EUMETSAT is continuually exploring new and more efficient means of sharing its expertise and data amongst users and partners.
EUMETSAT is an Associate Member of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), an international industry consortium of 384 companies, government agencies and universities, participating in a consensus process to develop publicly-available interface standards.
OGC manages a global consensus process, that results in approved interface and encoding specifications which enable interoperability among, and between, diverse geospatial data stores, services, and applications. Its members include universities; Federal government agencies; local government agencies; earth imaging vendors; content providers; database software vendors; integrators; computing platform vendors, and other technology providers.
OGC facilitates agreements on OpenGIS® Standards for interfaces, schemas and architectures. Systems implementing OpenGIS standards can interoperate, thereby providing essential infrastructure, and a network of geospatial resources, that is thoroughly integrated into the Web. OpenGIS® Standards support interoperable solutions that 'geo-enable' the Web via wireless and location-based services; and mainstream IT. These standards empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services available across multiple applications.
As an example, the Product Navigator is the online access point to all EUMETSAT services and data, where users employ various tools provided within the web-based interface to search across metadata attributes. A number of combinations, such as spatial extent, content type, data format and keywords can be used for query definitions. By applying OGC's interoperable interface specifications users can discover, search and order, or subscribe, to EUMETSAT data from partner agencies, in turn enabling partner agencies to gain access to EUMETSAT services.
Heterogeneous Missions Accessibility (HMA) is to establish harmonised access to heterogeneous Earth Observation (EO) missions’ data from multiple mission ground segments, including national missions and Sentinel missions. HMA's goal is to standardise the ground segment interfaces of the satellite missions to enable easier access to EO data. HMA is managed by the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) organisation — the European programme for the implementation of information services to support decisions concerning environment and security.
The Need for Standardisation
The number of missions contributing to establish the necessary observation capacity over Europe, for critical services, can easily go above a dozen for each service. To reduce the burden for the planners and operators, a high level of interoperability across the mission ground segments must be established.
The current standardisation of ground segment interfaces for EO missions is summarised in the figure below, where the interactions between ground and satellite are schematically described. The interoperable interfaces indicated in italics are those defined within the HMA project. In order to keep the figure simple, a single mission ground segment is described, although HMA work addresses a multi-mission (and as well multi-constellation) context.
Partnership with EUMETSAT
EUMETSAT is a partner in the HMA project, helping ensure reliable data access and interoperability between meteorological missions. EUMETSAT has full voting rights within the HMA architectural structure.
The HMA project focuses on defining and providing five interfaces:
EUMETSAT currently provides interfaces 1,2 and 5 via HMA Portal. Pending further agreements, HMA partners' data may be made accessible via the operational EUMETSAT EO Portal.
Rapid and reliable access to time-sensitive information is a significant strategic resource for any community. The Earth Observation (EO) interoperability benefits are linked to the following high-level objectives:
GMES is also the European contribution to the worldwide monitoring and management of the environment within the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). GEO's goal is to address the information requirements for the environment on a global scale. This will be achieved via a 10-year implementation plan of an integrated Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).