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As the result of an agreement signed in late 2015 between the Australian Government and the European Commission, Australian researchers will gain access to the imagery and data generated by the European Union’s Copernicus Earth observation programme, delivered by the European Commission with key partners European Space Agency and EUMETSAT.
This data will be disseminated via research and education network infrastructure worldwide, initially through GÉANT (the pan-European research and education network) and in Australia by AARNet, in partnership with Geoscience Australia.
The Copernicus program, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) collects vast amounts of global data from satellites and other systems which it stores, analyses and distributes for a wide range of applications such as protecting the environment, promoting sustainable resource development, mitigating the effects of climate change and managing risks and emergency response for natural disasters.
Key to the programme is enabling fast access to these data for the international community through the establishment of regional data hubs.
AARNet is collaborating with GÉANT to provide the high-speed data access for the data hub located in Australia, which will serve users in the Southeast Asia and the South Pacific region. This regional data hub, managed by Geoscience Australia will be located at the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) in Canberra. Geosciences Australia will make the data available to users through a consortium that includes Australia’s CSIRO national research organisation and the Australian state governments of Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.
Chris Hancock, AARNet’s CEO, says the international network of research and education networks is uniquely positioned to ensure the distribution of Copernicus data globally.
“AARNet and the international network of research and education networks is built to deliver the scalable, robust capacity that meets the Copernicus programme’s rigorous demand for bandwidth and latency, reliability and geographical reach,” said Hancock.
“We are excited to be collaborating with our partners to develop the data access infrastructure that will provide Australia and our neighbours with new opportunities to address today’s most pressing challenges and improve everyday lives.”