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GECA: ESA’s next generation validation data centre

Yasjka Meijer(1), Rob Koopman(2), Alberto Pellegrini(1), Geoff Busswell(3), Ivan Williams(3), Martine De Maziere(4) and Thorsten Fehr(1)

(1) ESA/ESRIN, Via Galileo Galilei, 00044 Frascati, Italy
(2) GEO Secretariat, Case postale 2300, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
(3) Logica, Springfield Drive, Leatherhead, KT22 7LP, United Kingdom
(4) BIRA, Ringlaan 3, B-1180 Brussels, Belgium


In the coming decades the availability of satellite data from Earth Observation (EO) platforms will exhibit a significant growth. Initial research oriented satellite missions, like ENVISAT and ERS, will mature into operational missions in the context of Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) with the Sentinel 1-5 series. In addition, ESA develops a continuous series of Earth Explorer satellite missions. As geophysical validation of these EO data remains a high priority, ESA has initiated a project to develop a Generic Environment for Calibration/validation Analysis (GECA), which is considered to become the next generation validation data centre. The evolution part of GECA is in the interoperability between various validation data centres through standardisation of metadata, and catalogue and data exchange. In addition, GECA will offer several functionalities facilitating validation analysis. One of these functions is the collocation engine which matches satellite data to correlative data and provides the option to download selected sub sets. It will also be possible to compare satellite and correlative data using best practice analysis functions either via internet on the dedicated GECA server or locally with the user. This project has as prime Logica and is scientifically led by BIRA. Currently data centre interoperability has started with the Aura Validation Data Centre (AVDC), ENVISAT Validation Data Centre (EVDC), EARLINET, GAW, GEOmon and NDACC.