European Space Agency opens Estonian satellite data center in Tallinn

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The data center named ESTHub helps technology companies obtain and process more quickly remote sensing data obtained from space, spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said.

“Estonia is a growing space nation and a full member of the European Space Agency. ESTHub is a key partnership that helps ESA to use big data obtained from space to enable rapid development of technologies and make them accessible across Europe,” said the director general of ESA, Jan Worner.

 Viljar Lubi, deputy secretary general of the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications for economic development, said that the center for satellite data offers Estonian state agencies, research and development institutions and business the possibility to make a contribution to developing smart solutions. He said that from the viewpoint of the state sector, it is important to increase cross-use of data and link satellite data with other data held in the databases of the state, thereby creating services that  offer added value.

There are several users of satellite data in Estonia already and business operators, too, have been waiting for the new data center, Urmas Kolli, manager of the Estonian company Datel, said.

“AS Datel uses remote sensing data collected by the Sentinel-1 satellite and disseminated via ESTHub, among others, in the new service directed to the global market titled Sille. The Sille early warning system allows to monitor subtle movements and subsidence in infrastructure objects and buildings, thereby reducing risks and preventing accidents. Via ESTHub we can get data about Estonia and the nearby region especially fast, which enables us to offer a service of particularly high quality,” Kolli said.

Within the European Union’s Copernicus program, satellites known as Sentinels, the data relayed by which are available to everyone for free, have been put to orbit already and more such satellites are to put to orbit in the coming years.

To facilitate the use of this data in their respective country and avoid the need for massive downloads of data, Finland, Sweden, Norway, the UK and Germany, for instance, have established national data centers where Copernicus data is kept and data processing capabilities offered to other parties.

ESTHub was developed and is operated by the Estonian Land Board. The servers of ESTHub are physically located in the server room of the the State Infocommunication Foundation (RIKS).

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