October 26, 2015 sacadmin

Gamesmanship for the greater good

In the early 2000’s, SAC’s management team

decided to switch off the station’s receipt of data from Landsat-7 as a cost-saving measure – a measure unheard of within the satellite tracking fraternity at the time, but one SAC felt compelled to make to reduce costs.

The consequence of the decision, which would have affected the continuous archival of full sets of imagery over South Africa and the sub-continent, was of great concern to the Department of Agriculture. Most of its applications were based on access to SAC’s valuable source of Landsat imagery.

A week after the decision had been communicated to the affected stakeholders, a representative from the Department arrived at SAC with the news that an amount of R7.5 million would be made available for the station to continue with the acquisition of Landsat-7 data. The funds had been approved based on a strong motivation that spelled out the indispensible nature of the data to the activities of the Department.

“We received the funding just before the end of the financial year in 2003 and just in time to re-instate the Landsat-7 data contract without interruption to our archives. The funds also helped with critical improvements at the station, which in turn enabled SAC to continue providing stakeholders with the data products they required. It was an example, greatly appreciated, of where a client came to the rescue to the benefit of all parties concerned.”

– Renier Balt