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UK hub will gather data from Europe's Sentinel satellite family

25 March 2015

The UK is to host a world-class data facility, giving scientists full access to Earth observation data from Europe’s Copernicus programme.

Sentinel-1 (image: ESA/ATG medialab)

Europe’s most ambitious Earth observation programme to date, Copernicus is launching a family of satellites, called Sentinels, that will provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.

The new space data hub will be jointly funded by the UK Space Agency and the Satellite Applications Catapult and will ensure the UK is ready to fully exploit the Sentinels’ operational data as soon as it becomes available.

The Copernicus programme will result in a huge increase in the amount of satellite data becoming available. When fully operational, eight terabytes of new data per day will be available for people to access, and all of it free to all for download.

The new data hub will ensure this wealth of Sentinel product data is easily accessible and available for UK users to access and download, and maximising the growth opportunity for the downstream applications market.

Users can expect access to Sentinel products within a matter of hours from initial acquisition as well as a full set of archive data and product enhancing applications. The service will be further enhanced for those who require near real time data by the addition of a European Data Relay Service (EDRS) terminal.

The data hub will take advantage of previous funding and build upon it. It will link two large assets; the Catapult CEMS facility, which offers storage and processing capability to the industrial community and the Academic JASMIN facility which offers the same service to the academic community.

The Catapult facility will also be linked in to the Airbus data centre at Farnborough via a high-speed data link. The Airbus facility will offer additional hosted processing facilities to commercial users, negating the need for users to download large amounts of data for further processing.

UK government requirements will also be served. The two assets are located at Harwell, which has a dedicated space cluster hosting numerous industrial and SME data application developers.


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