12 Apr

Polar Thematic Exploitation Platform

  • Scientific Data Processing


The shifting climatic conditions in the polar regions are leading to a series of changes affecting weather, climate and economic opportunities in the region. These changes need to be monitored, assessed and modeled, to allow for updated and accurate forecast predictions. These improved forecasts will easier facilitate planning and mitigation policies and strategies to allow for increased regional activities.

As part of the input to improve forecast models and predictions, extensive datasets are required along with the most recent scientific analyses algorithms. These algorithms and models often demand extensive processing resources and vast amounts of data acquired from multiple and often distributed data sources. The traditional approach has been to download both the data and the software toolsets separately, before conducting the processing and analyses on the local computing station. However, as data sets are growing larger and more extensive, most researchers no longer have easy and continuous access to the required computing resources for the upgraded models and algorithms.

To facilitate easier and more efficient access for researchers and developers to the necessary data and processing resources, there is a need to develop online portals linking user friendly interfaces with scalable resources and a variety of data sets.

Technology used 

The European Space Agency (ESA) has established a broad programme called the Thematic Exploitation Platforms (TEPs), where a set of scalable cloud-based computing platforms are established and linked with user friendly web-based interfaces. The TEPs provide the user community with easier access to larger amounts of Earth Observation datasets, for a variety of thematic application areas. Onboard the TEPs the users can gain access to a working environment where the latest software toolsets are available for processing. Furthermore, advanced users gain access to their own sandbox environment to utilize the portal resources for developing, testing and verifying novel algorithms and data processors.

By having all this readily available in a single, cloud-based environment, the need to download and locally store large amounts of data is significantly reduced, and the resources can be more efficiently used.


The Polar TEP provides its users with a set of polar datasets, both in-situ sensor measurements and satellite data, combined with scalable computing resources and a suite of advanced analytical toolsets for processing and analyses. Users are invited to supply their own models, tools and algorithms, and will find the Polar TEP an ideal environment for fast and efficient development cycles. Successfully verified new data processors can be invited to be integrated within the existing Polar TEP online toolsets, for other users to utilize and build further upon. This way the Polar TEP fosters greater and easier collaboration across the polar user community, and provides an innovative gateway for industrial partners to develop and provide new business applications utilizing polar datasets and the latest research results.


S[&]T has been contracted by Polar View and the British Antarctic Survey to develop the backend technology solutions to enable the scalable processing platform to operate efficiently and across data formats and processor types. The platform solution is based on open interface standards and scalable technology independent of any specific IT infrastructure.