Interview with CS GROUP Romania partner

20 June 2022

CS GROUP - ROMANIA has long experience in software development, and particularly in distributed systems development and software integration solutions. Excellent experience in EO data processing chain development using different frameworks and programming languages. Excellent experience in ISVV activities for critical industries.

CS GROUP - ROMANIA is one of the pioneer Romanian companies which perform activities related to the Space sector, since Romania’s admission as a European Space Agency member state at the end of 2011. Subsequently, the company has been involved in ESA missions and in programs such as Copernicus and Galileo developed by ESA and EU, either as a prime contractor or as part of various consortia.

CS GROUP - ROMANIA performs IT software development activities in various projects related to Ground Segment, Space Segment and Applications for Data Processing.  The main contributions are in Data and Image Processing from EO missions, the development of toolboxes for the Sentinel missions, Flight Dynamics Software, On Board Software, EGSE, data archiving and algorithm optimization for GNSS, multi-mission ground segment software etc. It is also part of the core team of the JUICE mission, being in charge with spacecraft database configuration and validation of on-board and operational procedures.

CS GROUP - ROMANIA is in charge of the design and implementation for EarthAgriculture pilot and also the EarthSelf portal and the SuggestEngine service.

The EarthAgriculture pilot aims at improving the performance of the existing Sen2-Agri and Sen4CAP processing chains by taking advantage of the services offered by SnapEarth. It offers to agricultural users a set of value-added services to support agricultural monitoring activities, such as vegetation indicator maps, crop maps, agricultural practices or grassland mowing detections.

The EarthSelf platform deploys turnkey Cloud environments for EO data exploration and added-value service development. Its use is user-friendly and does not require any specific Cloud or IT skills.

The Suggest Engine is responsible for computing the scores for each cloud provider according to the user preferences in order to help him to select the best cloud provider that fits his needs. It is used also by the EarthAgriculture services to estimate and then to compute the real costs needed for an user processing request.

CS GROUP - ROMANIA brings its strong know-how in distributed satellite image processing and creating derived EO products by deploying and operating the EarthAgriculture services. The main challenge CS GROUP - ROMANIA was facing is to develop the EarthAgiculture service without showing to the user the technical complexity of the underlaying systems (Sen2-Agri and Sen4CAP), allowing at the same time the possibility to easily extend the system, in the future, with new services. Another challenge was implementing a system that can be easily scaled according to the number of concurrent user requests (shelve virtual machines when small number of requests or spawn new machines when the current processing resources are not enough). Additionally, the system reuse at maximum the products already created (to avoid reprocessing of same data) such that processing resources but also costs are optimized.

Being member of the consortia that developed both Sen2-Agri and Sen4CAP systems but also in an on-going system development, based on same platform as the previous systems, for computing agricultural statistics in the framework of the project Sen4Stat, the CS GROUP – ROMANIA is aware of the issues the thousands of users are facing using the existing systems, considering that most of them are scientists and not IT persons. The CS GROUP – ROMANIA is trying to come to the non-IT persons (and not only) with a service having simple interface to use, that allows to the user to focus on his scientific work rather than spending time on technical IT issues. Another advantage is that the users could use the AI-based results from EarthSignature as in-situ data, avoiding thus the in-situ data collection, which is usually very expensive and time consuming. Additionally, the users will benefit of a continuously unified and updated platform, containing all the evolutions of the underlying systems.