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Summary of Identified Requirements

Task 2 of the ECoLaSS project focuses on establishing an inventory of user, processing and service requirements for present and future high-level HRL products. In the following the requirements found in the individual work-packages are summarized.


WP 22: Assessment of EO and Other Data Requirements

​The Assessment of Earth Observations and Ancillary Data for the Evolution of Copernicus Land Monitoring Services outlines the potential shortcomings of the current provision of EO, as well as reference and in-situ data and the consequences on the futures services as expressed through the requirements made in WP21, in particular their ability to function at an operational level.

Critical gaps identified in the current status of Copernicus data are the following:

  • A lack of reliable geometric reference for VHR dataset, which could be in part resolved by improving the quality of the pan-European EU-DEM;

  • A limitation in the future VHR coverage for 2018, with a 2-4m spatial resolution expected from satellites such as Planetscope, leading to less discriminability in the landscape features;

  • A need to integrate S-1 data for image coverages in the future HRLs production, despite the outperforming of the S-2 twin satellites in terms of revisit time and spectral quality, that will be further investigate in the second half of the Task 3 and Task 4;

  • The current quality of S-3 data, not matching the same standard set by S-2, which will be replaced in this study by PROBA-V time series, in particular for the phenological products creation;

  • The inhomogeneous availability of in-situ data over the pan-European countries, to support training and validation activities – one of the most obvious examples being the Land-Parcel Identification System (LPIS) which could provide reliable training and validation data for the production of the HRL grassland and a future potential crop layer;

  • The level of pre-processing for S-2 imagery not being sufficient for large-scale operational production, in particular the need to re-process S-2 images at Level L2A since Sen2Cor is not yet fully able to detect all clouds.


In connection with Task 5, those critical gaps will be finally reassessed at the end of the project in order to evaluate the operationability of each prototype.

WP 23: Assessment of Service Infrastructure Requirements

Three general trends in the availability and implementation of high performance computing, with relevance to earth observation, could be observed over the last 10 years:

  1. Availability of EO data with an unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution on the global scale

  2. The possibility to create cheap off-the-shelf computer clusters and cloud environments that can be adapted for a wide range of storage and processing tasks

  3. A large set of (mostly open-source) processing frameworks that monitor hardware and organize massively parallel processing tasks

In order to cope with heterogeneous setups of single, independent IT structures several techniques show great promise for interaction:

  1. Virtualization allows decoupling of processing algorithms from the underlying hardware or OS and therefore maximises the portability of algorithms between platforms

  2. Processing services, such as the DIASes, offer the possibility to run anybody’s algorithm on huge data sets by exchanging code instead of data

Adoption of the last two strategies facilitates collaboration of ECoLaSS project partners as well as of any operational Copernicus service providers and, even more importantly, ease the transition from test to operational production processing environments - a step which in the past has often required dedicated re-writing of entire code-bases for production.

WP 21: Assessment of Service Evolution Requirements

The Copernicus Land Monitoring Services Evolution Requirements Assessment collects service requirements in view of a potential post-2020 implementation by capturing the state of the art, defining product specifications, identifying challenges, and analyzing shortcomings and lessons learned. With this purpose, relevant European stakeholders and users were interviewed. The main requirements identified in this assessment are as follows:

Requirements regarding the CLMS global component:


  • Existing products should be produced at medium to high resolution based on Sentinel data

  • New products should include phenology layers

Requirements regarding the CLMS pan-European component:

  • Existing products:

    • HRLs require qualitative improvements and more frequent updates

    • CORINE Land Cover (CLC) requires CLC+ spatial resolution and thematic content improvements

  • New products should include:

    • Agriculture Service

    • Phenology layers

    • Generic products, such as time-series features

Requirements regarding the CLMS local component:

  • Existing products:

    • Natura2000 monitoring requires more timely information

    • Urban Atlas requires more frequent updates

  • New products should include:

    • Coastal Zone Service


Most of the user and stakeholder requirements voiced in Task 2 are being addressed in the methodological and prototypical developments investigated in ECoLaSS in Task 3 and Task 4.

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