TheEarth Observation Data Centre for Water Resources Monitoring GmbH (or EODC) was established in May 2014 as a visionary concept outlined by Prof. Wolfgang Wagner and a group of public and private actors in the field of Earth Observation. The setup of the EODC was a direct response to the advent of Copernicus (the EU’s Earth observation programme), and the resulting unprecedented amounts of data that would be acquired by Copernicus over the coming decades.
The Sentinel-1 satellites’ projected data volumes and related data transfer requirements, in combination with data-hungry algorithms (e.g. machine learning, time-series analysis), far exceed local storage and bandwidth capacity. The algorithms themselves also demand increased computational power. Therefore, the focus and mission of EODC is to connect in an efficient manner the required storage (data) and computing power (software), thus eliminating data transfer issues. This is achieved through close c-operation with EODC’s partner network, consisting of leaders in Earth observation science (i.e. academic and research institutions), business (SMEs), governmental and inter-governmental institutions, and non-profit organizations (NGOs and foundations).
The EODC serves as a platform where customers and long-term partners of EODC can access state-of-the-art cloud-computing, data and products from a vast long-term repository of EO missions. Moreover, EODC offers exclusive access to the Vienna Scientific Cluster (VSC) super-computing infrastructure (VSC-3 and VSC-4, ranked 82 in the top 500 in June 2019).
In terms of related expertise, the EODC has been working on an IT infrastructure concept that fully supports storage, processing and re-distribution of various types of EO data, using most up-to-date ICT solutions. Following changes in technology over time and requirements arising through different types of EO data, this concept is being constantly adapted. Lessons learned and knowledge gained through this process form a solid basis for understanding of the needs and requirements associated with high performance storage and retrieval of large data streams, value-added product generation, as well as timely delivery in different manners (e.g. download, web-mapping and processing services, etc.) and to interdisciplinary interested parties.
The EODC’s three broad spheres of service provision include cloud and high-performance computing, data and product provision, and the development of bespoke EO software and services.
Regarding related experience, the EODC is active in a number of national and international projects. After the successful implementation and completion of phase 1 and phase 2 of ESA’s CCI Essential Climate Variable (ECV) soil moisture project, EODC leads the R&D evolution of the soil moisture ECV. Furthermore, EODC provides an operational framework for the production, and scientific advancement, for the soil moisture climate data record derived from passive and active space borne EO data sets. The EODC successfully led the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Soil Moisture Service and currently leads the C3S Land Hydrology and Cryosphere (LHC) Services with an operational Climate Data Production System (CPS) in place, it provides Soil Moisture Climate Data Records (CDR) and coordinates the provision of Lakes, Glaciers, and Ice Sheets and Ice Shelf ECV CDR’s to ECMWF and C3S.
Moreover, EODC coordinates its partners in the provision of near real-time soil water index (SWI) products, provides a mirrored processing chain, and offers reprocessing service in the C-GLOPS project, which is the first fully operational phase of the Copernicus Global Land segment. Furthermore, EODC and its partners are active in projects dealing with the development of scientific algorithms and automatic processing chains for the monitoring of different local, regional and global parameters from Sentinel 1, Sentinel 2 and other EO data sources.
More information is provided on the EODC official web-site