October 26, 2015 —The United States and the European Commission signed the “Copernicus Cooperation Arrangement” which will facilitate data sharing from the Copernicus constellation of Sentinel Earth Observation satellites among a broad spectrum of users on both sides of the Atlantic. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Science, Space and Health Jonathan Margolis and European Commission Director for Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence Philippe Brunet signed the arrangement in Washington, D.C., on October 16.
The arrangement articulates a shared U.S.-EU vision to pursue full, free, and open data policies for government Earth observation satellites. Such policies foster greater scientific discovery and encourage innovation in applications and value added services for the benefit of society at large.
The arrangement will allow experts from U.S. agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), to pursue cooperative data sharing activities with European counterparts, including the European Commission, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). This cooperation will enhance data access, validation, and quality control as well as satellite system compatibility, interoperability, and instrument inter-calibration.
Today’s signing will help the United States and the European Union realize the full value of Earth Observation satellites for civil, commercial, and scientific applications in the public and private sectors, including climate change research, weather forecasting, ocean and atmospheric monitoring, land use management, and the management and mitigation of natural disasters. For example, oil spill detection in the Gulf of Mexico has already been enhanced by the cooperative use of the Copernicus constellation’s Sentinel 1A data.
For further information, please contact Kia Henry at HenryKT@state.gov.