Acquisition Planning and EO Tasking

Since 1996 we have installed several ground segments for six satellites from the Earth observation (EO) program of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and former GeoEye. Handling the acquisition planning for a dozen of optical sensors providing multi-spectral imagery of medium and high resolutions and three optical sensors of very high resolution, we gained experience with very different acquisition scenarios.

Within the footprint of the Neustrelitz ground station in Germany, covering Europe and Northern Africa, we perform the acquisition planning for systematic as well as demand-driven data acquisition. As a service, we also conducted the demand-driven and demanding tasking of a very agile sensor of very high resolution within a virtual cone. 

We are capable of matching these different acquisition scenarios with data acquisition approaches as diverse as those within the Copernicus program coordinated by the European Space Agency and the Control with Remote Sensing (CwRS) programme of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC).


For the direct reception of satellite data acquired within the footprint of the Neustrelitz ground station we use the services of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). DLR operates the national German satellite data receiving ground facility in Neustrelitz, located about 120 km north of Berlin. The facility has several antenna systems for high data rate reception.

With the direct downlink and reception of data from the Indian Earth observation satellites near real time services can be offered.


Since the start of data acquisitions from the Indian Remote Sensing satellites (IRS) in 1996 approximately 328 terra bytes of satellite raw data have been collected and archived with one or two copies on different types of media. Our archive of IRS raw data currently grows with an approximate rate of 9 terra bytes per year. Further, around 15 terra bytes of raw data were archived from the GeoEye-1 mission.

Beside satellite raw data we also have to archive system corrected and higher level data products, as well as intermediate products, which account for roughly 45 terra bytes in our archives. This amount currently grows by approximately 15 terra bytes per year.

Our archiving experience and expertise ranges from the shelving of SD-1 19 mm data cartridges and LTO tapes, over RAID systems to hierarchical storage systems consisting of RAID systems and robotic tape libraries.


We catalogue the meta data and browse products of the IRS data acquired in Neustrelitz in DLR’s Data and Information Management System (DIMS), which makes it possible for the user community to search for and order data products via the interactive web interface EOWEB. DIMS also provides Heterogeneous Mission Accessibility (HMA) catalogue and ordering interfaces, which implement interface standards of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), and which provide access to IRS data to Copernicus service projects.

In parallel we ingest meta data and browse products, for some sensors augmented by cloud masks, into our own internal catalogue system. Its data pool is enlarged by the inclusion of IRS data acquired by some other ground stations. Through its connection to a desktop GIS as user interface, the internal catalogue permits fast data availability analyses and in-depth data searches for small and large areas of interest worldwide.