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With its unique fleet of six families of Sentinel satellites, the European Union’s Copernicus environmental monitoring and security programme is set to generate a wealth of regular, high-quality data. The Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 pairs of satellites will ultimately be sending back more than 10 terabytes of data every day, accumulating some 15 petabytes in all by 2020. And for 2018, the European platform will bring all these data as well as its data processing capacities to citizens, scientists and commercial firms around the world.
Until then, to meet demand in France CNES has opened its PEPS1 Sentinel Product Exploitation Platform, which lets users quickly search, select and download SAR radar data from Sentinel-1A. High resolution data from Sentinel-2A’s optical imaging instrument and medium resolution data from the wide-field imaging instrument and altimeter on Sentinel-3A are also be available. PEPS gives also users the ability to process data on line—atmospheric corrections, monthly synoptic reports, etc.—so that they don’t have to store large volumes of data on their computers.
Developed at CNES’s Toulouse Space Centre (CST), the PEPS platform will evolve in 2020 into an integrated Europe-wide system involving key industry players in big data and cloud computing, to meet a challenge that goes beyond the space sector and lay the foundations of a new digital geolocated data ecosystem.