Mr Nghiem Van Son, a senior researcher from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology and one of the project’s founders, said that NASA has been developing a scientific cooperation program with Vietnam since 2016. Accordingly, data retrieved from satellites helped show places with droughts, fire-prone areas, and volumetric flow rates in rivers so that scientists can have a comprehensive picture of Vietnam’s landmass and natural disaster risk management.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Pham Quang Tuan, Head of the Faculty of Geography, University of Science, Hanoi National University, said that the cooperation with NASA’s scientists will help local scientists learn more about modern space technology and remote sensing. It’s also an opportunity to access new technologies to solve problems in urban development management and land use issues in Vietnam.

The project is expected to run for three years.

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