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Space Blog

GMES becomes Kopernikus

The new name of the European GMES Programme (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) has been unveiled: Kopernikus. The European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen announced the name today at the GMES 2008 Lille forum. The decision was unveilled at the same time as SSTL's sister company DMCii announced new developments in satellite imaging constellation quality control. A new framework, which is being implemented by DMCii, holds great potential for quality control and consistency in multi-source imaging projects such as Kopernikus. DMCii's Chief Scientist Dr Mackin commented:
"This has never been done before and its application holds great potential for projects where imaging is sourced from multiple providers and satellites. As a GMES contributor, DMCii has begun implementing this new quality control framework within the Disaster Monitoring Constellation to validate it for wider use."
DMCii GMES contribution
The European Space Agency (ESA) has expressed interest in the techniques that Dr Mackin presented in his role as one of the UK’s representatives in the Working Group for Constellation Calibration on the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). The first dedicated GMES satellites, Sentinel 2 and Sentinel 3, will demonstrate (at least in part) the new framework as a quality control measure for GMES. The Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) is a unique cooperation between partners that own satellites and share their data. DMCii coordinates the constellation to provide high quality commercial imaging services and rapid disaster monitoring programmes. The DMC’s imaging capacity is set to grow to more than 10 million sq km per day by the end of 2008 with the addition of new satellites, UK-DMC2 and Deimos-1, which share a 20metre 600km swath imaging capability. The UK-DMC2 satellite will also offer a direct downlink service to X-band groundstations. Last year, DMCii imaged 38 European countries for GMES in the 6 months between April and October 2007 as a GMES contributing mission. DMCii delivered precisely positioned data in each national map projection. This was the first time that the whole of Europe had been successfully imaged at high resolution in a single year. Kopernikus is the "second flagship" Europe is presenting Kopernikus at the forum as the second flagship of the European Space Policy following Galileo, the first flagship. The GMES 2008 forum is organised in the framework of the European Union French Presidency. Pre-operational GMES/Kopernikus services in the areas of ocean, land, atmosphere, risks, climate change and security are being presented at the forum to decision makers and users. All actors are stressing the need for long-term sustainability of this public programme, as well as the need to grant continuity of data and services for the users. At Lille, the European Commission (EC) stressed ESA's role as coordinator of the Kopernikus Space Component with its development and procurement role for the Sentinel Satellite series and its role of coordinator for contributing missions by Member States and other relevant partners of Kopernikus, such as the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). Over the last 30 years ESA has been developing Earth Observation satellites, notably all the European meteorological satellites in cooperation with EUMETSAT, but also the ERS-1, -2 and Envisat satellites, which are mostly oriented to perform measurements relevant for environmental and climate research. Based on this long-lasting experience and on requirements derived from applications, ESA is already developing new missions called 'Sentinels'. The five Sentinel families under development will feature radar and multi-spectral imaging as well as ocean and atmospheric monitoring capacities. The industrial phase of the first three of the five satellites is already ongoing. As the 15th century scientist Copernicus revolutionised the understanding of our universe, Kopernikus brings the Earth back to the 'centre' of our concerns and will help us care for a better and safer world.





17 September 20080 Comments1 Comment

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