ERDAS Selected for ESA’s Heterogeneous Missions Accessibility Testbed

Norcross (Georgia, USA) – ERDAS has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Spacebel to participate to the next phase of the Heterogeneous Missions Accessibility (HMA) project, called HMA-Testbed (HMA-T) phase 2.  Initiated in 2005, HMA is part of ESA’s participation in the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) European program. The goal of HMA is to standardize the ground segment interfaces of the satellite missions contributing to GMES for easier access to earth observation (EO) data. 

Organizations monitoring environmental changes, accidents or disasters at various levels need access to EO data from multiple providers. Current estimates show that more than 60% of the efforts of the service providers are consumed just for the access to EO data. With HMA, ESA aims to define the interoperability standards for harmonized access to ESA, national, Eumetsat and other third parties satellite missions. HMA will enable across-missions standardized data access, including collection and service discovery, catalog search and data programming and order.

ERDAS has been an active contributor of the HMA project since its beginning. In 2005, HMA began its first stage, defining interoperability standards, with ERDAS focusing on cataloguing requirements, leading to extensions of the CS-W standard of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). In 2007, HMA initiated validating the proposed standard specifications into real implementations. In 2008, HMA launched its testbed stage, continuing specification improvements and supporting the operational implementations already begun at ESA and partners, with the conformance testing and prototyping of the newly defined standards.

The appointed participants in HMA-T phase 2 recently met to launch the project on 4 July 2008, at ESA premises in Frascati, Italy. Under the coordination of Spacebel,  HMA-T phase 2 brings together selected European actors of the earth observation domain, including Spot Image, IGN France, Deimos, VITO, GIM and Infoterra UK.

“ERDAS is a leader in geospatial interoperability based on open standards. Supporting this vision compels ERDAS to maintain the edge by making important research investments,” said Brad Skelton, Chief Technology Officer, ERDAS. “Open standards-based interoperability requires the involvement and commitment of a community. That’s why ERDAS, besides its internal R&D, is strongly involved in the OGC and also in projects like HMA. With HMA, ERDAS takes one more step towards its objective: helping organizations harness the information of the changing earth.”

“A European initiative, HMA is watched with great attention in other regions of the world. The problem tackled by ESA is indeed universal,” said Christopher Tucker, Senior Vice President Americas and National Programs, ERDAS. “For many years, ERDAS has actively promoted the principles that are the foundation of HMA: open standards, interoperability, data accessibility and global discovery. Customers all over the world will benefit from the technological advances gained by ERDAS through HMA.”

For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 866 GO ERDAS, or visit

ERDAS creates geospatial business systems that transform our earth’s data into business information, enabling individuals, businesses and public agencies to quickly access, manage, process, and share that information from anywhere. Using secure geospatial information, ERDAS solutions improve employee, customer and partner visibility to information, enabling them to respond faster and collaborate better. It also means better decision-making, increased productivity and new revenue streams. ERDAS is a part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden. For more information about ERDAS or its products and services, please call +1 770 776 3400, toll free +1 866 534 2286, or visit