Press Release

United Nations Holds Workshop on the International Heliophysical Year and Basic Space Science

By SpaceRef Editor
June 10, 2008
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VIENNA, 9 June (UN Information Service) – As part of the outreach activities for the International Heliophysical Year (IHY) which started in 2007, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) organized a five-day Workshop on the International Heliophysical Year 2007 and Basic Space Science in Sozopol, Bulgaria, from 2-6 June 2008. The workshop was hosted by the Solar-Terrestrial Influences Laboratory of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and co-sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The workshop highlighted front-line research results with a deep impact on the development of space sciences and geo sciences and reviewed the achievements of the past three workshops in the establishment of low-cost, ground-based, worldwide instrument arrays and coordinated investigation programmes as implemented through IHY 2007. Past workshops, the latest one in Japan in 2007, have significantly contributed to the establishment of an observatory development programme known as IHY TRIPOD that encompasses the operation of world-wide instrument arrays such as magnetometers, radio antennas, Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, cosmic ray detectors, the development of software to analyze the data taken, and the transfer of obtained results for teaching space science at the university level. At the workshop in Sozopol, scientists from developing and industrialized nations reported on their results in implementing the IHY TRIPOD programme that currently encompasses 17 instrument arrays deployed around the world, mostly in developing countries, in particular in Africa. While throughout 2005 to 2007, the IHY team focused on development and deployment of instrument arrays, current focus lies on the analysis of the data for combating global challenges such as climate change, to which research activities in the field of solar-terrestrial interactions contribute.

Approximately 150 participants from the following 51 countries attended the Workshop: Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Congo, Croatia, Egypt, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Italy, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Poland, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Romania, Sierra Leone, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Viet Nam, and Yemen.

Since 1990, UNOOSA has organized annually, in cooperation with national and international space-related agencies and organizations, workshops on basic space science and IHY, which is an on-going international endeavour aiming to focus worldwide attention on the importance of international cooperation in research activities in the field of solar-terrestrial interactions. In 2009, the Republic of Korea will host the 5th UN/NASA/JAXA Workshop on Basic Space Science and IHY, from 22-25 September in Jeju.


The United Nations Programme on Space Applications is implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and works to improve the use of space science and technology for the economic and social development of all nations, in particular developing countries. Under the Programme, the Office conducts training courses, workshops, seminars and other activities on applications and capacity building in subjects such as remote sensing, communications, satellite meteorology, search and rescue, basic space science, satellite navigation and space law.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at

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For further information, please contact:

Romana Kofler
Associate Programme Officer, UNOOSA
Tel.: (+43-1) 26060-4962

SpaceRef staff editor.