9, February 2022

ESA Open Invitation to Tender: 1-10983
Open Date: 09/02/2022 12:05 CEST
Closing Date: 23/03/2022 13:00 CEST

The Earthnet Programme provides the framework for “integrating” non-ESA missions (Third Party Missions) in the overall ESA Earth Observation (EO) strategy, allowing data access and supporting the development of new research and applications. Earthnet has continuously integrated over the last years an increasing number of TPMs, at a constant level of funding: in the current Earthnet Phase, data from 28 missions with 56 individual satellites (historic and operational missions) have been maintained, transferred where relevant to LTDP and made available to users. 50% of those missions are of European origin, the other 50% are international, mainly from Canada, US, Japan, India, South Korea.In the recent years, the Earth Observation capacity from space is growing extremely quick withthe multiplication of national, private, or Agencies missions; in particular the domain of high-resolution optical sensors and SAR (synthetic Aperture Radar) is exploding. The “New Space players” are now playing a central role in the EO international strategy. The global space panorama and the EO sector in particular have evolved into a highly dynamic and competitive environment. Some of these new missions are potential candidates for TPM or for Contributing Missions.As EO system architect in Europe, ESA needs to assessthe quality and the suitability of these missions. Also, this involvement in quality assessment would allow establishing a dialog with the mission provider in order to improve the overall coherence of the EO system and interoperability. This is in line with the objective of the Earthnet Programme: “Earthnet will continue to foster the cooperation with other Space Agencies and mission operators to provide data access to all active and already approved TPMs being implemented right now and for which agreements for the futureare being anticipated”. In particular, the aspect related to data quality in general (e.g. data content assessment, calibration, validation, characterisation), following QA4EO guidelines, being a major component of the system, must be taken under high consideration. In addition, there is a growing need for Earthnet to strengthen the European capacity in assessing EO data quality in a multi-mission environment. This horizontal core role of Earthnet will be essential to allow interoperability across missions to foster synergies, to build Cal/Val capacity and knowledge in the TPMs and to facilitate both novel and evolution of existing applications.Inthis context, this activity aims at providing a cluster of expertise in various domains in order to perform quality assessment and the related capacity building in TPM framework especially for future missions. The domains of expertise cover Optical Sensor, SAR sensors and Atmospheric missions. The cluster of expertise will have to provide technical reports on data quality from various missions. Some missions are already identified; some other missions will be identified in the course of the project. In addition, specific studies related to data quality applicable to across missions will be asked.

Directorate: Directorate of EO Programmes
Estabilishment: ESRIN
ECOS Required: No
Classified: No
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Authorised Contact Person: Dora Tamas
Initiating Service: EOP-GMQ
IP Measure: N/A
Prog. Reference: E/0078-00 – Earthnet
Tender Type: Open Competition
Technology Keywords: 2-E-I-Data and Information Processing and Exploitation
Products Keywords: 4-A-4-Other

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