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Copernicus - Global Monitoring for Environment and Security

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Copernicus (formerly known as GMES)

Copernicus (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) is the European Union programme, which originated from the European Commission resolution at the EU summit in Gothenburg in 2001 as a tool to achieving European policy and European capacity for Global Monitoring for Environment and Security. The first talks about establishing such a system were outlined in 1998 at a conference in Baveno, where was also declared that:

  • most of the information from remote Earth sensing, which are used in the EU comes from non-European surveillance systems
  • data provided by observation systems of the EU Member States are often doubled or are not in the required quality and resolution (if any), and the system as a whole is therefore less effective 

Purpose of the GMES/Copernicus

The purpose of the system is to provide timely and reliable space-based information (services) on the environment in the public interest. The data provided will not only help to understand the ecosystem functioning of the whole Earth, but they will be a basis for decision-making and management coordination during rescue operations in case of natural or man-made disasters such as floods, storms, earthquakes or release of hazardous substances or in case of any humanitarian crisis. Understanding of natural processes and relationships between man and his environment is crucial for civil security. GMES/Copernicus becomes also the Europe Union's contribution to global Earth observation program GEOSS.

The structure of GMES/Copernicus

  • The system consists of three segments:
    Space segment - consists of satellites, which provide the Earth remote sensing data. Development of this segment is still in progress. and it depends especially on a completion of Sentinel satellites series
  • In-situ segment - consists of static (ground) sensors and mobile sensors that are placed on planes and ships. The segment includes already operating systems
  • Service segment - consists of services provided, such a status monitoring and the Earth's surface changes monitoring (services for agriculture, forestry, transport ...), monitoring of air pollution, management of rescue operations, etc…

Current state

GMES/Copernicus is now located in the pre-operational stage. Pre-operational GMES services are provided within the 5 programs that deal with monitoring the mainland (Geoland2), monitoring the oceans (MyOcean), observation of the atmosphere (MACC), providing data for the rescue (SAFER), and security monitoring (G-MOSAIC). Between 2011 - 2013 the initiation phase of GMES/Copernicus from 2014 should be the in the full operational phase.

Czech Republic's involvement in the GMES/Copernicus

  • the Government of the Czech Republic in  the Resolution No. 1469 of 20th December 2006  (CR participation in building an integrated and sustainable global earth observation system and ensuring the participation of the CR in the GMES Programme of the European Communities) gave its consent to the participation of the State the GMES.
  • the Czech Republic responsibility for Copernicus guarantees the Ministry of Environment.
  • More information about Copernicus in the  Czech Republic on the address http://gmes.gov.cz .




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