International Earth Observation Convoy and Constellation Concepts Workshop

International Earth Observation Convoy and Constellation Concepts Workshop International Earth Observation Convoy and Constellation Concepts Workshop
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  • Updated on 2013-01-12 02:58:00

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  • To discuss science and application opportunities from Earth observation constellations across all Earth science domains. 
  • To present existing experience of Earth Observation convoys and constellations.
  • To present the results of the ESA Convoy studies 
  • To discuss the challenges of convoys and constellations.
  • To discuss future Earth observation convoy and constellation concepts


What is an ESA EO-Convoy 

Over the next few years a number of new long-term operational Earth Observation (EO) satellites will be launched by Europe. These missions include the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) Sentinel spacecraft and EUMETSAT operated Metop satellite series. These missions will provide global, continuous and long-term European capability for systematic observation of numerous Earth system parameters.

If additional cost-effective missions could be flown together with these operational missions then the possibilities for meeting new Earth science and application objectives could be far-reaching e.g. fulfilling observational gaps, multipoint measurement of Earth system phenomena, etc.

Therefore, the European Space Agency (ESA) is funding three exploratory activities (known as the EO-Convoy studies). The aim of these studies is twofold: Firstly, to identify scientific and operational objectives and needs which would benefit from additional in-orbit support. Secondly, to identify and develop a number of cost-effective convoy concepts (comprising additional missions flying with European operational satellites), which would meet these identified objectives and needs. Each EO-Convoy study is dedicated to a specific theme:

  • Study 1: Ocean and Ice
  • Study 2: Land 
  • Study 3: Atmosphere

Each study is based on a comprehensive user needs analysis derived from Earth science analysis, applications and identification of novel data products. Based on this analysis a number of preliminary mission concepts are derived together with possible formation and constellation options. Up to three mission concepts per theme are then selected for detailed analysis including a roadmap for development.