Definition of the requirements of the new Copernicus satellites

GMV is playing a key role in the Copernicus Global Monitoring for Environment and Security program, participating actively in various projects for both the ground and space segment.

Within the space component, the European Commission’s space data unit has recently established a framework contract with a GMV-led consortium, which aims to define second-generation satellite user requirements of this ambitious program, by means of which Europe is now building up its own earth-observation technology and capability.

Copernicus now comprises five satellite families: Sentinel-1, designed to ensure the continuity of ERS and Envisat radar data, Sentinel-2 and -3, dedicated to Earth and ocean monitoring; and Sentinel-4 and -5, which will be dedicated to meteorology and climatology missions, based on a study of the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere.


This new fleet of satellites is expected to provide a huge amount of fundamental images and data for the Copernicus program and offer a series of key services for a wide range of applications. The first action under this contract is therefore to launch a “call for interest” to gauge interest in participating in the definition of user requirements to guide the next generation of new Copernicus satellites (http: // ).

As a user-driven program Copernicus is bound to remain in constant evolution to make sure it addresses the needs of a great amount of users from many different fields. The aim of this “call for interest” is therefore to compile user needs. It will then serve as the first building block of a process aimed at defining the high-level requirements for the next generation of the Copernicus Space Component and the future generation of European satellites.

It is thus a unique opportunity to contribute to the creation of a “fil rouge” between this Space Component and the users. The survey data will be protected by Regulation 45/2001, which regulates processing of personal data by EU institutions. Registered users will be contacted by the contractor to find out the specific requirements they wish to bring up (e.g., application needs not covered by Copernicus, improvement of products, data access, instrument specs, etc.), doing so by means of technical questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, participation in thematic workshops, etc.

As well as leading the consortium, which also includes Spacetec Partners (Belgium), FDC (France) and Noveltis (France), GMV will also be responsible within the project for specifying mission requirements of the next Copernicus missions.