European Space Agency (ESA)
ESA is one of the few space agencies in the world to combine responsibility in all areas of space activity like Space science, Human spaceflight, Exploration, Earth observation, Launchers, etc. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe. Agency’s projects are designed to find out more about the Earth, its immediate space environment, the solar system and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries.
Focussing on Earth Observation, ESA is running since more than 30 years Earth Observation (EO) missions operations through the management, development and operations of Ground Segments and is therefore a major producer of EO data. ESRIN is the ESA establishment dealing with the development and operations of the Payload Data Ground Segments of ESA and other several Third Party EO missions and of their exploitation activities. ESRIN is therefore responsible of the management of EO satellite data acquisition, processing, archiving and distribution to end users. ESA is coordinating a European Earth Observation (EO) LTDP initiative aiming at ensuring a coherent and efficient preservation of all European Earth Observation data and in creating a collaborative framework among EO data owners and archive holders for the benefit of European users and countries. This initiative includes research aspects related to technology, interoperability, standardization and quality in the Earth Observation space data domain and is supported through an ESA LTDP Programme approved for an initial period of three years. One of the main outcomes of the ongoing coordination activities has been the generation and issue of a set of LTDP Common Guidelines, reviewed by all European EO data owners and archive holders, to be applied to guarantee the preservation of EO data.
In addition to the experience gained in several years of EO data management and to the LTDP Programme activities and research in the field of digital data preservation, ESA has also participated to several EC projects including among others: EC-FP6-IST DILIGENT (digital library infrastructure on grid enabled technology) building an advanced test-bed integrating Grid and Digital Library technologies, EC-FP6-IST CASPAR building a pioneering framework to support end-to-end preservation for scientific, artistic and cultural digital information, PARSE.Insight concerned with the preservation of digital information in science, GENESI-DR (Ground European Network for ES Interoperations – Digital Repositories) establishing open Earth Science Digital Repository access for European and world-wide science users to seamlessly access and share all data, information, and several others.