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Shen-En, Qian

Dr. Shen-En  Qian

Principal Scientist
Canadian Space Agency

6767, Route de l'Aéroport

Longueuil (St-Hubert) QC J3Y 8Y9

tel: (450) 926-4618
fax: (450) 926-4575
E-mail: shen-en.qian@canada.ca
Web: www.asc-csa.gc.ca

Area of Expertise

Optical spacecraft payloads, space technologies for satellite missions and deep space exploration, optical remote sensing, satellite data/image processing and analysis, on-board satellite data compression, data handling and processing, establishment of international standards for space data and information systems, and space project management.


S.-E. Qian is a world renowned scientist with 30 years' experience in space science and technology. He is currently a top scientist with the Canadian Space Agency, where he serves as the Scientific Authority of Canadian government contracts, leads the industry and academia in the development of innovative space technologies and satellite missions. He heads an in-house R&D team in the development of space technologies and spaceborne electro-optical instruments and their applications for Earth observation. He holds 35 patents worldwide and published over 100 scientific papers. He is the sole author of 2 books on optical satellites and their signal processing published by SPIE Press and a co-author of 4 others. He led around 200 experts at national space agencies and edited a must-have handbook "Optical Payloads for Space Missions", published by John Wiley & Sons in 2016. He has made over 20 lectures in universities worldwide. He received the Ph.D. degree in telecommunication and electronic systems in 1990. He is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the SPIE, and a Senior Member of IEEE.

Lecture Title(s)

Enhancing Optical Satellite Performance using Signal Processing Approaches: In order to reduce the risk, shorten the development period and lower the cost of space missions, government scientists and engineers at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) have pioneered data post-processing technology to enhance satellite sensor performance. This presentation will briefly introduce a number of innovative signal processing based technologies developed at CSA for improving satellite sensors performance, such as SNR and spatial resolution, by exploiting the sensor's intrinsic characteristics. The presentation will also show the experimental results of the technologies in the evaluation and validation process, and demonstrate how after the enhancement using the technologies the acquired data by a low performance satellite can better serve the remote sensing applications and military operations in target detection.

Satellite Data Compression at Canadian Space Agency: To reduce the huge data volume generated onboard satellites and solve the bottleneck in the data downlink channel, Dr. Qian invented a series of near lossless satellite data compression technologies. Over 20 patents have been granted in the US, Canada, and Europe. This presentation will first introduce the theory and methods of near lossless satellite data compression, and then focus on vector quantization data compression technology. The presentation will describe how the computational complexity of the vector quantization compression was overcome and led to practical usage on board satellites. The presentation will show how scientists evaluated the information preservation of the compressed data using remote sensing products and applications in the User Acceptance Study. At the beginning, they were concerned about the loss of information from compressed data, and eventually they accepted the compression technology.

Increase Signal-to-Noise Ratio of Satellite Sensor Data using Numerical Processing: Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is one of the key parameters in designing and building a satellite sensor. Satellite data users always prefer and/or require receiving data with high SNR in order to accurately obtain information and better serve their applications. Designing and building a satellite sensor with a considerably high SNR is one of the challenges, as this could be prohibitively expensive and/or constrained by technology availability. The CSA scientists developed a novel technology (patents granted) to increase SNR of satellite sensor data using numerical processing approach. This is a more cost-effective way to enhance/complement the performance of satellite sensors without redesign of the hardware system. In the presentation, Dr. Qian, the lead scientist, will describe the technology, the effectiveness of the technology tested in CSA lab, and the assessment of the technology in collaborating with the satellite data user community using statistics based measures and Earth observation applications.

Space Technology Development for Optical Satellite Missions at Canadian Space Agency: This presentation briefly reviews and summarizes the R&D activities at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). It will focus on the R&D activities for spaceborne optical sensors and the related satellite missions in collaboration with its partners in other government departments, academia and Canadian industry. The review will cover mission definition study of a Canadian hyperspectral satellite, on-board satellite near lossless compression technologies, enhancement of satellite sensor performance using numerical processing approach, dimensionality reduction of multi-dimensional optical sensor data, and new image quality metrics.

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