11 December 2018 – Telespazio VEGA UK, a 67/33% joint venture between Leonardo and Thales, has won a major €6.8m Framework Contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to support its initiative to foster an ecosystem of IT platforms enabling the wider exploitation of Earth Observation (EO) data for the benefit of society.
The goal of the “Common Architecture” activity is to define and agree the technical interfaces for the future exploitation of EO data in a distributed computing environment. The Common Architecture will provide the interfaces to facilitate the federation of different EO resources into a “Network of EO Resources”. The Architecture will be defined using open interfaces that link the different resources so that a user can efficiently access and consume the various services to fulfil their needs.
In the initial 2-year programme, Telespazio VEGA UK will lead the definition of the Common Architecture through an open process of public discussion and consensus building with the relevant stakeholders. The resulting reference architecture will aim to meet a broad set of use cases covering Federated Identity Management, Processing & Chaining, and Data Access & Management. Leveraging free and open source software, a reusable Reference Implementation will be developed and deployed operationally, to act as a validation of the architecture and to provide a ready-made solution to third parties wishing to develop and integrate an exploitation platform.
The Telespazio VEGA UK-led consortium will combine system level technical expertise with knowledge of the key technology domain areas. It will also build on its existing wide network to engage with the many scientific/academic, public sector and commercial stakeholders.
Marco Folino, CEO of Telespazio VEGA UK, said: “It is an exciting time for Earth Observation with a wealth of free and open data becoming available from satellites such as the Copernicus Sentinel fleet. We are very excited to lead this important initiative on behalf of ESA, and look forward to our role in providing technical thought leadership and overall management of the definition of the Common Architecture.”
Günther Landgraf, Head of Digital Platforms Section, Directorate of EO Programmes, ESA said: “This activity puts UK industry into a highly visible and strategic position on the EO Digital Platform Economy. We expect Telespazio VEGA UK to make best leverage of this to act as a leader at global level with an important impact on the overall architecture and vision.”