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Fast Prototyping Frame Contract

Frame Contract for Social Media and Mobile Applications Development for EO Ground Segment and Mission Operations (Fast Prototyping)

Contractor: Solenix Deutschland GmbH (DE) with Terrasigna Srl (RO) (previously ASRC Srl), GISAT s.r.o. (CZ), Progressive Systems Srl (IT) and Qualteh JR Srl (RO) as subcontractors

The purpose of this contract is to enable fast development of small applications and to support the modernization of infrastructure elements. It establishes a practical innovation process using software prototyping as a way to evaluate new technologies and concepts, and assess possible solutions under real conditions.

In complement to innovation, this contract also pursues a public relations and educational goal. ESA’s Earth Observation missions provide vital data to the scientific community, emergency and monitoring services as well as to the general public via service providers. The general public has a limited view and knowledge of the systems behind, their capabilities and the data they produce. Intuitive and attractive applications, especially mobile and connected to social platforms, can bridge the gap between non-scientists and advanced technologies such as satellites and ground segments.

Project at a Glance

In both areas presented above and following a well-established process, the consortium collects ideas from different stakeholders into a backlog. With the involvement of the Technical Officer, the items in this backlog are then prioritized and further refined for implementation. The selected applications and prototypes are implemented and proposed to their target audience.

Objectives and Benefits

The purpose of the contract is on one hand, to promote ESA's activities and products in the Earth Observation domain to users, scientists and the general public in order to increase awareness and facilitate exploitation of the Earth Observation data. On the other hand the contract serves as a mechanism to reduce technical risks in the development of the Earth Observation Ground Segment by means of rapid prototyping for new concept and technology assessment.
In order to achieve these objectives, two main software types are being developed during the course of the project: 

  • Applications: Fully functioning software applications, typically small to medium size in terms of complexity and development effort, including mobile applications, desktop applications and web applications, as well as 3D shows;
  • Prototypes: Any kind of software application or system developed with the purpose of evaluating a new technology or concept. For Prototypes, it is not expected that all the functions be fully developed, but that the software covers the extent needed to evaluate the relevant concepts, technologies and solutions.
Application and Result Expected

The main result of this activity is the developed software.
In the case of applications, the expected results are more visibility and outreach of the Earth Observation activities at ESA. Some applications focus on promoting the Agency activities to the general public as well as providing educational resources. Some others provide useful tools and information to the scientific community and to the domain users.

For the prototypes, the most valuable results are the lessons learned, which can be used as input for the operational implementation of new infrastructure components. Such a practical evaluation of technologies, concepts and solutions can greatly reduce the risks inherent to the development of operational software, because many problems can be identified and addressed early on and flown into the specifications of the operational software.


Work Order 1

  • Sentinels App (for promotion purposes and initially for iOS only)
  • Educational App for EO
  • Near-real-time Image Viewing App for third-party optical missions (APK, Installation Steps)

Work Order 2

Collaboration with NASA on the development of the WebWorldWind framework and its use for building ESA demos and applications.

Work Order 3

  • Proba-V App, for the promotion of the Proba-V mision and its derived products (e.g. NDVI), including a crowdsourcing element (iOS, Android)
  • Data Visualization Study, to develop innovative ways of visualizing the amounts of data generated by ESA satellites
  • AMS-TEP, a prototype of an Accounting and Monitoring System for Thematic Exploitation Platforms
  • Big Data from Space Conference App, an App for the Big Data from Space
    Conference 2016, to be held on 15-17 March 2016 in Tenerife, Spain
  • Upgrades of the Sentinel App for iOS, to provide more features and to integrate the Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-3 satellites

Work Order 4

Implementation of the first version of the Sentinel App for Android.

Work Order 5

Upgrades of the Sentinel App, both for iOS and for Android.

Work Order 6

Renewal of the collaboration with NASA on the development of the WebWorldWind framework and its use for building ESA demos and applications.

Work Order 7

Upgrades of the Proba-V App, for iOS and Android.

Work Order 8

Renewal of the collaboration with NASA on the development of the Web WorldWind framework and its use for building ESA demos and applications.


Renewal of the collaboration with NASA for the development of the Web WorldWind framework and its use for building ESA cross-platform applications.


Project Manager: Nicola Policella (nicola.policella@solenix.ch)
Technical Officer: Olivier Barois (olivier.barois@esa.int)


Contributors to this page: Yann Voumard

Page last modified on Monday 11 of February 2019 10:09:38 CET by Yann Voumard.