Copernicus SEA celebrates its fifth anniversary since the starting of operations

Copernicus SEA celebrates its fifth anniversary since the starting of operations

Copernicus SEA celebrates its fifth anniversary since the starting of operations

Thu, 19/05/2022 – 10:40

The Copernicus Security Service is an integral part of the Copernicus component of the EU Space Programme. This service provides the European Union with vital information to respond to the security challenges Europe faces and assists non-EU countries in situations of crisis or emerging crisis. The EU has a responsibility to promote stable conditions for human and economic development, human rights, democracy and fundamental freedoms. It is in line with this mandate that the Copernicus Security Service in Support to EU External Action (SEA) was designed and implemented based on SatCen expertise and with the support of the EU industry. On 15 May 2022, the Copernicus SEA service celebrates its fifth anniversary since it became operational.

Launched in October 2016, the Service results from many years of research and development under the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Projects like BRIDGES, G-NEXT and G-SEXTANT allowed to fine-tune and validate the Service during its pre-operational phase.

Copernicus SEA Service key events timeline.

On 6 October 2016, the European Commission entrusted SatCen with the implementation of the Copernicus SEA Service with the signature of a Delegation Agreement. After a few months of warming up, on 15 May 2017 the Copernicus SEA Service became operational.

The Copernicus SEA service can only be activated by Authorised Users. The European Commission, the Member States, the European Union’s External Action Service and different International Organisations, such as the United Nations, are among the Authorised Users. Although the Service is mainly oriented towards European users, under specific conditions, it can be activated by key international organisations under cooperation agreements with the European Union and/or upon approval of the Political and Security Committee.

When an Authorised User requests an activation of the Copernicus SEA Service, within a very short timescale the Service can respond and deliver on-demand, mission-ready geospatial information. Through the acquisition and analysis of satellite imagery, the Copernicus SEA Service produces a variety of customised geospatial intelligence products: from quick reports to printable and digital MapBooks. In fact, during these five years, the Service has assisted its users in more than 500 activations. Analysing over half a million square kilometres in almost 80 different countries or areas and delivering over 1,000 products.


Overview of the Copernicus SEA activity since 2017.


These five years also provided the opportunity to prove the capabilities of the Service to face and overcome crisis situations. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the strong resilience capacity of the Service to ensure its continuity while implementing all the necessary countermeasures. In addition, the Copernicus SEA Service has a transversal activity of ‘Service Evolution’. Its goal is to improve the existing portfolio of products and enhance any aspects of the Service flow to enhance service delivery. For instance, by creating new products, enhancing already existing ones, and by adapting the Service to the future developments in the space industry.

Example of Camp Analysis Monitoring.


During half a decade, the Copernicus SEA Service has provided timely and accurate geospatial information to improve situational awareness during crises and conflicts, analysed and assessed damages, and supported humanitarian aid activities. Meanwhile, the Service has continued to adapt and evolve its capacity to respond to all new user’s needs.


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Thu, 19/05/2022 – 12:00

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