In the Earth Observation field, it is pertinent to highlight EDISOFT’s engineering responsibility on the ground segment for the Land Surface Analysis Satellite Applications Facility (LSA SAF), representing one of the seven new EUMETSAT Satellite Applications Facilities.
The LSA SAF is a remote sensing and satellite ground system project, sponsored by the EUMETSAT organisation, lying within the SAF EUMETSAT network.
Its goal is to perform land surface analysis for biospheric parameters’ determination by increasing the benefits from the data collected by the new MSG and EPS satellites. The system creates, archives and distributes fourteen products (related to land, land-atmosphere interactions and biosphere applications) to the international community, derived from the collected satellite images and other inputs.
EDISOFT’s participation in this international consortium, led by the Portuguese Meteorological Institute, began in June 2000 and holds the responsibility for the whole project’s engineering component.
Currently, the LSA SAF system is running the Initial Operations Phase (IOP) that will end by February 2007. In March 2006, the LSA SAF consortium presented a proposal to EUMETSAT for LSA SAF Continuous Development and Operations Phase (CDOP), being thus ensured this project’s continuity into 2012.
LSA SAF Main Engineering Characteristics
• Configurability/Maintainability – each component of the system can be individually configured to set its behaviour – the configuration can be done in run-time.
• Scalability – the system accommodates future expansion due to the fact that it is based in distributed components that can be implemented in different computer languages and can be run in different machines and operating systems but all communicating through standard interfaces implemented in a CORBA middleware.
• Portability – all used programming languages and tools are portable among different computer/operating system solutions. All software was designed to be portable. The system was built with a clear separation between the XML Configuration files, the application interface and the application itself. It was used the Adaptive Communication Environment (ACE) framework to program low-level operating systems features like threads, timers and so forth, in a portable way. A portable CORBA implementation was used for the communication among the system components.
• Openness – new machines, running old, updated or new algorithms can be added to the system without any impacts. This can also be done in already existing machines.
• Re-usability – the system was built in a modular, component based way that can be easily re-used to develop other ground systems
• Efficiency – The system was designed with a cache for the most used data and with a pre-processor for the common data. The communication among components was minimised. Moreover, as the system is fully distributed, and each component is fully autonomous, it is possible to add new products to the system without affecting its performance. It is also possible to place the most demanding algorithms in machines tailored to the specific algorithm demands.
• Availability – The system was designed with two chains, one operational and the other redundant. The system is able in run-time and without human intervention to detect failures at the machine and component level replacing them in the operational chain.