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GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme


GEOSS Satellite Earth Observation Resources

Activity ID: 135


Satellite Earth observations are critical to understand all components of the Earth System (atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial, ice, solid earth) across temporal and spatial scales.  Satellite Earth observations have unique value, and play a foundational role in enabling all other Earth observations to be understood in context, at global and regional scales, over long time periods.

This cross-cutting task aims to ensure the long-term availability of the sustained, coordinated, comprehensive satellite Earth observation data that is a critical component of GEOSS and a key enabler of current and future GEO Community Activities, Initiatives and Flagships. 

This task recognizes the long lead-times for satellite development and launch, and the operating lifetimes of satellites.  Satellites can typically provide data that supports different applications and domains, making the ability to assess requirements and coordinate missions and data systems across domains key to the long-term success of GEOSS.  The task activities are addressing the following:

  • Specify, develop, launch, operate and coordinate space missions to provide new observations, sustain critical time-series, and fill or minimize spatial or temporal gaps in the satellite observations required to support sustained production of fundamental variable sets as defined through the GEO requirements analysis processes;
  • Promote the development and implementation of technologies and the uptake of best practices to enhance space data access in support of the evolution of the GEOSS, particularly focusing on enhanced access to space data via the GCI;
  • Support broader GEO efforts to promote Earth observation by providing evidence of the unique, and complementary, value of satellite data to successful delivery of major regional and global initiatives;
  • Coordinate increased interoperability among space data infrastructures and develop integrated global and regional space datasets that support validated and prioritized requirements identified through GEO processes; and
  • Identify and coordinate the necessary actions for the protection of the radiofrequecy bands necessary to ensure proper operation of EO instruments.

This activity is complementary to activities focused on formalizing user requirements and providing space data in support of specific activities.

The task activities are implemented by a task Team.

Activities for the period

  1. Review the strategy and plans for the implementation of Virtual Constellations to ensure they continue to develop to support GEO objectives; and
  2. Develop options on how CEOS can foster space agency planning and coordination processes that will be responsive to user needs/observation requirements identified through the SBA-based rolling requirements processes;
  3. Provide inputs for the preparation of the World Radio Communication Conference 2019 (WRC-19).

Future Plans

Rolling activities, response to newly identified/consolidated user needs.

Resources (2017)

GEO Trust Fund (Secretariat Staff)

In kind contributions from CEOS and from member agencies and associates.


The task is led by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) coordinating delivery through member Space Agencies, Associates and Partners.

Stephen Briggs, CEOS/Strategic Implementation Team -   


Secretariat Support

The Secretariat provides general support to the Task Team

Osamu Ochiai, (GEO Secretariat) -

Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)

No data found...