This report surveys and analyses Earth Observation (EO) user and stakeholder needs and the related technological gaps in fulfilment of ONION’s project deliverable 2.1. The ONION project explores fractionated and federated space architectures to enhance EO capabilities. Such architectures can complement and enhance the European EO infrastructure (Copernicus) on specific areas, which this document identifies.
The study methodology is based on a comprehensive analysis of the value chain elements in the European EO infrastructure and leverages on an extensive database (DB). The DB consists of several EO entities called users, needs, services, products, measurements, instruments and missions. This report describes the different attributes of each entity and the implementation of a relational database (DB) in MS Access ®, which holds mapping tables to connect the entities, like user to needs, needs to services, and so on. The aforementioned DB has been populated with 63 EO users, 37 explicit needs, the 6 Copernicus services, 95 EO products, 92 measurements, 427 instruments, and 312 missions. The data is based on Copernicus/GMES requirement documents, FP7 and H2020 EO research projects, the CEOS database , the WMO OSCAR database , and contributions by ONION consortium partners.
A quantitative methodology has been applied to select promising use cases that emerge from the combination of pressing needs and technological gaps. The results section introduces two different assessment perspectives on said use cases. First, an analysis on the technical maturity of the corresponding EO service is provided. Then, radar plots have been used to break down the score of top use cases assessed by the database. Based on this information, we selected 10 use cases for further evaluation. Those are: ozone layer monitoring and UV assessment, land mapping for risk assessment, marine observations for weather forecast, atmosphere observations for weather forecast, fishing pressure monitoring and aquaculture, land observations for infrastructure status assessment, Arctic sea ice monitoring, agricultural hydric stress, natural habitat & protected species monitoring, and sea ice melting-linked emissions.
The technological state of the art of the selected use cases has been analysed in depth based upon the measurements, instruments and mission components of the EO value chain. The use cases description includes metrics on revisit time, historical measurement gaps and the best achievable resolution to identify technological areas for improvement in support of the following system requirements generation tasks in the ONION project.
Potential technical contributions provided by the Onion project to the current Copernicus infrastructure include update frequency, revisit time and horizontal and vertical resolutions. In particular, the products for marine operations and navigation would benefit from reductions of revisit time (from 24h to 1h), land products for risk assessment (landslide, floods) would benefit from enhanced land coverage (1000 km by 1000 km) and ice monitoring products from enhanced vertical resolution and shorter revisit times.