Operational earth observation missions continuously generate huge quantities of satellite data representing the momentary condition of the land surface, the oceans and the atmosphere of our planet. These so-called payload data are received, archived and processed around the clock, and are used to generate a wide range of value-added information products reflecting spatial and temporal relationships. They are made available for the most varied applications, examples being surface temperature maps, digital elevation models, ozone concentration maps and multispectral images.
The Data Information and Management System (DIMS) was developed to handle the data accumulating in such quantities and diversity from DFD earth observation missions. Emphasis is not only placed on controlling the processes of product generation (data processing), but also on the long-term archiving of all earth observation data in order to preserve this valuable legacy for future generations. Efficient and uniform operation of several missions in parallel within one system and the continuous integration of new missions are additional important aspects of the work of this team.
Via the interactive Web interface EOWEB, DIMS makes it possible for the user community to search for and order data products. The team also develops and operates Web mapping services which permit access using standardized systems interfaces and direct use of the data, for example in geoinformation systems. In cooperation with the European Space Agency ESA, internationally harmonized access to earth observation mission data for use in the European program Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) is being realized.
The management of payload data is an essential task for the ground segments of earth observation missions and it involves important interfaces to mission planning, satellite control, data reception and data use parties. Therefore, agreements with all the working groups involved are particularly required when planning new missions. Processes need to be analyzed, requirements and constraints understood, and interfaces and data structures coordinated. After this foundation has been laid, the team develops modular software components and systems configurations and carries out extensive verification testing. Finally, the results are incorporated in the routine processes of multimission operations.