The new Copernicus In Situ Component Information System “CIS2” recently released its most comprehensive requirements database yet and is well under way to become a critical part of the Copernicus data services portfolio.
What is the Copernicus In Situ Component?
Copernicus is the European Union’s revolutionary Earth Observation and monitoring programme. Copernicus offers a world of insight about our planet to European and global citizens, public authorities, policy makers, scientists, entrepreneurs and businesses. Copernicus is openly and freely available to everyone at no cost.
Copernicus transforms information from multiple sources, including satellites, into operational services for keeping watch over the planet Earth’s land, ocean and atmosphere, monitoring climate change, supporting European emergency management and safeguarding civil security.
The Copernicus In Situ Component maps the landscape of in situ data availability, identifies data access gaps or bottlenecks, supports the provision of cross-cutting data and manages partnerships with data providers to improve access and use conditions.
What is In-Situ data?
The Copernicus Services rely on many environmental measurements collected by data providers external to Copernicus, from ground-based, sea-borne or air-borne monitoring systems, as well as geospatial reference or ancillary data, collectively referred to as “in situ” data.
In Situ data – which for the purposes of Copernicus embraces all data not obtained from satellites – is indispensable for the effective operation of Copernicus Services. The European Environmental Agency EEA has a key role in monitoring the state of play for Copernicus In Situ data – to assess how far such data meets the needs of the Services and to develop solutions to issues that stand in the way of its seamless use.
CIS2 – Copernicus In Situ Component Information System
The Copernicus In Situ Information System – CIS2 is the foundation of this role. CIS2 is a database that for each Copernicus product records the requirements for in situ data, how far they are met, the origin of each dataset, how each dataset is used, their importance, and the barriers to their seamless use, in order to provide a clear picture of what data is already available and what would be needed to deliver improved and more reliable products and monitoring services.
The information derived from this database helps the main players (EU Commission, EEA, Copernicus governance bodies, Member States, etc.) to prioritise actions to further improve the availability of the necessary data. It also provides a basis for dialogue between these players and the Services about priorities.
Three Copernicus components: Satellites, Services and In Situ data
As Europe’s eyes on Earth, the Copernicus Programme utilises its three components to collect data from space, the ground, sea and air to generate information for the benefit of the environment and people around the world.
1 – The Space Component
The space component is comprised of Sentinel satellites and Copernicus contributing missions which provide high-resolution images of the planet’s surface to help monitor changes in the Earth’s processes.
2 – The Services Component
The services component includes six services (land monitoring, marine environment monitoring, atmosphere monitoring, emergency management, services for security applications and climate change) which use Copernicus data to produce value-added products.
3 – The In Situ Component
The third highly useful but lesser known In Situ component includes all non-space data and is indispensable for the effective operation of the Copernicus Services. It encompasses all non-space data collected from ground-based, sea-borne or air borne monitoring systems (i.e. sensors, towers, weather balloons, ships, buoys etc.)
From ground-based, sea-borne or air-borne monitoring systems to geospatial reference or ancillary data, these in situ monitoring infrastructures are utilised by the Copernicus programme to produce, enrich and validate its services while improving their accuracy and reliability.
Role of the European Environmental Agency EEA
The EEA is entrusted with the coordination of in situ data, and monitoring the state of play for its requirements – to assess to which extent such data meets the needs of the Services and to develop solutions to issues that stand in the way of its efficient and timely use.
In its plan to carry out its mission, the EEA has released the Copernicus In Situ Component Information System – CIS2 . CIS2 is a database that records the requirements for in situ data for each Copernicus product, the extent to which they are met, the origin of each dataset, how each dataset is used, their importance, and the barriers to their use. This information helps provide a clear picture of what data is already available and what data would be needed to deliver improved and more reliable products and monitoring services.
CIS2 taking shape
The CIS2 adds to a suite of products describing the importance and use of in situ data by Copernicus. These include factsheets and analyses on the state of play for the 6 service components.
Moreover, the information derived from this database helps the main players (in situ data providers and networks, EU Commission, EEA, Copernicus governance bodies, Member States, etc.) to prioritise actions to further improve the availability of the necessary data. And it provides a firm basis for dialogue between Copernicus and in situ data provider organisations and networks about priorities and the way forward.
Commenting on the release, Henrik Steen Andersen, Copernicus In Situ project manager at the EEA, said:
CIS2 has proved its worth in providing an objective basis for identifying some of the important issues to be tackled in the continuous improvement of the Copernicus In Situ component. We want to share the information as widely as possible, both to demonstrate the wealth of resources already available, and to stimulate reactions from practitioners.
Access the CIS2 In-Situ Component requirements database
Overall, the database reflects the complexity of the Copernicus in situ landscape, with huge numbers of datasets and data providers. Across Copernicus as a whole, over 350 unique requirements have been identified, that have been linked to over 500 datasets and more than 650 data providers; these datasets contribute to around 550 Copernicus products and services. These numbers will grow as the range of products to which they contribute expands.
The CIS2 database is now freely accessible at: https://cis2.eea.europa.eu.