Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI RAN)
The Space Research Institute (IKI) is the leading organization of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) in the field of investigations of Outer Space, Solar System planets and other objects of the Universe. It also has responsibility for long-range planning and elaboration of space research programs, a considerable part of which is performed within the framework of international space research cooperation. Scientists from the Space Geophysics Department of IKI are specialists in the field of remote sensing. Their extensive experience in processing satellite data is utilized in space oceanography, ocean monitoring, space geo-ecological monitoring, and the satellite monitoring of megacites. IKI keeps an extensive data bank collected during preceding aerospace programs going back over 30 years. The data accumulated is particularly valuable for Climate Change Research and it is essential that such data is preserved in an efficient and well co-ordinated manner so that it can be made available to the international community in the long term. IKI is also well connected with other research institutes across Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union. It is therefore well placed to act as a conduit for the spread of knowledge from APARSEN into Eastern Europe.
Russia is the largest country in total area in the world (almost twice the area of the United States). Global climate change is likely to have a very significant impact on the vast areas of Siberian tundra – with global consequences. The key to understanding climate change is to have access to long-term historical observations, and to preserve current observations for future analysis.
As a result of the political turmoil over the last 20 years, Russia presents a number of unique challenges with regard to historical data preservation. If the APARSAN project is to fully address the problems of long-term data preservation then it needs to take into account the additional challenges presented by Russian data preservation and access.
As noted above, the Space Research Institute (IKI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences has extensive experience in the processing of remote sensing satellite data for environmental and climate change research. It also maintains an extensive data bank collected during previous aerospace programs going back over 30 years.
IKI is also well connected with other research institutes across Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union. It also has a track record of helping to organize conferences on such topics as Digital Libraries. IKI is therefore well placed to act as a conduit for the spread of knowledge from APARSAN into Eastern Europe.
The staff at IKI also have close links with the Universities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, and provide many lecture courses covering Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI), data preservation and access. This, again, will help the spread of knowledge from APARSAN into Eastern Europe.
The commitment to digital preservation is underlined by the fact that if Russian historical scientific data is not brought within the remit of APARSEN then these data will at best remain very difficult to access by the broader European community and, at worst, may become totally inaccessible to anyone, resulting in the loss of globally significant data.