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Inuvik Wildfires - Sentinel Success Stories
Copernicus operations and contingencies: the Inuvik wildfires
In August 2023, wildfires in northern Canada caused severe environmental damage, while also impairing the network used to transfer Sentinel data from the Inuvik Station.
The recent modernisation of the Copernicus Ground Segment allowed swift restoration of operations.
Inuvik is part of the Copernicus Operational Acquisition Services, contributing to the acquisition of Copernicus Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-5P payload data.
The new service-based architecture of the Copernicus Ground Segment, relying on standardised interfaces across services and cloud-based infrastructure, helped minimise the impact of the communication outage in the overall operations, and in user data availability.
The activation of Maspalomas Acquisition Service (in Spain, operated by INTA), and by Matera service (in Italy, by eGEOS), and of Svalbard Acquisition Service (in Norway, by KSAT), compensated for the unavailability of Sentinel-2 and -5P data respectively at the Inuvik Station (see picture below).
Routine operations for data, initially planned to be downlinked at Inuvik, were resumed in the contingency configuration shortly after the start of the anomaly, and continued smoothly until the fire conditions allowed repair of communication links.
Operations swiftly switched back to the nominal operational configuration, using Inuvik again from 18 September 2023 for Sentinel-2 and 23 September for Sentinel-5P data.
The efficient response to such a major contingency is not only due to a resilient architecture, but was mainly possible thanks to the commitment, professionalism and outstanding performance and collaboration of the many people and industrial services involved in the Copernicus Ground Segment operations.
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