Paul DiGiacomo (NOAA/NESDIS, USA)
Craig Donlon (ESA, EU)
Ewa Kwiatkowska (EUMETSAT, EU)

CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites) developed the concept of virtual, space-based Constellations in support of GEO (Group on Earth Observations) objectives, and as a space component of GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems). A CEOS Virtual Constellation is a set of space and ground segment capabilities operating together in a coordinated manner, in effect a virtual system that overlaps in coverage in order to meet a combined and common set of Earth Observation requirements. The individual satellites and ground segments can belong to a single or to multiple owners. The Constellation concept builds upon or serves to refocus already existing projects and activities. The Constellations effort provides a unique forum to achieve political visibility and increase mutual benefit among space and other environmental agencies in support of cross-cutting GEO Tasks and Targets.

The Ocean Colour Radiometry (OCR) constellation was approved by CEOS after the SIT-24 meeting in Darmstadt, Germany (Sept 2009). The Ocean Colour Radiometry – Virtual Constellation (OCR-VC) will provide long time series of calibrated ocean colour radiance (OCR) at key wavelength bands from measurements obtained from multiple satellites. OCR-VC activities will include calibration, validation, merging of satellite and in situ data, product generation, as well as development and demonstrations of new and improved applications. All IOCCG agencies serving on the IOCCG Committee (i.e., NASA, NOAA, ESA, EUMETSAT, EC/JRC, CNES, JAXA, KIOST, ISRO, INPE and CSA) support some aspect of this virtual constellation, and are taking a leadership role in the activities. Near-future plans of the OCR-VC include implementation of the INSITU-OCR (International Network for Sensor Inter-comparison and Uncertainty assessment for Ocean Colour Radiometry) and implementing linkages with relevant components of the GEO Blue Planet Task.


Philippe Escudier, CNES, France
Ewa Kwiatkowska, EUMETSAT
Martin Bergeron, CSA Canada
Joo-Hyung Ryu, KIOST, Korea
Milton Kampel, INPE, Brazil
Mark Dowell, JRC, European Commission
Hiroshi Murakami, JAXA, Japan
Prakash Chauhan, ISRO, India
Paula Bontempi, NASA, USA
Craig Donlon, ESA, Europe

Ad hoc members:

Stewart Bernard, CSIR, South Africa
David Antoine, LOV, France
Venetia Stuart, IOCCG Project Office, Canada

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