The U. V. Helava Award

Best Paper 2009

The U.V. Helava Award, sponsored by Elsevier B.V.and Leica Geosystems AG, is a prestigious ISPRS Award, which was established in 1996 to encourage and stimulate submission of high quality scientific papers by individual authors or groups to the ISPRS Journal, to promote and advertise the Journal, and to honour the outstanding contributions of Dr. Uuno V. Helava to research and development in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.


The Award is presented to authors of the best paper, written in English and published exclusively in the ISPRS Journal during the four-year period from January of a Congress year, to December of the year prior to the next Congress. The Award consists of a monetary grant of SFr. 10,000 and a plaque. A five-member jury, comprising experts of high scientific standing, whose expertise covers the main topics included in the scope of the Journal, evaluates the papers. For each year of the four-year evaluation period, the best paper is selected, and among these four papers, the one to receive the U.V. Helava Award.


The fourth U.V. Helava Award will be presented at the 22th ISPRS Congress in Melbourne, 25 August-1 September 2012. The jury appointed by the ISPRS Council evaluated the 68 papers of volume 64 (2009) and announced its decision for the Best Paper.
The winner of the 2009 Best Paper Award is:


external link  ″SPIRIT. SPOT 5 stereoscopic survey of Polar Ice: Reference Images and Topographies during the fourth International Polar Year (2007–2009)″

by Jérôme Korona1, Etienne Berthier2, Marc Bernard1, Frédérique Rémy2, Eric Thouvenot3

(1) Spot Image, 5 rue des Satellites, BP 14359, F31030 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
(2) Université de Toulouse; UPS (OMP-PCA); LEGOS; 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, F-31400 Toulouse, France and
   CNRS; LEGOS; 14 Avenue Ed. Belin, F-31400 Toulouse, France
(3) CNES, 18 Avenue E. Belin, 31401 Toulouse Cedex 9, France


Jérôme Korona Etienne Berthier Marc Bernard Frédérique Rémy Eric Thouvenot
Jérôme Korona Etienne Berthier Marc Bernard Frédérique Rémy Eric Thouvenot



Jury's rationale for the paper selection


This paper deals with a highly relevant project in support of the International Polar Year that will be critical in understanding climate change. The authors provide a thorough evaluation of SPIRIT DTM's and analyse the potential for mapping elevation changes over glaciers for selected sites in Greenland. The results are highly interesting as they solve very hard problems like stereo matching on snow and DSM evaluations using two different satellite sensor systems. The paper is written excellently and will extend our understanding of the world around us.


On behalf of the ISPRS and the U.V. Helava Award jury, I would like to congratulate the authors for this distinction and thank them for their contribution. I would also like to thank the sponsors of the Award, and the jury members for their thorough evaluations.


George Vosselman
ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
ITC, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands



The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing is a non-governmental organization devoted to the development of international cooperation for the advancement of photogrammetry and remote sensing and their applications. The Society operates without any discrimination on grounds of race, religion, nationality, or political philosophy.

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