Infoterra GmbH passes Operational Readiness Review – Maximum Efficiency of TerraSAR-X Data Delivery for ESA’s GMES Users
1st TanDEM-X Images (c) Infoterra DLR

Earth observation data experts from the European Space Agency (ESA) and its user community can now rely upon a very efficient access
to TerraSAR-X radar satellite data. Infoterra GmbH, the EADS Astrium subsidiary responsible for the commercial marketing of this satellite, has tailored the TerraSAR-X
data deliveries to ESA and its GMES users to the specific requirements of the Agency, minimizing administration effort and complying with ESA-specific procedures.

At the same time, Infoterra’s staff has been specifically trained for handling the GMES Space Component Data Access (GSC-DA) Programme requests, ensuring a maximum level of service quality and fast response times. Further, the necessary modifications to the German Aerospace Centre (DLR)’s TerraSAR-X ground segment have been implemented in parallel.

The adaptation of delivery standards to ESA requirements was part of the first phase of a contract Infoterra received in 2009: a € 2.4M framework agreement covering the delivery of TerraSAR-X radar satellite data to ESA’s GSC-DA user community.

Consequently, an interface allowing for a semi-automated product and metadata exchange between Infoterra’s commercial ground segment and ESA’s Coordinated Data
Access System (CDS) was put into operational service in June. With this implementation, Infoterra has successfully completed the first phase of the interface development activities within the CDS, which is a key element of the GSC-DA Programme.

The operational implementation of this interface is an important milestone towards establishing an efficient, client-oriented process that minimizes efforts and maximizes flexibility on the user’s side,“ says Juergen Janoth, the project manager responsible at Infoterra GmbH. He and his team have been working dedicatedly towards achieving this implementation in the past months, and are now proud to say that „TerraSAR-X is the second out of 14 missions to become operational for GSCDA operations, although we were actually the last to be kicked off in summer 2009.

Within Phase 2 of the programme (starting in 2010), the agency plans to install a harmonized data ordering interface that will enable ESA’s experts to directly assess and access the acquisition capabilities of all civil Earth observation missions involved.

About fjbehr

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Franz-Josef Behr, Professor of Geoinformatics at Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences ( His specializations include * Internet, Internet GIS * XML, GML, SVG * Data exchange and Interoperability * Visualization * Open Source Solutions * Consulting Member of the DIN working group NA 005-03-03 AA "Arbeitsausschuss Kartographie und Geoinformation" (Sp CEN/TC 287+ISO/TC 211). He is the author of two authoritative books on GIS in German, one is "Strategisches GIS-Management", published by Wichmann Verlag (2004). The second is "Einführung in Geographische Informationssysteme" (1997).

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