Canadian Government Data and Product Needs and Collaborative Ground Segment Preparations for the ESA Sentinels Missions
Flett, Dean1; Iris, Steve1; Cloutier, Caroline2; De Abreu, Roger2; Fernandes, Richard2; Bradley, David3; Gower, Jim4; Thibault, Diane1; Crocker, Gary2; Burbidge, Mark1; Park, Peter1
1Canadian Space Agency, CANADA; 2Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, CANADA; 3Environment Canada, CANADA; 4Fisheries and Oceans Canada, CANADA

Canada and the European Space Agency (ESA) have over 30 years of historical and fruitful collaboration on Earth Observation (EO) dating back to the 1979 signing of our initial Cooperation Agreement, and continuing under a new Agreement to 2019. Today Canada is still the only non-European State around the ESA table. This long collaboration has significant heritage in the development, acquisition, reception, processing, applications and mission contingency planning of Synthetic Aperture RADAR (ERS 1 & 2, ENVISAT-ASAR, RADARSAT-1, and RADARSAT-2) and optical imagery (ENVISAT-MERIS), which has translated into almost 20 years of collaboration on ERS and almost a decade on ENVISAT.

Ensuring continued access to and sharing of critical EO data between Canada and ESA to support our respective end users and applications which rely on these data is of paramount importance. With the impending launches of the Copernicus Sentinels missions, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing (CCRS) struck an interdepartmental federal government Tiger Team in 2012 with the mission to ensure timely Canadian access to Sentinel 1, 2 and 3 data streams for the future. With the Canadian government announcing major new funding in August 2012 to upgrade the CCRS satellite station facilities with four state-of-the-art antennas in three locations in Canada, as well as for a new data management system to house, safeguard, and disseminate satellite data and products, Canada will be well-positioned and capable to support the Sentinels. In this paper, we will give an overall summary of the proposed Canadian input to ESA as part of the Collaborative Ground Segment Initiative. In addition to serving national needs, Canada's proposed collaboration will provide ESA with important regional coverage, redundancy, and opportunities for synergy and improved efficiencies. Canadian priority user needs and requirements for Sentinels data will be presented with examples of how and for which applications the data will be used and the downstream products and tools that will be developed. We will also describe the preparations being made on the Canadian ground segment (i.e. stations and data management) that will enable the collection and dissemination of data from the Sentinels.