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Copernicus evolution – Mission exploitation concepts (CSA Coordination and support action) - LC-SPACE-02-EO-2018
Deadline: 06 Mar 2018   CALL EXPIRED

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Specific Challenge:

The user requirements process undertaken by the Commission and the Space Strategy for Europe has identified possible evolutions of the space observations capabilities in the context of Copernicus. These are described below, and specific guidance documents explaining the ongoing process to gather new user requirements will be provided.

The following three priorities have been identified for potential evolution of Copernicus in the future:

  1. Monitoring of the Polar Regions, notably the Arctic, specifically for sea ice and environmental conditions
  2. Agriculture monitoring, specifically for supporting the Common Agricultural Policy.
  3. Forest monitoring, specifically for supporting the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) process at international level.

The development, the implementation and eventually the operation of an enhanced European capacity will need the involvement of various players, such as National Space Agencies, European and Member States Institutions, International Organisations, the private sector, operators of in-situ measurement stations, and of leading scientific experts in the identified fields such as data assimilation and modelling for the Arctic, agriculture monitoring and forest monitoring. In particular, it will need to build on past activities of the European Space Agency (ESA) and will need to be coordinated with the ESA's on-going and future programmes.

Initiating and consolidating the establishment of the community and thus reaching the critical mass required for addressing such a challenging endeavour. It will also need to take into account current and planned activities led by the Copernicus Programme (space component and services, i.e. marine, climate, land/cryosphere) for future services as well as the current H2020 projects relevant for example for Arctic monitoring (i.e. INTAROS).

Scope:

The scope is identified according to the possible evolution scenarios indicated above. Each proposal shall address only one of the following sub-topics.

A – Preparation of a European capacity for monitoring the Polar Regions

To advance a coordinated preparation of a mature European capacity there is a need to bring together the key European stakeholders and competent entities which are:

  • Engaged in activities that can answer questions raised in the user requirements gathering process;
  • Have the ability to network with suitable research actors to fill the knowledge gaps;
  • Have the required expertise to assess the needs for an end-to-end operational system, with due attention to potential international cooperation opportunities for tackling this global challenge.

At the same time, there is a need for an accompanying scientific and technical support to address:

  • Ways to improve Copernicus' ability to describe the changing polar regions, including the snow/ice coverage, salinity, sea ice, permafrost, the biogeochemical state of the ocean, biodiversity in light of different scenarios of availability of additional complementary data from space;
  • Identification of research gaps regarding integration/assimilation of space based data into sea state, ocean physics, biogeochemistry and ice models;
  • Ability to provide not only sea-ice mapping but also sea-ice forecasts for maritime purposes, and as essential climate variable and/or essential ocean variable;
  • Assessment of access to adequate and sustained in-situ observing systems and the necessary research gaps to fill in terms of assimilation/modelling capacity.

Activities shall thus encompass the coordination of ongoing efforts, include mutual identification of research and infrastructural gaps, and facilitate a cooperation of further research and development to be undertaken to reach sufficiently mature capacities for an operational integration as a subsequent step.

B – Preparation of a European capacity for improving agriculture monitoring

To advance a coordinated preparation of a mature European capacity in this agriculture monitoring field, there is a need to bring together the key European stakeholders and competent entities which are:

  • engaged in activities that can answer questions raised in the user requirements gathering process and under an extended scope of activity;
  • have the ability to network with suitable research actors to fill the knowledge gaps;
  • have the required expertise to assess the needs for an end-to-end operational system, with due attention to potential international cooperation opportunities for tackling this challenge from local to global levels in a cost efficient way.

At the same time, there is a need for an accompanying scientific and technical support to address:

  • Ways to improve Copernicus' ability to support precision agriculture, the monitoring of crop extension and composition, the monitoring of hydrological stress and water needs for irrigation, the forecast of agricultural yields from local and national up to global scale the assessment of crop diseases and nutrient deficiency in light of different scenarios of availability of additional complementary data from space;
  • Identification of research gaps regarding integration/assimilation/utilization of space based data for agriculture monitoring at global, European and farmer levels.

Activities shall coordinate ongoing efforts, include mutual identification of research and infrastructural gaps, identify a clear delineation between a core service and a downstream application and facilitate a cooperation of further research and development to be undertaken to reach sufficiently mature capacities for an operational integration as a subsequent step.

C – Preparation of a European capacity for improving forest monitoring

To advance in a coordinated preparation of a mature European capacity in this forest monitoring field, there is need to bring together the key European stakeholders and competent entities which are:

  • engaged in activities that can answer questions raised in and beyond the support to the REDD process;
  • have the ability to network with suitable research actors to fill the knowledge gaps;
  • have the required expertise to assess the needs for an end-to-end operational system at least on a scale of REDD region, with due attention to potential international cooperation opportunities for tackling this challenge from local to global levels.

At the same time, there is a need for an accompanying scientific and technical support to address:

  • How to improve Copernicus' ability to support forest management and sustainable logging, the evaluation of forest damage and disturbance, the detection of burned areas, the assessment of forest biomass and health in light of different scenarios including the availability of additional complementary data from space;
  • Identification of research gaps regarding integration/assimilation/utilization of space based data for forest monitoring, at global, European, national and local levels.

Activities shall coordinate ongoing efforts, include mutual identification of research and infrastructural gaps, identify a clear delineation between a core service and a downstream application and facilitate a cooperation of further research and development to be undertaken to reach sufficiently mature capacities for an operational integration as a subsequent step.

Both Copernicus Services Evolution and Copernicus Space Component Evolution should be taken into account and aligned optimally. While focusing primarily on the Services Evolution, the coherence between the space component and the service related requirements should also be ensured.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This topic contributes to the Horizon 2020 focus area "Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future"

Expected Impact:

Laying the foundation for complementing the existing Copernicus services and the current Copernicus observation capabilities for operational capacities for:

  1. Arctic as a contribution to an integrated pan-Arctic observing system;
  2. operational agriculture monitoring from local to global levels;
  3. operational forest monitoring from local to global levels, respectively;

Improved the interaction in the context of the evolution of Copernicus with:

  1. Europe's Climate Change challenge and Maritime activities and sustainable development in the Arctic;
  2. Europe's Common Agriculture Policy, of Global Food Security Challenges, as well as farmer level support;
  3. UN REDD process and associated policies, of EU Forest Strategy, as well as of the local forest manager needs;

Lay the foundation for the operational integration of all relevant European capacities as a subsequent step.

http://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/space/research/horizon-2020



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