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GMES - Partnership for User Requirement Evaluation

Final Report Summary - GMES-PURE (GMES - Partnership for User Requirement Evaluation)

Executive Summary:
Copernicus is the European Programme for the establishment of a European capacity for Earth Observation. GMES-PURE has supported the European Commission with the task to define a process for the involvement of users into the definition and evolution of Copernicus requirements, driving the evolution of the Copernicus monitoring services and the next generation of the Copernicus Space Component.

The process was exemplary applied to the domains of atmosphere and marine environment monitoring. Working in close coordination with the existing service providers, the project established a requirements framework providing evolving user requirements, service specifications, service data requirements and technical requirements for the space infrastructure as well as the traceability between the requirements at different levels.

The overall process, from user requirements to the evolution of the monitoring services and the Copernicus Space Component, has been described using a structured, transparent approach, which can be re-applied in the future. It has been also been designed to be applicable and reusable across different Copernicus domains; and it is sufficiently flexible to accommodate domain-specific features on both the requirements side and on the stakeholders’ side. Specifically, regarding the stakeholders, the process shall support the European Commission in the process monitoring and control, and guide the stakeholders in the successful process implementation, defining the activities to be performed and recommending suitable courses of actions.

Project Context and Objectives:
Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), the European Programme for the establishment of a European capacity for Earth Observation, has undergone an important change. Having been funded from research resources in the previous years, Copernicus has now become operational, with sustained funding from the European multiannual financial framework for 2014-20. The Copernicus services have already successfully demonstrated their capabilities to fulfil multiple user needs, and they are progressively reaching their full potential using dedicated Copernicus data from the Copernicus Space Component (CSC). With the launch of Sentinel-1A in 2014, and upcoming Sentinel launches in 2015-2016, the CSC, i.e. satellites and ground segments specifically designed and built for the needs of the Copernicus users, will soon reach maturity.

Due to obsolescence, advances in technology, and the evolution user requirements, a next generation of the CSC already has to be envisioned. Taking into account the operation and development lifetimes of space infrastructure, the design of this next generation will have to commence soon. This process will be driven by user requirements, both towards the future services and towards the evolution of the observation infrastructure.

GMES-PURE has supported the European Commission with the task to define a process for the involvement of users into the definition and evolution of Copernicus requirements, driving the evolution of the Copernicus monitoring services and the next generation of the CSC. The process was exemplary applied to the domains of atmosphere and marine environment monitoring. Working in close coordination with the existing service providers, the project established a requirements framework providing evolving user requirements, service specifications, service data requirements and technical requirements for the space infrastructure as well as the traceability between the requirements at different levels.

Within the project, the following requirement levels are distinguished:

User Requirements (UR) describe the information and / or data which are required by Copernicus users in their respective application areas. User requirements can address the Copernicus Monitoring Services, eventual downstream services, or data available from the Copernicus Space Component (CSC);

Service Specifications (SSP) respond to the User Requirements, describing the actual information and data the Copernicus Monitoring Services provide;

Service Data Requirements (SDR), specifying the input data the Copernicus Monitoring Services (or other services) require as prerequisite to their activities. Service Data Requirements shall be independent of the actual observation system;

High-level Technical Requirements (HLTR) for the evolution of the Copernicus Space Component, targeting open questions and potential solutions related to the identified gaps in observation capabilities, addressing the next generation of the Copernicus Space Component (CSC).

The overall project objectives have been:

a) The definition and documentation of a process for the involvement of users into a transparent and coherent definition of user requirements for the Copernicus Services and their translation into service specifications, service data requirements, and technical requirements (with a focus of the latter two on the space component of the Copernicus observation infrastructure); and

b) The exemplary application of such a process for the marine environment and atmosphere thematic domains.

Project Results:
The GMES-PURE project, being a coordination and support action to the EC, was not intended to develop science or technology solutions; it did not target scientific and technological research as such, but defined, documented, and exemplary applied a process for user involvement in the coherent requirements definition for the Copernicus programme.

Potential Impact:
The Copernicus Programme is an enormous European undertaking, spanning in one dimension over many thematic domains, and in a second dimension from vague user needs to detailed technical requirements on the Copernicus Space Component. Copernicus is user-driven, thus requiring the continuous, effective involvement of users, particularly regarding the definition and validation of service requirements.

It is expected that the final results of the GMES-PURE project provide support to the European Commission regarding the actual evolution of the Copernicus monitoring services and the Copernicus Space Component, but also regarding structuring of the related activities, and the underlying requirements. It is expected that the definition of a process for user involvement can be the basis for similar processes established by the European Commission for other Copernicus domains, but also for updates, refinements and completions of the requirements formulated in the marine and atmosphere domain once e.g. experience with the first generation of Sentinels is collected. As the evolution of the Copernicus Space Component should be based on an analysis of different options to meet evolving user needs, the evolving requirements for the CSC, and the established traceability between those requirements and the service specifications and user requirements is expected to provide valuable support to this task.

List of Websites:

http://www.gmes-pure.eu