Context: a technological & commercial spinoff


Space oceanography

MERIS Brittany  light

Remote sensing from space is an invaluable technique to get a repetitive and global view of the ocean state. Interaction between the electromagnetic radiation and the sea surface provides information on the various aspects of the marine environment: ocean biology (ocean colour radiometry), sea surface temperature, sea surface height (altimetry), sea surface roughness (wind, waves and current).

This environmental information can be further used for operational monitoring and support, optimization of human and material means, respect of regulation at sea and coastal areas.

In the last decades, space agencies have developed and operated oceanographic missions which have demonstrated the benefit of remote-sensing for science and society, like e.g. MERIS (ESA) sensor with MarCoast services, Topex/Poseidon and Jason series (NASA/CNES/NOAA/EUMETSAT) with operational oceanography and forecasting services, etc.

View some existing marine services…


The GMES Space Component

Sentinel 3

The European initiative for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) aims at providing sustainable and reliable information on Earth state, including marine environment. The Sentinel satellites currently developed by ESA constitute the GMES Space Component (GSC), together with contributing missions of other agencies. The Ground Segment in charge of the data processing, archiving, distribution and mission monitoring, is part of the GSC and consists in a:

  • Core ground segment, ESA/EU funded, ensuring main functions (basic services up to Level 2 products, systematic product generation, online data distribution…) and continuity with ENVISAT data;
  • Collaborative ground segment, third parties funded, delivering added value services complementing the core ground segment, in term of data acquisition and quasi/near real time production, data products and algorithms, data dissemination and access, innovative tools and applications.


World Competitiveness Clusters for Ocean and Space

Pole Mer Bretagne

Pole Mer PACA

Aerospace Valley

MCGS is a partnership of height French actors, belonging to both private and public sectors, specialized in space oceanography covering ocean radiometry, surface topography and surface roughness. Industrial partners are involved in the design & development of satellite ground segments of European programs, as well as downstream marine services. For its innovative content, the MCGS project has been nominated by three French Competitiveness Clusters, pôle Mer PACA, pôle Mer Bretagne and Aerospace Valley. Competitiveness Clusters are geographical pooling of companies, research centers and educational institutions seeking to develop both growth and jobs in key markets through increased innovation, high-value-added technological and creative activities, businesses incentive.