Accessing Copernicus Data Made Easier

Thanks to the European Union’s Copernicus programme, vast quantities of satellite data are freely available to manage the environment and benefit European citizens. While this offers a wealth of opportunities, downloading and storing these data involves some complex logistical challenges – but this is about to change.

With such a lot of data available, the European Commission is making efforts to make sure that the process of accessing these data and information is easier so that issues associated with downloading and storing can be avoided.

Brussels from Copernicus Sentinel-1
Source: ESA Observing the Earth

To this end, the European Commission launched the Copernicus Data and Information Access Services (DIAS).

Following a tender and evaluation process, ESA, acting on behalf of the European Commission, has now signed DIAS contracts with four industrial consortia. DIAS will give unlimited, free and complete access to Copernicus data and information.

DIAS provides a scalable computing and storage environment for third parties. Third parties will be empowered to offer advanced value-adding services integrating Copernicus with their own data and tools to the benefit of their own users.

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Farewell to GOES-13: The History of NOAA’s Former GOES East Satellite

For more than seven years, NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite has been actively monitoring the skies over the Western Hemisphere, serving as a critical source of information during major U.S. weather events, from crippling snowstorms to powerful hurricanes. Here’s a look back at the satellite’s unique history and its most memorable imagery.

GOES-13 views Hurricane Gonzalo in the Caribbean and active weather across the western and central North Atlantic on October 14, 2014.
Source: NOAA

When GOES-13 was first launched aboard a Boeing Delta-IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in May 2006, the spacecraft joined a new generation of satellites known as the GOES-N,O,P series. These satellites were designed with a longer lifespan than their predecessors, and would carry enough fuel to operate for nearly 14 years.
With faster data processing, GOES-13 could pinpoint the location of severe storms and other weather phenomena with increased accuracy, allowing forecasters to provide timelier warnings to the public. The satellite’s imager and sounder sensors could take more precise vertical measurements of the Earth’s atmosphere, which enabled the satellite to track major weather events such as hurricanes and tropical cyclones in near-real time.

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