Conventional satellite ground segments comprise mission operations and data acquisition systems, data ingestion interfaces, processing capabilities, a catalogue of available data, a data ar chive, and interfaces for queries and data dissemination. The transfer of data mostly relies on common computer networks or high capacity tapes.
Future ground segments have to be capable of handling multi-mission data delivered by SAR and optical sensors and have to provide easy user access to support the selection of specific data sets, fuse data, visualize products and to compress data for transmission via Internet. In particular, the search for data sets has to support individual queries by data content and detailed application area ("data mining") as well as capabilities for automated extraction of relevant features and the application oriented representation of results. In the case of SAR image data, we face an enormous volume of raw data combined with very specific analysis requests posed by the users. In order to reconcile these conflicting aspects we suggest the development of a tool for interactive generation of high level products.
This tool shall extract, evaluate, and visualize the significant information from multidimensional image data of geographically localized areas. It shall rely on advanced image compression methods. Thus, the tool will support the monitoring of the Earth's surface from various perspectives like vegetation, ice and snow, or ocean features.
This exchange of information can be understood as image communication, i.e. the transfer of information via visual data. We propose an advanced remote sensing ground segment architecture designed for easier and interactive decision-making applications and a broader dissemination of remote sensing data.