The Copernicus Programme – Earth Observation on a Massive Scale [OPENSPACE 26 Teaser]

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Europe’s Copernicus is a huge Earth observation programme, initiated in 1998 to provide accurate and timely information to support management of the environment and help understand and mitigate the effects of climate change. It also has a focus on civil security. Copernicus builds on constellations of satellites that between them account for huge numbers of daily observations and is the largest space data provider in the world, currently producing 20 terabytes per day.

Importantly, the aim from the start was that Copernicus data should be easily accessible to everyone. Now, with three of the six original Sentinel satellite missions already in action along with an additional satellite, there is a huge range of data available from multiple sources. This being used by numerous organizations, but there are still plenty of opportunities to use it for further applications.

The initiative is headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA is responsible for coordinating the Copernicus Space Component, which includes the development and operations of satellite data from a dedicated family of satellite missions – the Sentinels – along with contributing missions. Some Sentinel missions are also to be operated by Eumetsat.

 

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Front cover RHEA Group's publication OPENSPACE 26, the magazine for space, security and engineering

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