A consortium with strong GAF contribution has been awarded the implementation of the latest European Copernicus service for the monitoring of ground motion

The Telespazio and Italian Space Agency joint venture, e-GEOS, has coordinated a successful bid in response to an invitation to tender issued and assigned by the European Environment Agency (EEA). e-GEOS will lead a consortium including, amongst others, the German members GAF and DLR, the Norwegian institute NORCE, the LTK Satellite Geodetic Observatory (SGO, Hungary), the Dutch company PPO.labs and the Italian company TRE ALTAMIRA. The new European Ground Motion Service (EGMS) will enable monitoring of millimeter-range ground motion through time series of satellite based radar observations

The ORIGINAL (OpeRatIonal Ground motion INsar ALliance) consortium, led by e-GEOS, a company formed by Telespazio (80%) and the Italian Space Agency (20%), has been awarded a Framework Service Contract by the European Environment Agency (EEA) for the implementation of the latest Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS) portfolio component, the European Ground Motion Service (EGMS). The contract will last for 4 years at a volume of approximately 6 million Euros.

The EGMS will provide nearly pan-European detailed information on ground motion, based on interferometric analyses of radar observations acquired by the Sentinel-1 satellites of the European Earth Observation programme Copernicus. It will be capable of identifying and monitoring short- and long-term ground motions caused by natural phenomena such as tectonics, soil subsidence and landslides or by human activity such as underground mining, as well as to detect critical infrastructure motion (e.g. bridges).

The data and products generated by the EGMS will be made available and accessible through an easy-to-handle user interface to citizens and organisations worldwide – just as is already the case for most Copernicus products – providing crucial information for a better understanding of ground motion related risks on a local, regional and European scale.

ORIGINAL is a consortium combining interferometric radar expertise of the main partners e-GEOS, the Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE), the Italian company TRE Altamira and the German service provider company GAF, supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Geological Survey of Norway, the Dutch company PPO.labs, the Hungarian Satellite Geodetic Observatory (SGO), the British Earth Metrics and by the Italian company Nhazca, a spin-off of the Sapienza University of Rome. “ORIGINAL brings together unique expertise, experience and excellence in the European geo-information scene. It is a know-how that has been acknowledged by EEA. The EGMS service is going to be integrated into the Land Monitoring Service of Copernicus, confirming the essential role of that programme in the provision of services to the advantage of all the European citizens”, declared Paolo Minciacchi, CEO of e-GEOS and Head of the Telespazio Geo-information Business Line.

GAF is one of the most experienced European service providers in the EU/ESA Copernicus programme, covering key thematic domains such as Land Monitoring, Emergency Management, Security, and supporting cross-cutting services of the Copernicus in-situ and Space components. Its thematic application portfolio comprises, amongst others, innovative solutions for customised Digital Elevation Models, building height retrieval, ground motion monitoring, critical infrastructure surveillance, etc. Through its longstanding cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), GAF has been contributing to the German Ground Motion Service (see below), which is one of the precursors of the upcoming EGMS.

The opinions expressed herein are only those of the consortium and do not represent the official positions of the European Environment Agency.

Legacy project: German Ground Motion Service (BodenBewegungsdienst Deutschland - BBD) enabling various downstream applications (ref.: BGR 2020)