The ESA and Copernicus Ground Segments team is part of the DFD International Ground Segment department and one of the components in a European wide distributed network of reception, archiving and processing centers. On behalf of ESA it operates the German Processing and Archiving Facility (D-PAF) for the ERS missions and the German Processing and Archiving Center (D-PAC) for the ENVISAT mission. In addition, it is also increasingly processing data for other mission operators (so-called “third party missions”).
As part of the ESA Oxygen initiative, since 2005 mission-specific infrastructures are being replaced by the ESA Multi-Mission Facility Infrastructure (MMFI). As Prime Contractor DFD decisively contributed to the associated software development and integration phase. As of 2009 data from the following missions are being continuously generated and distributed:
ESA Envisat Mission :
ESA ERS Mission:
Geoeye IKONOS Mission
Seaspace MODIS on Terra and Aqua
In 2011 the team submitted a successful bid in response to the ESA call for tenders for the Sentinel-PAC within the framework of ESA’s Sentinel Payload Data Ground Segment (PDGS). After a development and commissioning phase during 2012 – 2014, the Sentinel-1A Processing and Archiving Center (PAC) entered the operational phase in 2015. In July 2016 the operational phase began for the Sentinel-1B satellite and for Sentinel-3A OLCI data. According to present plans the Sentinel-PAC will be complete in March 2018 when Sentinel-3B is launched into orbit.
With the Sentinel satellite fleet, earth observation data of a new order of magnitude are being collected. Three and a half years after the launch of the first Sentinel satellite, the Sentinel-PAC at EOC has already processed and archived over three million data sets. They represent a volume of data exceeding 4900 terabytes (4.8 petabytes). Over ten terabytes of new data arrive daily, and all data are being safely preserved in the Long Term Archive (LTA) for addressing future science challenges.