ESA, the European Space Agency, is the coordinator of the space component of GMES and is ensuring the flow of Earth Observation data into GMES Services along with the access to these data. ESA received 12 proposals offering to provide data from more than 40 European and non-European Earth Observation satellites to GMES Services over the next years.
Thus, the fleet of GMES contributing missions is constantly increasing – the German 5-satellite RapidEye constellation remains as the latest mission, launched on 29 August 2008. Among other satellites there are ESA Member States’ missions, such as France’s Spot and Pleiades satellites, Germany’s TerraSAR-X, Italy’s CosmoSkyMed, the UK-led DMC constellation. ESA and EUMESAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) offer their data free of charge, while other agencies do favourable conditions to the GMES Services.
Thanks to harmonised protocols and standards developed by European Space Agencies through the Heterogeneous Mission Accessibility (HMA) Project, ESA is able to harmonise the data flow and data access.
Moreover, to ensure that GMES Services have quick, easy and coherent access to the data from all of the missions, ESA will provide a dedicated Data Access Portal where GMES Services can obtain relevant information and access the data products.
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