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KLAUS Project

KEO Demonstrator with Models for Land Use Management 


A long-term ESA aim has been the implementation of Image Information Mining (IIM) techniques for improving high performance analysis processing and for dealing with huge amounts of Earth Observation satellite data. These efforts led during years to design the Knowledge-centred Earth Observation (KEO) prototype system, a modular and scalable Component-based Processing Environment (CPE) which permits to:

  • Ease the access to EO data and relevant information extracted from them
  • Provide a large set of tools for EO data processing (bridging the gap between Data and Information)
  • Expand the use of EO data by supporting and automating the identification and extraction of information relevant for users
  • Encourage the use of a common scientific cooperative environment 

The KEO prototype permits users to interactively extract relevant features and information from EO data, either through a generic probabilistic technique (KIM subsystem) or by means of specific processing algorithms (FEP subsystem), and to provide outputs, i.e. valuable information extracted from data, in easily accessible formats.

The Orfeo Tool Box (OTB - see http://www.orfeo-toolbox.org/otb/) is an open source C++ library developed by CNES, providing a huge number of image processing functionalities which can be used for developing complex image processing applications optimized for EO data. OTB classes are in principle suited also to be integrated into KEO which would offer a substantial enrichment of the KEO prototype functionality.


During last years ESA funded a series of projects in the field:

  • Knowledge-based Information Mining (KIM)
  • Knowledge-centred Earth Observation
  • Image Information Mining on Time Series (IIM-TS)
  • KEO Extensions and Installations (KEI)
  • Classification Application-services and References Datasets (CARD)
  • Support by Pre-classification to specific Applications (SPA)
  • Assessment of European Ortho-rectification and Co-registration Services (OrthoServ)
  • Open Access Ontology / Terminology for the GMES Space Component (OTEG)
  • Service Support Environment (SSE)

Along the trail blazed by these projects, requirements and expertise have been collected also with regards to various end-user applications. Specifically in the application domains of vegetation management, hydrological hazards management, fire and burnt areas management, as well as solar irradiance monitoring specific interest for testing and validating services based on KEO technology could be determined. It could also be observed that a growing number of European organizations such as the European Satellite Centre (EUSC) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) are interested to qualify KEO and related service approaches for potential operational deployment.


Given the above background, ESA decided to launch the KLAUS project in order to specifically encompass the following activities:

  1. Upgrading of the KEO prototype into a demonstrator, including improvements, availability, reliability and performance
  2. Assessment of the potentialities of the KEO demonstrator with selected Key Users for specific KEO Demonstrator Applications (KDA) in land use management, addressing also issues related to:
  • Generalised data models
  • Bidirectional interfaces with user's systems
  • Implementation of new processing components
  1. Definition of possible KIM enhancements
  2. Enhancements of EO image co-registration chains and of inter-equalization tools for Satellite Image Time Series (SITS)
  3. Integration of part of the CNES Orfeo Tool Box as KEO processing components
  4. Support and organization of wider stakeholder group (including EUSC and EMSA) for discussion/agreement of operational scenarios
  5. Identification of possible KEO operational configurations and related transfer to operations requirements

For development support, testing and validating of KEO, a Reference Data Sets infrastructure (RDS), managed within an GeoNetwork catalogue and accessible via standard browsers, is maintained by ESA. RDS contains collections of heterogeneous material (images, text, photos, digital elevation models, etc.) for specific topics or geographic areas.

The KLAUS project main objective is an overall improvement of the KEO prototype system, with particular attention to the following issues: Installation Package, Graphical User Environment, User Management Functions, FEP Execution Management, System Monitoring, FEP/CLI Import and Export, Semantic Search Features, KEO Operability, CPE Programming Functionalities.

Other KLAUS activities will focus on

  • KIM future enhancement 
  • Implementation of new Processing Components into KEO
  • Improvement and deployment of multi-temporal co-registration chain 


A KEO Tutorial is also available for users in order to ease their access and use of system functionalities.


In order to demonstrate the KEO environment to users, a set of applications (named KDAs) will be implemented focused on the following topics:

  1. Applications for biomass estimation
  2. Applications for hydrological hazards management
  3. Applications for fires and burned areas management
  4. Application for solar irradiance monitoring


In addition a widening-up to a larger representation of users communities (EMSA, EUSC, etc.) is organized via a user consultation process in order to assert representative requirement, expectations and suggestions as orientation lines for future KIM and KEO developments. Possible KEO operational configurations are identified and related Transfer To Operations schemes from these operational scenarios and from results of a ranking of most promising KIM and KEO implementations are defined.

Contributors to this page: Michele Iapaolo
SSE Operations Team .

Page last modified on Wednesday 23 of April 2014 10:59:17 CEST by Michele Iapaolo.