In situ data – information from sensors on the ground, in the sea, or in the air – is indispensable to the Copernicus programme, complementing and validating the “big picture” obtained from satellites.
Through its role as Entrusted Entity for the Copernicus In Situ Component, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has launched a set of activities aimed at mapping the landscape of in situ data providers, finding solutions to data gaps and common challenges for the Copernicus Services, and raising awareness of the many ways in which in situ data serves the Copernicus programme.
In support of these activities, the Copernicus In Situ Component just published a series of eleven online Fact Sheets highlighting the importance of in situ data for the Copernicus Services, and released a major update to the Copernicus In Situ website. The first Copernicus In Situ newsletter was delivered earlier this year, and interested readers can subscribe here to receive the next issue. The State of Play report on the Copernicus in situ component is expected to be released in Autumn 2017.
In situ data – an integrated part of the Copernicus programme
The Sentinel satellite data is a major contributor to the Copernicus programme. However, in order to effectively meet the needs of operational environment monitoring services, data from the surface of the Earth is required in order to complement data from space.
In the context of the Copernicus programme, the term “in situ” data (named using the Latin for “in position”, “local” or “on site”) is used to refer to non-space environmental measurements, collected from ground-based, sea-borne or air-borne monitoring systems. In situ data comes from sensors placed on the banks of rivers, carried through the air by weather balloons, pulled through the sea by ships, or ﬂoating in the ocean. For Copernicus, in situ data also includes geospatial reference data (e.g. maps of administrative boundaries) and ancillary data licensed or provided for use by the Copernicus Services.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has been entrusted with the coordination of the Copernicus In Situ component, under a Delegation Agreement signed in December 2014 with the European Commission. The EEA’s mandate includes monitoring the state of play of Copernicus in situ data, the operational provision of cross-cutting in situ data, managing partnerships with data providers, and supporting the European Commission, Copernicus Service Providers and the Entrusted Entities in overcoming challenges associated with accessing in situ data. Management of the in situ activities for Copernicus aligns with the Agency’s overall mandate to provide authoritative, independent information about the environment.
Fact Sheets and State-of-Play Report on the Copernicus In Situ component
The EEA has initiated a series of activities focusing on the two major domains of in situ observations and geospatial reference data. The activities are aimed at mapping the Copernicus in situ landscape and identifying cross-cutting areas in which intervention by the EEA could benefit multiple Copernicus Services.
The main initial output of this work will be an overarching State of Play Report, providing a thorough overview of the Copernicus in situ component and outlining the main gaps, issues and challenges in accessing in situ data for the Copernicus Services.
Leading up to this report, a set of eleven online Fact Sheets have been produced, summarising the in situ data requirements for each Copernicus service component.
The Fact Sheets have been developed in consultation with the Entrusted Entities of the Copernicus Services, and provide the basis for awareness-raising and action to ensure that the necessary high-priority datasets are made available to the programme.
Henrik Steen Andersen, who leads the EEA’s in situ coordination role, commented: “These fact sheets demonstrate which the most important in situ datasets are, and what is needed in order to make the most of the opportunities they offer. The Copernicus In Situ Component is built on partnerships, and the fact sheets will help highlighting the data provider’s important contributions and to pinpoint the action that will be needed among the partners in the initiative.”
The Fact Sheets for each service component are available online via the links below
Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service Fact Sheet
Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service Fact Sheet
Copernicus Land Monitoring Service – Local Component Fact Sheet
Copernicus Land Monitoring Service – Pan-European Component Fact Sheet
Copernicus Land Monitoring Service – Global Component Fact Sheet
Copernicus Climate Change Service Fact Sheet
Copernicus Emergency Management Service – Mapping Component Fact Sheet
Copernicus Emergency Management Service – Early Warning Component Fact Sheet
Copernicus Security Service – Border Surveillance Component Fact Sheet
Copernicus Security Service – Maritime Surveillance Component Fact Sheet
Copernicus Security Service – Support to External Action Component Fact Sheet
A new look for the Copernicus In Situ Component website
Coinciding with the release of the Fact Sheets, the website of the Copernicus In Situ Component has been updated, featuring a new design, additional content and a user-friendly structure. The state of play of the Copernicus In Situ Component will be centrally communicated on a dedicated section of the site, pending the release of the first State of Play report.
The website offers specific information for the two domains of environmental observations and geospatial reference data, and in the future will serve as a genuine “one-stop-shop” for accessing information about data across these domains. There is also a page dedicated to collecting information on the various data-sharing partnership agreements into which the Agency has entered.
The Copernicus In Situ Newsletter
The EEA launched a newsletter earlier this year to announce the latest developments from the Copernicus In Situ Component. The newsletter showcases the many ways in which in situ data is indispensable to the Copernicus programme, presents interviews with high-level stakeholders from the Copernicus community, and brings together news, events and opportunities from across the many communities linked to the Copernicus programme. You can subscribe to the Copernicus In Situ Newsletter here.
SOURCE: Copernicus website