Space & Security

Space & Security

Earth Observation data are currently showing an unprecedented scenario in terms of variety, volume, velocity, veracity and value; moreover, datasets to be used for security applications can be composed also by geospatial data coming from other sources. Thus, the key challenge in the Space and Security domain is to improve the capacity to access, process and analyse this huge amount of heterogeneous data to provide decision-makers with timely, clear and useful information.

An important value provided by EO datasets is the possibility to identify certain features or changes on the Earth’s surface at various spatial and temporal scales. Change Detection is a transversal technique supporting the monitoring of urban, built-up and natural environments by identifying relevant changes within areas of interest. The provided information constitutes a valid support to address environmental, scientific, humanitarian, security or political issues.


Within this context, the objectives of the Space and Security pilot in NextGEOSS are:


To provide tools for detecting and characterizing changes occurring on the Earth’s surface


To explore methods for extracting information on changes at different scales


To foster extensive exploitation of the GEOSS data hub.

The pilot is built on the results of the activities performed by SatCen in the framework of two Horizon 2020 projects: BigDataEurope (Integrating Big Data, Software & Communities for Addressing Europe’s Societal Challenges) and EVER-EST (European Virtual Environment for Research – Earth Science Themes).

Quick Facts


The pilot allows the user to execute the provided services on specified areas of interest, generally ranging from local to regional level.


The pilot demonstrates the usage of the GEOSS Data Hub for discovery and access of Copernicus data (in particular Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 Level 1) as well as the exploitation of these datasets for the detection of changes occurring at different temporal and spatial scales.


The main ambition in the Space and Security domain is to ensure the wellbeing and security of countries and citizens by exploiting suitable space assets. An important activity in supporting the primary aims of the Space and Security domain is the provision of geospatial products and services resulting from satellite and collateral data. One of the main interests in exploiting such datasets is related to the detection of changes occurring over relevant spatial and temporal extents.


The main pilot beneficiaries are the stakeholders interested in EO data exploitation for security applications such as decision-makers in the field of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). Moreover the transversal nature of the Change Detection topic expands the relevance of the pilot to several other user communities with an interest in detecting changes on the Earth’s surface (e.g. to address environmental or humanitarian issues).


See more information and join the GEO Space and Security Community Activity here.


The pilot provides processing services (based on a chain of image processing operators mainly from open toolboxes) to identify changes on a specific user-defined Area of Interest; as output, the user is able to retrieve and download a file with the detected changes.


The services are designed to be available on the GCI GEOSS. The outcome of the services is associated to a specific user profile as each user can login using its own credentials.