ESA title

De-risking Atlantic-related commercial applications targeting fast-developing events with small sat constellation

Data Segment
  • Data Analytics, Insights & Applications
  • Data Processing & Visualisation
Ground Segment
  • Ground Networks & Data Distributions
  • Ground Stations & Mission Management
Space Segment
  • Payload
  • Platform
  • Product Development
SPACE4ATLANTIC will be an end-to-end EO system based on a small satellite constellation to deliver services for Atlantic stakeholders, covering gaps of existing systems in revisit, latency and sensors; and leveraging new capabilities for frequent, near real-time monitoring of fast developing events, to enable new user-driven activities and collective engagement over the Atlantic.
Objectives of the Product

The Atlantic Ocean stretches from the Artic Circle to Antarctica and is bordered by the American Continent to the west and by Europe and Africa to the east. For centuries, the Atlantic Ocean has been a key avenue of economic activity, trade and travel with fisheries in particular for the European Continent where two-thirds of the borders are coastal and maritime spaces. Furthermore, 40% of EU GDP is generated in coastal regions and 75% of the volume of external commercial transactions takes place over maritime routes and, the “Blue Economy” (taken to mean all economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts and, as such, covering a wide range of interlinked established and emerging sectors) is estimated to represent about 5.4 million jobs with a resulting Gross Value Added of approximately EUR 500 billion per year. The Atlantic Ocean, being a critical source for Europe of valuable natural resources, needs to be studied, protected and managed. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance to monitor the evolution of multiple parameters for these purposes, through data captured from both local and remote sources. Overall, neither current missions nor future Copernicus missions, fulfil simultaneously the needs of maritime domain stakeholders concerning spatial resolution (in the desired range of meters to 10 km), revisit times under 3 hours for selected areas and data latencies consistent with real-time to near real-time analysis, operations and decision making.
SPACE4ATLANTIC’s objective is to fill this gap by deploying an Earth Observation constellation of small satellites focused on addressing the necessities of customers and users of the Atlantic area and contributing for a better understanding and monitoring of the region.

Customers and their Needs

The key customers segments are drawn from the Atlantic area stakeholders that require information to support their operations or feed into their business models. The same segments will be considered when addressing the market outside the Atlantic area.

Segmentation considers differences in the services (or products) specifications, business model (mainly related with type of organisation: business, institutions or businesses; and relation between user and customer) and the way in which the data or service are integrated in the operations of the customer:

  • Blue economy (maritime business agents), business companies (user and customer is the same organisation) that develop their activities based on the Ocean and Coastal areas. These can be:
    • Logistics & Transportation (shipping);
    • Fishing;
    • Farming;
    • Mining;
    • Energy generation; or
    • Insurance companies.
  • Resource managers, usually public entities tasked with managing resources and overseeing activities, including:
    • Regulators;
    • Port authorities;
    • Maritime traffic authorities;
    • Air traffic authorities;
    • Radio spectrum/ communications authorities; or
    • Environmental protection agencies.
  • Safety and security agencies such as EMSA or national civil protection agencies.
  • Meteorological Institutes, that require specific sets of data.
  • Researchers, accessing data through institutional level agreements.
  • Downstream, including companies that require data and information to provide their services; and also Cloud infrastructure providers.
  • Satellite operators and integrators that can acquire subsystems (e.g., cameras) or even complete systems (e.g. satellites), to be considered a potential spin-off revenue stream.

Even though these customer segments comprehend a broad range of organisations, their specific needs can in many cases be catered through similar services. The validation of user needs in these customer segments will be performed during SPACE4ATLANTIC’s de-risking phase.

Target customers/user’s countries


Product description

SPACE4ATLANTIC will deliver data, information and knowledge services from a small satellite constellation to detect and monitor fast developing events (with significant developments within a few hours), that will complement existing EO systems to allow for more effective and efficient study, protection, management and fostering of blue economy activities in the Atlantic region. Through developing, integration and operation of a constellation of small satellites, SPACE4ATLANTIC will fill observation gaps in revisit, latency and sensor performance over the Atlantic, complement existing EO Systems (e.g. Copernicus), and cater to the needs of blue economy stakeholders, Maritime operators, Resource managers and Regulators, Security and other dedicated public agencies, Researchers, and society at large.

Added Value

The ability to deliver cost-efficient data, information and knowledge services to detect and monitor fast developing events, from a constellation of small satellites aimed at high revisit frequency and low latency mainly targeted at the Atlantic region has value for different costumer segments. Translating into different proposals for different customers, the following added values are envisioned:

  • Near real-time analysis-ready data and information
  • Alerts and near real-time knowledge on areas of interest for economic agents.
  • Alerts, and near real-time knowledge and information from broad area coverage for Ocean-related Resource managers and Regulators.
  • Customised analysis-ready data for Dedicated public agencies.
  • Archive data and information for Researchers.
  • Near real-time Data, information and knowledge for Intermediate players.

Direct Space-based info for Final consumers in the future

Current Status

The Final Review for this activity has been held on January 2023. The activity is now concluded.

Prime Contractor Company
Portugal Flag Portugal
AIR Centre
Portugal Flag Portugal
Portugal Flag Portugal
Deimos Engenharia
Portugal Flag Portugal
OHB Portugal
Portugal Flag Portugal
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Norway Flag Norway
Open Cosmos
United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom
OHB System
Germany Flag Germany
Contractor Project Manager
Afonso Martins
Omnidea Lda, Estrada da Quinta de Matos nº4, Bloco A Escritório 1, 2630 179 Arruda dos Vinhos, Portugal

+351 211 913 499

ESA Technical Officer
Arnaud Lecuyot

Current activities