CEOS Development Environment

Systems Engineering Office

SEO & CEOS Team at GEO Week 2022.

The CEOS Systems Engineering Office (SEO) provides systems engineering leadership and support to CEOS through management and technical services and the development of tools for societal benefit. The SEO was conceived by NASA in 2007, as a contribution to CEOS, and is currently led by NASA. 

Management functions: improving communications through web-based tools, managing CEOS social media, meeting logistics, developing education and outreach products.

Technical functions: systems engineering tool development, requirements and gap assessments, data acquisition planning, special projects.

Terms of Reference: CEOS Systems Engineering Office (SEO)


CEOS Visualization Environment (COVE)

The SEO developed the CEOS Visualization Environment (COVE) – a browser-based suite of tools for searching, analyzing, and visualizing actual and potential satellite sensor coverage.

COVE is free and open for anyone to use! The tool includes over 131 missions and is linked to mission archives to get metadata and browse images for: Landsat-5/7/8, Sentinel-1, and Sentinel-2.

COVE’s tools include: Acquisition Forecaster (past and future groundtracks), Coverage Analyzer (past acquisitions and browse images), Data Browser (data filtering), Data Policy (link to portal), and Utilities (swath calculator).

Open Data Cube

The Open Data Cube (ODC) is an open source geospatial data management and analysis software project that helps users harness the power of satellite data. The ODC seeks to increase the value and impact of global Earth observation satellite data by providing an open and freely accessible exploitation architecture.

The SEO is the CEOS representative to the ODC initiative and has made significant contributions to project governance, the core code base, analysis scripts and tools, identifying and sourcing various Analysis Ready Data (ARD), and aided various end users in their effort to establish ODC instances. 

The ODC Sandbox at was developed by the SEO as an educational and research tool. The Sandbox is based on a series of Jupyter notebooks, aimed at training users in ODC applications.

Meet the former SEO Director, Brian Killough, and hear about his work with ODC and COVE in this video.

Digital Earth Programs

The Digital Earth concept was formed from the ODC initiative, founded by Geoscience Australia as Digital Earth Australia. The SEO helped champion this work, which led to the establishment of the Digital Earth Africa (DE Africa) project. In 2022, leadership of DE Africa transferred from Australia to Africa, with the SEO representing CEOS on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). 

The SEO has also worked with the Pacific Community (SPC) to guide the initial prototype and conduct user needs meetings for the development of Digital Earth Pacific. The SEO represents CEOS on the Interim Steering Group (ISG) for this project.

The SEO is working with CSIRO (Chile) and INEGI (Mexico) to explore opportunities toward a future Digital Earth Americas, with several workshops conducted in the region to explore user needs.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The SEO leads the CEOS SDG Coordination Group, which was established in November 2021, following on from the work of the SDG Ad Hoc Team from 2016-2021. The SEO served as a member of the SDG-AHT, providing support for the development, testing and sharing of SDG algorithms within the ODC framework.

This video was created by the SEO to highlight the SDG Coordination Group’s work over 2021 & 2022.

Cloud Computing Prototypes

The SEO is testing multiple cloud computing frameworks to understand CEOS data access and technology capabilities, including:

  • Google – the Google Cloud (paid), Colab (free notebook platform, but limited) and Earth Engine (free satellite datasets). 
  • Amazon – the AWS Cloud (paid), SageMaker (free notebook platform, but limited), and the AWS Open Data Catalog (free satellite datasets).
  • Sentinel Hub – working with Sinergise to test ODC integration with the Sentinel Hub via CreoDIAS (European cloud provider). 
  • Microsoft – the Microsoft Azure Cloud (paid), Azure Labs (free notebook platform, but limited) and the Planetary Computer Data Catalog (free satellite datasets). 

CEOS Communications 

The SEO is responsible for CEOS Communications, including the CEOS social media platforms (twitter – @CEOSdotORG, Facebook – @socialceos, LinkedIn – The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites , Youtube – @CEOSdotOrg) and the blog style articles found at To facilitate this and to effectively communicate the work of CEOS, the SEO manages the CEOS Communications Team, which is open to membership from CEOS Agency representatives, and working group / other CEOS team representatives. The Communications Team is always looking for content, please contact Dave Borges if you have any news you would like shared via the CEOS platforms. 

The SEO’s Communications work also extends to supporting meeting logistics across many CEOS groups, managing the CEOS website, running the CEOS information booth at various conferences including the annual GEO Week, and producing various outreach and promotional materials.

Other Activities

The SEO supports and contributes to the work of various CEOS working teams, including in the following ways:

The SEO supports and contributes to the work of various CEOS working teams, including in the following ways:

  • LSI-VC: contributed to the development of the CEOS Analysis Ready Data (CEOS-ARD) concept, data acquisition planning for the LSI-GEOGLAM and LSI-Forests & Biomass subgroups, provision of GFOI Country Coverage Reports via COVE.
  • CEOS-ARD: serves as a member of the Oversight Group, and developed the Product Family Specifications for Nighttime Lights Surface Radiance. 
  • WGCapD: development and maintenance of the CEOS Training Database, and the EOTEC DevNet Flood Tracker Tool.
  • WGISS: development of the Open Source Software Inventory Tool.
  • CEOS MIM Database Team: working with ESA to add new data, testing of API and gap analysis tools.
  • CEOS Analytics Lab (CAL): Worked with CSIRO to support several prototype tests and training. The SEO has built upon the Earth Analytics Interoperability Lab (EAIL) to develop the CEOS Analytics Lab (CAL). The platform is open for all CEOS entities to use for collaborative working at the technical level, responding to a multi-year need for this type of resource. The platform is available at

Contact Us

David Borges                                                                                         

Director, Systems Engineering Office


Example of promotional material created for CEOS Booths.