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Airbus Selected by ESA for Copernicus Data and Information Access Service (DIAS)

Sentinel-2 image of the Nile Delta, the Levant, and the Eastern Mediterranean. Image courtesy of the European Union.

Airbus has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to be one of four suppliers for DIAS, the Copernicus Data and Information Access Service. DIAS will make data and information easily available to users through a cloud computing architecture enabling enhanced coordination and cross-fertilization at European Union (EU) level and amongst initiatives at Member State or regional level.

The four-year contract was signed in Brussels by Mr Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director for Earth Observation and Mathilde Royer-Germain, Head of Earth Observation, Navigation and Science at Airbus, in presence of Mr Philippe Brunet, Director General for Enterprise and Industry for the European Commission (EC).

Copernicus is the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date providing 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 volume of data produced by this programme is enormous: in one year, the Sentinel satellites have provided the equivalent of 50 years of ENVISAT mission data, ESA’s previous environmental satellite. To foster data dissemination and to answer a strong need for simplification, the EC and ESA have decided to offer users the capability to exploit Copernicus data and information without having to manage transfer and storage on their own computer systems.

Airbus is leading a consortium which includes Orange, Capgemini, CLS and Vito combining their competencies to create and manage the system which will allow access to Copernicus data. Airbus is in charge of management, coordination of all technical contributors, system engineering and integration of the system. After entry into service, Airbus will continue to lead, operate and further develop DIAS in close coordination with numerous worldwide actors.

“As a major contributor to the Copernicus programme, Airbus is proud to be part of this new phase that combines Earth Observation data acquisition with new and efficient technologies like cloud computing. DIAS will simplify the data access for European citizens and will boost the creation of new business models based on Earth Observation,” said Mathilde Royer- Germain.

Early operations are set to start in six months with the demonstration of the infrastructure capabilities, preliminary access to data sets and initial service delivery.

DIAS will unify all the existing access to Sentinels products on the same “one-stop shop on the cloud” together with in-situ and third party mission data. These services will allow easy access to Copernicus data for EU citizens including the scientific community, general public and entrepreneurs who wish to process these data in order to provide their own Copernicus based services (front-offices).

DIAS will provide an efficient data management solution, taking into account data policy and users’ rights to seamlessly harvest the diverse existing data catalogues and store them in a way that optimises access.

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