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Services overview

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ESA / Applications / Observing the Earth / Copernicus

Copernicus is all about delivering products and services to manage and protect the environment and natural resources, and ensure civil security.

The monitoring capacity of Copernicus will be used for the benefit of both Europe and the international community.

Copernicus will provide services for a range of different applications such as air-quality forecasting, flood warnings, early detection of drought and desertification, early warnings of severe weather, oil-spill detection and drift prediction, sea-water quality, crop analysis, forest monitoring, land-use change, agriculture, food security and humanitarian aid – to name but a few.

Copernicus services will provide essential information for six main domains: ocean, land and atmosphere monitoring, emergency response, security and climate change.

  • Services relevant to the marine environment include monitoring for marine safety and transport, oil-spill detection, water quality, weather forecasting and the polar environment.


  • Services relevant to the land environment include monitoring for water management, agriculture and food security, land-use change, forest monitoring, soil quality, urban planning and natural protection services.


  • Services relevant to the atmospheric include monitoring for air quality and ultraviolet radiation forecasts, greenhouse gases and climate forcing.


  • Services for emergency management response will help mitigating the effects of natural and manmade disasters such as floods, forest fires and earthquakes and contribute to humanitarian aid exercises.


  • Services for security will support peace-keeping efforts, maritime surveillance and border control.


  • Services for monitoring climate change cross-cut all of the above domains.


Copernicus services provide standardised multi-purpose information common to a broad range of application areas relevant to EU policies, many of which are implemented at national or regional levels aiming at sustainability.

The evolution of these services, through from research to being operational is continuing steadily. In each of the service areas, the range of products designed to meet the needs of identifiable groups of users is growing.

Development of products and services downstream of these Copernicus services is expected to serve specific national (or trans-national), regional or local information needs, as well as the needs of niche European and global markets.

In each thematic area, projects designed to explore the scope for downstream use in specialised areas have been launched, widening the range of Copernicus products available.

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