ONION public deliverables

D2.1 Onion stakeholders' needs

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 [1], the WMO OSCAR database [2], 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.

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D2.2 Onion technology survey

Over the past 60 years, the space industry has advanced the engineering principles of large, expensive and self-sufficient satellites, handcrafted by large groups of engineers, based on tightly coupled subsystems and designed to accomplish a set of mission goals linked to specific user needs. However, recent trends in technology miniaturisation allow the space industry to explore innovative Distributed Space System concepts such as Fractionated and Federated Satellite Systems (FFSS) for enhancing the reliability, affordability, sustainability, and flexibility of space-based assets by distributing functionalities among multiple spacecraft or creating an interconnected federation of independent satellites. This report surveys the state of the art in Distributed Satellite Systems (DSS) including a comprehensive review of FFSS, historic and current research and development activities. Eventually, the report provides a detailed classification of the different distributed architecture types and investigates DSS architectures, expected trade-offs, system-level functions as well as identifying key enabling technologies for distributed space systems.

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D2.3 System requirements

The ONION project surveys the application niches, technologies and potential design of Distributed Satellite Systems (DSS) concepts, in particular, Federated and Fractionated architectures, for Earth Observation (EO). This document translates the user needs and current technology maturity of the European EO infrastructure into functional requirements, which are then classified as: payload requirements, operational requirements, space-to-space interface requirements and space-to-ground interface requirements.

D3.1 Architectural elements analysis

The ONION project surveys the application niches, technologies and potential design of Distributed Satellite Systems (DSS) concepts, in particular, Federated and Fractionated architectures for Earth Observation (EO). The project is aimed at complementing and augmenting the European Commission’s Copernicus programme, leveraging on dedicated missions and hosted payloads.
This document presents the various building blocks of the ONION system architectures. Those building blocks include platforms, payloads, orbital concepts, launchers and ground segment.

D3.5 Definition and analysis of use cases

This report presents the methodology used for the selection of the most interesting use cases for the application of the Distributed Satellite Systems (DSS) concepts addressed in the ONION project. For each use case, the report gives a detailed definition and presents the results of the analysis performed.  Following the suggestions of the User Advisory Board (UAB), the ONION architecture selection has been based on the “Marine observations for weather forecast” use cases and its linked user needs/requirements.

Upon European Commission’s recommendations, three other top-scoring use cases have been considered. This leads to the following use cases described and analysed in detail in this report:

  • Marine observations for weather forecast
  • Artic sea-ice monitoring
  • Agricultural hydric stress
  • Fishing pressure & Aquaculture
D5.1 Communication Strategy and Action Plan

The Communication Strategy and Action Plan defines targets, messages, tools and timeline with the aim of:

  • Maximising the dissemination of information about the project to relevant communities
  • Ensuring accountability to the general public, e.g. the European tax-payer
  • Inspiring individuals and organisations from the European industry and scientific community to either push for their own development efforts or to explore ways of leveraging on the ONION findings for further space-based and/or terrestrial applications
  • Advertising European research capabilities and technology in Europe and beyond Europe

The approach is to split the target communities into three segments: (1) the general public, (2) key stakeholders in Earth Observation (EO), and (3) the scientific and more technical audience. These target groups will be addressed using three dedicated communication channels:

  • Communication tools (public website including a blog, project brochure, project video)
  • Professional social media (such as LinkedIn and its specialised groups)
  • Traditional scientific dissemination through peer reviewed publications, workshops and conferences
D5.2 Public project website
D5.3 and D 5.7 Onion brochure

The ONION project final brochure

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D5.4 The User Advisory Board (UAB) first recommendations report

As of the end of 2016, the ONION User Advisory Board (UAB), with representatives from Academia and Research, Space Agencies, and Industry (including the Downstream Sector), met for the first time during the 4th International FSS workshop held in Rome on 10-11 October 2016.

After meeting with the team, the UAB came to the conclusion that the project should concentrate on showing early enough the potential of the ONION concept. In order to do so, the UAB recommended to fully cover (i.e. in an end-to-end process) the “Marine observations for weather forecast” use case.

Starting from the user requirements, the project team should determine the appropriate system configuration to meet the identified needs, the ONION added-value, and the synergy with the current constellation of Sentinels, their data and those delivered by the Contributing Missions. The Sentinels’ configuration can be anticipated to remain stable for the next 10-12 years and this offers well defined and stable boundary conditions for this type of evaluation exercise.

D5.5 Onion exploitation report v1

The ONION Exploitation Report is aimed at presenting the outcomes of the project cost-benefits analysis, exploitation plan and contribution to the development of the technological roadmap.
The present issue of the Exploitation Report includes the findings of the market analysis conducted to date.

ONION focuses on the small satellites (<500 kg) market, which is disrupting the space ecosystem with more than 3600 units expected to be launched in the next decade. This represents a tremendous increase from the past 10 years. The total market value of these satellites is anticipated to be €20 billion over 2016-2025 (manufacture and launch), a 76% increase over the past 2006-2015 period.
Large space infrastructure like Copernicus could potentially strongly benefit from the advent of small satellites and the support of novel concepts such Federated and Fractionated Satellite Systems (FFSS).

D5.6 Onion first dissemination report

This first dissemination report aims at providing a complete overview of the dissemination tools and activities that have been produced or undertaken in the framework of the project during the first year of its lifespan. The objectives of communication and dissemination activities are to:

  • Maximise the dissemination of information about the project to relevant communities
  • Ensure accountability to the general public, e.g. the European tax-payer
  • Inspire individuals and organisations from the European industry and scientific community to either push for their own development efforts or to explore ways of leveraging on the ONION findings for further space-based and/or terrestrial applications
  • Advertise European research capabilities and technology in Europe and beyond Europe 

This report includes an overview of the content of the ONION website and the ONION brochure updated in December 2016. Moreover, website statistics are presented together with planned additional communication tools and activities to be performed during 2017 as soon as important and significant deliverables become publicly available. The report ultimately includes the status of scientific publications produced by the ONION partners to date.

D1.5 Onion Data Management Plan (DMP)

The purpose of ONION Data Management Plan (DMP) is to provide an analysis of the main elements of the data management policy that will be used by the ONION applicants with regard to all the datasets that will be generated by the project.

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