The SAFE (Standard Archive Format for Europe) has been designed to act as a common format for archiving and conveying data within ESA Earth Observation archiving facilities.
This website provides details on the SAFE format and is the only official site maintained by ESA for the maintenance and distribution of the standard formats, including the specification documents and related XML-schemas and software tools.
SAFE benefits from the experience gathered while developing standards related to data formats. SAFE intends to resolve the major challenges coming from the packaging and the long-term preservation of Earth Observation data. Special attention has been taken to ensure that SAFE conforms to the ISO 14721:2003 OAIS (Open Archival Information System) reference model and related standards such as the emerging CCSDS/ISO XFDU (XML Formatted Data Units) packaging format.
Although the primary goal of SAFE, in the framework of the HARM project, is to handle EO data with processing levels close to the usually called "level 0", no limitation exists regarding the packaging of higher level products as well as other technical and scientific information. Actually, experience has demonstrated that packaging and archiving higher processing levels or auxiliary data in a common format may be effective in many situations. SAFE embodies this concept by offering a single framework for packaging a large variety of information.