Coordination of Satellite Data Supply

Facilitation of forest observations in support of national forest monitoring systems is a fundamental objective for GFOI. The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) coordinates the world’s civil space agencies and has taken on the leadership of this component to support supply of data to participating countries.

Established in 1984, CEOS membership comprises space agencies responsible for civil Earth observation programmes of governments. CEOS has effectively coordinated acquisitions in support of the GEO-FCT national demonstrators since 2009 – demonstrating the willingness and technical capacity of CEOS agencies to undertake sustained wall-to-wall coverage of countries in support of their forest reporting requirements.

The SDCG participating organisations include the Co-Chairs USGS and ESA as well as CNESDLR, CSA, JAXA, NASA, INPE, CONAE, CRESDA and ASI.


Following the emergence of GFOI from the GEO-FCT task, CEOS accepted responsibility for coordination of the satellite data contribution to the regular and routine (systematic) observations and measurements for effective reporting – ensuring continuity of data supply for maintenance of time series and consistent reporting. A dedicated Space Data Coordination Group for GFOI (the SDCG) was established by CEOS and charged with the purpose of planning and coordinating the acquisition strategies required to support the needs of GFOI and the participating countries. The strategies,
as a matter of principle, focus on the coordination of data which is being made available for GFOI purposes on a free of charge basis (whilst taking account of known plans for data which is not). This may be by virtue of the permanent free of charge data policy for a particular satellite mission, or by virtue of a more temporary donor arrangement by a CEOS agency (or commercial data provider) making a particular data available for GFOI purposes.

The SDCG meetings to date:

  • SDCG-11: 9 – 10 April, 2017,  Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • SDCG-10: 7 – 9 September, 2016, Reading, UK
  • SDCG-9: Week of 22 February, 2016, ESA/ESRIN, Frascati, Italy
  • SDCG-8: 23-25 September, 2015, DLR, Bonn, Germany
  • SDCG-7: 2-7 March 2015, Sydney, Australia
  • SDCG-6: 22-24 October, 2014, Oslo, Norway
  • SDCG-5: 24-26 February, 2014, ESA/ESRIN, Frascati, Italy
  • SDCG-4: 4-6 September, 2013, Caltech, Pasadena, California, USA
  • SDCG-3: 7-9 February, 2013, Sydney, Australia
  • SDCG-2: 13-14 September, 2012, USGS, Reston, Virginia, USA
  • SDCG-1: 6-8 March, 2012, CSA, St Hubert, Quebec, Canada

Short video explaining the Space Data Management System (SDMS).

Landsat 8

Landsat 8

Forest change in central Guyana derived from ALOS PALSAR and Landsat (Reiche et al. 2013)

CEOS is the co-lead responsible for the coordination of satellite data supply, with management being provided by the SDCG. Further information on the SDCG can be found on the CEOS website.