Several thousand users and organisations worldwide look to ESRIN to supply the data they need to carry out their work. Among these organisations are: the United Nations, the European Commission, NGOs, universities, research institutes, local authorities and commercial entities.
ESRIN acts as a central access point for users of Earth Observation data for many different missions. It also provides access to a complicated distributed ground segment. For ESA satellites ESRIN offers a complete end-to-end service. For Third Party Missions the service ESA can provide depends on the agreement made with the agency responsible for the satellite.
User Services ensures a user-friendly interface between the satellite system and users. This entails catering for users’ needs in terms of information and products, and translating those needs into system operating plans and product orders. An estimated 58,000 products are ordered each year by around 8500 users.
Potential users with a new scientific project for which they require data first have to obtain approval for the project to ensure that the research complies with ESA policy. Once approved, the project is registered and assistance is given to obtain the data needed. Data required for research purposes are freely available with a small fee to cover reproduction costs. For commercial and operational purposes, data can be obtained from a network of distributors.
Services provided to users include:
- the EO Help Desk
- mission planning and production
- systems maintenance
- on-line information services:
- description of data products,
- information on ESA and all other Earth Observation missions
- access to data and catalogues
- remote sensing library
- software tools
User services also assist with mission planning. Based on orders and requests from users they decide how best to task the Earth Observation satellite to provide the requested data. Once the data are available, they are sent either via the internet or by CD or DVD.
Information on the data products and how to access them are available online on the Earth Observation Earthnet on line website. In addition, the EO Help Desk is available as a first point of call for those who want to acquire data, have problems accessing data or have new ideas for the use of data.
Members of the Help Desk team help users understand the various data sets available, how to obtain them, and can provide pointers to many other related information, for example the software tools to process them..
The Earth Observation Help Desk can be contacted online and by phone
Tel: +39 06 94180777