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Earth observation

The Copernicus programme, formerly known as Global Monitoring for Environment and SecurityGMES, is the European Union's response to the increasing demands for accurate, reliable environmental data. Copernicus will permanently monitor and forecast the state of the Earth (land, oceans and atmosphere) at regional and global levels through the latest satellite imagery, as well as in situ sensors in air, marine and ground stations and deliver it through a set of environmental and security-related services.

The advantage of having a permanent 'eye in the sky' is of immense importance to both public and private sectors. Autonomous access to such information is becoming crucial for many EU policy areas. The data gathered from the Sentinels and the information produced by the Copernicus services will allow the creation of new business opportunities, which, in turn, will help promote jobs and growth.

Copernicus in brief

  • Copernicus is a system for monitoring the state of the Earth. It covers six main areas: marine environment, land, atmosphere, emergency management, security and climate change monitoring.
  • Copernicus combines data and images obtained through satellites as well as through sensors in air and ground stations (the so-called 'in situ' data).
  • Copernicus is expected to lead to benefits of up to €70 billion over the period 2014-30.

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