Skip links

Downstream Applications – what, how, who?

Most startups create so-called downstream applications that make use of satellite data from the Copernicus or the Galileo programmes. Copernicus is the European Union programme of Earth Observation, which monitors our planet and environment. Galileo is Europe’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), providing improved positioning and timing information for European services and users.

Copernicus, named after the Polish polymath Nicolaus Copernicus, is implemented in partnership with the EU Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and other EU Agencies.

The Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) takes its name from the famous Italian scientist Galileo Galilei, who is seen by many as the father of modern science. GNSS powers many of the products and applications that we use every day, from the navigation devices in cars and mobile phones, to emergency response-services. GNSS builds on the on American Global Positioning System (GPS) by adding better spatial and timing accuracy. With Galileo, European users have their own reliable alternative to GPS that, unlike other programmes, remains under civil control.

Example downstream applications 1. Credit: ESA

Data from satellites (as well as ground-based, airborne, and seaborne) provide information to help service providers, public authorities, and other international organisations improve European citizens’ quality of life and beyond. The information services provided are free and openly accessible to users.

Here are lists of use cases for Copernicus satellite data, and for Galileo services.

Many of our ESA BIC Portugal startups make use downstream data to build powerful applications to improve different aspect of our lives. At this link you can see a list of our startups and a summary of what they are doing. Looking through their business solutions will give you ideas. You can use think of how you would use any of their products as a tool to leverage your own business solution.

Example downstream applications 2. Credit: ESA

Join the Discussion

Return to top of page