COPERNICUS is the European contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) intitiative, formerly named Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES). Copernicus is, besides the satellite navigation initiative Galileo, the second flaggship of the European Space Policy. Its’ objective is to support European policies by providing satellite based information.
Observational Infrastructure of Copernicus consists of two main components:
- Space infrastructure – the space component shall ensure sustainable provision of satellite derived Earth observation data to all Copernicus services. The architecture of the component is derived from service requirements provided by the user communities. ESA and EUMETSAT are two main European actors in this area who should play the major role in co-ordination, implementation and operational running of the infrastructure.
- In-situ infrastructure – The in situ component is based on an observation infrastructure owned and operated by the large number of stakeholders coordinated, in some cases, in the frame of European or international networks. In situ observation activities and associated infrastructure derive from a range of national, EU and international regulatory requirements and agreements or form part of research processes. None was created to meet the needs of Copernicus, and they cover a much wider field than the Copernicusservices. By this reason European Environmental Agency was appointed to co-ordinate the consolidation of in-situ networks for Copernicus purposes.
In the framework of Copernicus the following domains are addressed:
- Land Environmental Services under Project geoland2
- Marine Environmental Services under Project MyOcean
- Support to Emergencies and Humanitarian Aid under Project SAFER
- Atmospheric Environmental Services under Project MACC
- Support to security-related activities under Project G-MOSAIC