An international consortium of companies and institutions, including Creotech Instruments S.A., a leading Polish space sector company, is working on an advanced platform dedicated to Intermarium states providing access to a vast amount of satellite data collected by European satellites.
Projects pursued by the so-called Intermarium states, i.e. countries lying between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black seas, typically involve political, energy and infrastructure initiatives. One effort aiming to strengthen the cooperation within the region is a plan to build a gas pipeline between the Polish gas terminal in Świnoujście and a similar facility under construction on the Croatian island of Krk (the so-called North-South Gas Corridor). States belonging to Intermarium also want to tighten integration by investing in Via Carpatia, an international route set to run through Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and reach the seaports in Greek Thessaloniki.
However, integration within the Intermarium sphere will go even further thanks to the EO4SEE (Earth Observation for South East Europe) project commissioned by the European Space Agency.
“The project aims to create the right environment to fully leverage the potential offered by the huge amount of satellite data related to South-East Europe collected over the last 20 years by the satellites deployed by the European Space Agency. The platform will be based on the EO Cloud infrastructure built by us, which has been providing services for ESA and commercial clients since October 2016,” said Grzegorz Brona, PhD, President of the Management Board of Creotech Instruments S.A.
Cosmic Big Data
Having been in orbit for many years, the European Space Agency’s satellites collect vast amounts of data every day. Instruments from the Sentinel family, built and successively sent into space, open up entirely new possibilities for Europe. Fully leveraging the research and business potential of satellite data requires tools enabling the processing and analysis of data obtained in orbit.
Currently, the sheer volume of information is so large that analyzing and processing it with existing tools previously is simply ineffective. In 2014, the European Space Agency launched the EO Exploitation Platform (EPs), which by 2017 will see the creation in Europe of an ecosystem of thematic platforms that allow for the processing and analysis of huge amounts of data from ESA satellites using Big Data analysis tools.
“EO4SEE will deliver a work environment offering convenient access to satellite data related to the region, as well as tools to assist in its processing for such purposes as flood risk management and prevention, monitoring and detection of environmental hazards, management of protected areas and natural resources. The platform will also facilitate integrated coastal zone management and will provide technical support in the field of archaeological research and cultural heritage management,” said Grzegorz Brona.
International consortium and Polish key cloud infrastructure
The platform will be built by a consortium consisting of entities from the Czech Republic, Romania and Poland, led by Romania’s Terrasigna. It will rely on the EO Cloud platform, i.e. a repository of satellite data bundled with a computing cloud, successfully launched last year and consistently developed in Poland by Creotech Instruments and CloudFerro.
“The creators of the EO Cloud Platform, Creotech Instruments and CloudFerro, built a cloud infrastructure that allows for the storage and processing of huge amounts of data transmitted by ESA’s Earth Observation satellites,” said Vasile Craciunescu from Romania’s Terrasigna, the company responsible for for the project. “Our partnership within the EO4SEE project started very smoothly and we are confident that EO Cloud is crtitical to the success of our project,” added Craciunescu.
Leader of the Polish space sector
As the Polish space sector leader, Croetech Instruments S.A. is involved in a number of space projects commissioned by the European Space Agency, of which Poland is a member.
– The artificial satellite sent to Mars as part of the ExoMars2016 mission, which entered orbit around the Red Planet in October 2016, features electronic components made by Creotech.
– The company recently launched its pioneering EO Cloud platform, which combines a vast repository of archive and recent satellite data with a computing cloud that allows for processing large amounts of data stored on EO Cloud servers from the comfort of one’s desk. The solution is offered to companies and institutions worldwide and is Europe’s only tool of this type.
– Creotech also leads the consortium managing the project to build SAT-AIS-PL, Poland’s first utility satellite and the most complex and advanced space project ever tackled by a Polish company.
– The Polish company is also involved in PROBA-3, a mission aiming to deepen our understanding of the outer layers of the Sun’s atmosphere, i.e. the solar corona. In November 2015, the company signed a contract worth PLN 3 million with the European Space Agency to design and assemble a coronograph computer and elements of ground-based auxiliary electrical equipment for PROBA-3.