EO-ALERT: A Novel Architecture for the Next Generation of Earth Observation Satellites Supporting Rapid Civil Alerts

  1. Kerr1, S. Tonetti1, S. Cornara1, J. I. Bravo1, R. Hinz1, A. Latorre1, F. Membibre1, A. Ramos1, C. Solimini1, S. Wiehle2, H. Breit2, D. Günzel2, S. Mandapati2, B. Tings2, U. Balss2, O. Koudelka3, F. Teschl3, E. Magli4, T. Bianchi4, A. Migliorati4, P. Motto Ros4, M. Caon4, M. Martina4, R. Freddi5, F. Milani5, G. Curci5, S. Fraile6, C. Marcos7

1DEIMOS Space S.L.U.

Tres Cantos – Madrid, Spain

Email: {murray.kerr, stefania.tonetti, stefania.cornara, juan-ignacio.bravo, robert.hinz, antonio.latorre, francisco.membibre, alexis.ramos, chiara.solimini}@deimos-space.com

2Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.


Email: {stefan.wiehle, helko.breit, dominik.guenzel, srikantha.mandapathi, bjoern.tings, ulrich.balss}@dlr.de

3Technische Universität Graz

Graz, Austria

Email: koudelka@tugraz.at, franz.teschl@tugraz.at

4Politecnico di Torino

Turin, Italy

Email: {enrico.magli, tiziano.bianchi, andrea.migliorati, paolo.mottoros, michele.caon, maurizio.martina}@polito.it

5OHB Italia Spa

Milan, Italy

Email: {riccardo.freddi, fabio.milani.ext, guido.curci.ext}@ohb-italia.it

6Deimos Imaging S.L.U.


Email: silvia.fraile@deimos-imaging.com

7Agencia Estatal de Meteorología

Madrid, Spain

Email: cmarcosm@aemet.es


The EO-ALERT project proposes the definition and development of the next-generation Earth Observation (EO) data processing chain, based on a novel flight segment architecture that moves opti-mised key EO data processing elements from the ground segment to on-board the satellite, with the aim of delivering EO products to the end user with very low latency. EO-ALERT achieves, globally, latencies below five minutes for EO products delivery, and below 1 minute in some scenarios. The proposed archi-tecture combines innovations in the on-board elements of the data chain and the communications, namely: on-board reconfigurable data handling, on-board image generation and processing for the generation of alerts (EO products) using Artificial Intelligence (AI), on-board AI-based data compression and encryption, high-speed on-board avionics, and reconfigurable high data rate communication links to ground, including a separate chain for alerts with minimum latency and global coverage. This paper pre-sents the proposed architecture, its performance and hardware, considering two different user scenarios: ship detection and extreme weather nowcasting. The results show that, when implemented using COTS components and available communication links, the proposed architecture can deliver alerts to ground with latency below five minutes, for both SAR and Optical missions, demonstrating the viability of the EO-ALERT concept.

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