Contracts signed for the distribution of Earth observation data

26 October 2000

A year ago ESA Member States approved a new policy for distributing data from ERS and Envisat missions, aimed at maximising their beneficial use in science, and in commercial and public applications.

ESA has now signed contracts with two consortia for the worldwide distribution and marketing of ERS and Envisat data, and the development of the derived services.

Through these contracts responsibility for the interface for the operational and commercial use, primarily of the ERS and Envisat high bit rate data from the SAR, ASAR and MERIS instruments, is delegated by ESA to:

  • EMMA consortium members Eurimage as Master Distributor, and ASI (Italy), Astrium (Germany), DERA (UK), DLR (Germany), NRSC (UK) and Telespazio (Italy).
  • SARCOM including consortium members Spot Image (France), Geoserve BV, (the Netherlands), NLR (the Netherlands), NPA Group (UK), Radarsat International (Canada), Satellus (Sweden), Spot Asia (Singapore) and Tromsoe Satellite Station (Norway).

Both consortia complement their services through agreements with other business partners. In order to meet their business plans, with immediate effect the consortia will establish their own independent price, marketing and service policies. These may well cover all data use from commerce to science as well as services well beyond those offered by ESA.

A contract with the Canada Center of Remote Sensing (CCRS) for a fast delivery data service to selected Canadian Governmental agencies, such as the Canadian Ice Service, is expected to be signed within the coming weeks.

ESA will continue to directly offer data from ERS, and in future from Envisat, for use in approved scientific research projects.

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