Nov 29, 2013

Indra to manage and operate main Sentinel-2 satellite image processing and archiving centre

Estimated Article Reading Time: 3 min.

(28 November 2013) Indra has closed an agreement with the European Space Agency to host the main processing and archiving centre for the images of the Sentinel-2 mission at its facilities and take charge of its operation.

This contract will strengthen the consultancy and technology multinational’s position as an operator of Earth observation image processing centres, consolidating its portfolio of solutions and services in the space sector. The company is the leader in the development of ground segments in Spain and has vast experience in Earth observation systems and applications.

The Sentinel satellites form part of the Copernicus Earth Observation Programme, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), which will equip Europe with its own Earth observation capacity to serve the needs of its users.

The processing and archiving centre will be located at Indra’s facilities in San Fernando de Henares (Madrid) and will enter into service in September 2014, coinciding with the launch of the Sentinel-2. The centre may be expanded and accommodate also the data from another satellite, Sentinel-2B, to be launched in 2016 (another 1000TB per year).

These satellites, which will follow a polar orbit, will capture high resolution images in 13 bands in the visible and infrared part of the spectrum. They have a design lifetime of 7 years, although they have been prepared to allow the mission to be extended for a further 5 years.

Indra’s specialist Earth observation team will undertake the complete management and operation of the centre, including the processing of the images and their distribution to the end users.

Indra will also be responsible for the long-term storage of the data. Each year up to 1,000 terabytes of new images will be archived. The company will store this information at its advanced Data Processing Centre in San Fernando de Henares, which currently covers a surface area of 5,000 square metres and provides an uninterrupted service level of 99.98%.

Additionally, Indra’s role as the manager and operator of the Sentinel-2 Processing and Archiving Centre will place the company in an excellent position to offer new customised services to its customers using any of the European Space Agency’s Sentinel satellites (Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3 and in the future Sentinels 4 and 5). Based on the information extracted from the images, it will be able to offer high value-added services to end users in the fields of the environment, agriculture, land use, emergencies, water management, forestry activity, etc.

Images to support the decision-making process

Indra has many years of experience in the scope of Earth observation. The company markets value-added images and services in national and international projects. In 2012, it strengthened this line of business by forming an alliance with RapidEye to gain access to its constellation of five satellites.

These images provide an enormous amount of information. For example, in the field of natural resource management it can be used to study the evolution of crops, provide advance data on their production, estimate damage due to adverse phenomena and determine the water demand that irrigation zones will require.

In addition to its role as an Earth observation services provider Indra has significant experience in the development of ground segments for this type of satellite. Indra is leading the development of the systems that will manage and control the Ingenio optical satellite and the Paz radar satellite, which are to be deployed within the Spanish National Plan for Earth Observation.

It was also commissioned by the Ministry of Defence to implement and provide maintenance and operational support for the systems to receive and process the images from the Helios and Pleiades satellite programmes developed by France and Spain. Furthermore, it led the deployment of the ground segment of the SMOS mission to study the water cycle of the Earth, developed by the European Space Agency.

Within GMES, Indra has participated in projects for the definition of urban, security and emergency, and land use products, and for the supply of reference layers such as the Digital Terrain Model, hydrography and grasslands (GMES Urban Services, BOSS4GMES, GEOLAND2, SAFER, G-MOSAIC, G-SEXTANT, G-NEXT, Initial GMES Service for Geospatial Reference Data Access, GIO-Land and GIO-Emergency projects).

(source: Indra) and spacenewsfeed

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