ESA forges ahead with Destination Earth, its digital earth twin to study earth’s weather.

The European Union’s Destination Earth initiative’s second phase has been approved by the ESA Council. Destination Earth, also known as DestinE, will create digital models of the Earth to gain a better understanding of weather and climate dynamics and their effects on society.

These digital twins, which are digital replicas of various aspects of the Earth’s system, will provide us with highly accurate representations of our world’s past, present, and future changes. The digital twins will be accessible via an ESA-developed user-friendly and secure cloud-based digital modeling and simulation platform.

The models will aid scientists, politicians, and the general public in comprehending the complex interactions that the environment and humans will have in shaping the Earth’s future. It will also serve as the foundation for effective European adaptation strategies to help the EU achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, as well as the implementation of the European Commission’s Green Deal and Digital Strategy.

The ESA Council confirmed yesterday that the Amendment to the Contribution Agreement between ESA and the European Commission had been approved. DestinE will enter its second phase in mid-June 2024, evolving the DestinE system and ramping up operations with a focus on consolidation, maintenance, and continuous evolution of the DestinE system’s components.

The European Commission, in collaboration with ESA, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (Eumetsat), is leading and coordinating implementation efforts.

The DestinE Open Core Service Platform is managed by ESA. It is a user-friendly and secure cloud-based digital modeling and open simulation platform that provides access to DestinE data, services, and applications. It will give its users access to evidence-based policy and decision-making tools, applications, and services via a cloud-based architecture that is open, flexible, scalable, and secure.

Users will be able to customize the platform, integrate their own data, and create their own applications.

The platform will rely on the most comprehensive and sophisticated space-based observation data, such as that provided by ESA’s Earth Explorers, the Copernicus Sentinel series, meteorological missions, and other Earth observation satellites.

Eumetsat is in charge of the data lake, where the Destination Earth data can be found and accessed, while ECMWF is in charge of the two initial digital twins driving extreme weather and climate adaptation modeling.

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