EO-ALERT proposes the definition and development of the next-generation EO data and processing chain, based on a novel flight segment architecture that moves optimised key EO data processing elements from the ground segment to on-board the satellite, with the objective of providing the EO products to the end user with very low latency (enhanced-NRT) for increased throughput.

The main objective of EO-ALERT is that of developing, in a fully integrated approach, the technological building blocks required to achieve the primary goal of a next-generation EO data and processing chain, to provide enhanced EO products and services in terms of high availability rate and very low latency (e.g. rapid meteorological and civil security image products and warnings).

Objective 1: Identify and define, based on market needs, an innovative EO data and processing chain for next generation satellites
The objective is the identification of the specific needs driving the innovative next-generation data and processing chain, via the role of the multiple End Users in the project, the identification of EO data chain solution approaches and their trades, through to the definition of the data chain, its user requirements (scientific, institutional and commercial) and the applications and scenarios where it is most needed and will have the most impact.

Objective 2: Design, develop, prototype to breadboard and verify the next-generation EO data and processing chain key technologies
Consistent with COMPET-3 being a call focused on technology research, a core objective of EO-ALERT is devoted to develop the basic technologies that will play a key role to enhance the performance of the EO data and processing chain. The objective is to arrive at a set of key HW and SW technology products, as the building blocks of the data chain, that are innovative, so as to meet the challenge of the new architecture, and fully verified against their respective requirements, for later integration within the project to test the full data chain and for exploitation individually or collectively in other projects/programs. The verification using a representative space HW test bench will allow achieving TRL 5/6.

Objective 3: Verify the key EO data & processing chain technologies as an integrated chain in the HW bench
The objective is to integrate the EO data and processing chain building blocks, in the key HW and SW technology products, to form the integrated data and processing chain, and perform its testing and evaluation, to achieve a TRL5 for the full chain. For this the HW/SW products will be integrated into a high-speed avionics test bench, with representative space HW. The testing will use archived real EO sensor data from representative scenarios, to allow evaluation of the performance and TRL.

Objective 4: Experimentally validate and evaluate the key technologies as an integrated data and processing chain using EO sensor data acquired for the project
A dedicated experimentation campaign will be carried out to determine the potential of the proposed next-generation EO data and processing chain, and its integrated technology HW and SW products, against requirements identified by potential end users (scientific, institutional and commercial). The evaluation of the results will be performed by several end users.

Objective 5: Position the technologies in the EO market for exploitation in coming European and international EO programs
A key objective is to inject the EO-ALERT technological products in upcoming commercial and institutional programs. According to the market report issued by Copernicus , EO data and value added services has shown a continuous growth over the last years to reach EUR 2.75 billion in 2015 and it is expected to continue this trend to reach EUR 5.3 billion by 2020. This scenario will open up a number of opportunities to actors not only in the domain of downstream applications but in the whole value chain, provided they are able to promptly answer to evolving user needs.