February 2020

2019 was a busy year with the launch of the e-shape project and a series of events and activities that started to build our community and to contribute to the EuroGEO initiative. These few months have led us to structure and organize our work and to prepare for 2020.

In 2020, our 27 pilots started their first Sprint and will tackle a series of challenges improving their ability to serve the users and to contribute to the European Regional GEO, EuroGEO. We will also set-up a supportive environment to reach the objectives of the project. Within the next months we will be building up our ability to on-board new pilots, but we will inform you in a future newsletter.

In this second newsletter, you will discover how one of our pilots makes use of Earth Observation data to contribute to critical infrastructure protection by the surveillance of volcanoes. You will get some news about us.

Our Help Desk is now operational through and we are ready to support you and to answer to your questions or demands related to e-shape. We will explain how we address the issue of communication within our consortium.

Take a look also to our participation to future events. It will be a great pleasure to meet in person and to discuss potential collaborations.

With this New Year starting, we are facing a lot of interesting and motivating scientific, technological and organizational challenges. It will allow us to demonstrate our willingness to support the build up of EuroGEO and to show the benefits of our approaches.

Finally, I take the opportunity to wish you and all your beloved the best for 2020 … and only the best, and I hope that the reading of this newsletter will arouse the desire to get further involved in e-shape.

Professor Thierry Ranchin, ARMINES - MINES ParisTech
PSL University, Scientific coordinator of 

Discover e-shape!
e-shape is a unique project that brings together decades of public investment in Earth Observation and in cloud capabilities into services for the decision-makers, the citizens, the industry and the researchers.
e-shape aspires to provide significant impetus to activities that will enable and accelerate a breakthrough in the European EO sector and the downstream markets that benefit from EO services. 
e-shape allows Europe to position itself as global force in EO through leveraging Copernicus, making use of existing European capacities and improving user uptake of the data from GEO assets.
Our services
First-ever application of aerosol lidar EWS to a real volcanic eruption
Volcanic ash can have an important impact on critical infrastructure services and aviation. Earth Observations combined with models could predict and reduce such impacts. In May 2019, Mount Etna, the most active volcano in Europe, erupted. ACTRIS/EARLINET PANGEA-NOA station of Antikythera Greece (35.86N, 23.31E) was the first to capture the volcanic plume on 2 June 2019. Combined FLEXPART-WRF simulations and satellite-based SO2 observations from the TROPOMI/S5P, confirmed the volcanic plume transport from Etna towards Antikythera.

In the frame of e-shape, the early warning system for particle aviation hazard based on aerosol lidar observations was applied for the first time to a real volcanic eruption.

This system is based on
ACTRIS/EARLINET continent-wide presence of sophisticated instruments able to provide sensible range-resolved information.

The EWS experimental product is devised in order to provide alerts for aviation in near-real-time with respect to volcanic ash and desert dust.  This EWS tailored product identified the volcanic particles
EARLINET station in Antikythera and prompt a low-level risk alert.

Considering the impacts of volcanic particles, e-shape S6P1 aims to bring this EARLINET advancement to volcanic observatories in Iceland and Sicily, where Europe’s most active and menacing volcanoes are located and integrate them with dispersion models and satellite-based volcanic plume detection.
Our news
Launch of the e-shape Help Desk!

Announcing the new Help Desk system for e-shape project H2020!

We are excited to announce the launch of our new Help Desk platform ( for the e-shape project, available immediately to all of our visitors-users.

With this system, you’ll be able to reach in a flash the whole team of the e-shape project, ready to provide you the available services and answer your questions.

Our visitors can register and login to raise tickets, track the progress of support ticket, view past tickets and monitor all actions taken to assist with an answer/solution.

We, therefore, would like to invite all visitors to direct any questions/queries/issues to the new e-shape Help Desk: .


How to have efficient communication with such a big team as e-shape ?

e-shape brings together 250 experts from all around Europe, working as a team to bring EO services with and for the users. Having such a great team may come with communication and coordination challenges, that's why we count on our Showcase Support Service (SSS) to foster full and transparent communication!

The SSS consists of a ticketing system enabling the different partners to raise questions and discussion forums that can be followed by anyone within the project with interest in those questions. The ticketing system is structured in a way to ensure that the experts in the topics raised are notified and that tickets are closed only when the solution is found. 

We hope that by the end of the project, we can extract the knowledge gathered through the SSS, and share it with all of you! This includes learning how to design, develop, upscale and bring to the market EO applications.

We are excited to introduce our new e-shape project YouTube Channel!

Our main goal is to help promote our services through video project profiles, provide the audience with more content, encourage a level of familiarity by creating a more direct connection with the audience. Please subscribe to our channel and stay tuned for the upcoming e-shape video!

nextSENSE at southern Asia 
The solar energy nowcasting system of the e-shape's nextSENSE pilot was introduced in southern Asia and was optimized for the regional atmospheric conditions (e.g. monsoon, fog, and haze) and Earth Observation data sources (e.g. INSAT3D). Read more at the Remote Sensing journal publication. With the present study, we welcome also the first completed activity of e-shape first sprint for the energy Showcase!

Read the full paper here
Tracking mercury to save lives - article in GEO blog

Our pilot for EO-based surveillance of mercury pollution is supporting the GEO Flagship GOS4M.

GOS4M supports the Minamata Convention on Mercury Secretariat, the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership and the Minamata Effectiveness Evaluation ad hoc group and Global Monitoring framework.

Read the full article...

Smart solutions for solar energy planning and management from space

A team from the National Observatory of Athens in collaboration with the World Radiation Center in Switzerland have developed an holistic solar energy estimation mechanism which exploits the nowadays Earth Observation data sources and technologies.

The aforementioned activities are presented in this month's issue of the ECOTEC magazine (text in Greek pages 38-39).

Read more..

e-shape at GEO WEEK 2019

Under one roof diverse people and cultures focused on accelerating the delivery of GEO’s Strategic Plan and brought the GEO community together, scaling-up the impact of Earth observations. Our dynamic group of speakers provided in-depth insight regarding e-shape project, which next year will be even more “reinforced”, aiming at a dynamic and successful presence in the field of EO community.

Presentations are available below:

EO to support of renewable-energy powered electricity grids

The e-shape project

EO in support of the agri-food sector and to contribute towards SDG2: the agriculture showcase

GeoValue Workshop Measuring the value of EO in Agriculture_evenflow

Monitoring Crops from Space_VITO

e-shape at the French Embassy in Canberra, Australia

During the 2019 GEO Week /Ministerial Summit, His Excellence the French Ambassador, Christophe Penot, welcomed a delegation of the e-shape project and  GEO delegates at the french embassy. After a warm welcome of the GEO delegates, the e-shape scientific coordinator, Thierry Ranchin presents the e-shape project.

He stressed that e-shape is not another EU project but a supporting mechanism for Earth Observation innovation serving the EuroGEO and GEO objectives. e-shape aims at constructing a strategic knowledge that will be shared with French and European companies, researchers, decision makers, and citizens.

e-shape is the lighthouse guiding the French and European Earth Observation ecosystem to success.

We are out there!
8th EU-Japan Workshop on Climate Change Research, 6-7 February 2020, Brussels

FAO - GLOSOLAN | 3rd meeting of the Global soil laboratory network, 28-30th of October, Rome, Italy.
Read more..

Remote Sensing course tutored at CIHEAM, 
 10-15th November 2019, Chania, Greece.
Read more..

Tenth meeting of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership Advisory Group, 24-29 of November 2019, Geneva, Switzerland.
Read more..

Linking Earth Observation data & Sustainable Development across the Atlantic - Workshop, 3-5 of December 2019, Estoril-Portugal.
Read more..

Multiple Purpose Forestry Seminars in Romania, 4-5 of December 2019, Bucharest, Romania.
Read more..

AGU Fall Meeting 2019, 9-13 of December  2019, San Francisco, USA
Read more..
 Save the date!

Our partner BEYOND EO Center introduced Horizon2020-e-shape at the French Institute of Athens, Greece.
A productive and promising meeting aiming on a joint effort that will elevate a mutual beneficial collaboration between 
Greece and France in the domain of disasters Showcase 6, energy Showcase 3 & agriculture Showcase 1.

The first conference in the domain on Disasters & Climate - Showcase 6-7 will take place in Athens, Greece at 3rd March 2020 in collaboration with IFA and Academy of Athens!

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Copyright © 2020 e-shape, All rights reserved.

The e-shape project has received funding from the European Union's

Horizon 2020 (
H2020) research & innovation  programme under

grant agreement No 820852.

Project Duration: 01/05/2019 - 30/04/2023 (48 Months)

Project Homepage: www.

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