ExtremeEarth Use Cases

The ExtremeEarth technologies will be demonstrated in two use cases which will also be deployed in the Hops Data Platform.

For more than 20 years, Earth Observation satellites developed or operated by ESA have provided a wealth of data. In the coming years, the Sentinel missions, along with the Copernicus Contributing missions as well as Earth Explorers and other, Third Party missions will provide routine monitoring of our environment at the global scale, thereby delivering an unprecedented amount of data.

While the availability of the growing volume of environmental data from space represents a unique opportunity for science and applications, it also poses a major challenge to achieve its full potential in terms of data exploitation. In this context, ESA has started in 2014 the EO Exploitation Platforms (EPs) initiative, a set of R&D activities that in the first phase (2017) aims to create an ecosystem of interconnected Thematic Exploitation Platforms (TEPs).

A TEP is a collaborative, virtual work environment addressing a class of users and providing access to EO data, algorithms and computing/networking resources required to work with them, through one coherent interface. The fundamental principle of the TEPs is to move the user to the data and tools as opposed to the traditional approach of downloading, replicating, and exploiting data “at home”. Now the user community is present and visible in the platform, involved in its governance and and enabled to share and collaborate. There are currently 7 TEPs addressing the following application areas: coastal, forestry, hydrology, geohazards, polar, urban themes, and food security.

Food Security

All societal and economic activities depend on the availability of water, with the pressure on the water system only ever increasing with population growth and climate change. The Food Security Use Case with its focus on water availability thus has a wide range of societal and environmental implications. Water is one of our most precious commodities, and one that in many regions of the world is scarce and leads to many political conflicts, sometimes even to wars. Using the freshwater we have available in the most efficient, sustainable way and making sure everyone's needs are met will be one of the most pressing challenges of dealing with climate change in the next decades.

Polar Regions

The Polar Regions are important globally. They play an important role in regulating and driving the global climate, but are experiencing significant change. An associated effect is growing global interest in the Polar Regions both politically and economically. These new economic opportunities drive increased attention and traffic, which in turn raise widespread concern about impact on this delicate and pristine environment. It is essential to develop new tools to model, understand and monitor these changes. New information is vitally important in order to better predict and mitigate the resulting global economic and environmental consequences. It is also vitally important when developing regional and national policy, and monitoring their effectiveness. Sea ice information is used by operators involved in a broad range of activities in, or related to, ice-covered waters in the Polar Regions.