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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
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Copernicus Digital Elevation Model (DEM)


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Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs


Contract notice:

This call for tender is for a Copernicus Digital Elevation Model (DEM).

  • Numbers: 2018/S 090-206075 and 2018/S 090-206078

There are several Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) from different sources currently being used in the Copernicus programme. For the three Copernicus components (space, services, and in-situ), a need has recently emerged to:

  • improve the accuracy of DEMs. This need was driven by the Sentinel-2 mission where it was observed that the accuracy of Sentinel-2 Level-1C products does not fulfil geometric specifications over mountainous terrain or cliffs due to a lack of DEM accuracy in the data processing chain.
  • harmonise the various DEMs in use. For instance, the various satellite products used in the same area of interest need to be combined.
  • optimise the use of economic resources by investing in a single DEM for the Copernicus programme, including the space, service and in-situ components, rather than procuring several DEMs.
  • provide the Copernicus community with a harmonised high quality data set.

These needs led to the initiative to procure a programme-level DEM for Copernicus. This DEM will become the reference for the entire Copernicus programme.

The objective of this project is to procure an ensemble of DEM instances for use in the Copernicus programme. There must be consistency and coherence between the DEM instances (i.e. they must all provide equivalent representations of actual topographic features). The DEM instances are the deliverables of this project, with differences in terms of coverage, horizontal, sampling, and type of license.

Accessing the tender documents

This tender has been issued by the European Space Agency (ESA). It is published in ESA’s Electronic Mailing Invitation to Tender System (EMITS) under AIRN number 18.187.05 and AO number 1-9422. It is only open to economic operators with a registered office in an EU country, Iceland or Norway.

The ESA has made the tender’s cover letter, statement of work, special conditions and draft contract available on its tendering website and on its dedicated Copernicus server.

To access the documents, you must be registered as a potential ESA tenderer. To register, you must complete the online questionnaire.

While your registration is being processed, you can access the documents on ESA’s dedicated Copernicus server. However, you must have at least completed the “light registration” as described in the esa-star registration manual.

More information on the registration process can be found on ESA’s industry portal.

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