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The Research and User Support (RUS) opened on 25 September, 2017 with the aim to promote the uptake of Copernicus data, and to support the scaling up of R&D activities with Copernicus data.
The service was designed in such a way the following main issues are addressed:
1- Knowledge issues: what can be done with Copernicus data?,
2- Technical issues: how to prepare the data and set-up/integrate customised processing chains?,
3- Physical issues: Earth Observation (EO) data storage limitations and processing power needed to exploit the data.
Knowledge issues are tackled thanks to a dedicated training plan that offers face-to-face training sessions as well as webinars, or online materials. Training materials and activities are tailored to specific EO community needs, using Linux-based RUS virtual environments, and Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS).
Technical issues are solved providing users with an access to a dedicated help desk and a team composed of EO and IT experts, capable of addressing any request whether these come from beginners or from skilled practitioners. The help desk and the experts can be reached by chat, email, or by phone.
Physical issues are overcome with a Platform as a Service that is configured in a scalable cloud environment that offers the possibility to remotely store and process EO data. Integral part of the solution is the adaptation of FOSS to the platform.
The RUS service, which is offered at no cost to the user, is available for a large community of users from academic and public institutions, research entities to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
Activities eligible on the RUS Service encompass Copernicus data discovery and handling, algorithm development (R&D), and teaching. Processing chain development by SME is eligible while commercial and operational activities are excluded. RUS users can import other datasets than the Copernicus core products; however Copernicus data should remain the main data source. Access priority to the RUS Service is given to persons working for entities located in countries represented in the European Commission (EC), and countries that have bilateral agreements with the EC. Persons coming from other countries remain eligible.
The RUS Service is funded by the EC, managed by the European Space Agency, and operated by Communications & Systèmes – Systèmes d’Informations (CS SI) and its partners: Serco SPA, Noveltis, Along-Track, and CS Romania.