Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Europe’s investment in the Copernicus Sentinel satellites will provide Europe with an unprecedented source of operational satellite data. The first and largest streams of data will become available from Sentinel 1 (SAR data) during 2014, to be followed shortly thereafter with data from Sentinels 2 and 3 (optical imaging data), as well as Sentinel 5p. In the longer term also major contributions for atmospheric measurements will be made by Sentinels 4 and 5. Data streams are expected to amount to several terabyte per satellite orbit, thereby delivering unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution and data continuity, calling for new data handling and processing paradigms. While this data is ingested into the operational Copernicus services, wide use by the scientific community and industry researchers for developing products is still limited and needs to be stimulated with easy-to-use interfaces for  performing R&D. Where appropriate, integration into operational services such as Copernicus may require the efficiency of highly automated processes with minimum manual intervention.


Scope: To fully benefit from the high scientific, operational and commercial potential of the Sentinel data, development tools, as well as stable and predictable access methods need to be developed, such as:


·         development of simulators of space based earth observation data, to facilitate the uptake of EO data, and to prepare data processing chains;


·         research into efficient information retrieval from satellite data repositories and dissemination;


·         developing software to read and transform data for access by scientific, institutional and commercial users, including data mining techniques;


·         developing data co-registration and fusion methods (data from several sentinels and /or other contributing satellite missions);


·         advanced visualisation techniques (allowing also for sensory exploration of data beyond visual experience);


·         efficient and validated sentinel data integration methods for operational service use.


The ability to access diverse space data archives, of large volumes of data, the use of standardised forms of data query, retrieval, formats and data exchange methods will be central to these tasks. Attention should be given to platforms offering novel methods able to cope with the big data challenge (storage, processing, remote access, etc.). A particular aspect of interest is also the international use of Sentinel data, as acceptance of Copernicus data in a global context will be a key to success of Europe’s contribution of Copernicus to GEOSS.  Such collaboration necessitates also appropriate data sharing interfaces for sentinel data to be developed and agreed upon, based on open source solutions as far as possible.


Proposers are advised to consult further information on availability of Copernicus Sentinel Data, access to Copernicus Contributing Mission data, as well as issues recommended to be detailed in the proposals at the Commission’s web http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/space/research.</p>

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.


Expected impact: Significantly wider use of Copernicus Sentinel data should be achieved, in Europe as well as internationally. Increased awareness with users of satellite data is to be generated and further opportunities for new uptake of satellite data should be created. Possible models for operational supply of data to users, including for further scientific exploitation should be demonstrated. For methods designed for operational deployment in services, proposals are expected to collaborate closely with services and downstream users to ensure that commercial and operational opportunities are fully identified and exploited. The work should contribute to the definition of best practices and their adoption in scientific and commercial user communities, and in a GEOSS context if possible.


This research topic should attract active participation of researchers in academia and industry, specialising on the use of sentinel data and their integration and/or comparison with other sensor data (from space or in-situ). It should actively involve students performing research with satellite data.


Type of action: Research and innovation actions

Record Number: 664658 / Last updated on: 2015-03-25