DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES for RESEARCH 2018 | Serving the user base

Exploitation of Copernicus Data in the e-Infrastructures

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 16:00


Authors: Diego Scardaci (, Beatrix Weber (GEANT), Roberta Piscitelli (, Sergio Andreozzi (, Maria Minaricova (GEANT), Tiziana Ferrari (

The large amount of datasets now available through innovative systems for Earth Observation (EO), such as the Copernicus Programme, have the potential to enable many value-added services that can be tailored to specific public or commercial needs, resulting in new dimensions of scientific insights, new business opportunities, and decision making support of policy makers. However, such data are not easily integrated into processing chains outside the Copernicus ground segment. Very often, public and private institutions aiming to deliver end-user services based on EO data do not possess the required communications infrastructure, computing power, the storage capacity or the software technology to cope with these new data flows. 

Furthermore, there is a lack of truly re-usable components to solve common problems, such as the accessing, sharing, management and processing of distributed big data. This slows down and increases the costs of any new EO service development. To overcome these issues, ESA defined a generic Exploitation Platform Open Architecture [] with the aim to harmonize the architecture of exploitation platforms (in particular the ESA Thematic Exploitation Platforms – TEPs) and make the adoption of shared solutions easier.

E-Infrastructures today rely on mature technologies that provide the network, storage and management capabilities needed to handle large amounts of research data. The services of a well-established production e-infrastructure could support the development of solutions for EO data (and big data) exploitation providing re-usable components such as those described in the ESA EP Open Architecture. E-Infrastructures can also provide the network, computing and data resources, processes and tools allowing for the proper management and exploitation of the large EO datasets being available in a fully distributed environment, ensuring the adoption of standard interfaces to make data and software reusable across various services and domains, and portable across different cloud infrastructures.

EO exploitation platforms need large capacity of IT resources and efficient data management services to fully achieve their mission. Their respective evolution is funded through different instruments within the work-programmes of the EC Directorates Connect, Growth, RTD and JRC. 
This session will present the current landscape of the Copernicus activities in Europe, the current collaboration activities on this topic, highlighting the ongoing collaborations and the first pilots, and demonstrate how well-established e-Infrastructure services could fill the current gap related to the Copernicus data exploitation improving the EO Exploitation Platforms sustainability strategies, enlarging their capabilities for data access and provide scalable solutions that are able to bring down total cost of ownership, lower the risk, leveraging on extension and repurposing of e-infrastructure services. As final outcome, this session will strengthen the collaboration between DG-GROW and ESA with the major European e-infrastructures on the Copernicus programme.

Session Schedule:

●    DG GROW - Daniel Quintart, The Copernicus programme and related initiatives
●    ESA - Sveinung Loekken, European E-infrastructure needs in the context of ESA's proposed EO Application Platform initiative
●    EARSC - Emmanuel Mondon, Creating a European Marketplace for EO services
●    GEANT - Jakob Tendel, Unleashing the power of Earth Observation data
●    Terradue - Cesare Rossi, Integrations of the ESA Geohazard and Hydrology exploitation platforms with the EGI infrastructure

Target Audience:

The target audience of this session is made of e-Infrastructure providers, EO platforms operators and developers, scientists.

Benefits for Audience:

This session will help on increasing the general awareness of the Copernicus programme and will show to EO platforms operators and developers how e-infrastructure services could facilitate the exploitation of Copernicus and, in general, EO data.
e-Infrastructure providers will better understand the specific requirements of Copernicus and could plan customisation and repurposing of their services to fulfil them.

Topic 1: Challenges facing users and service providers


Presenters Organisation
Daniel Quintart DG GROW
Sveinung Loekken ESA
Emmanuel Mondon EARSC
Jakob Tendel GÉANT
Cesare Rossi Terradue
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