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EUMETSAT to supply Chile with Copernicus data

Agreement will benefit citizens in Europe and South America

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A data-exchange agreement between Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, and the University of Chile will not only strengthen north-south ties but also bring direct benefits to European and South American citizens.

Last Updated

19 July 2021

Published on

05 July 2021

EUMETSAT will supply the University of Chile with data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 marine missions and, in return, the University of Chile will supply EUMETSAT with data from their Earth observation instruments.

A technical operating arrangement has been agreed between EUMETSAT and the University of Chile in the framework of the European Union’s Copernicus programme. It recognises that the EU and the Republic of Chile are pursuing Earth observation activities in areas of common interest and that sharing data provides mutual benefits.

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Aquaculture is a significant industry in Chile, particularly in the Los Lagos region. The image here, captured by the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) sensor aboard the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite, shows this region in March 2020. Sustainable management of this industry is intimately connected to an understanding of the environment. Substantial losses in aquaculture production can occur when water quality is poor as a result of natural processes or human activities. The colour of the water, as measured by satellite-based instruments like OLCI can provide monitoring indicators for operational management.

Under the agreement, EUMETSAT will provide the University of Chile with access to near-real-time marine data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 missions. EUMETSAT operates Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 and also processes and disseminates their marine data streams.

“Operational access to near-real-time Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 data on sea surface temperature, ocean colour and ocean altimetry will be particularly beneficial for Chile’s operational ocean monitoring capabilities,” Florencio Utreras Full Professor at the University of Chile and Manager of International Projects at the Centre for Mathematical Modelling said.

“The data from Sentinel-3 will contribute to understanding of the dynamics of Chile’s vast marine environment and the development of new applications and services such as the monitoring of harmful algal blooms or marine currents such as El Niño. The data from Sentinel-6 are just starting to be released, but we expect that they will that  contribute to improving medium-range weather forecasts and our understanding of the long-term changes currently happening along our 5,000km of coastline. ”

The University of Chile will provide Europe with access to geophysical, meteorological and other in-situ data collected by it and partner institutions.

“The in-situ data provided through the University of Chile will be particularly useful for assessing the quality of our satellite observations, and will allow the development of more products for users of Copernicus data,” EUMETSAT Director-General Phil Evans said.

“The marine data stream that EUMETSAT provides the Copernicus programme is used for a wide variety of purposes, from environmental monitoring to coastal planning, operational oceanography to climate monitoring.

“The data provided by the University of Chile and its partner organisations will help us ensure the accuracy of the data provided to Copernicus and will help users develop new and more applications.”


About the University of Chile

Founded in 1842, the University of Chile is the main and oldest institution of higher education in Chile. With a national and public character, the University plays a major role in research and higher education in the country and is considered one of best universities in Latin America. At the core of the University we find the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (FCFM - Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences) hosting the School of Engineering and several scientific and technological centres, among which the Centre for Mathematical Modelling (CMM - Center for Mathematical Modeling: http://www.cmm.uchile.cl), which became in 2004 the first International Research Laboratory of CRNS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France) and is considered among the best mathematical centres worldwide.

Following a long tradition of public service, the University, through the Centre for Mathematical Modelling operates, since September 2019, the first repository of Copernicus Data in Latin America which is collocated with the National Laboratory of High Performance Computing in Chile (NLHPC - National Laboratory for High Performance Computing: http://www.nlhpc.cl).

About EUMETSAT