Serco to Develop Cloud Sharing Platform for ESA

Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel 3 mission on Dec. 11 2017, this image shows flames and smoke from the fierce blazes devastating northwest Los Angeles in Southern California. The image combines data from the mission's SLSTR and OLCI instruments. Photo: ESA.

Captured by the Copernicus Sentinel 3 mission on Dec. 11 2017, this image shows flames and smoke from the fierce blazes devastating northwest Los Angeles in Southern California. The image combines data from the mission’s SLSTR and OLCI instruments. Photo: ESA.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded Serco a contract to facilitate open and unlimited access to Earth Observation (EO) data and geospatial information collected as part of the Copernicus program, paving the way for entrepreneurs and developers to use the data to create a range of innovative new applications and services.

The four-year contract will involve Serco developing a cloud-based online platform offering a simple, user-friendly way for anyone to access Copernicus data and geospatial information via secure web services. The platform is set to launch in the first half of 2018, following a six-month build and testing process.

The Copernicus program continuously collects satellite imagery from around the world updated on a near real-time basis, as well as a host of environmental and meteorological data covering everything from atmospheric composition to air quality, precipitation and sea levels. A set of dedicated satellites — the Sentinel family — collects the data, as well as a range of public satellites and a multitude of in-situ sensors on the ground, at sea and in the air around the globe.

By helping developers and entrepreneurs to more easily access and exploit the enormous volume of Copernicus data, the project aims to stimulate a wave of innovation, resulting in the creation of a range of new data-based applications and services. ESA expects the project to bring a range of economic, environmental and social benefits by enabling the development of new business models and valuable new uses for the data.

“We are very proud to have chosen by the European Space Agency as their partner on this ground-breaking initiative. The Earth observation data collected through the Copernicus program is incredibly rich and the potential range of uses is enormous. Facilitating open access to the data is a very exciting project and we are very much looking forward to seeing what innovative products and services will be developed as a result,” said Guido Vingione, Serco’s director of Copernicus services.

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