Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), announces the signature of the Provision of Copernicus WEkEO 2.0 Services and Operations contract with the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), representing the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), Mercator Ocean International (MOI) and the European Environment Agency (EEA), all together called the WEkEO Partners, for the provision of cloud computing and related services for the WEkEO 2.0 platform. This system will replace the current WEkEO Data Information and Access Services (DIAS) financed by the European Commission and will provide a fast, secured streamline access to data and products from Europe’s Copernicus Earth observation program and other Environmental Services.
The WEkEO platform is an important gateway to harnessing the power of key environmental space-based data. Not only does it provide free and open access to data from the Sentinel constellation, as well as data and products from the four Copernicus Services focused on environmental data (marine, atmosphere, climate and land), it also provides free (and paid) access to powerful virtual processing environments that allow users to transform data. Entrepreneurs, researchers or any interested citizen can use the WEkEO platform to develop an added-value application, develop models and transform data, or simply explore Copernicus space-based data and data derived from in situ technology and models.
The WEkEO v1 platform, today in operations with a Service Level Agreement of 99,70%, has been successfully operated by Thales Alenia Space and CloudFerro since 2019 and has been deployed over three countries in Europe (Germany, Italia and Poland) mixing private and public cloud infrastructures.
The WEkEO 2.0 contract provides for the replacement of WEkEO v1 by a brand-new, state-of-the-art WEkEO 2.0 platform, providing continuity and stability of the WEkEO services for the years to come. It covers the “as a service” provisioning of the computing, storage and network virtual infrastructure as well as data access and hosted processing capabilities. The new platform will offer enhanced capabilities to the WEkEO users, such as Serverless functions allowing to perform on-demand processing close to the data and also, the hybridization with High Performance Computing (HPC) allowing to perform complex and massive high speed data processing. Thales Alenia Space will seamlessly guarantee a smooth transition to current WEkEO users to the new platform by the end of 2023.
WEkEO data viewer
The new contract demonstrates the Service Excellence provided by Thales Alenia Space and its partners for WEkEO v1, which is now used by more than 14,000 users, providing access to over 410 data sets from EUMETSAT and WEkEO partners. The new WEkEO 2.0 platform will benefit from Thales Alenia Space’s Ground Segment product line policy, and in particular its GeoDataCenter solution, a data processing and services platform specifically developed for new entrants to the Earth Observation domain.
Thales Alenia Space is the leader of the consortium composed of WEkEO v1 recognized players: CloudFerro, Orange Business Services, GMV as well as two new partners, CGI and MEEO.
Bertrand Denis, VP Observation & Science Domain at Thales Alenia Space, said : “Thales Alenia Space is delighted to be once again selected by EUMETSAT to continue the operation of WEkEO 2.0, confirming their trust in our capabilities to design, deploy and operate such advanced Data Information & Access Service platform. This new platform will embed major evolutions which will enhance WEkEO users experience, and will keep streamlining access to Copernicus, EUMETSAT and WEkEO partners data and products. Completing our Space systems offering by cutting-edge solutions on Ground Segments is a key element of our growth strategy in the domain of Earth Observation, and we are proud to have EUMETSAT’s trust in this approach.”
The European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites is an intergovernmental organization based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently associating 30 Member States. Its main task is the implementation of European satellite meteorological observation systems and sharing data with partners. At the request of the European Commission, as part of the Copernicus project, EUMETSAT together with the European Space Agency implements a project of using satellite data for the monitoring of the atmosphere, oceans and climate change.
The European Center for Medium-Term Forecasts is an independent intergovernmental organization cooperating with 34 countries. The ECMWF is also a research institute and an institution preparing and disseminating numerical weather forecasts for member states. For the European Commission, the ECMWF performs atmosphere monitoring as part of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring System and climate change monitoring (Copernicus Climate Change Service).
Mercator Océan International
It is a private, non-profit company based in France, near Toulouse. Mercator Ocean International deals with the creation of meteorological forecasting systems based on ocean data. The company cooperates with many scientific and research institutions, and for the European Commission it implements the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service project.
European Environment Agency
Agency of the European Union (EU), founded in 1994, the EEA delivers knowledge and data to support Europe’s environment and climate goals.