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Background / Tasks

About us

The Swiss National Point of Contact (NPOC) was set up in 1981 as the European Space Agency (ESA) established National Points of Contact in all its member nations in order to improve access to satellite imagery. In Switzerland, this service was originally shared by swisstopo for analog data, and the Communication Technology Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) for digital data. The current collaboration between swisstopo and the Remote Sensing Laboratories (RSL) at the University of Zurich has evolved during the years 2001-2003. 

The space agencies’ data distribution portals (e.g. etc.) have replaced the original purpose of the NPOC to a large extent in recent years. Simultaneously, the variety of remote sensing applications has increased, and access to the most appropriate EO-data has become a matter of knowledge rather than feasibility. Therefore, the scientific NPOC’s public service has evolved towards scientific advisory and project consulting services. Meanwhile, the operational NPOC has taken up the implementation of processing chains for higher level geophysical products, while still offering raw imagery to their traditional circle of users.  


Our goals

  • Scientific advisory and consultation to potential EO data users (RSL) 
  • Research and development of new products (RSL) 
  • Foster use of EO data in Switzerland, in particular regarding Switzerland’s investment into ESA (RSL)
  • Tasking, acquisition, processsing and distribution of satellite imagery (swisstopo) 
  • Provision of technical support (swisstopo) 
  • Swiss Authorized User of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters for Rapid Mapping (swisstopo)
  • Maintenance of the national archive (swisstopo)