Successful kick-off for the WEkEO Services and Operations contract

July 31, 2019

WEkEO has been developed jointly by EUMETSAT (leading cloud infrastructure and system engineering support), ECMWF (leading data access and tools) and Mercator Ocean International (leading user support, web presence and marketing).

It is one of the EU Copernicus Data Information Access Services (DIAS) and is a central place to work with all Copernicus Data and Information.

WEkEO is the EU Copernicus DIAS reference service for environmental data, virtual processing environments and skilled user support. WEkEO is based on a distributed open architecture concept, federative and scalable, implemented by European industry. WEkEO responds to the requirements for the DIAS as defined by the European Commission and is funded through the Copernicus Programme. On April 16th, the ITT1 (Invitation to tender), which covers WEkEO infrastructure (where EUMETSAT is the lead) was successfully awarded.

What does the ITT1 contract entail?

The activities covered by this contract are procured by EUMETSAT in the frame of the partnership established with ECMWF and Mercator Ocean International, in the context of the implementation and operations of the WEkEO DIAS Service funded by the EU Copernicus Programme.

The scope of the contract now awarded to the two co-contractors - Thales Alenia Space (TAS) and CloudFerro - corresponds to the most significant part of the WEkEO project, in terms of functionalities, costs and related industrial activities. The following key aspects are addressed:

  • Provision of computing, storage and network infrastructure called DPIs (Distributed Partner Infrastructure);
  • Provision of commercial cloud services for elasticity purpose;
  • Establishment of efficient network connections between infrastructure;
  • Hosting of CFI elements (SW packages and tools);
  • IAAS services including virtual environment functions and toolboxes;
  • Web services and reference front office implementation;
  • Operations and support services for WEkEO DAS;
  • System administration & IT helpdesk services;
  • Analysis and reporting functions.

The WEkEO DIAS aspects outside the scope of this contract will be procured by the respective partners through separate ITTs. These include:

  • Data Processing & Tools;
  • Engineering support services for requirements management and verification and validation (V&V) activities;
  • WEkEO End User Web Portal;
  • User outreach and marketing;
  • User support & Helpdesk.

As part of the contract award activities, “commercial exploitation rights” were granted to the TAS consortium for the duration of the contract. This means, the contractor may define and implement additional functions and services, with the purpose to optimise the commercial exploitation of Copernicus Data and Information Services, in line with the proposed business model.

The implementation of the WEkEO Service will be largely based on existing design solutions and CFI (Customer Furnished Items) software that are imposed to the Contractor in order to secure the continuity of key design elements, interfaces and user-related functions established already with the Data Service Roadmap/Pathfinder projects and the demonstration version v0 of the WEkEO service that has been available to end users since June 2018. Based on the project schedule, the Operational Readiness Review of the Copernicus WEkEO Services and Operations is foreseen for mid-October 2019.

The kick-off meeting was attended by EUMETSAT, representatives from the co-contractors Thales Alenia Space and CloudFerro and from the four sub-contractors: Atos, GMV, CLS and Orange.