Why in news:
India has joined Europe’s mega global arrangement of sharing data from Earth observation satellites, called Copernicus, only in March 2018.
What is Copernicus Programme?
Copernicus is the world's largest single earth observation programme and is directed by the European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).
Copernicus is the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date. It will provide accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security.
Copernicus is the new name for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme, previously known as GMES.
ESA coordinates the delivery of data from upwards of 30 satellites. The EC, acting on behalf of the European Union, is responsible for the overall initiative, setting requirements and managing the services.
ESA is developing a new family of satellites, called Sentinels, specifically for the operational needs of the Copernicus programme.
The Sentinels will provide a unique set of observations, starting with the all-weather, day and night radar images from Sentinel-1A and -1B, launched respectively in April 2014 and April 2016.
Copernicus provides a unified system through which vast amounts of data are fed into a range of thematic information services designed to benefit the environment, the way we live, humanitarian needs and support effective policy-making for a more sustainable future.
These services fall into six main categories:
the marine environment,
It aims at achieving a global, continuous, autonomous, high quality, wide range Earth observation capacity.
Providing accurate, timely and easily accessible information to, among other things, improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change, and ensure civil security.
It follows and greatly expands on the work of the previous 2.3 billion euros European Envisat program which operated from 2002 to 2012.
Copernicus and India:
The Copernicus emergency response mapping system was activated on at least two Indian occasions — during the 2014 floods in Andhra Pradesh in October 2014 and after the 2013 storm in Odisha.
Under this arrangement, the European Commission intends to provide India with free, full and open access to the data from the Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites using high bandwidth connections. Reciprocally the Department of Space will provide the Copernicus programme and its participating states with a free, full and open access to the data from ISRO’s land, ocean and atmospheric series of civilian satellites (Oceansat-2, Megha-Tropiques, Scatsat-1, SARAL, INSAT-3D, INSAT-3DR) with the exception of commercial high-resolution satellites data.
The arrangement includes technical assistance for setting up high bandwidth connections with ISRO sites, mirror servers, data storage and archival facilities.
The space-based information will be used for :
providing emergency response and rescue of people during disasters;
to glean land, ocean data; and
for issues of security, agriculture, climate change and atmosphere.
In essence, Copernicus will help shape the future of our planet for the benefit of all. ESA is contributing by providing a proven framework for the development of operational systems on behalf of the user community, paving the way for investment in future generation systems.
ESA is exploiting its 30 years of expertise in space programme development and management to contribute to the success of Copernicus.