Minimize Mission Groups

Copernicus Services Projects will access Earth Observation data acquired from a number of several different missions and instruments, made available from several satellites and ground segment operators, distributors, receiving stations, processing centres. A number of National, ESA, European, EUMETSAT and commercial missions, currently in action or being developed, have shown interest in the Copernicus programme although they have been, with the exception of Sentinels, built to satisfy their respective operators and user priorities.

Among the major expectations regarding Copernicus is the continuity of operational applications relying on multi-source observations. In order to guarantee the sustainability and efficiency in data offering, the potential Copernicus Contributing Missions (CCMs), have been classified into six groups. The grouping is meant to indicate similarity and continuation in the data supply chain. These are:

  • Mission Group #1: High & Very High resolution SAR imaging missions with different radar bands for all whether, day/night and interferometry applications
  • Mission Group #2: High Resolution multi-spectral imaging missions
  • Mission Group #2b: Very High Resolution multi-spectral imaging missions
  • Mission Group #3: Medium-resolution land & ocean monitoring missions (i.e. wide-swath ocean colour and surface temperature sensors, altimeters)
  • Mission Group #4: Geostationary atmospheric missions
  • Mission Group #5: Low Earth Orbit atmospheric missions

The resolution classes are defined as follows:

  • VHR1 Very High Resolution 1 where resolution: < =1m
  • VHR2 Very High Resolution 2 where resolution: >1m and < =4m
  • HR1 High Resolution 1 where resolution: >4m and <=10m
  • HR2 High Resolution 1 where resolution: >10m and <=30m
  • MR1 Medium Resolution where resolution: >30m and <=100m
  • MR2 Medium Resolution where resolution: >100m and <=300 
  • LR Low Resolution where resolution: >=300m

There is no one-to-one relation between a specific mission group and one CSP. In principle, any single CSP may access to data from different mission groups based on their needs. However, it is expected that CSPs be able to ingest data coming from different sensors of the same group regardless of the mission provider.