Catapult to support new Sentinel Data Access network for UK

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The Satellite Applications Catapult, RAL Space, and Airbus Defence & Space will collectively support the UK Space Agency’s new UK National Collaborative Ground Segment, providing a national access point for Sentinel-1 & 2 data.

This initiative is also being supported by a number of small industry organisations; namely Deimos, Geocento and Open Knowledge Foundation, and will enable the flow of Sentinel-1 data to UK users, hopefully expanding to Sentinel-2 data later this year.

Sentinel-1 launched in April 2014 is a polar-orbiting, radar imaging mission for land and ocean services. The Sentinel missions specifically support the Copernicus programme’s operational needs, with satellites fulfilling revisit and coverage requirements, and providing robust datasets for Copernicus services.

Through the collaboration of the three main partners – the Catapult (provider of the commercial side of the Climate, Environment and Monitoring from Space (CEMS) facility), RAL Space (owner of the academic side of CEMS) and Airbus Defence & Space (owner of the Processing and Archiving Centre in the UK that will be holding Sentinel-1 and 2 data) – Copernicus data can be made accessible in the UK, by capitalising on the systems, networks and users that each organisation already has in place.

Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “This network will build upon investments already made into CEMS, which has seen the development of a virtualised environment where both commercial and academic users can access extensive Earth observation data and a range of applications, tools and services to analyse the data more effectively.

“This new data access point will establish a much richer environment where communities of expert and novice users can interact with each other, share information, ask questions, make suggestions and access tools to help exploit the data itself. This will lead to a sophisticated system which should be continuously enhanced as the community grows and evolves”.

Looking further ahead, it is anticipated that the data access network will be evolved to incorporate many other data sets, tools and entire thematic domains, for greater commercial and academic benefit.