Nieuwsbericht 30 April 2024

New ESA APEx initiative will boost the reusability of EO-based research outcomes

A new portal to enhance long-term availability of Earth observation results

VITO is excited to announce the launch of the APEx project or Application Propagation Environment(s), an innovative service initiated by ESA to enhance the reuse and integration of Earth Observation (EO) application results across the broader EO community.

APEx will secure continuous access to ESA Earth observation project results. This includes primarily algorithms, workflows, and value-added products, all accessible through the creation of a dedicated online portal. The APEx portal will grant access to a range of dedicated APEx services, empowering the EO community to leverage and adapt the onboarded algorithms and resources for their unique projects or business models.

APEx banner image (draft)


Easy access to instantiation and propagation services to support multiple application projects

Specifically, APEx will offer access to so called instantiation and propagation services to support ESA EO projects and the broader EO community. The instantiation services will provide dedicated IT components including project websites, data visualization tools, workspaces, development environments, and more. Offered as Software as a Service (SaaS) products, projects can instantiate these components as cloud-based environments on demand, and tailor them to align with their specific needs.

The APEx propagation services are geared towards ensuring the continuous availability, enhancement, and upscaling of algorithms, thereby increasing their utilization and adoption in the EO community. By harnessing interoperability and cloud standards like openEO and OGC Application Package, APEx aims to onboard algorithms following interoperability best-practices to ensure long-term availability within the community. Additional propagation services will focus on enhancing computational algorithm performance, enable the intercomparison of algorithm scientific accuracy and focus on implementing cloudification strategies for existing toolboxes. 

An ambitious initiative to support our entire EO ecosystem

APEx will address lessons learned from the past. The APEx services will preserve EO project outcomes, optimize collaboration, and facilitating transition to operational services.

Patrick Griffiths - EO Data Engineer and Technical Officer, European Space Agency

APEx encourages collaboration and innovation between EO applications

For this groundbreaking initiative, VITO has partnered with leading experts including Terradue, Brockmann Consult, Sparkgeo, and Inuits. This consortium hosts a wealth of expertise on key EO technologies and across various EO domains. With leading authorities in openEO, OGC Application Package, enhancement of scientific algorithms and toolboxes, geospatial platforms, and open-source development, the team aims to deliver a suite of APEx instantiation and propagation services tailored to the collective needs of ESA application projects and the EO community at large.

Furthermore, APEx aims to seamlessly integrate its services and onboarded algorithms into ESA's Network of Resources (NOR), ensuring continuous support towards the EO community. By providing a set of tools APEx encourages collaboration and innovation between EO applications and facilitates the reuse of results.

The APEx project was officially launched on April 15, 2024, and is scheduled to run until April 2026, after which a three-year extension phase is foreseen. The first version of the APEx portal is expected to be launched by the end of 2024. Keep an eye on our website or follow us on X and LinkedIn to stay informed.

APEx partner logos