The EarthCARE ground segment comprises flight operations, data acquisition, archiving and dissemination, and JAXA’s ground segment for processing the Cloud Profiling Radar data.
ESA’s Flight Operations Segment is in charge of spacecraft and orbit control and on-board software maintenance.
The facility is at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, DE. Operations are via the S-band ground station in Kiruna (SE) or Svalbard (NO).
ESA’s Payload Data Ground Segment is at ESA’s Centre for Earth Observation (ESRIN) in Frascati (IT) and is responsible for science data acquisition (via X-band downlink), processing and archiving. It will also handle data exchange with the JAXA ground segment and disseminates ESA and JAXA science data products to ESA’s data users.
The JAXA ground segment is responsible for the Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) Level 0 to Level-1 data processing and support to the CPR instrument calibration, operations and planning. It also produces Japanese science products, handles data exchange with the ESA Payload Data Ground Segment and disseminates JAXA and ESA science data products to JAXA’s data users.
The data volumes per orbit are significant. According to current estimates, the data product volume per orbit (92 minutes) would be in the order of 1.5GB for Level 0 data, 20 GB for Level 1 data and 55 GB for all recommended Level 2 data.
While Level 0 data will not be distributed outside the Agencies, Level 1 and Level 2 data will be made available by ESA to users according to ESA’s data policy.