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Spain joins Copernicus Sentinel Collaborative Ground Segment

(26 November 2019 - ESA) Today, ESA and Spain’s Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology signed an understanding that will boost Spain’s access to Copernicus Sentinel data.

Under the agreement, Spain will establish a national data centre which will source its data directly from a dedicated distribution point that is reserved for ESA Member States and Copernicus Participating States. ESA will also provide technical support to ensure the national centre benefits from the enhanced download capabilities.

The understanding was signed by Jan Wörner, Director General of ESA, and by Javier Ponce, Director General of the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), as ESA’s ‘Space19+’ Ministerial Council gets underway in Seville, Spain.

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Seville in southern Spain imaged by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission (courtesy: ESA)

While ESA ensures all European citizens are able freely to download Copernicus Sentinel data through ESA’s Copernicus Open Access Hub, ESA Member States and Copernicus Participating States are able to benefit from a dedicated distribution point that allows them to download higher quantities of data in one go. This enables them quickly to amass large stocks of data in national data centres, which their citizens are then able to exploit as local demand requires.

The Copernicus programme is led by the European Commission. ESA is responsible for the ‘space component’, which not only includes the Copernicus Sentinel satellites, but also the network of receiving stations and processing centres through which data are made available.

The understanding signed today sets out the technical interfaces necessary for ESA to support Spanish entities in establishing a national data centre to host all Copernicus Sentinel data disseminated by ESA.

Spanish organisations will also make processing capabilities and applications available on the Spanish site, to enable users to develop value-added products tailored to the Spanish market.

The Collaborative Ground Segment is the network of national data centres that European countries are setting up to provide their citizens with specific collections of Copernicus data and processing tools which respond directly to the needs of local public institutions, research organisations and commercial enterprises.

Jan Wörner said, “We are very happy to welcome Spain to our expanding Collaborative Ground Segment, particularly in the frame of Space 19+. We see that countries that have already signed up to this initiative are certainly reaping the benefits.”

Spain is the 20th country to join the Copernicus Space Component Collaborative Ground Segment.