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Issue 51 Autumn 2017


With the launch last Friday of the latest Sentinel, the range of data and services available from Copernicus increases further. Sentinel 5P will provide data on atmospheric chemistry and promises new products on air quality in the near future.

Copernicus is a wonderful success story for Europe. It is the foremost, operational satellite system in the world and through the 6 Copernicus Services is providing not just satellite data but information services to meet the needs of European policy makers.

Thoughts are now turning to the next generation of satellites and how Copernicus can evolve. EARSC has provided views on behalf of the industry based around 3 core elements; providing sustained access to data, developing demand especially in the public sector, and unleashing the potential of the downstream sector by creating an environment where private investment can be mobilised. Our position paper on the subject can be found on our web-site. Recently, a presentation was made to the EU Council space working party on the views of the EO services industry.

Keep reading...


Interview with 2017 EARSC Company Award winner

Giovanni Sylos Labini, Chief Executive Officer of Planetek Italia


Air & Space Evidence – EO with a legal and investigatory focus

Air & Space Evidence was founded in late 2014 to provide an investigatory service to clients by using EO imagery from satellites, drones and aircraft as evidence in formal situations such as in courts of law. We help individuals, companies and governments with image sourcing and analysis so that the data can be used as evidence to resolve legal disputes, and we also advise on using EO in dedicated monitoring and compliance programmes.


EARSC at the GEO week (23-27 October Washington D.C)

EARSC is participating in the GEO Week 2017

EARSC is Professional Society Partner at GWF2018

Geospatial World Forum (GWF) is the global flagship event produced and organized by Geospatial Media and Communications. The conference will be held next 15-19 January 2018 in Hyderabad, India. EARSC is a Professional society partner of the event.

EARSC is reaching 100 members!

The Association has grown significantly in the past few months.

EARSC Participated to TAIEX Multi-Country Workshops on Space Applications

The European Commission and the European External Action Service organised two regional workshops on Space Applications in Latin America early September in Santiago,Chile and La Paz, Bolivia.

EARSC published its EO Industry Survey Report 2017

This is the third survey performed by EARSC. The industry survey help us to analyse the state of the EO Services Industry and to understand the issues that are important for its future.

eoMALL Development

The ESA Invitation To Tender for the development of the on-line Marketplace for the EO service sector “eoMALL” led by the EARSC closed on 29th of September.

EU-Japan Space Business Week

EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation and Japan Space Systems organised the EU-Japan Space Business Week- Link & Launch in Tokyo, Sapporo and Obihiro in Hokkaido from 5th to 8th September 2017. 4 EARSC members participated.

The Future of Copernicus

Geoff Sawyer presented the Industrial View for the Evolution of Copernicus at the Space Working Party Meeting organised by the Council of the EU on 6 October 2017.


100th story "Sentinel Vision" by Visioterra

VisioTerra has developed the “Sentinel Vision Portal” enabling European Space Agency (ESA) staff to get the best of Sentinel data. Since March 20, 2017 VisioTerra edits 4 times a week “stories” showing the smiles or injuries of the Earth

Africa Mapped in Unprecedented Detail

Land is an essential natural resource for humanity and all terrestrial ecosystems, but human demands exceed available resources. This leads to deforestation, drought, decrease of biodiversity and loss of wildlife. The Copernicus Global Land Service assists public and private organizations in the preservation of our ecosystems, where understanding is the first step.

Agro-Geoinformatics with rasdaman

August 2017 – Increasingly, the advantage of combined spatial and temporal analysis is being recognized, and very much so currently in agroinformatics. Rasdaman is enabling novel agroinformatics services on many levels, and international conferences seek talks on rasdaman and its open-standard approach.

Airbus to reshape Earth observation market with its Pleiades Neo constellation

The production of Airbus’ four new very high resolution satellites, which together will form the Pleiades Neo constellation, is well on schedule for launch in 2020.

ALPHA Consult, your connection to bring EO-based solutions to the market

Nowadays, the advanced uses of EO data are being brought within the reach of multiple players. EO offers added-value cost-effective solutions to several business problems, enlarging its potential market. However, to scale up the market, the EO community will need sound business models, realistic business plans and effective approaches to estimate and communicate benefits to end-users. To undertake these activities, ALPHA Consult created a group of leading independent experts, increasingly active across several supporting and related EO markets (chiefly Aerospace, Transportation, Agribusiness, Emergency response and management, and Climate Change). With its business, technical, and communication/ dissemination background, coupled with the experience reached during successful projects, ALPHA is able to support a vast range of actors in the articulated processes aimed at engaging end-users’ and commercialising high technological solutions.

Building a forestry processing platform ready for the Copernicus age

The pre-operational Forestry Thematic Exploitation Platform (F-TEP) is now live. F-TEP has been created to provide an online data processing and dissemination resource for the forestry community that enables benefit to be derived from the volume shift in data in the Copernicus age.

CLS acquires SIRS and stakes out a position in the field of satellite observation and monitoring of continental land masses

18 September 2017. CLS, the French satellite services provider, has announced the acquisition of SIRS (Systèmes d’Information à Référence Spatiale [Information systems for space-related purposes), a French company founded in 1989, specialising in the production of geographical data from optical or aerial satellite images.

CLS, ready to take the challenge of Blue Growth

In a meeting organised with representatives of the Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique, Nicolas Hulot, French Minister of Ecology, set blue economy targets in a key phrase: “We must accelerate”.

Deimos Imaging and Esri partner in bringing imagery to life in ArcGIS

Deimos Imaging and its parent company UrtheCast Corp., announced a broad partnership with Esri, starting with a new UrtheCast imagery service which is powered by Esri: Kanvas. The service enables all Esri users to access timely, reliable and quality assured imagery, directly into their apps and desktops. The on-the-fly imagery service curated by Deimos imaging, is a precursor to the upcoming UrtheDaily™ constellation which is expected to image the entire Earth daily at 5m resolution, complimenting Sentinel-2 and Landsat applications.

Earth-i Recruits Industry Veterans To Help Meet Demand for Earth Observation Data

(20 September 2017) British satellite company Earth-i today announced a range of new senior appointments to help with the company’s rapid growth as it cements its position at the forefront of the commercialisation of space and the rapid evolution of the New Space market.

European Space Imaging delivers 100% success rate in European Commission’s 2017 CwRS Program

Speedy delivery and quality imagery mark European Space Imaging’s acquistions for EU’s CAP.

EUROSENSE awarded with the update of the Brussels 3D-map

EUROSENSE was awarded by the Brussels Capital Region with the contract to update the map of the “capital of Europe”

Experience the benefits of climate services

Gisat participates in the CLIMATE-FIT project aiming at implementation & demonstration of urban climate services in Europe.

GAF AG Signs Distribution Partnership with Planet

28th July 2017. GAF’s GEO-Information experts have now signed up Planet, one of the global leading providers of high frequent Earth Observation data to extend GAF’s multisource satellite data and service portfolio for a new quality of timely observations.

GIM extends its location intelligence offering following a partnership with CARTO

18 September 2017. CARTO is a web-based location intelligence platform combining powerful visualisation and analysis with impressive ease of use. GIM is thus able to offer its customers unique insights into the WHERE and WHY of their activities.

Greenland Mapping with SPOT 6/7

Greenland, the largest island in the world, is not the easiest one to map. Prone to extreme weather conditions along with scattered villages and housing, the country has never been entirely mapped within a single campaign.

How is Earth Observation used in decision making?

TERRASIGNA contributed to a documentary programme released by GEO, the Group on Earth Observations. From disaster risk reduction, tracking animals using satellites to Lake Titicaca water assessment and city planning, the documentary points out innovation in Earth Observation technology.

Hyperspectral imaging reinvented

Small differences in the content of light, far more subtle than what we can perceive as different colours, carry valuable information about the health status of vegetation.

IABG’s Geodata Factory celebrates its tenth anniversary

Ottobrunn/Dresden, 18 Sep. 2017. IABG’s Geodata Factory, established in Dresden in November 2007, can meanwhile look back on a successful first decade. Its launch was part of a large-scale assignment that included the processing of world-wide geo data for the German Federal Armed Forces.

ICOR, Atmospheric Image Correction made Accessible

When you look at a satellite image, although you may not see it, every pixel in the image is subtly contaminated by the atmosphere.

Kongsberg Satellite Services will deliver services to NASA

18 August 2017. Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) has signed an expanded contract extension for satellite ground services to the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA).

Landslide Detection using Sentinels monitoring the June 2017 disaster event in Amyntaio mine

This study proposes a synergistic landslide detection framework using Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2 data and applying several change detection algorithms.

Néuquen Basin: Sentinel-1 ground deformation study

TRE-Altamira are pleased to be featured in the latest issue of Géologues, the French Geological Society magazine.

NEUROPUBLIC launches an agricultural monitoring application

AgriMonitor is a web app, that allows the monitoring of agricultural areas through time either by using interactive graphs of vegetation and soil indices, or image snapshots that describe the intra-field crop growth conditions at various spatial and time resolutions

New Bathymetrics Data Portal delivers quality water depth data online

13 September 2017. The Bathymetrics Data Portal, the first dedicated commercial bathymetry portal of its kind, has been launched.

New Technologies Help Plant Breeders Make A Leap Forward

Imagine a field, where 10000 variaties are growing in tighly, regularly spaced plots. Welcome to the daily live of plant breeders. Plant breeders observe, record and analyze key features in these fields every day to produce the selection of next generation of varieties.

Pixalytics at ‘One Step Beyond’ TEDx

Dr Sam Lavender from Pixalytics Ltd was a speaker at ‘One Step Beyond’ a TEDx Leicester event at the National Space Centre in Leicester, UK which took place on the 21st September. Sam gave a talk entitled “Beyond The Blue Ocean” which demonstrated through satellite imagery the different aspects of the ocean that can be seen from space.

Precision farming via satellite imaging

27 July 2017. Precision farming is set to become even more precise with a new camera drawing on satellite imaging. Thanks to research with ESA on new cameras, hyperspectral cameras flying on drones are now able to see details as small as 4–5 cm.

Publication of "Freshwater and Marine ecosystems: state, services, perspectives"

Remote Sensing Application Center – ReSAC in a consortium with partners published a scientific study on the project “FEMA: Fresh water ecosystem services mapping and assessment in Bulgaria”

Satellite Images show Europe's diversity in new book

(Munich, 02/10/17) European Space Imaging have partnered with eoVision to produce a book entirely comprised of satellite imagery showcasing the diversity of Europe as seen from space

Satellite Technology reduces the impact of flood and drought in Uganda

Extreme weather events are causing significant shifts in the productivity of agricultural activities posing a danger to food security and yield production. Improving weather forecasts is essential when it comes to dealing with the effects of climate change and save agricultural investments.

Sentinel-5P successfully launched to monitor world’s pollution

The Airbus built, pollution monitoring satellite Sentinel-5 Precursor has been successfully launched on a Rockot from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia

Sentinels for the Common Agricultural Policy

Gisat participates in the SEN4CAP project focusing at implementation & demonstration of operational applications & products to support the management of the CAP.

Sinergise partners with Airbus Defence and Space

24 July 2017. Sinergise has become a reseller of Airbus Defence and Space satellite imagery – Pléiades, which will be soon integrated into Sentinel Hub.

space4environment part of consortium contracted by ESPON for GRETA project on GI and ecosystem services


Spacemetric and Simularity demonstrate automated anomaly detection on satellite and UAS imagery

In today’s world where image data is abundant, the scarce resource in imagery intelligence is analyst capacity. Spacemetric and Simularity joined their respective Keystone and AI-ADS technologies to demonstrate how automated image registration and artificial intelligence techniques are disruptive technologies in change detection.

SPACEMETRIC awarded 1M$ contract extension with Armed Forces

The Swedish Armed Forces has awarded Spacemetric an extension to a current contract for maintenance and support of software systems managing reconnaissance imagery from the JAS 39 Gripen multirole fighter, and video data from UAVs deployed on international missions. Both solutions build on Spacemetric’s Keystone Image Data Management System.

SPOT 6/7 imagery to feed Satshot’s mapping platforms for improved efficiency of US agriculture

Chantilly, VA, 28 August 2017 – Airbus Defence and Space has entered into an agreement with the GIS mapping engine operator Satshot to provide high-resolution SPOT 6/7 satellite data over a large area of the corn and wheat belt within the continental United States. SPOT 6/7 data is integrated into the Satshot platform, which can be used for deep analysis of specific farmland for further improved operations and efficiency.

TELESPAZIO IBÉRICA Participates in the Production of N2K for the EU Copernicus Programme

22 August 2017. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has commissioned a consortium made up of EFTAS, GAF and GeoVille to map additional grassland-rich Natura 2000 sites across Europe.

The Italian support to USA for the Harvey emergency

e-GEOS closely monitored Hurricane Harvey affected areas through its Rapid Mapping Team and operational teams (active H24) in Rome and Matera who are continuously supporting both public and private US organisations.

The PanGeo Alliance welcomes a new member and celebrates 3 years of achievements

The PanGeo Alliance, the first global alliance of Earth Observation satellite operators, announced Geoinformation Systems of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus as the latest new member of the alliance. In addition, PanGeo celebrated 3 years since its launch in Paris, as all the members gathered in the French capital in September to commemorate the formation of their collaboration and to evaluate its results and look to the future.

The Romanian Forest Inspector in the spotlight

July 25th, 2017. In the last couple of weeks, the Forest Inspector has raised vivid discussions in the Romanian press about the status of the platform and the mobile application. TERRASIGNA has contributed to the platform development, and the facts below present the service evolution, as well as its progress’ deployment stages.

UrtheCast and e-GEOS collaborate to offer unique optical and SAR products

UrtheCast Corp., its subsidiary Deimos Imaging and e-GEOS (a company owned by Telespazio and the Italian Space Agency) announced on 20 October 2017 a strategic partnership to offer a unique combination of joint optical and radar sensors with ground stations.

Visioterra Training VtPace in Sri-Lanka

Training session on integrating GIS and remote sensing data into Web portals


Africa classified

(3 October 2017 – ESA) From the barren Sahara to lush jungles, the first high-resolution map classifying land cover types on the entire African continent has been released.

Australian / US joint project to tackle disaster from space

Australia’s top science organisation, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation or CSIRO, is to conduct joint research with US-based Radiant.Earth into satellite imagery and earth observation data for promoting disaster resilience and tackling critical issues in health, climate change and sustainable water management, mainly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council and Partners to Collaborate on Strengthening Climate Services for Drought Monitoring

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC), and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) organized a day-long consultation and user engagement workshop on collaborative development of agricultural drought monitoring services in Bangladesh on 17 August 2017. The event took place at the BARC campus in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The workshop was organized under the USAID-funded SERVIR-Hindu Kush Himalaya (SERVIR-HKH) initiative and the Climate Services for Resilient Development (CSRD) in South Asia partnership.

Earthcube raises €3 Million seed funding to accelerate growth

October 17, 2017. The French Startup Earthcube is thrilled to announce a €3 Million seed funding with 360 Capital Partners.

EUMETSAT - ECMWF - Mercator Océan DIAS Information Day

EUMETSAT, together with ECMWF and Mercator Ocean, will hold an Information Day on the Copernicus Data Information and Access Service on 10 November in Darmstadt, Germany

EUMETSAT to launch upgraded Monitoring the Oceans from Space course

The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) is set to re-launch a modified version of its open online course known as ‘Monitoring the Oceans from Space’ next week.

European Space Week (3-9 Nov 2017 in Tallinn)

Conferences, roundtables, training and information sessions, hackathons, accelerators and incubators. Sounds interesting, right? All these activities, and many more, will await you during one entire week at the European Space Week in Tallinn (EUSW2017), which is organised by the European Commission under the auspices of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

From selling data to selling answers, EO market faces transformation

(by Tereza Pultarova — September 15, 2017). PARIS — Earth-observation startups are investing in data analytics and machine learning to transform raw satellite data into marketable insights they say have the potential to be every bit as indispensable to investors and business leaders as the up-to-the-second analytics they get from the likes of a $20,000-a-year Bloomberg terminal subscription.

Major milestone reached in forest monitoring from space

(26 September 2017 ) Thanks to a major effort to ensure full satellite coverage of the world’s forests, all countries now have the necessary data for annual forest monitoring for the first time ever.

Morocco to Launch its 1st Pleiade Satellite

Morocco will launch next November 8th its first Pleiade satellite from the European space port of Kourou in French Guiana, according to some Moroccan web sites.

New UN-GGIM strategic framework provides guidance for use of geospatial information and services in disaster risk management

The Working Group on Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters (WG-GISD) of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) has published a “Strategic Framework on Geospatial Information and Services for Disaster” to guide all stakeholders and partners in the management of geospatial information and services in all phases of disaster risk management.

Planet wins second NGA satellite-imagery contract

WASHINGTON — Planet has won a second contract to provide satellite imagery to the U.S. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), beating out contenders UrtheCast, Orbital Insight and Sky Hawk Drone Services.

Scientists urge Africa to embrace geo-spatial tech to achieve development goals

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) — Scientists started a three-day international conference on Wednesday by calling on sub-Saharan Africa to adopt geo-spatial technologies to help achieve United Nations anti-poverty goals.

Seraphim Space Fund closes at $91M, invests in U.S., Finnish geospatial satellite companie

(© Peter B. de Selding | Sep 17, 2017) PARIS — With satellite fleet operator SES joining its investor team, Seraphim Capital passed the $90-million mark for its Seraphim Space Fund and closed it with the announcement of two initial investments in Spire Global and Iceye Oy.

SkyWatch to Improve Access to EO Data with EarthCache

(By Kendall Russell | August 30, 2017) Although the global repository of Earth Observation (EO) imagery continues to grow, the means by which developers can turn that data into value are arguably less abundant. To address this demand, young software company SkyWatch has established a new cloud-based system called EarthCache that opens the door for developers to create new applications and products based on remote sensing data.

Spatial Data Infrastructure: Think ‘Adaption’ and ‘Cultivation’ Rather than ‘Construction’

While recent advances in geospatial technologies offer great promise, the specifics of whether and how data and information are used too often remain a black (magic) box; spatially enabled decision-makers are a bit like idealised unicorns.

The economic impact of geospatial services

(Published Sep 28, 2017. by Nicolo’ Andreula and Fraser Thompson from AlphaBeta) With Google Maps, we’re committed to creating a rich, deep, and detailed understanding of the world. By digitizing and providing access to a wealth of information about the real world, we allow people to easily explore the world around them, provide tools for businesses to attract and connect with customers, power map and location experiences for third party apps and websites, and enable NGOs and governments to leverage our map and resources to tackle real-world challenges like urban planning or emergency response…

The GEO-CRADLE Networking Platform is now on line!

The new platform provides a wealth of information on key Earth Observation (EO) stakeholders from North Africa, Middle East and the Balkans.

The travel app AiR wins this year’s Space App Camp

18 September 2017. An app that uses satellite imagery to give flight travellers an interactive, bird’s-eye view of their routes took the top prize at this year’s Space App Camp at ESA’s centre in Frascati, Italy.


Australia to Finally Establish a National Space Agency

(By Andrew Spence | September 25, 2017)

ESA launches Sentinel-5P to track pollution daily

Europe’s Sentinel-5P satellite has blasted off from the northern Russian launch site of Plesetsk on a mission to monitor the world’s pollution from space.

ESA takes the rains of the Disasters Charter

(16 October 2017) When disaster strikes, a group of international space agencies pools its resources and expertise to support relief efforts on the ground. For the next six months, ESA will be leading the International Charter Space and Major Disasters as it brings information from satellites to the aid of the vulnerable.

ESA to Explore New Big Data Applications in Commercial Space

By Kendall Russell | October 13, 2017

Investing in Industrial Innovation

6 September 2017. A new ESA initiative, Investing in Industrial Innovation in Earth Observation – also known as ‘InCubed’ – kicked off today with an open call for European businesses to apply for a chance to gain financial and practical support for industry projects.

Ireland signs up for Copernicus Sentinel agreement

17 October 2017. ESA and Enterprise Ireland have signed an agreement that gives Ireland access to data from the Copernicus Sentinel satellites and helps Ireland to exploit these data to benefit their country.

Regions bring space down to Earth

From satellite navigation to Earth observation programmes, space policy brings tangible benefits to EU citizens while helping boost investments, jobs and growth

State of the Union 2017 – Industrial Policy Strategy: Investing in a smart, innovative and sustainable industry

On 13 September, in his annual State of the Union address, President Jean-Claude Juncker stated: “I want to make our industry stronger and more competitive. The new Industrial Policy Strategy we are presenting today will help our industries stay or become the world leader in innovation, digitisation and decarbonisation.”

The AUC kick started assessing grant applications for the GMES & Africa

6 October 2017. The African Union Commission has kick-started the assessment of grant applications for the GMES & Africa Support Programme at the Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa.

The CAMS Use Cases programme: a financial instrument available for Copernicus entrepreneurs

(© Copernicus website-Brussels, 29 September 2017). Last year, eight innovative Copernicus use cases were funded and supported technically by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), in the frame of the 2017 Use Cases programme. CAMS recently launched a second call and is looking for six new ground –breaking applications. If you would like to develop an economically sustainable model on the basis of your innovative ideas, this is your chance!

UN-GGIM Welcomes Alignment of Strategic Framework with 2030 Agenda

© Ana Maria Lebada Blog (4 August 2017) The UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) discussed implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during its seventh session. Senior officials and executives from national geospatial information and statistical authorities within Member States and international geospatial experts from across the globe welcomed the alignment of GGIM’s Strategic Framework with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and discussed ways to support the alignment.


Autumn 2017