BiographyProfessor Guo Huadong is Director-General of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), an Academician of CAS, a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), and a Fellow of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences (IEAS). He is a distinguished scientist in the field of remote sensing science in China, and also has international recognition as the President of the International Council for Science (ICSU) Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), Secretary General of the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Digital Earth (IJDE) published by Taylor & Francis. He also serves as Director of the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage under the Auspices of UNESCO (HIST), and Director of the CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation (SDIM).
Guo has focused his research on radar for Earth observation, multi-platform and multi-band remote sensing, and Digital Earth science over the past thirty years. Researching mainly the interaction mechanisms between electromagnetic waves and the Earth’s surface, he has made numerous contributions to remote sensing science. Guo has published more than four hundred papers and sixteen books, which have been cited 2104 times, and he is the principal awardee of thirteen national and CAS prizes. His major scientific achievements can be summarized as follows.
Imaging Mechanism of Synthetic Aperture Radar.
Through his research in radar remote sensing, Guo has gained the reputation as being one of the pioneering researchers in this field in China. He established a radar scattering geometric model for non-vegetated sand dunes, theoretically proving SAR’s penetration ability through dry sand in north-central China. He was the first to propose this, and the results were well cited by the “Manual of Remote Sensing (3rd Edition)” and many other publications. Based on this he discovered segments of the Great Wall of the Ming and Sui dynasties in desert areas buried by sands, as reported in Science and Science News. He developed radar polarimetric theory and researched the de-polarization phenomena of volcanic lava and multi-polarization response phenomena of plants. He was a pioneer of the use of full polarization radar and has achieved high-accuracy crop classification mapping. With regard to this research, the Director of NASA/JPL, Dr. Charles Elachi, wrote, “Prof. Guo Huadong and his group have played a leading role in radar remote sensing research both in China and internationally” on the preface of the book “Radar Remote Sensing Applications in China” by Guo. The PE&RS also published a review of this book and stated, “It is very valuable for remote sensing scientists”. He has been a Principle Investigator in eight major international radar remote sensing programs, including SIR-C/X-SAR, JERS-1 SAR, ERS-1/2 SAR, Radarsat, Envisat, SRTM, and ALOS programs, and was elected Chair of the Technical Committee of RiceSAT (a SAR satellite) for the Asian Association on Remote Sensing. He also received the Boon Indrambarya Gold Medal awarded at the 30th Asian Remote Sensing Conference in 2009.
During his years working as a member and Principal Scientist for the National 863 High-Tech Program in the field of information acquisition and processing, Guo proposed exploiting “electromagnetic wave resources with wavelength, polarization, magnitude, and phase”, and prompted the development of eight kinds of groundbreaking remote sensing technologies. He designed, organized and implemented the “advanced airborne Earth observing system”, and set up projects for demonstrating applications on agriculture, environment, and urban areas. His achievements with spaceborne SAR laid a firm foundation for the first SAR satellite in China. The evaluation results stated that the project “has exploited new ground for the development of Earth observation technologies, bridged the gap between China and the developed countries in this field, and made considerable contributions to the national economy”. Guo is now Principal Scientist for the New Generation Airborne Remote Sensing System, which will be equipped with two new remote sensing aircrafts carrying ten advanced sensors.
Remote Sensing for Mineral Exploration and Environmental Change.
Guo has made significant contributions to remote sensing for mineral exploration and global environmental studies. He has been in charge of a number of key projects on remote sensing for mineral exploration, modelled the relation between curve structures and ore deposits, and developed a three step model combining remote sensing, geochemistry, and geoengineering. He delineated 18 highly-mineralized prospecting targets for gold, copper and tin, which eventually led to the discovery of gold deposits (18.8 tons of predicted reserves, and 70 tons of prospective reserves) and brought huge benefit to the local economy. This research established a successful example of directly discovering industrial gold deposits using remote sensing technology. He was in charge of the ShenZhou Spacecraft Land Remote Sensing Application System. The project produced the first remote sensing atlas of China based on imagery from the ShenZhou Spacecraft incorporating global microwave backscattering images and an electronic atlas of typical surface features around the world, classifying the globe into six categories based on remote sensing data.
In 2008, Guo proposed the idea of using space technologies for research on mechanisms and methodologies related to sensitive variables of global environmental change. His proposal was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and listed as one of the national key fundamental research projects. He has been appointed the Principle Scientist of this project with funding of about $7 million USD. Through five years research, the project has published 324 papers. Based on this project, he initiated an international program titled “ABCC (Australia, Brazil, Canada and China)” aiming to conduct comparative studies of similar environments in the four countries using remote sensing technologies. The participating countries have been actively pursuing projects under this initiative, and six workshops have been held by the participating organizations since 2009.The ABCC program has been selected to be part of Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) since 2011.
Earth Observation for Natural Disaster Mitigation.
Guo established an all-weather, day and night remote sensing monitoring system for disaster reduction. The system was used in the aftermath of the Wenchuan, Yushu and Lushan earthquakes in 2008, 2010 and 2013, which greatly facilitated rescue operations in the quake-hit regions and made significant contributions to disaster relief. Data were made available to all partners who needed the acquired data. In all, 4,851 GB of data were shared with 15 government agencies. Due to this outstanding contribution, the disaster relief effort was listed as one of the top ten domestic science news stories of 2008 by Science Daily, and Guo’s team was collectively recognized as a “National Hero in Earthquake Relief Work” by the Central Government of China. The results of the Wenchuan Earthquake monitoring project are documented in the “Atlas of Remote Sensing for the Wenchuan Earthquake”. As Chair of the InterAcademy Panel’s (IAP) disaster mitigation project team, joined by the scientists of IAP member academies from 11 countries, he led the project’s research and published the final report entitled “Natural Disaster Mitigation” in 2009. The report proposed a model for studying disasters, focusing on the three most destructive types of disasters classified under two occurrence mechanisms. It has attracted great attention from the global scientific community, especially IAP member countries. Based on the above achievements, ICSU, ISSC, and the UNISDR selected Guo’s institute to host the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk International Programme Office (IRDR-IPO), “the first time an international office of this type has been hosted in Asia”. After he was elected as a Fellow of TWAS in 2012, for his outstanding contributions and academic achievements, CAS and TWAS cooperated to select his institute to host the CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation (SDIM), aimed to conduce much-needed research on disaster mitigation through advanced space technologies, especially space-borne Earth observation technology and provide knowledge transfer in developing countries through joint research, education, training, workshops and advisory services. Guo was appointed as the founding Director.
Space Technology for World Heritage.
Guo explored the use of space technologies to conduct world heritage monitoring, published the first book on remote sensing for world heritage in China and initiated a series of international conferences on archaeology. As mentioned, his early work in this field led to the discovery of an ancient, buried segment of the Great Wall. In 2001, Guo established the Joint Laboratory of Remote Sensing for Archaeology in affiliation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Education and Chinese Administration of Cultural Heritage. Through his experience and endeavours in this field, he co-initiated and ultimately established the UNESCO Centre on Space Technologies for Cultural and Natural Heritage in 2009, and was appointed as the founding Director by UNESCO.
Research on Digital Earth Science.
Guo has actively promoted the vision of Digital Earth, since the early days of the concept. He led a research team to build up the first Digital Earth Prototype System (DEPS/CAS) in China. This system comprises integrated, advanced technology both in hardware and software to conduct Earth system science at global, national, and regional scales. An evaluation panel organized by the International Society for Digital Earth wrote, “This system has demonstrated the important leading role of Digital Earth research in the world”. He is one of the founders of the International Society for Digital Earth, which, after a series of symposia he organized in nine countries, has become an influential academic organization. He founded, as Editor-in-Chief, the International Journal of Digital Earth published by Taylor & Francis. The journal was accepted for inclusion in the Science Citation Index Expanded by Thomson Reuters in 2009 after only one and a half years in publication and ranked 7th among 23 journals in the remote sensing category in 2011.
Guo has also paid attention to the strategic research in the field of space science and technology. Since 2007, Guo have taken charge of the strategic research project entitled “Space Science & Technology in China: A Roadmap to 2050” in cooperation with over 40 scientists in China. Now phase one and phase two of the project have been completed and the report has been published both in English and Chinese by Springer and Science Press, respectively.
Guo attaches great importance to scientific cooperation amongst developed and developing countries through his involvement in international organizations. Since 2007, he has built partnerships with over 20 organizations including JRC/EU, CRCSI/Australia, CCRS/Canada, INPE/Brazil and USGS/USA.
His research and contributions in radar remote sensing theory, integrated technologies for mineral exploration, Earth observation for disaster mitigation, space technology for global change study, and international Digital Earth science have demonstrated the importance of remote sensing and its applications. His discoveries have highlighted the need to advance China’s Earth observation capabilities and elevate related fields to meet or exceed international standards. Guo’s involvement in and promotion of remote sensing in China are an exemplary case of successful capacity building for advanced scientific research in some developing countries.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Prof. Guo Huadong has over thirty years of experience in remote sensing, specializing in radar for Earth observation and remote sensing applications, and has been involved in research on digital Earth since the end of the last century. He has systematically revealed the interaction mechanisms between radar electromagnetic waves and the Earth’s surface, established a radar scattering geometric model for non-vegetated sand dunes, developed radar polarimetric theory and researched the de-polarization phenomena of volcanic lava and multi-polarization response phenomena of plants, and theoretically proved SAR’s penetration ability through dry sand. He has established a multi-source remote sensing theoretical method and model for mineral exploration, established an all-weather, day and night, active and passive remote sensing monitoring system for disaster reduction, proposed the idea to use space technologies for research on mechanisms and methodologies of sensitive factors to global environmental change, and the conceptual studying of lunar-based Earth observation. He has led the building of a new Earth pattern observation system, the Shenzhou Spacecraft Land Remote Sensing Application System, and the first Digital Earth Prototype System. Prof. Guo has published more than 300 papers and 15 books, and is the principal awardee of 13 national and CAS prizes.
Published: Jan 20, 2014 by International Journal of Digital Earth
Authors: Huadong Guo
Digital Earth: Big Earth Data
Published: Nov 28, 2013 by International Journal of Digital Earth
Authors: Cuizhen Wanga, Huadong Guo, Li Zhang, Yubao Qiu, Zhongchang Sun, Jingjuan Liao, Guang Liu & Yili Zhang
Improved alpine grassland mapping in the Tibetan Plateau with MODIS time series: a phenology perspective
Published: Jan 03, 2013 by International Journal of Digital Earth
Authors: Guo Huadong
Making Digital Earth on Earth
Published: Nov 25, 2012 by International Journal of Digital Earth
Authors: Huadong Guo, Liangyun Liu, Liping Lei, Yanhong Wu, Liwei Li, Bing Zhang, Zhengli Zuo & Zhen Li
Dynamic analysis of the Wenchuan Earthquake disaster and reconstruction with 3-year remote sensing data
Published: Apr 10, 2012 by International Journal of Digital Earth
Authors: Huadong Guo
China's Earth observing satellites for building a Digital Earth
Published: Mar 29, 2012 by International Journal of Digital Earth
Authors: Huadong Guo, Jianbo Liu, An Li & Jianguo Zhang
Earth observation satellite data receiving, processing system and data sharing
Published: Dec 14, 2011 by International Journal of Digital Earth
Authors: Huadong Guo
Digital Earth: a new challenge and new vision
Published: Aug 20, 2010 by International Journal of Digital Earth
Authors: Huadong Guo
Understanding global natural disasters and the role of earth observation
Published: Mar 10, 2010 by International Journal of Digital Earth
Authors: H.D. Guo, Z. Liu & L.W. Zhu
Digital Earth: decadal experiences and some thoughts
Published: Mar 17, 2009 by International Journal of Digital Earth
Authors: H. Guo, X. Fan & C. Wang
A digital earth prototype system: DEPS/CAS