EUMETSAT to supply Chile with Copernicus data

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Published on 8 July 2021

A data-exchange agreement between Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, and the University of Chile will not only strengthen north-south ties but also bring direct benefits to European and South American citizens.

EUMETSAT will supply the University of Chile with data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 marine missions and, in return, the University of Chile will supply EUMETSAT with data from their Earth observation instruments.

A technical operating arrangement has been agreed between EUMETSAT and the University of Chile in the framework of the European Union’s Copernicus programme. It recognises that the EU and the Republic of Chile are pursuing Earth observation activities in areas of common interest and that sharing data provides mutual benefits.

Aquaculture is a significant industry in Chile, particularly in the Los Lagos region. The image here, captured by the Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) sensor aboard the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite, shows this region in March 2020. Sustainable management of this industry is intimately connected to an understanding of the environment. Substantial losses in aquaculture production can occur when water quality is poor as a result of natural processes or human activities. The colour of the water, as measured by satellite-based instruments like OLCI can provide monitoring indicators for operational management.

Under the agreement, EUMETSAT will provide the University of Chile with access to near-real-time marine data from the Copernicus Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 missions. EUMETSAT operates Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 and also processes and disseminates their marine data streams.

“Operational access to near-real-time Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 data on sea surface temperature, ocean colour and ocean altimetry will be particularly beneficial for Chile’s operational ocean monitoring capabilities,” Florencio Utreras Full Professor at the University of Chile and Manager of International Projects at the Centre for Mathematical Modelling said.

“The data from Sentinel-3 will contribute to understanding of the dynamics of Chile’s vast marine environment and the development of new applications and services such as the monitoring of harmful algal blooms or marine currents such as El Niño. The data from Sentinel-6 are just starting to be released, but we expect that they will that  contribute to improving medium-range weather forecasts and our understanding of the long-term changes currently happening along our 5,000km of coastline. ”

The University of Chile will provide Europe with access to geophysical, meteorological and other in-situ data collected by it and partner institutions.

“The in-situ data provided through the University of Chile will be particularly useful for assessing the quality of our satellite observations, and will allow the development of more products for users of Copernicus data,” EUMETSAT Director-General Phil Evans said.

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