ESA will continue to provide ocean colour data from Indian mission
08 May 2018
To further promote scientific research and applications, ESA and a leading geo-information company have agreed to continue data acquisition from the OceanSat-2 satellite.
ESA and GAF AG (a company located in Munich and Neustrelitz, Germany) have agreed to continue data acquisition from the Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM) aboard the Indian OceanSat-2 remote sensing (IRS) satellite, until 31 March 2019.
Part of the agreement involves the option to extend operations up to 31 March 2020, depending on future programmatic decisions under ESA's Earthnet Programme.
Since the start of the operational acquisitions on 1 January 2016, OCM data from all the satellite passes within the five degree visibility cone of the Neustrelitz ground station have been acquired, processed to create system corrected image products and geo-physical parameter products, and delivered to ESA in near real-time (NRT), to subsequently further promote scientific research and applications.
Thanks to the wide swath of the OCM, Europe and the surrounding waters are covered every two days.
GAF AG has an international reputation as a skilled provider of data, products and services in the fields of geo-information, and spatial IT and consulting for private and public clients. It has become Europe's exclusive supplier of Indian optical remote sensing data from several missions, including satellite raw data from the high and medium resolution IRS missions IRS-1C, IRS-1D, ResourceSat-1, ResourceSat-2 and CartoSat-1.
After registration, the data can be accessed free of charge through ESA's Third Party Missions dissemination service. GAF's sub-contractor, the German Aerospace Agency (DLR), provides GAF with the satellite data reception service at its ground station in Neustrelitz.
Steffen Dransfeld, ESA data quality manager for Sentinel-3, says, "OceanSat-2 will play a role within the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Ocean Colour Radiometry Virtual Constellation (OCR-VC) that provides calibrated ocean-colour radiances at selected OC wavelength bands.
"The key space segment of the OCR-VC consists of the current and future polar-orbiting global OC satellite missions. OceanSat-2 will team up with past missions such as MERIS on Envisat amongst several other similar missions, and with the current OLCI instrument on Sentinel-3 to provide invaluable data aiming for consistent information on the chlorophyll-a pigment distribution across oceans."