This amendment will extend the scope of the original Agreement (signed in February 2008) to activities of Segment 2 of the GMES Space Component Programme and paves the way to ordering the second units of the Sentinel 1, 2, 3 satellites as well as the atmospheric chemistry missions Sentinel-4 and -5 precursor.
Segment 2 of the GMES Space Component (GSC) Programme, which will span the period 2009-2018, overlapping with the ongoing Segment 1 (2006-2013), will complete the development of the initial five new satellites called Sentinels, developed by ESA specifically to meet the needs of GMES, and will ensure operational access to Earth observation data from Contributing Missions for the user community.
Segment 2 was approved by the ESA Member States at the last ESA Ministerial Council meeting held on 25-26 November 2008 with subscriptions to the programme from ESA Participating States amounting to €831.4 million (at 2008 economic conditions).
The amendment signed today adds a further contribution from the European Commission of €205 million to segment 2 of the GSC programme.
GMES is an EU-led initiative. Following the recent Commission Communication and EU Competitiveness Council conclusions on GMES, the European Commission ensures the political coordination of GMES and the development and implementation of a programmatic, institutional, financial and regulatory framework and takes the lead in identifying and bringing together user needs for GMES. It also ensures the availability and continuity of operational services that support its policies. Technical implementation is entrusted to European entities.
In this context and in accordance with the 5th Space Council Resolution of September 2008, ESA’s role within GMES is to be the development and procurement agency for the dedicated GMES Sentinel Missions, and the coordinator for the whole GMES Space Component, including contributions made available by Member States, EUMETSAT and further GMES partners.
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For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
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For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
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Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
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Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
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Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
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