Case studies - WEkEO

Access to satellite data on climate and meteorology

WEKEO - s2 we

In April 2019 EUMETSAT, representing also ECMWF (The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts), and Mercator Ocean International (called the Partners), signed a contract led by Thales Alenia Space and CloudFerro for the provision of cloud computing and related services for the WEkEO platform.

wekeo data viewer

WEkEO is one of the five Data and Information Access Services (DIAS) financed by the European Commission. The contract includes the provision “as a service” of the computing, storage, and network infrastructure.

In December 2019 implementation has been completed and transitioned into operational mode. In January 2020 Eumetsat together with Mercator International and ECMWF announced the official launch of new WEkEO services.

Business need

CloudFerro and Thales Alenia Space led the consortium including ATOS Origin, GMV, Orange, and CLS to address technical, economic, and business challenges of the WEkEO platform. WEkEO's main goal was to offer data from Sentinel satellites data together with Copernicus marine, land, atmosphere, and climate services. New features enabled the “user to the data” approach: instant data access together with various tools enabling to transform the data and provide necessary services avoiding additional ITC infrastructure investments.

The following key aspects were addressed

  • Providing free of charge computing, storage, and network infrastructure called DPIs (Distributed Partner Infrastructure) for research and development purposes.
  • Providing advanced commercial cloud services (for advanced users).
  • Establishing efficient and scalable IaaS solution including federated approach with virtual environment functions and toolboxes.
  • Providing Partners CFI elements (SW packages and tools).
  • Efficient end-user support by IT helpdesk services & system administration.

Phases of the project

The main goal was to deploy the WEkEO V1 solution with the necessary operational services. Kick-off was concluded in April 2019. After 4 months project has achieved IRR (Implementation Readiness Review) milestone: pre-commissioned IaaS hardware was installed at each Partners site, application demonstration presented to Partners and project documentation accepted.

In December 2019 after 8 months of deployment project has successfully achieved ORR (Operational Readiness Review) milestone.

Platform operation includes helpdesk, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd line of support for 18 months till Q3 2021. In January 2020 User and data migration from the previous WEkEO V1 solution was performed by CloudFerro. Over 70 customer environments, 3000 users, and 2TB of customer data were migrated to the new system.

On January 30th, 2020 Eumetsat has announced the official launch of new WEkEO V2 services.

WEkEO - Tools and services

Satellite data

  • Sentinel 1, 2 i 3
  • Sentinel 5P
  • ERA5

Copernicus Services

  • C3S climate changes)
  • CAMS (atmosphere)
  • CLMS (land monitoring)
  • CMEMS (marine)

EO processing tools

  • Jupyter Notebooks
  • dedicated VMs with pre-installed processing tools like SNAP, Gdal, Orfeo toolbox

Backend Services

  • Dedicated VMs with pre-installed processing tools like SNAP, Gdal, Orfeo toolbox
  • Harmonized Data Access UI&API: Search &access of EO Data
  • Jupyter Hub: Jupyter notebooks can be developed making use of Harmonized Data Access
  • Self-provisioning of IaaS and PaaS
  • Billing for commercial services (packages and pay-as-you-go for future use)
  • eCommerce

WEkEO IaaS offer

WEkEO can host users:

  • Free of charge with limited resources for pilot users
  • Commercial packages: based on so-called T-shirts (fixed resources bundled in packages where user can provision own Virtual Machines)
  • Support Services

Helpdesk Services and Support Services include:

  • Providing general Helpdesk service as Level 1
  • Providing thematic technical experts for specific themes as Level 2
  • Having technical team ready to bring a Level 3 support
  • Making the Helpdesk process efficient to get the best indicators (satisfaction and resolution time)
  • Maintenance and Update of Knowledge Base through enhancing the knowledgebase with different user recurrent demands (if any)


WEkEO offers data from the Partners and Copernicus data from Sentinel satellites, including marine, land, atmosphere, and climate services. It features cloud/big data-based hosted processing, and tools in order to bring the “user to the data”, to transform the data and provide services meeting their specific needs or the ones of their users.

Benefits to the end users include:

  • Reduction of the volume of data to be transferred.
  • "Pay-per-use" business model to avoid users to invest and operate expensive ICT infrastructure.
  • Expert and technical assistance to transform Earth Observation data to commercial services

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