How GÉANT is helping Copernicus observe Earth for a better future


How GÉANT is helping Copernicus observe Earth for a better future

How do we tackle overpopulation? Do we have enough natural resources left? Is climate change reversible? Will French fries soon become a luxury only a few can afford?
These are the questions Europe’s scientists are working hard to answer. Okay, maybe not that last one, but the truth may not be so far-fetched.
Changes in our ecosystems are making their mark on our everyday lives; from the availability of potatoes and dwindling fish stocks, to forest fires and threatened air quality.

Copernicus— is the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme, looking at our planet and its environment for the benefit of all European citizens.
The project is a partnership between the Member States, and eight participating organisations, including the European Space Agency (ESA).

Copernicus constantly monitors the health of our planet

If we are to tackle global warming, prepare ourselves for man-made and natural disasters, and protect our environment, we constantly need to monitor our planet.
Copernicus helps us achieve this by observing our environment, atmosphere, living organisms, rivers, oceans and ice sheets—and collecting, storing and analysing that data.
This data comes from a set of dedicated satellites,—the Sentinels—plus dozens of contributing missions that ensure a whole range of observational requirements are met.

Copernicus impacts every aspect of our lives  

This data is essential to everything. Health, agriculture, transport, sustainable development, emergency response and crisis management.
It can be used to make products, like statistics, topographic maps and tools. Satellite maps, for instance, help disaster relief teams prepare and respond to forest fires, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.

Real societal benefits

Already hundreds of lives have been saved thanks to faster responses to natural disasters and improved border surveillance.
In healthcare, initiatives are underway in the protection against respiratory system diseases and skin damage.
From stimulating the renewable energy sector, to forest and coastal monitoring, and helping organisations such as UNESCO preserve world cultural heritage—Copernicus is contributing huge economical and societal benefits to Europe and across the globe.

daily air


renewable energies


agricultural productivity


emergency management


A tornado of data

Every year, Copernicus disseminates a whopping 40 petabytes of data. And the number of users is doubling, year on year. As of May 2018, Copernicus had 170,000 users.
In fact, every citizen has full, free and open access to Copernicus data; opening up potential for innovators and start-ups to improve our well-being and the long-term sustainability of our planet.
Coping with this surge in data and high volume of users requires a robust, hard-working infrastructure. Enter GÉANT and DFN, the German National Research and Education Network (NREN).

How GÉANT helps

The European Space Agency has an agreement with GÉANT to distribute Copernicus data across the GÉANT and DFN networks.
From DFN, a 100Gbps link connects the Copernicus data centre in Frankfurt to the pan-European GÉANT network, which itself connects over 50 million users.
This important partnership efficiently and reliably transports massive amounts of data to the citizens, researchers and policy makers working to make sense of Copernicus data.

“GÉANT and the NRENs are an essential partner, delivering the scalable, robust capacity required to meet the Copernicus programme’s critical parameters. This important partnership will help citizens, researchers and policy makers improve their decision-making, which could have dramatic benefits for society.”

Mr. G. Buscemi, Network and Security Officer of the ESA EO Ground Segment

What does GÉANT offer?

2 Exabytes* a year is already carried at high speed and low latency

* (That’s 2 BILLION Gigabytes!)

Federating services and architecture plus eduroam, the worldwide wi-fi roaming service

Europe-wide procurement frameworks for tailored, market leading cloud offerings

40+ NRENs, extensive partnerships, programmes, workshops, task forces and events

The research GÉANT enables touches almost every aspect of our lives. Not only that, but its networking technology is shaping the internet of tomorrow.

Find out more on the

GÉANT website

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