5 December 2018 – As part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) initiative to integrate non-ESA missions into its overall Earth Observation strategy, Telespazio VEGA UK, a subsidiary of Telespazio, a 67/33% joint venture between Leonardo and Thales, has won a contract to lead a consortium to provide early data quality assessments of existing or future EO missions from national and commercial providers.
The consortium provides leading expertise across a number of instrument-specific domains covering Optical Sensors, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Atmospheric missions, and will provide a detailed quality assessment of the data-sets that follow accepted principles of best practice.
Providing information in the data itself, on characteristics such as the uncertainty of the measurements or traceability of how the observations were derived, is critical information for end-users. It helps them to make informed decisions on whether a data-set is fit-for-purpose for a particular application or decision-making process. Also, having a consistent methodology to assess mission data across the sensor types allows fair assessments to take place.
The list of mission providers to be involved in the assessments include major existing and upcoming commercial initiatives from Planet, Earth-i, ICEYE and BlackSky; as well as national initiatives such as SAOCOM and Landsat.
The two-year programme will also involve a series of workshops where principles of data quality best practice can be openly shared to guide both active and future mission providers in introducing the concepts in their data-sets.
Marco Folino, CEO of Telespazio VEGA UK, said: “It is an exciting time for earth observation with a wealth of new satellites emerging from the NewSpace market place. We are very excited to lead this new service on behalf of ESA, and look forward to our role in providing critically important quality assessment which underpins the use of data in decision-making processes.”