Towards an Earth Observation Platform for the Greater Danube Region: Initial Developments and Scientific Experiments.

Short Description

The EOP-Danube project is of the highest strategic interest for the Earth Observation Data Center (EODC) and its Cooperation Partners and has as its goal the creation of an EO platform for the greater Danube region. Given that earth observation (EO) is one of the disciplines that are currently undergoing a transformative change into the Big Data era, the whole European satellite ground segment will undergo major changes within the next five to ten years.

This constitutes a significant chance for countries allowing them to become involved with novel ground segment operations concepts. Through the EODC partnership, Austria, having previously only played a minor role in ESA’s and EUMETSAT’s ground segments, is now one of the pathfinders of this new era and is thus well placed to play a major role in ESA's "EO Innovation Europe" concept and the Integrated Ground Segment (IGS) for Copernicus currently being developed by the European Commission.

With the start of the first Sentinel satellites as part of the Copernicus programme the challenges of the Big Data era have become imminent for the European EO community. The need to move geospatial data analysis, and more specifically EO data processing, into the "cloud" has been recognised by many organisations and initiatives worldwide.

Consequently, they have started to work towards the establishment of data centres and cloud computing environments capable of hosting and processing Petabytes of EO data (i.e. Sentinel data). Austria, with the creation of the EODC in 2014, are already well advanced in the process.

The EOP-Danube project builds upon and advances the current EODC virtualized cloud computing infrastructure and platform with test cases focusing on the requirements of the user communities (CEDRIC, DMCSEE, GWP), interested in the Danube region from the fields of drought assessment and land cover dynamics.

The project team will compile and make available a large volume and variety of EO data over the Greater Danube Region (Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, Sentinel-3, Landsat-8, ENVISAT ASAR, etc.) with the science team undertaking specific experiments to develop and test EO derived products for the users.

Through the strategic collaboration with DLR, the project addresses the federation of remote data centres and includes access to, and back up of, archives. The project improves existing platform services and tools to enhance the usability of the platform, and develop new platform services. Through EOP-Danube access barriers to the EODC platform and virtual research and development environment are reduced to enable its use by non-expert users.

Our vision, underlying the EOP-Danube project, is that EODC's federated infrastructure meets the strategic goal of developing into one of the building blocks of the future European network of EO platforms. EODC and its cooperation partners have already made big steps into this direction (particularly as regards the legal cooperation framework and the IT infrastructure).

However, the funding requested though EOP-Danube is essential to step into a leading position also in terms of the middleware, application software, and an extensive data repository required for an attractive EO platform. In such a manner EODC and its cooperation partners will be positioned to play its major role in ESA's "EO Innovation Europe" Concept and the Integrated Ground Segment (IGS) for Copernicus.

Project Partners


Vienna University of Technology - Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation

Project partner

  • AW Software und Technologie GmbH
  • Catalysts GmbH
  • EODC Earth Observation Data Centre for Water Resources Monitoring GmbH

Contact Address

Vienna University of Technology
Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation
Univ.Prof. Wolfgang Wagner
Gußhausstraße 27 - 29 / E120.1
A-1040 Vienna