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Turning Earth Observation into information you can trust

CGI delivers ground systems, exploitation platforms and space enabled applications.

CGI was founded 40 years ago and is one of the largest IT and business process services providers in the world, delivering high-quality business consulting, systems integration and managed services.

CGI works with the space industry from the UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, Finland, Estonia, Czech Republic and Italy. We deliver complex, mission critical space systems and are a recognised thought leader in space security and space applications.

Through long-standing client relationships, and our dedicated practice of space and satellite experts, we have earned a reputation for solving technically difficult software challenges with secure solutions, delivered on time and proven to work every time. We also share innovative uses of space and satellite technology with commercial organisations to solve their business challenges.

Our Earth Observation (EO) clients include the European Space Agency and its centre for EO, ESRIN, in Italy and its new European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) in the UK. We work on the Copernicus programme for the European Commission and for international organisations such as EUMETSAT and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).  We also deliver EO based services directly to government and commercial clients, helping them to turn EO data into information they can trust and act upon.

We do this by:

  • providing end-to-end EO ground system solutions that work 24×7
  • ensuring EO data is secure and trustworthy
  • developing applications and services to exploit EO data
  • providing consultancy on end-user requirements including how to address them commercially, technically, organisationally and legally.

Two examples of our recent EO projects, eSurge and VeriSpace, are described below. To find out more about CGI Space please visit


CGI is leading the delivery of the ESA eSurge project which will enable forecasters and the scientific research community to make the best use of future data streams from the Sentinel satellites which are being delivered as part of Europe’s Copernicus programme.
The eSurge project is also working with users worldwide to facilitate sharing of models and expertise, with the aim of helping countries with less developed infrastructure to improve their surge predictions. The eSurge project aims to improve the modelling and forecasting of storm surges through the increased use of advanced satellite data, including advanced products such as scatterometry and coastal altimetry.

To achieve this, eSurge:

In the UK, storm surge forecasts are provided by the National Tidal and Sea Level Facility part of the UK National Oceanography Centre (NOC). The NOC is developing advanced techniques for coastal altimetry that provides measurements of total sea level elevations close to land. The use of satellite data is unique for areas where in-situ measurements are lacking.
As part of the eSurge project the NOC have developed a new coastal altimetry algorithm utilising the various altimeters currently in orbit. When Sentinel 3 is launched it will provide operational altimetry measurements to better support the storm surge community

The image below shows the eSurge data viewer being used to display data for the North Sea during the storm of 5 December 2013.

CGI has led the project as prime contractor, managing the engagement with the end-users of the system, gathering the requirements and developing the technical specification for the system. We are working closely with the science community, with subcontractors from the Danish Meteorological Institute DMI, the Dutch Meteorological Institute KNMI, the Irish Coastal & Marine Resources Centre CMRC, and NOC who are mentioned above.

You can access the live eSurge information at


VeriSpace is an ESA funded feasibility study to identify how satellite technologies, such as Earth Observation (EO), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and communication technologies, can be used to bring business benefits to the insurance industry when managing insurance claims.

The insurance industry needs to improve the efficiency of business processes such as initial risk exposure identification, claims identification and validity of the claim. They need improved modelling of the risk exposure of assets, faster response to events and claims, better communication with the loss adjustors in the field and the ability to gather more evidence around a claim.

VeriSpace offers services that will integrate key space technologies, for example, EO datasets to assess insurers’ exposure and the severity of the property damage following a catastrophic event or using GNSS and satellite communications to enable greater transfer of information or intelligence between an office and the loss adjustors.

Using mission planning software and state-of-the-art data processing VeriSpace utilises a range of EO data, including Copernicus and very high resolution (VHR) commercial satellite imagery, to enable the rapid generation and delivery of exposure and damage assessment information responding to the users need for timely geo-intelligence to drive efficiencies in the claims management process. For example, the figure below shows the extent of a flood in Greece, derived from Copernicus Sentinel-1 data.

VeriSpace also provides a service and smartphone app to enable loss adjustors in the field to be able to collect information, such as photos and videos. By utilising space technologies such as GNSS, along with data compression technologies, this information can be accurately geo-located and timestamped and transmitted to a central location for use in settlement of claims. This service is designed to allow insurers and loss adjustors to have confidence in the trustworthiness of field-collected information.

This image shows the type of data that can be collected by an assessor in the field using an app.

The main advantage of the VeriSpace services is to increase the amount of timely information about an asset that can be accessed by those involved within the claims process. Using space assets in the risk exposure assessments, such as in catastrophic events, and in the verification of insured losses gives the advantage of global coverage, consistency and independence from terrestrial infrastructure.

Imagery can also be collected quickly after an event which provides a broader understanding of the situational information than other more traditional methods. The GNSS and Satcoms capabilities allow loss adjustors in the field to have the confidence that they can collect and transmit data with accurate positional information irrespective of the local infrastructure.

CGI is leading a team of specialists from the EO and Insurance Services sectors to define a sustainable, user-orientated service tailored to the needs of the Insurance and Reinsurance sectors.

These services will exploit the benefits of space technologies to make the insurance claims process more efficient. Our VeriSpace team has in-depth knowledge of the claims management business, wider insurance sector, space technologies and integrated downstream service development which is the ideal blend of expertise to realise the VeriSpace solution.

CGI led the initial Feasibility Study phase to a successful conclusion in December 2015. We are now preparing a proposal for a more in depth service demonstration, co-funded by ESA, CGI and its partners. During this demonstration phase the services will be developed and offered to insurance industry users, initially as pre-operational services. Find out more here