High speed network and security for the Copernicus Communities

This paper focuses on a new and advanced Network and Security Ground Segment designed to support the Europe’s Copernicus programme for the data circulation and dissemination to the Copernicus user communities. The programme relies on the provision of robust data, predominately from a fleet of Earth observation satellites called Sentinels, and supplemented by data from Member States’ satellites. The Copernicus user scenario is characterized by a set of heterogeneous user communities which have specific needs and with a hardly predictable evolution of the expected dissemination capacity over time; it includes groups of limited number of users which require high and committed throughputs and others potentially composed by the worldwide user base. The challenge to serve all the Copernicus user communities with the expected performance have forced the design to adopt flexible solutions which range from ad-hoc setup for specific users groups to shared infrastructure for the wider and public communities. The expected quick increase of the dissemination capacity is supported by the utilization of modular solutions that allow an easy upgrade in terms of bandwidth, computing and storage capacity; the integration and use of private cloud technologies enable ESA to easily expand the dissemination services following the evolution of the user needs. The dissemination performance can be improved for selected user communities such as the academic users by relying on NRENs/GEANT network, but for the general public the performance is strictly dependent on the existing commercial Internet peering and access network. With the increase of the data volumes associated to each space mission, the performance reachable by the general public could became a limiting factor and this could be a challenge in the near future for the space data dissemination

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