Today Antonio Rodot, Director General of the European Space Agency,
accepted the ISO 9001 Certificate from National Quality Assurance (NQA),
an accredited third-party certification body, on behalf of the Earth
Observation Applications Department at the ESA/ESRIN establishment in
Frascati, Italy.

The Earth Observation Applications Department joins ESA’s Operations
Centre, ESOC, which was certified in 1999, making ESA the first space
agency in Europe to have one of its facilities certified to ISO 9001, the
International Quality Management System Standard.

Certification of ESA’s Earth observation applications activities warrants
that products and services offered by ESA in this field meet user
requirements and expectations. In addition, implementation of ISO 9001
procedures will increase efficiency of work processes with the ultimate
aim of increasing confidence among customers and partners.

“The European Space Agency has shown a high degree of commitment to
quality and efficiency in the field of data acquisition, processing and
archiving and in the development, in partnership with industry, of Earth
observation products and services geared to users’ requirements,” stated
Antonio Rodotý. ” The granting of ISO 9001 certification will increase the
Department’s efficiency and also its flexibility in reacting to

To achieve this recognition, ESRIN put in place documented procedures
covering all aspects of its activities. These relate to ground segment
engineering and operations, multi-mission data handling, Earth observation
user support activities, project management, interfacing with principal
investigators for Earth observation missions, and promotion and training.
To ensure that the procedures were correctly followed, extensive training
was provided to all staff and briefing sessions were organised on the ISO
9001 certification process. NQA will regularly check the operation of the
quality management system and verify that it remains in compliance with
the ISO 9001 standard.

Customers of ESRIN can now have greater confidence in the quality of
products and services provided by the Centre, resulting from:

– closer focus on their requirements,

– clearly defined and transparent procedures and responsibilities,

– formalised systems to ensure consistent quality and punctual delivery,

– improved communication with customers and suppliers.

Note to Editors:

ISO 9001 is one of a series of standards that define a framework of
minimum requirements for the development and implementation of quality
systems. These standards have been adopted worldwide as suitable criteria
for assessment and registration of companies by independent accredited
third-party organisations, called Certification Bodies (in Europe) or
Registrars (in the USA).

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization, a worldwide
federation of national standards bodies from over 100 countries. ISO is a
Swiss-based non-governmental organisation established in 1947. Its mission
is to promote the development of standardisation and related activities in
the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods
and services, and to developing cooperation in intellectual, scientific,
technological and economic activity. ISO’s work results in international
agreements that are published as International Standards.

For further information:

Simonetta Cheli

Head of Public and Institutional Relations Office, ESRIN

Tel: +39 06 94180350

Fax: +39 06 94180352