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Scientific Exploitation of Copernicus – EO Research and Innovation supporting Societal Challenges
Convener: Michael Berger  | Co-Convener: Josef Aschbacher 
 / Fri, 02 May, 10:30–12:00
 / Attendance Thu, 01 May, 17:30–19:00

Copernicus (former GMES) will provide accurate, up-to-date and globally-available information on an operational basis for services and applications related to land, sea/ocean and atmospheric monitoring as well as to emergency response and security in support of European policies. Operational funding was recently secured with the European Union's Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 and a free and open Sentinel data policy has been proposed by ESA, subject to final adoption by European Union. On behalf of the European Union, the European Commission manages the overall programme and coordinates the Copernicus service component whereas the European Space Agency manages the Copernicus space component, and the European Environment Agency coordinates the Copernicus in-situ component.

The Copernicus space component comprises, in addition to a range of contributing missions, new dedicated missions, called the Sentinels, which are under development since 2007. The new Sentinel missions will feature radar and super-spectral imaging as well as ocean and atmospheric monitoring capacities. The first Sentinel missions are scheduled for launch in 2014.

The Sentinel missions are primarily designed to provide routine observations for operational services. However, considering their instrumentations with different spectral and spatial resolutions, the global coverage with high revisit times, and the long-term operational commitments, the Sentinel missions are also very attractive for studying and monitoring processes relevant for various scientific disciplines with time-scales spanning decades. Furthermore, the uptake of the data stream by the science communities is considered essential for improving existing services and/or developing new services, and thus supporting the evolution of the overall system. Consequently, the need for accompanying scientific exploitation programmes is well recognized by funding agencies. Appropriate coordination mechanisms are under discussion.

The session is intended to outline the status of the overall implementation of the system, to introduce scientific exploitation activities planned by ESA within its Living Planet Programme, and by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 programme and to outline ideas for coordinating these activities in the GEO context and together with national activities planned within the EU member states.