Instrument Data Evaluation and Analysis Service (IDEAS+) Quality Assurance for Earth Observation (QA4EO) service
Telespazio UK heads a consortium that provides the current operational service to monitor the quality of Earth Observation (EO) instrument data from European Space Agency (ESA) satellites and selected third party missions.

Telespazio UK has been involved in the field of data quality for ESA missions for over 20 years and in 2008, won the first phase of the multi-million pound contract to deliver this innovative service for ESA. Over the years, the service has expanded to draw in many other companies and organisations, and has evolved to encompass new EO missions and initiatives to respond to the evolving needs of the Sensor Performance, Products and Algorithms section.

The service is delivered on and off site from ESA’s ESRIN site in Frascati, Italy, using a distributed service model under a Service Level Agreement. A huge range of satellite missions are included, spanning optical, radar, atmospheric and altimetry domains including:

  • Ongoing ESA missions such as CryoSat-2, SMOS and Proba-V
  • Historic ESA missions such as Envisat (AATSR, ASAR, MERIS, SCIAMACHY, GOMOS, RA-2/MWR and MIPAS), ERS 1/2 (ATSR-1/2, SAR, RA/MWR, GOME) and GOCE where Telespazio’s team will analyse the quality of the latest reprocessed datasets
  • 3rd party missions where ESA has agreed with another nation to make their data available for study. Such datasets include Landsat 1-7, SeaWiFS, AVHRR, Nimbus-7, Seasat (USA), ALOS, MOS, JERS (Japan), ODIN (Sweden) and OceanSat-2 (India)

Notably, Telespazio UK has introduced Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the quality control process, an important evolution that will ensure data quality remains high, even as the volume of data continues to increase.

The service will also have a strong element of metrology research, and will lead development work on inter-satellite calibration coefficients that can draw on data from multiple missions to understand system-level changes on Earth, including looking for signs of climate change.