The Dragon programme started in 2004 as a joint undertaking between European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Remote Sensing Center of China (NRSCC), under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China. This cooperation promotes the use of ESA, Copernicus Sentinels, ESA Third Party Missions and Chinese Earth observation satellite data within China for science and applications.
Dragon provides a unique platform for the joint exploitation of Earth observation data from optical, infrared, thermal and microwave sensors for science and application development. These multi-instrument data are used for monitoring the ocean, land and atmosphere and the provision of archive data allows for time series analysis and change detection from the 1990’s to the present day.
As well as the formation of joint Sino-European teams and academic exchanges, Dragon organize thematic training courses for Young European and Chinese scientists. Courses provide hands-on training in EO data processing, algorithm and product development for geo-science applications, using ESA open source toolboxes.
In addition to regular Dragon Symposia, meetings, and workshops, dedicated Dragon sessions are organised at leading international conferences and Symposia, for example ISRSE and ESA Living Planet.
Co-authored results of the research and applications development are delivered at the midterm and final stages of each programme.
Many of the innovative projects emerging from Dragon have resulted in high-level publications in quality peer-reviewed journals and spin-off activities (e.g. long term and global datasets).