The European Space Agency (ESA), Europe’s gateway to space, and Interoute, owner operator of Europe’s largest next-generation network, have signed an agreement with ESA to provide a new IP Wide Area Network (WAN) connecting the Earth Observation (EO) Payload Data Systems sites across Europe and Canada. 
The ESA Earth Observation satellites monitor the natural world gaining valuable insight into the impact of climate change, melting ice, wild fires, and deforestation among other natural phenomena. The advanced Wide Area Network from Interoute will help ESA distribute, store and protect this valuable data. ESA needed to rationalise and enhance its existing connection capabilities, to connect the various EO Data Centres and the main IT platforms for data access and distribution. To meet ESA’s requirements, Interoute has offered a secure private IPVPN connecting the 13 ESA sites to a single performing platform: Interoute MPLS backbone.
Interoute’s next generation network will provide ESA with a secure and scalable environment ensuring the consolidation of its disparate data networks, large cost savings and an improved operational efficiency through one central reporting point for all WAN-based issues. Interoute’s solution includes Internet connectivity (1.2 Gbps access shared by all sites) with a fully redundant design, secured access through firewalls and denial-of-service (DDoS) protection.
M. Eugenia Forcada-Arregui, head of EOP Ground Segment Strategy Management Office at ESA, commented: “The existing EO Data Circulation and Dissemination Networks are intended to support the ESA Payload Data Ground Segment during the mission operations. An efficient and secure distribution network with very large bandwidth is essential to effectively gather, archive and distribute the large amount of data from the European satellite missions related with Earth Observation, to coordinate around 15 ground facilities throughout Europe and cooperate with most European ground-segment operators.”
J. Antonio Rodríguez-Vázquez, head of ESRIN ICT Services & Evolution Section, added: “We needed a European partner with outstanding network capacity and availability, which could assist us with an expert and dedicated team, delivering a fast response to address our IT challenges. We found such a partner in Interoute.”
Gareth Williams, CEO at Interoute, declared: “Interoute is proud to be involved in this significant international project for such a prestigious customer as the European Space Agency. Earth Observation data has a critical importance for science and society, and we are privileged to contribute to this mission by putting our next generation network, expertise and people at ESA’s service to create a fast, secure and reliable connection for data management and distribution in Europe and beyond.”
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 18 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. ESA’s job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through. ESA’s programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries. ESA also works closely with space organisations outside Europe. There are around 2000 staff working for ESA, from all the Member States and include scientists, engineers, information technology specialists and administrative personnel. Countries belonging to ESA: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Canada takes part in some projects under a Cooperation agreement. Hungary, Romania, Poland, Estonia and Slovenia are ‘European Cooperating States’. Other countries have signed cooperation agreements with ESA.
Interoute is the owner operator of Europe’s most advanced and densely connected voice and data network, encompassing over 55,000 km of lit fibre with 8 hosting data centres and 32 colocation centres. Its full-service next generation network serves international enterprises from a broad range of sectors including aerospace, automotive, finance, pharmaceutical and retail, plus every major European incumbent, as well as the major operators of North America, East and South Asia, governments, universities and research agencies. These organisations find Interoute the ideal partner for hosting content, providing wholesale bandwidth and transit services, corporate connectivity or creating new services. With established operations throughout mainland Europe, North America and Dubai, Interoute also owns and operates dense city networks throughout Europe’s major business centres. More than €1 billion in e-commerce transactions flows through its data centres each day, making Interoute a key part of Europe’s Digital Supply Chain.
 3 sites in Italy, 1 in Spain, 2 in France, 1 in UK, 2 in Germany, 1 in Norway, 1 in Sweden, 1 in Finland and 1 in Canada. The 3 sites in the Nordic countries are located at the same latitude of the Arctic Circle.