As part of its mission to support the scientific community and encourage better use of satellite data to monitor and track our planet, the European Space Agency (ESA) has begun developing a SuperSites Exploitation Platform (SSEP) on Interoute Virtual Data Centre.
This new platform aims to enable the analysis and interpretation of large volumes of satellite data in order to better understand the processes causing geohazards such as earthquakes and volcanic activity.
Earlier this year, satellite imaging helped experts and scientists understand the Yosemite park fires.
The ESA SuperSites Exploitation Platform has been developed in collaboration with Interoute and allows on-demand processing of satellite data through Interoute Virtual Data Centre. Providing initial access to 13TB of data, encompassing 50,000 radar scenes from ESA, users of SSEP can choose from a number of algorithms to process the data. The platform also includes a cloud toolbox, which offers virtual desktop resources configured with appropriate software and licenses to analyse and process the data.
To develop this new innovation ESA used ICT technology to transform the way its satellite data is used, processed and distributed, creating a platform that encourages collaboration using e-Infrastructures such as cloud technology. e-Infrastructures provide the ICT-based infrastructures and services needed to empower the scientific community with easy and controlled online access to facilities, resources and collaboration tools.
This enables instant access to data and remote instruments, the setup of virtual research communities, and fosters the emergence of e-Science - new working methods based on the shared use of ICT tools and resources across different disciplines and technology domains. This development required the capability to procure, provision and deploy secure cloud-based ICT infrastructure, making on-demand, scalable processing and storage of large data volumes faster for users who are distributed around the world.
Jordi Farres, EOP Service Support & Ground Segment Technology Office at ESA, said: "This platform will provide authorised users with simple access tools to view and retrieve data from multiple archives, to place their tasking requests, to fetch data, and to report results back to data providers; which will make a larger pool of data available to scientific data users. The SSEP model complements the legacy model where data was shipped out and processed at a user's premises. Collaboration with Interoute and other industrial partners has made this significant step forward possible."
Matthew Finnie, CTO at Interoute, said: "Combining Interoute Virtual Data Centre with the European Space Agency's e-Infrastructure brings all the advantages of cloud, huge scalability and unparalleled connectivity, to the innovative ESA SuperSites Exploitation Platform. With this collaboration and through the cloud Interoute is helping ESA track tomorrow."