Copernicus – European Union’s Earth Observation and Monitoring Programme and Indian fleet of Remote Sensing Satellites will now be sharing Earth Observation Satellite Data to allow the benefits to extend beyond the borders of the partners, as per a landmark Cooperation Arrangement signed on March 19, 2018 at Bengaluru between European Commission (EC) and India’s Department of Space (DOS), with the aim to strengthen and stimulate cooperation on Earth observation and mutual access to the data from the European Union’s Sentinel series of satellites and from the Indian Earth observation satellites.
According to Philippe Brunet, Director for Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence, Copernicus programme has also signed in March 2018 Cooperation Arrangements with Brazil, Chile and Colombia besides India, following those already in place with the United States and Australia, now one-third of the world’s population has privileged access through high bandwidth connections to Copernicus free and open data and information. These agreements are important because Earth Observation open data has become a tool of economic development which can benefit EU and partner countries businesses and entrepreneurs through increased collaboration and partnerships
Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), provides a wide range of applications, e.g. climate change, land, ocean and atmosphere monitoring as well as support in the forecasting, management and mitigation of natural disasters.
India has a developed ambitious and wide-ranging Earth Observation Programme which is managed by the Department of Space of India and implemented by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Under the Cooperation Arrangement:
Copernicus provides a unified system through which vast amounts of data are fed into a range of thematic information services designed to benefit the environment, the way we live, humanitarian needs and support effective policy-making for a more sustainable future.
Copernicus, a leading provider of Earth observation data across the globe, already helps save lives at sea, improves our response to natural disasters such as earthquakes, forest fires or floods, and allows farmers to better manage their crops, collects data from Earth observation satellites and ground stations, airborne and sea-borne sensors. The benefits of the Copernicus programme extend globally.
European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre had activated Copernicus Emergency mapping service for damage extent delineation maps following the severe floods which affected the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh in October 2014 and after a tropical storm that affected the State of Odisha in 2013.
Copernicus processes data and provides users with reliable and up-to-date information through a set of services that fall into six main categories: Land Management, Marine Environment, Atmosphere, Emergency Response, Security and Climate Change. These services are operational and are enabled by the Earth observation data from the six Copernicus Sentinel satellites currently in orbit, as well as a number of contribution missions from other operators.
In essence, Copernicus will help shape the future of our planet for the benefit of all. European Space Agency (ESA) is contributing by providing a proven framework for the development of operational systems on behalf of the user community, paving the way for investment in future generation systems. ESA is exploiting its 30 years of expertise in space programme development and management to contribute to the success of Copernicus.
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