The constantly increasing demand of Earth Observation data from the user community and the constant evolution in technology offer a permanent challenge for Earth Observation satellite operators, Space Agencies and EO data providers to efficiently manage the data and to offer the access to the different products as coherently and easily as possible.
The GMES Programme which needed operational EO data stream from multiple missions to serve different Environmental Services, or the Climate Change Initiative using time data series are two examples of such demand. The need of all stakeholders to carefully manage available financial resources while benefitting from the increasing number of different missions and data sets call for the close cooperation in the ground segment development, the operations and the data exploitation.
The "Ground Segment Coordination Body" (GSCB) of all agencies in ESA member states investing in and managing Earth Observation Payload Data Ground Segments for their national missions was established in June 2005 and shares the respective expertise in the development and operations of Payload Ground Segments of the major European and Canadian missions to address this challenge.
The GSCB also coordinated and shared its findings with other coordination and standardisation entities like GEO, CEOS, OGC and INSPIRE. GSCB shared its activities and programmes in the wider forum of European and Canadian Earth Observation mission operators through workshops held at regular intervals, 2007 and 2009, and providing an opportunity for mission operators to present and share their concepts.
The 3rd GSCB workshop was held on the 06 - 07 of June 2012 at ESRIN.
The workshop gave an overview on the status and the current achievements of the GSCB, including the Heterogeneous Mission Accessibility (HMA), Long Term Data Preservation (LTDP) and the Quality for Earth Observation framework (QA4EO). It also featured an overview on the GMES Programmatic Scenario, on the GMES Space Component operations concept and Ground Segment interfaces. In addition, emerging technologies and IT new capabilities (e.g. Cloud Computing, Content Delivery Networks) are more and more widely used in different application domains.
The GSCB Workshop provided a short overview on the on-going activities by GSCB agencies in this area and allowed workshop participants to share views concerning their respective future plans for EO Ground Segment infrastructure evolution and to discuss the possible use of these technologies in the European Earth Observation context.
The workshop gave room for the mission operators to present their own plans and achievements with regard to interoperability implementation, quality control concept, and networking infrastructure and provided active feedback on the GSCB workplan.