Estonia signed up to Sentinel Agreement

Anu Reinart | 19.09.2016

On 13 September 2016 ESA and Enterprise Estonia signed an arrangement that gives Estonia, one of ESA's newest Member States, access to data from the Copernicus Sentinel satellites.

Sentinel agreement between ESA and Estonia is signed in September 2016. Photo: ESA 

With four Copernicus satellites – Sentinel-1A, Sentinel-1B, Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-3A – now in orbit, a wealth of complementary imagery and data is being delivered for the Copernicus services.

Led by the EC, the Copernicus programme was put in place to manage the environment and respond to the challenges of a changing world. As part of the programme, ESA is responsible for the 'space component', which not only includes the Sentinel satellites, but also the network of receiving stations and processing centres through which data are made available for the range of Copernicus services.

Estonia is a new ESA Member State, formally joining the Agency in September 2015. While data from the Sentinel satellites and missions contributing to the Copernicus programme are freely accessible for the Copernicus services, as well as to scientific and other users, the Collaborative Ground Segment Agreement signed today will facilitate Sentinel data exploitation in Estonia.

The agreement was signed by Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, and Madis Võõras, Head of the Space Office Enterprise Estonia. It not only guarantees that Estonia has access to data, but also ensures that ESA provides technical advice on setting up data acquisition and dissemination, and makes data processing and archiving software available to national initiatives.

Josef Aschbacher said, “We are thrilled to welcome Estonia to our expanding collaborative agreement and this is another important step for Copernicus. “We are looking forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to a country that is already strong in Earth observation science, applications and data processing.”

Madis Võõras added, “Today marks an important milestone for Estonia. We have many areas of interest, such as agriculture, forestry and maritime surveillance, to name but a few, which will greatly benefit from this cooperation.”

Estonia is the 12th state to sign the agreement following Greece, Norway, Italy, Finland, Germany, France, UK, Sweden and Canada.

The researchers of Tartu Observatory have conducted the scientific research in Earth Observation for many years, developed algorythms based on Coprnicus data in the frames of international reserach projects  (WATERS, GLaSS, FORMIT, MULTIPLY), and trained users both in public sector and in business.

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