Key elements of the Airbus-managed migration were its development utilising 100% open-source cloud-based components (avoiding possible intellectual property rights issues), and the cloud-native solution with a micro-service architecture (which maximises the cloud’s benefits in terms of scalability and performance).
Lebret added that Airbus achieved its goals of maintaining the performance, reliability and agility levels of storage systems on the ground while enabling the customer to benefit from cost reductions that come with cloud-based storage – all while maintaining service levels so the transfer was transparent to users.
Another advantage is the ability to easily operate and monitor the cloud system via the internet with proper levels of security – and facilitating the access so that even a smartphone can be used.
“Our Sentinel-1 data segment migration to the cloud was very smooth…and there were no interruptions of service.”
Airbus project manager Emmanuel Lebret
The data segment’s migration – which is part of the Copernicus Ground System Transformation Programme – was managed in a design-to-cost approach through modelling for cost estimations, technical trade-offs and a balancing between timely performance and costs. This reflected the Airbus operations team’s customer-oriented approach, and its focus on end-user satisfaction, according to Lebret.
Additionally, the Sentinel-1 migration solution is “cloud agnostic” – enabling its deployment by any cloud provider, thereby preventing potential “lock-ins” by commercial cloud services suppliers.
“This has been a major achievement, and it represents a turning point in transforming the Copernicus Space Component’s operations…”
Betlem Rosich, ESA’s Copernicus Ground Segment Operations Manager
With the Sentinel-1 data segment now in the cloud, its resources will enable scale-ups to meet the very significant increases in Copernicus data expected in the coming years – avoiding the need for future investments in hardware-based infrastructure that would become obsolete every several years.
The pair of Sentinel-1 satellites (designated Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B) circle the Earth in the same orbital plane, positioned 180-degrees apart to provide coverage of the globe every six days. Their radar instruments are capable of penetrating clouds and acquiring data both in daylight and at night.
There are broad applications for Sentinel-1 data, from observations of sea ice zones, the arctic environment and maritime surveillance to the tracking of land surface motion (landslides, volcanoes, tectonics, etc.); risk management in flooding and other situations; support to emergency/humanitarian services; and the mapping of forests, water and agriculture.