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ACRI-ST: “observer pour comprendre, comprendre pour prévoir, prévoir pour survivre”

In 2015 ACRI-ST joined EARSC membership


ACRI-ST is a member of a SME group made of companies that provide services whose scope spans from satellite remote sensing, ocean & land surveys to
civil engineering in hydraulics through environmental research, Computational Fluid Dynamics and dynamic similitude.
In the group, ACRI-ST specializes in:

  • Earth Observation (EO) missions’ specifications & End-to-End simulations; numerical analysis, algorithms’ and data processors development; operation of components of the EO missions’ Ground Segments
  • Environmental monitoring -the so-called EO Missions’ user segments
  • ITC research and data services for EO missions’ ground segments and environmental engineering

Key Elements
Since 1999 | Incorporated in France | capital: 2 000 000€| Integrated turnover: 8M€| CEO: Odile Hembise|

The company is organized in 3 establishments (France -Sophia-Antipolis, Toulouse & Paris) and 4 subsidiaries, i.e. ACRI-HE (France) and its own Moroccan subsidiary, ARGANS (UK), ARCTUS (Can) and AdwäisEO (Lux) in order to span the value chain.|

Born from a research company, ACRI-ST sustains a strong R&D in satellite remote sensing of the ocean, coastal waters & shoreline, of continental waters, of land cover & land use, as well as features’ & dynamics’ modelling and data assimilation in models. Innovation feeds the services in data collection, processing, archiving and distribution, in information design incl. environmental risks’ assessment, health’s changes and ecological mitigations (e.g. air quality, water quality, storm water collection – drainage – sewage, rivers’ restauration), as well as support to economic activities (e.g. aquaculture & shellfish farming, shipping & off-shore activities, insurance).

satellite EO EO missions´specifications ACRI-ST
satellite EO EO missions´s Ground segments ACRI-ST, ARGANS, ARCTUS
in-situ & other surveys ACRI-HE
data services adwäisEO
information services ACRI-HE, ACRI-EC

ACRI-ST’s strength is the thorough command of the EO data chain, with outstanding efforts to be at the cutting edge of

  • sensors’ calibration, data QC and information validation, thus allowing to simultaneously deliver data-information and statements of their reliability & accuracy;
  • big data volume processing (reprocessings, archiving, data fusion, analytics).

from market analysis to data services, the original career path of ACRI-ST in EO

The company likes to consider its social goal as:
(i) advocating EO as the core tool for perennial environmental monitoring, i.e. bridging the gap between surveys and delivery of information of relevance to policy-makers, economic stakeholders and courts:
- by properly handling the passage from S&T research to (a) operations of data centres and (b) environmental consulting, through (c ) engineering processes standardization;
- by helping build environmental monitoring’s capacity in ESA member states with “economies of scale” and “economies of scope” in mind;
- by bringing together research & public agencies, government’s’ technical offices (local, regional, national and European) and companies to make the best of existing knowledge and know-how; and
(ii) facilitating transfer of knowledge between labs and industry.

Business Objectives
ACRI-ST’s goal is to build-up a reliable services supply chain, established on sound ground segments components of EO missions and geo-data user segments to be set in partnership with Space Agencies, Environment Research and IT Research agencies, to capture/attract solvent commercial markets in environmental data/information services.

Background and references

Expertise and production capacity is based on a the knowledge and knowhow of a group of high-level scientist with combined PhDs and Engineers‘ certification which were successful with:
i) ENVISAT & SMOS commissioning + their Cal/Val operations + the design & updating of the MERIS, GOMOS and SMOS data processors;
ii) the development and industrialization of the Sentinel-3 data processors (e.g. OLCI , SLSTR, MWR, SRAL) ;
iii) the set up of EO Mission Performance Centres (e.g. S2 & S3), Processing and Archiving Centres (e.g. S3/ SLSTR+SYN…);
iv) S&T research in Earth Observations and geophysical fluid dynamics and downstream services’ demonstration on EC FP7’s & H2020’s, ESA EOP’s, CNES programmes’ and ANR’s funding
(e.g. MARCOAST, AQUAMAR, GlobColour, MyOcean, SENSYF, Co-Resyf, OSS2015, SAFI, E-AIMS, SeaExplorer…)
v) The preparation of an ESA collaborative Ground Segment in public-private partnership (MCGS)
vi) Services to local communities (air quality, submersion…) and industrial & farmland facilities (salmon farms, heat pumps, water discharge, waste disposal…)

A few examples in aquaculture as an illustration of end use application

In this case, end-use of EO is of two kinds, policy-making & enforcement, and support to farmers to help them select the best sites, optimize feeding, and plan sales. Here are some outputs available to professionals

a) Monitoring of fish-cages deployment

maps of fish cages in the Western Med (April 2016: 4478 at more than 200 m from the coast) detection with SAR data and classification on optical EO data (prototyping funded by the ESA DEU-Innovator project SMART)

b) Growth of fishes and shellfishes -surveys and modelling

Left: growth rate of salmon juveniles ,South of Ireland, a model. Right:concentration of pico & nano plankton along the coast of Morocco-from EO data analysis.
(the FP7 SAFI consortium)

Mussels growth at various locations ,Northern Adriatic, surveys and modelling based on EO

260, route du pin Montard, BP234, F06904 SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS cedex, France