Earthnet Data Assessment Pilot (EDAP+)
ESA’s Earthnet Data Assessment Project (EDAP+), led by Telespazio UK, is designed to perform early data quality assessments on existing and future Earth Observation (EO) missions from national or commercial space providers.

Recent availability of low-cost small satellites and innovation of constellations has resulted in an increasing number of commercial companies having established information services fed by their own satellite systems. ESA aims to foster cooperation and collaboration not only with other national space agencies, but also with these ‘New Space’ players, with the intention to integrate some of these non-ESA missions (Third Party Missions) into their long-standing Earthnet Programme.

In this context and building upon the work done by its pilot predecessor project (EDAP – 2018-2021), EDAP+, headed by Telespazio UK, provides a consortium of expertise to assess data quality and the suitability of individual missions for this purpose, as well as to establish dialogue with the various mission providers to improve the overall coherence of the EO system.

The EDAP+ service is responsible for the following:

  • Evolving the Quality Assurance (QA) framework and best practice guidelines that were generated during the pilot and developing new frameworks aligned to QA4EO guidelines in the case of Atmospheric and Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) –> Best Practice
  • Performing Early Data Quality Assessments on a series of ‘New Space’ instruments and missions, based on the defined best practice guidelines
  • Creating Clusters of Expertise; teams of instrument experts to perform the assessment focusing on specific instrument domains covering high-resolution and very-high resolution optical, SAR sensors, atmospheric missions and AIS & RF missions
  • Undertaking multi-mission data quality assessments, facilitating future applications and allowing interoperability across missions to foster synergies
  • Supporting ESA in organising workshops related to data quality.

As its prime contractor, Telespazio UK is responsible for the overall Service Management for EDAP+, as well as the coordination and provision of expertise for both the Optical and AIS & RF (Automatic Identification System & Radio Frequency) domains, covering specifically identified calibration and validation related tasks.

The various Clusters of Expertise within the EDAP+ consortium are presented below:

The various missions within each of the instrument domains assessed during the pilot phase of the project, are shown below:

In addition to the EDAP+ clusters that support specific instrument types, a cluster dedicated to multi-mission studies supports cross-instrument activities with a view to benefiting the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) environment, facilitating future applications and allowing interoperability across missions to foster synergies. A Digital Elevation Models (DEM) Comparison Study is the first of these studies and is currently underway concerning the quality assessment of the DEM in specific conditions.

The EDAP+ Service also supports ESA in the organisation of workshops related to data quality. These focus on assessments of the coherence and fitness for purpose of EO data from various missions, based on the model of the Joint Agency Commercial Imagery Evaluation’s (JACIE) format. The 2019 and 2022 Very High-resolution Radar & Optical Data Assessment (VH-RODA) workshops were two such workshops organised by EDAP+. These provide an open forum (new space and institutional) for the presentation and discussion of the status and future developments related to the calibration and validation of space borne very high-resolution SAR and optical sensors and data products. Telespazio UK attends these annual events, where several members of the team chair and present sessions.

For more information on the EDAP+ activities, see the ESA EDAP+ website.