Providing satellite data to places where network connection is not effectively supported

In 2001 ESA launched an innovative tool to provide satellite data to places where the network connection was not effectively supported, in a rapid and cost-effective way: the Data Dissemination System (DDS). Three uplink stations located at Kiruna (Sweden) and Esrin (Italy) together with more than 200 receiving stations between Europe and Africa constitute the ground segment facility that allows the data distribution. During its first years of operations the Data Dissemination System has transmitted Envisat data and products to users resident in European Countries. In the first months of 2011, ESA launched a new generalised service based on the DDS technology that can distribute EO data coming from almost all the satellites launched by ESA and Third Party Missions to Africa: Broadcasting Africa. In the last ten years, since the World Summit on Sustainable Development, ESA has drastically increased its efforts to help the development of the African regions. The TIGER project, on water resource management, the Maputo Declaration, that extend the GMES programme to Africa, and many Data User Elements actions have delivered precious satellite information products that offer to Africa the essential knowledge to better manage its environmental resources and to face many health and safety issues. All these ESA initiatives are part of a common strategy that foresees to address the challenge of Africa's sustainable development reinforcing space assets. Following this approach the agency decided to realise a service that helps the European Earth Observation Science community to overcome the “digital divide” barrier. The new DDS service has opened the door to a massive and more valuable use of this data dissemination system.

Digital divide
DDS: Broadcasting Africa
Service Demonstration
Stefano Badessi; Francesco Feliciani