2017 was set to be a landmark year in the history of the Copernicus programme, as Sentinel satellites were scheduled for launch, the DIAS tenders were planned, and additional instruments and initiatives focused on promoting the use of Copernicus data and services were in the making.
To continue the good work in 2018, Copernicus New Year’s resolutions are focused on the tasks and challenges ahead:
- Launch of Sentinel-3B. Once the Sentinel-3 twin satellites are in orbit, the on-board instruments will provide global coverage in 1 day (Ocean and Land Colour Imagery, OLCI, and Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer, SLSTR) and in 5 days (Micro-Wave Radiometer, MWR, and SAR Altimeter, SRAL).
- DIAS to become operational. By second quarter of 2018, five DIAS services will become available to users. Four consortia were chosen to set up DIAS computing environment under ESA management and one DIAS will be implemented by EUMETSAT in cooperation with ECMWF and Mercator Ocean.
- Copernicus Training and Information Sessions (InfoSessions). In 2018, a total of 11 InfoSessions are planned in 11 different Copernicus Participating countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain).
- Anniversary of the Baveno Manifesto, the document that twenty years ago gave birth to the Copernicus programme (known as GMES at the time). The Baveno Manifesto was a declaration signed by several European Space agencies in Baveno, Italy in 1998, calling for a long-term commitment to the development of Space-based environmental monitoring services. It will be an occasion to reflect on the road travelled so far and to look into the future!
- Copernicus Space Component evolution – six high-priority candidate missions have been identified by ESA in order to fill observation gaps. They leverage on ESA’s requirements activities as well as the User Requirements study led by the European Commission: a mission to monitor CO2 emissions generated by human activities; a mission to monitor Land Surface Temperature with high spatial resolution; a mission to monitor the Polar regions and their topographic evolution; an imaging mission using microwave radiometry for polar and ocean observations; an imaging mission with a very high number of spectral bands (Hyperspectral) which could support agricultural, marine and raw materials applications; an active Radar mission operating in L-band for agriculture, forestry and emergency management.
Find more about Copernicus achievements in 2017 and plans for 2018 here.