Curricilum Vitae in Brief



Dr. Charalampos (Haris) KONTOES

Research Director - Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing - National Observatory of Athens (NOA/IAASARS)

Metaxa & Vas. Pavlou, GR-15236 Athens
Tel: 0030-210-8109186 / 0030-210-3490088
Mob: +30-6932208817
Fax: 0030-210-6138343






Dr. Charalampos (Haris) Kontoes holds the title as NOA Researcher during the last 20 years at various research levels such as:

2010 up to present: Research Director of NOA - Satellite Remote Sensing sector, Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens (IAASARS/NOA)

2003-2010: Senior Researcher IAASARS/NOA – Satellite Remote Sensing Sector

2000-2003: Associate Researcher IAASARS/NOA

1997-2003: Assistant Researcher IAASARS/NOA



Member of the National Council of Space Policy in Greece within the framework of operations of the Hellenic Space Organization (ELDO)

National Delegate of the H2020 SPACE Program Committee - EC DG ENTR

National Delegate of the Copernicus Integrated Ground Segment (IGS)

Member of the National Committee of International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG)

National Contact Point for the Exchange of National Data in the Group on Earth Observation (GEO)



Dr Haris Kontoes holds the position of Research Director at the Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens. He received his doctorate diploma (PhD) in Remote Sensing of Environment from the National Technical University of Athens (1992). He completed his doctoral thesis, as grant holder of the European Commission at the Institute for Space Applications (Environmental Mapping Team) of the EU Joint Research Center (JRC) in ISPRA, Italy.

Since 1992, he has been assuming responsibilities as Scientific Director – Coordinator for a large number of Operational and Research and Innovation Actions in Earth Observation, in the framework of National and European Competitive Financing Instruments (ESA EU Optional Programs, EU / FP6- FP7-H2020, EU / Copernicus - GMES). His research work focused on the exploitation of satellite technology combined with advanced big data modeling techniques using Copernicus satellites, as well as many other operational and scientific Earth Observation satellite missions.

A large part of his research activity was devoted to the development of IT solutions for the analysis of image data and the extraction of new scientific environmental information (e.g. big data analytics, multi-source data fusion, data mining, pattern recognition, machine learning and neural nets). He proposed prototype research solutions that have long led to the provision of pre-operational and operational solutions for timely assessment, monitoring and management of natural risks associated with climate change (e.g. fires, floods, storms), geo-hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, soil/coastal erosion), atmospheric disturbances (spreading toxic gases, pollutants, smoke), as well as activating decision-making procedures/systems for the protection of citizens from natural hazards. He has developed extensive research in the field of satellite remote sensing, which is directly related to the management and protection of natural resources and assets (water, ecosystems), and to the optimal exploitation of agricultural land and the protection of food in line with priorities of the Common Agricultural Policy and Best Environmental Practices it establishes. An important part of his research activity deals with the use of large volumes of remote sensing data of Copernicus satellite missions, as well as other space missions (e.g. NASA, NOAA, etc.) in order to develop improved real-time energy efficiency estimation models, maximizing the use of alternative forms of energy.



In 2013, he took the initiative to submit a proposal for establishing a large scale EO infrastructure within the competitive framework of the EU FP7-REGPOT-2012-2013-1 program. The proposal was successfully evaluated and was commissioned to establish and operate at NOA, the European Center of Excellence BEYOND for the Earth Observation based Monitoring of the Environment and the Disasters ( He received a total funding of 2.3MEuros and coordinated all actions for the development of satellite remote sensing research and infrastructures at the premises of NOA in the context of BEYOND. He is currently leading a large multidisciplinary research team of 35 scientists, whose funding is fully ensured by the operation of the BEYOND Center of Excellence in the context of international competition programs.


The Center BEYOND, has a well-accepted and validated recognition in the provision of research and operational services in the framework of the European Union's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Program namely Copernicus (former GMES), and to the European Space Agency (ESA). The emphasis of the Center's activity is on Emergency Response (Copernicus/Emergency Management Support), monitoring and protection of the Marine and Atmospheric Environment, as well as applications of Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Climate Change and its impact on quality of citizens' life (e.g. natural disasters).

Dr Haris Kontoes designed the BEYOND sub-systems as FireHub, FloodHub, and GeoHub for real-time delivery of space based services, for early detection, continuous monitoring, and management of natural disasters, the monitoring of active forest fires, flood events and seismic/volcanic risks, as well as damage assessments in rush and off-line mode. These services are routinely used by many environmental and civil protection organizations in Greece, and worldwide including EU bodies, namely the European Forest Fire Information System/EFFIS, the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), the European Copernicus/EMS Program, in a large number of Civil Protection Authorities in Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia, and authorities as the Fire Brigade Body in Greece, the Directorate and Natural Environment Protection (Ministry of Environment), the Public Forestry Services, the Directorate for Planning and Disaster Response of the General Secretariat of Civil Protection, the Department for Natural Disasters Recovery  (Min of Infrastructure and Transport), etc.

Indicatively, only in the period 2016-2018 the BEYOND Center has been activated through the Copernicus EMS program from more than 13 Civil Protection Authorities around the world, in order to address timely risk assessments across a wide range of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, slope and coastal erosion, fires, floods, toxic gas emissions, smoke dispersion and industrial accidents.

The BEYOND Center has been selected by the EU to offer real-time satellite based active fire detection and fire-damage assessment services (FireHub) for the needs of the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).



The BEYOND Center provides funding from competitive programs (EU, ESA, National Programs), as well as from International Funding Organisations amounting 1.2-1.5 million Euros per year. At the same time, it supports with its infrastructure and research, the activity of other researchers in the country, providing an additional equal inflow of research funds at IAASARS/NOA.



The operation of the BEYOND Center contributes to the production of innovative research. It has supported the production of scientific publications in peer reviewed journals and articles in international conferences with some hundreds of citation references. More specifically, this activity has already produced a number of 56 scientific publications in journals and 132 international conference proceedings.

The FireHub services have been internationally recognized (Copernicus Masters 2014 - Best Service Challenge Award) winning the 1st prize as the Best Challenge Service among over 70 competitive proposals.

Dr Haris Kontoes is the owner of the patent no. 20150100061 issued by the Industrial Property Organization to protect the copyright of the FireHub service. Co-owner is the co-developer of the FireHub information system, Mr. Themistocles Herekakis (see ANNEX I).

The BEYOND Center's research projects and disaster management services have been recognized by the United Nations Organization, assigning to the Center's Principal Investigator, Dr Haris Kontoes, the role of the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Officer, in the area of the Southeast Europe, Middle East, and the Balkans. The aim is to assist the transfer of know-how, capacity building and training of the competent authorities, as well as the provision of natural disaster management services.



Dr. Charalampos (Haris) Kontoes in his capacity as coordinator of BEYOND Center has also been responsible for the installation and uninterrupted operation of national infrastructures for the systematic reception, management and redistribution of real-time Earth Observation data acquired by satellites and in-situ monitoring networks.

The coverage and usage of the EO monitoring infrastructure is international. It covers observational needs of a wide research community and decision makers across the Southeast Europe, North Africa, Middle East and the Balkans. It includes:

  1. The Hellenic Mirror Site ( providing near real-time satellite data to the international research community and the private sector, from the Sentinels (S-1, S-2, S-3, S-5P) (Copernicus missions). The infrastructure is empowered by GRNET SA, the Greek partner of the GEANT network.
  2. IntHub, DIASHub, and CollHub (International, DIAS, and Collaborative Data Hubs), operated by the BEYOND Center for the purposes of ESA. They manage real-time distribution to more than 15Tbytes of Sentinels data a day to the Worldwide Space Agencies (NASA, NOAA, USGS, GA), DIAS platforms, and National Collaborative Data Hubs (Mirror Sites). The infrastructure is empowered by GRNET SA, the Greek partner of the GEANT network.
  3. An X-/L-band acquisition antenna for real-time satellite data reception from missions EOS (AQUA, TERRA)/NASA, SUOMI-NPP/NASA, NOAA/AVHRR, METOP, FY, and corresponding archiving facility. The range of reception is the whole of Southeast Europe, North Africa, Middle East and the Balkans.
  4. Satellite acquisition antenna (DVB-2) and archiving facility for the real time reception of data fromEUMETSAT missions (MSG1, MSG2, MSG3).
  5. Advanced PollyXT atmospheric lidar ground system, and a mobile unit lidar system EMORAL.
  6. A High Performing Processing Unit consisting of severs with high computing power, and a 300TBytes archive. The unit is devoted for satellite data processing, and services provision by operating the processing chains namely FireHub, FloodHub, GeoHub of the BEYOND Center.
  7. Unmanned aerial platforms (UAVs, Drones), long-distance fixed-wing SendeFly e-Bee and ATLAS eight copter for lifting multiple load carriers (~5kgr).



  1. Haris Kontoes has been assuming the scientific responsibility to manage a significant number of research projects with an internationally recognized social and scientific impact while leading an interdisciplinary research team of more than 35 staff members with international presence, consisting of 17 Master level graduates, 7 Ph.D. and post-doctoral and the remaining staff being of the level of the first university diploma and administrative staff. The team is actively involving researchers from the other research institutes of NOA. In addition to his career he has approximately trained 70 young researchers / engineers who have significant careers in Greece and abroad.
  2. The funding of the research team is fully ensured by competitive research funds through the implementation of EU, ESA, and International Funding Organizations (WB, EIB) projects, as well as national research and infrastructure support programs (e.g. KRIPIS/ELIDEK). The implementation of the research projects is hosted at the BEYOND Center for Excellence.
  3. He has been the Scientific Responsible for more than 32 research projects and a number of engineering studies reaching an approximate total budget of 11.000.000 Euros.
  4. He has been Scientific Responsible for implementing 5 big Infrastructure projects of a total budget of 3.205.000 Euros.
  5. During his tenure as a Research Director, Dr Haris Kontoes has been receiving funding from research activity at a rate of 1.2-1.5 M Euros per year. The aforementioned funding ensures the full financing of the research staff and the cost for maintenance the EO infrastructure of the BEYOND Center.



In the period 1995-2001 he assumed the role of Executive Secretary of the Space Research and Technology Committee of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology. During this period, the first substantial recording of the Greek scientific skills and assets on space issues was made. Under the supervision of the Space Committee, he has undertaken the task of conducting a study for the Greek National Strategy in the Fields of Earth Observation and Monitoring the Earth. He was responsible for coordinating and organizing workshops and conferences, exploring national priorities in applications and satellite technology, and coordinating the writing of the Greek National Space Strategy paper, which has been a key platform for discussions with ESA on the participation of Greece as full member of ESA.

After nominations of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology, he also assumed:

  1. In the period 2001-2003, the role of national representative of the GMES Steering Committee. The Committee was appointed by the EU and the ESA to develop the strategy and the priorities for the Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security Program (Copernicus/ former GMES).
  2. In the period 2001-2003, he served as Deputy National Representative in the European Commission's JSSAG Joint-Space Strategy Advisory Group.
  3. In the period 2002-2004 he was nominated as National Representative of ESA's (European Space Agency) PBEO-Program Board for Earth Observation, whose main responsibilities was the formulation of space strategy and relevant work programs for the development of future satellite systems, research and application priorities in the field of Earth Observation.
  4. Since 2014 and until now, he is the National Representative of the EC Space Committee of Space FP7 and Space H2020 programs of the European Commission. His responsibility is to develop a European Strategy and Work Programs on Space Research, Earth Observation Applications, Copernicus, Space Technology, Space Navigation, and Satellite Surveillance and Tracking (SST). As a national representative, he has taken initiatives and has supported a number of national meetings and workshops organized by the GSRT in order to inform the Greek scientific community on the possibilities offered through Space FP7/Space H2020 in the development of Space Research in Greece.
  5. Since 2016 and until now, he has been the National Representative of the Copernicus Integrated GS (IGS) Task Force.
  6. Since 2016 and until now, he has been the National Focal Point for data exchange within the governments and members of
  7. Since 2017 and until now, he has been member of the National Committee of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG).
  8. Since 2018 and until now he has been member of National Space Policy Council under the operations of the Hellenic Space Organization (ELO).



He has been entrusted by the EU (through the GEO-CRADLE project - to coordinate the implementation of the Copernicus and GEO/GEOSS Space programs in the countries of North Africa, Middle East and the Balkans. Within this framework, he has set up and coordinated a network of 262 research and professional entities which are active in more than 22 countries over the three regions. Among his responsibilities is to assist the networking and transferring the know-how in Earth Observation matters, as well as to educate the stakeholders in the exploitation of Sentinels/Copernicus EO data. Lastly, he coordinates the submission to the EU of the roadmap for the implementation of the Copernicus and GEO/GEOSS programs on the basis of the recognized priorities and needs of the countries in North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans.




During the period 2013-2017, he was a member of the Advisory Board of NOA, representing the Research Community of NOA.

During the period 2011-2013 he was Deputy Director of the Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing Institute of the National Observatory of Athens.


During the period 2004-2008 he was Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Institute of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing National Observatory of Athens.

From 2016 until today, he has been Deputy Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing National Observatory of Athens.


He has the full scientific responsibility for the activities relating to the a) management of the BEYOND Center's development, b) the financial and investment priorities of the Center (amounting to a budget of 7.000.000 EUR since the start of the operation of the Center - 2013), c)  the proper operation, maintenance, and upgrading of the infrastructure (total investment cost of infrastructure of approx. 1.500.000 Euros), d) the design and exploitation of the research and innovation produced by the Center's activity, as well as e) the management of the Center's staff (>35 scientists from many different specialties).



Dr Haris Kontoes has published 56 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals and chapters in books.

He has contributed to more than 152 scientific articles in international and national conference with proceedings and workshops. He has also published a large number of technical reports for the needs of various Ministerial Organisations   and Decision Making Bodies in Greece and abroad.

He participated and presented his research work in 132 conferences internationally with a total number of publications/announcements of the order of more than 152 He has received over 30 invitations as a keynote speaker.

He has published a very large number of more than 65 popular articles in the printed press, blogs, as well as in social media (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn), publishing the results of the most important societal impact research and operational activity of the BEYOND Center (e.g. wild fires of 2007, 2009, 2017 in Greece, the flood events in Attica, the Aspropyrgos toxic emissions, the unrest of the Santorini volcano, and many major disasters worldwide).

According to the academic data base, Google Scholar reports, there about 1100 references in Dr. Haris Kontoes’ publications. Correspondingly, in the Google Scholar academic data base appears to have h-index = 20 and i-index = 28.

He has been reviewer of scientific journals (e.g. IJPRS, IJRS, SENSORS, IEEE Geoscience and RS).

He has been evaluator of proposals submitted to the European Community, as well as in the framework of National Calls for Research (GSRT).



Dr Haris Kontoes has contributed in the organization of 36 international conferences. Actually he was in charge for the coordination of the organizing and scientific committees, undertaking fully the responsibility for 25 conferences held in abroad (ESA, EGU, UN, EU, Africa, M. East). He has been also member of the organizing /scientific committees in 11 other international conferences. He is also member of the orgnising committee of the 44th COSPAR SCIENTIFIC ASSEMBLY 2022, proposed to take place in Athens, Greece, July 2022.

The conferences were relating to developments in space research, as well as space applications in topics as natural disaster management and environmental protection. Publicity was also given to the activities of the European Center BEYOND. Co-ordination of scientific communities and users was also supported, in the wider region of Southeast Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans through the GEO-CRADLE coordination action under the scientific responsibility of Dr Haris Kontoes. Know-how has been transferred and participants were informed on how to participate in and exploit the EU/ESA Copernicus and GEO/GEOSS programs. In several of these conferences, the European research and business potential, as well as the stakeholders' priorities/needs were captured, the research community was connected to the business community, and possibilities were explored for exploiting the research results in the production of innovative value added products and space based services.

Dr Haris Kontoes participates in the organizing committee that claims the organization of the 44th COSPAR International Conference in 2022 in Athens.



Professor and member of the Special Inter-Institutional Committee of the Master’s Degree program "SPACE SCIENCE TECHNOLOGIES AND APPLICATIONS" co-organized by the IAASARS/NOA and the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the University of Peloponnesus. Teaching supervisor of the course "Fundamentals of remote sensing", and co-teaching of courses "Space Applications" and "Advanced Space Applications".

Supervisor of 12 diploma thesis, including 7 from the postgraduate program "SPACE SCIENCE TECHNOLOGIES AND APPLICATIONS", and 5 more students from other universities at postgraduate and undergraduate level of studies (NTUA, Agricultural University, Technological Educational Institute, etc.).

Participation in 7 doctoral dissertations committees of Greek and foreign universities (NTUA, IPGP, etc.).

He has given series of lectures in several academic classes (NTUA, University of Western Attica, and Fire Brigade Academy). Continuing educational programs (Mobility Program, TCG, etc.) and popularization of knowledge (Hellenic World, French Institute, Space Expo, etc.).



(1988-1992), Grant holder of the European Communities for PhD dissertation at the Joint Research Center of the European Communities (JRC-ISPRA).

(2014) First Prize for Best Challenge Service - Copernicus Masters. Distinction among over 70 proposals submitted worldwide. Prize of 40K Euro (in-kind).

(2016) FireHub service has been granted a patent diploma by the Industrial Property Organization. Patent Title: " Method that detects areas of active fire hotspots in real time, calculates the most probable starting point and assesses the fire probability indicators, using satellite images and fuel data", Publication Number: WO2016132161 A1; Application number: PCT/GR2016/000005. Inventors: Charalampos KONTOES, Themistocles CHAIREKAKIS; Publication date: Aug 25, 2016 (Source: Google Patents).

(2012) Third prize for best research work presented in the 11th International Conference “Semantic Web" - 3rd research paper prize in the 11th International Semantic Web Conference.



  1. (1992) D. in Satellite Remote Sensing of the Environment (European Commission Grant - Joint Research Center of the European Union (JRC) - National Technical University of Athens)
  2. (1987) Diplôme d' Etudes Approfondies (DEA) in Rural and Urban Geography (Paris VI)
  3. (1985) Diploma of Rural and Surveying Engineer in National Technical University of Athens


  1. University PARIS VI-JUSSIEU, Institut de Programmation, Diploma “Maitrise Informatique” (1986-1987).
  2. University ECOLE DES HAUTES ETUDES EN SCIENCES SOCIALES, Faculty Centre d' Analyse et de Mathematiques Sociales, “Teledetection, Espaces et Sosietes” (1986-1987), Specialization Diploma in Thematic Cartography.


  1. (1999) CENTRE NATIONAL D’ ETUDES SPATIALES: Toulouse Space Centre, Series of lectures on Differential Interferometry of SAR data: Principles and use of specialized software (DIAPASON) (1999).
  2. (1987-1991) Joint Research Center (JRC): Series of lectures on "Satellite Remote Sensing for Ecosystem Monitoring", "Visual Spectrometry: Principles and Applications", "Applied Satellite Remote Sensing in Agricultural Production and Agricultural Statistics Assessment on an Extended Geographic Scale" (1987-1991).
  3. (1990) EGIS FOUNDATION UTRECHT, University Faculty of Geographical Sciences: Lecture series on Geographic Information Systems “GIS for environmental assessment”.



  1. (1993-1997) Surveying Engineer (Teaching Registry No. 44270). Responsible for the implementation and technical management of satellite Remote Sensing, Digital Cartography and Geographic Information Systems projects, through assignment of competitions to Public and International Organizations. Collaboration with consulting companies.
  2. (1993-1995) Application engineer of the multinational company Intergraph Hellas S.A. Responsible for technical support of applications and promotion of business plans and products of the company in the sector of Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing and Digital Photogrammetry.
  3. (1991-1992) Assistant Researcher under project contract of the Maritime Applications Laboratory of the Joint Research Center of the European Communities (Marine Environment Group/JRC-ISPRA).
  4. (1987-1988) Assistant Researcher under project contract of the Image Processing and Environmental Mapping Unit of the Joint Research Center of the European Communities (LIP-Environmental Mapping and Modeling Development Group/JRC-ISPRA).
  5. (1984-1985) Assistant of the Geodesy Laboratory of the Department of Rural and Surveying Engineering – Class of Large Geodetic Exercises.



He is a native Greek speaker and he is fluent in English, French and Italian.



  1. Member of the Technical Chamber of Greece
  2. Member of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
  3. Member of the Greek Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
  4. Member of the Hellenic Society for the Promotion of Space Science Research and Support



Nationality:  Greek

Date & Place of Birth: 09/11/1960, Athens, Greece

Marital Status: Married, with one children

Military Obligations: Completed. Sergeant - Military Corps of Transport (1992-1993)

Work Address: National Observatory of Athens, Ioannou Metaxa & Vas. Pavlou, 15236 Penteli

PO BOX 20048, tel: 0030-2103490088 (86), fax: 0030-2106138343

Home address: Katsimpiri 41, GR 155 61, Cholargos, Athens, Greece, tel: 0030-2106543276, mob: 0030 6932208817