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October Space news roundup

Published: 20 Oct 2021

Copernicus programme

Serco Italy has been awarded two new contracts with the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of Copernicus, the European Union's Earth Observation Programme. Copernicus looks at our planet and its environment for the benefit of Europe's citizens and offer information services based on Earth observation satellites data (the Sentinels family) and in-situ (non-space) observations.  

Serco is actively involved in the Copernicus operations as part of several services, and is acting as the prime contractor to ESA for the management of the Copernicus Open Access Hub, which provides free and open access to the Sentinels user products. 

In addition, Serco has supported a major transformation of the Sentinel Data Access System by launching a new interface for the retrieval of historic data from the ONDA DIAS infrastructure, which is also managed by Serco.

Reuse of INDIGO services for HPCMs operations – Prototype contract

As part of this contract, Serco will lead a consortium including INFN and Alia Space. The Serco-led consortium will support ESA in the design and prototyping of an ecosystem of services which enable effective data exchange for Copernicus, while supporting the industry to reach self-sustainability.

Collaborative Data Hub Software – Maintenance and Evolution Services – ready for Digital Twin Earth contract

Serco Italy will lead a consortium consisting of GAEL systems, B-Open, CERTH ITI and Alia Space. The Serco-led consortium will be responsible for performing the maintenance and evolutions of the Data Hub Software (DHS) for the Sentinels Collaborative Ground Segments operations.

The Serco team responsible for Copernicus work have years of experience in the operations maintenance and evolutions of the Sentinels data distribution chain.  Guido Vingione, Serco Space Business Development Director says: “We are proud to have been selected by ESA for the delivery of these new services that will involve Serco in the definition of a new operations concept on sustainability and technological innovation."

2020 Annual Report on Copernicus Sentinel Data Access  

Serco Italy together with partners GAEL, NOA and GRNET, have recently delivered the Copernicus Sentinel Data Access for 2020 Annual Report as part of an ongoing contract. The report analyses the uptake of Copernicus Sentinel data, the performance of the Sentinel Data Access System and provides detailed statistics behind the numbers.  

Successful rebid

Engineering Service Support (ESS)

Serco Italy, as part of the consortium led by Rhea, has successfully rebid and been awarded the Engineering Service Support (ESS) Contract for the European Space Agency (ESA). Both Serco and Rhea have a long-standing experience in the field, this being the third time the contract has been awarded to the core consortium team.

The ESS (Payload Data Ground Segment Engineering Support Services) contract provides Engineering Services to the systems on the ground, known as Payload Data Ground Segments (PDGS), that manage data from Earth Observation satellites.  Each renewal of the contract takes the contract closer to fully outsourced service. 

In addition to these engineering activities, the contract provides critical support to ESA’s International Charter commitments, where satellite owners provide access to their satellites to support response to natural or manmade disasters. The Serco team provides on-call support to ensure that in case of emergency any relevant ESA satellite can be tasked to provide data to help relief efforts. This is an exciting contract where the successful collaboration between Serco and Rhea teams have proved their added value to ESA. 

Evolving contract

Serco Italy has been awarded the DAMPS Service contract by the European Space Agency (ESA). The new DAMPS – PDGS Data Archival, Management & Processing Services will be delivered as part of a consortium and will bring together the DSI (Data Information System) service, which Serco have successfully led for more than eight years, and the DAS service, currently led by ACRI-ST.

This new DAMPS contract marks the evolution of the existing DAS system, combining lessons learnt from the service with the integration of additional functions and services of the former DSI. The new DAMPS service will use archives to rapidly make satellite data available for processing, whilst securely preserving it in the archive. The combined use of archive and processing facilities ensures greater control and quicker access to data so to improve project speed and ensures early availability of the data to the user.