Dynamic Service Modelling

Assessing feasibility and cost of data services

Designed for organisations seeking to develop and supply environmental, agricultural or security monitoring and alerting services, Earth Observation Service Characterisation is a modelling approach that provides an independent assessment of the feasibility and cost effectiveness of developing Earth Observation services and which delivers a comprehensive, quantified specification of the required service chain from satellite to desktop.

ESA (European Space Agency) awarded SCISYS a contract to support the development of an architectural framework for the delivery of GMES services (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) as we know them now, but which are also extensible to accommodate new types of GMES service in the future.

The specific objective of the work was to characterise GMES service lines, to model the options for meeting user organisations’ information and operational needs and to evaluate the sustainability of potential new services.


GMES is a joint European Community/ European Space Agency initiative for the implementation of information services dealing with environment and security. It comprises a set of information services based on observation data received from Earth Observation satellites and ground based sensors. The service aims to permit authorities to monitor and better anticipate potential threats, to intervene in a more timely way and to increase the efficiency of their intervention. ESA needed to establish the core GMES services and to plan for the continued development of downstream services in the short to medium term. SCISYS was asked to assist with the assessment of the sustainability and specification of these services.

Solution / Report

SCISYS consultants engaged with key users in the supply and end-user organisations to model business processes using the Value Stream Mapping technique. The method extracted and analysed relevant quantitative information on key user information needs and constraints, service chain characteristics and the scale of service operations. These factors were combined in the modelling tools to form a ‘Service Model’ supporting ‘what if ’ analysis. User organisation service delivery scenarios were then analysed (for example an environmental monitoring and reporting requirement for daily data on chlorophyll extent and concentration in the Baltic Sea). These scenario analyses identified key factors and constraints (for example the ability to meet service level agreement lead times), which allowed an assessment of service sustainability and the evaluation of different organisational options for infrastructure.

DSM is an excellent example of different domain specialists within SCISYS combining to provide an innovative and valuable approach, in this case Earth Observation and Business Analysis.


ESA was able to determine the service characteristics (i.e. lead times, costs, measurement precision etc.) necessary for sustainable new service lines. Gaps in the delivery chain and user side organisation were identified and addressed and scenarios were developed and combined to steer thinking, using capacities, availability and performance of future architecture options.

"This model appears to be a unique approach to analysing components of the GMES system and their suitability to produce services that meet requirements of users.” ESA Earth Observation Programme Board

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