Earth Observation data have increased considerably over the last decades with satellites collecting and transmitting several terabytes of data per day. This data acquisition rate is a major challenge to existing data management, exploitation and dissemination approaches used by various agencies such as ESA, NASA and European national space agencies. To make the available petabytes of EO data easily accessible by an even larger group of end user applications, a Virtual Observatory infrastructure for EO data is urgently needed.

The database challenges to support a Virtual Observatory are:

  • Efficient Image Management: The basis of a VO is a large and continuously growing archive of images received. At present, the archives grow with 10s of TB each year. Newly launched satellities will increase the demand for data management.
  • Meta Data Management: To reduce the amount of data, a catalog of images is built where meta data becomes the prime focus for search. It is expected that the amount of derived data may outpace the amount of raw data. 


The reference platform is given by the TELEIOS project where partners from Greece, Italy, and Germany are constructing a VO aimed at forest fire dection in real time.