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VorteX-io is an innovative French company at the cutting edge of hydrology, offering a range of high added-value decision-support services. These include preventing flood and drought risks, improving water resource management and optimising the operation of hydraulic infrastructures. Within two years, vorteX-io will offer the first river forecasting service for the whole European continent based on the creation of digital twins of watersheds. To this end, vorteX-io is currently deploying a network of several hundred of its own innovative remote sensing devices across Europe as part of the WHYLD project, co-funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC).

vorteX-io is developing the first European database for real-time, high accuracy, hydrological data, aiming to monitor all European watercourses, with a focus on the 7,000 flood risk areas identified by the European Commission. Their user-friendly data marketplace, Maesltrom, allows customers to visualize real-time watercourses and access features like archived data, rainfall estimates, water flow, and a predictive indicator for flood risk. The data is obtained through low-cost, plug-and-play hydrological stations and artificial intelligence algorithms. This solution addresses the lack of large-scale hydrological data and provides a cost-effective, scalable solution for stakeholders.


The solutions provided by vorteX-io contribute to EU priorities such as risk prevention, civil protection, and climate disaster prognosis. They also support the construction of an accurate and connected European network for collective resilience. The actions of vorteX-io align with UN Sustainable Goal 13, which focuses on addressing climate change and its impacts, and strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.


vorteX.io’s unique selling point is hydrological data as a service, with two differentiators: micro-stations that measure and transfer water parameters in real-time, and a scalable distribution model through a self-subscription service on an all-inclusive SaaS platform. The innovation includes a proprietary sensor, the micro-stations, providing real-time hydro-meteorological parameters, and a non-binding turnkey business model. The level of innovation is high, as the availability of an “anytime/anywhere” hydrological database through a SaaS service is new in the hydrology domain. The type of innovation includes a new lightweight and scalable in-situ measurement system based on space technology transfer.


The WHYLD project, led by vorteX-io and co-financed by the European Innovation Council, aims to meet the increasing need for real-time monitoring of hydrological surfaces in Europe, particularly in France where over 8,000 cities lack such solutions. The project could serve as an enabler for more precise predictive analysis regarding climate change impacts, such as floods and droughts. The initiative is expected to strengthen Europe’s technological sovereignty in preventing hydrological hazards.

The need for hydrological measurements is growing worldwide due to increasing flood risk awareness and climate change. The proposed WHYLD project, a first-of-its-kind SaaS service, aims to address the lack of hydrological data with a network of micro-stations providing real-time measurements. This innovation, already tested in France and Europe, is a strategic technology for all countries threatened by floods.

The total addressable market (TAM) for this service is expected to reach $23.46 billion by 2027. The company aims to capture 1% of the serviceable available market (SAM), estimated to be $2.4 billion by 2027. The company faces competition but has a unique value proposition and a business model that differentiates it from its competitors. The company’s strengths include a scalable product, an experienced team, and a unique business model. However, it also has weaknesses such as a prototype service and a lack of skills in marketing and sales.

About WHYLD


To address the worldwide rise in climate-change driven devastating flood events, project WHYLD at vorteX-io aims to demonstrate the benefits of a large-scale real-time hydrometeorological database towards assisting governments in effective flood risk management.
Backed by the EIC Accelerator Programme, project WHYLD involves the development and deployment of an innovative and intelligent river forecasting service. This is made possible thanks to proprietary algorithms and hardware inspired by satellite technology: vorteX-io’s Micro-stations that can measure data such as water surface height and velocity, with ongoing R&D for river flow and rainfall rate parameters.
The project’s initial phase involves large-scale deployment of this non-binding turnkey service in two pilot countries, France and Croatia, eventually covering all of Europe and flood-risk areas globally.

Can you tell us a bit more about your company? 
 
Mallon Technology is a leading company in the field of Earth Observation (EO) and Geospatial application, providing innovative solutions to clients since its establishment in 1995. Our headquarters are in Cookstown (Northern Ireland) and Dublin, with additional customer sites located throughout Ireland. We pride ourselves on being industry experts in EO business process solutions, offering a range of services that improve the analysis, visualization, management, and dissemination of geospatial information. 

Our Team consists of over one hundred highly skilled professionals, with a proven record of accomplishment in EO and GI consulting services. At Mallon, we strive to offer the best-fit solution for our clients, supported by exceptional service. Our approach to ensuring continuity of service is to hire strong industry professionals and invest in their professional development. 

Mallon prides itself on quality assurance and the ongoing security of sensitive customer data. Mallon is certified to quality standard ISO 9001:2015 and information security standard ISO 27001:2013. We are aware of our responsibilities to the health and well-being of our colleagues and the environment and have active measures in place to improve employee welfare and our impact on the climate. 

Mallon is a member of European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) and European Umbrella Organisation for Geographic Information (EUROGI) and is actively involved in its AI and Geospatial and Women in GI Focus Groups. 

What makes your services and products unique? 

One of the company’s key strengths is its ability to collaborate closely with clients to understand their unique needs and tailor solutions to meet those needs. This client-driven approach has enabled Mallon to build strong, long-term relationships with our clients and establish a reputation for excellence in the industry. 

Mallon services and products are unique and competitive due to continuous upskilling of our workforce, allowing us to undertake advanced EO projects that require skills in EO-based environmental monitoring applications using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Our motivated team members and satisfied clients have positioned us at the forefront of technological advancement in the EO community. 

Our client base includes Irish central government and research agencies that are seeking innovative services to facilitate a better understanding of environmental changes. In collaboration with our industry partners, we have also responded to clients with accelerated delivery schedules as part of ESA (European Space Agency) EO Clinic, a collaborative framework targeted towards EO solutions in particularly underserved parts of the world. 

What are your future plans for the company and your products? 

Moving forward, we plan to expand our footprint to the wider European markets, increasing collaboration with other European partners. We are actively participating at events to increase our visibility and build networks. Our goal is to offer complementing solutions in fields such as agricultural monitoring, biodiversity conservation, climate change, natural disaster mapping, and mitigation. We will leverage the vast EO resources available for various environmental monitoring applications in land, agriculture, vegetation, urban, water and beyond. 

In summary, Mallon is a trusted and innovative player in the EO industry, delivering exceptional service, quality, and results to our clients. 

With the aim to expand our network and presence, representatives from Mallon will be attending the EXPANDEO 2023 and we look forward to getting to know you and your organization. 

For further Information: 

Mallon Technology Website: 

https://www.mallontechnology.com/

LinkedIn:  
https://www.linkedin.com/company/mallon-technology/ 

Twitter: 

Image result for sensar

Can you tell us a bit about Sensar ?

In the 21st century data will be the new oil, driving data-driven decisions, self-learning machines and a safe society. The current boom in the big data and satellite industries has the potential to revolutionize the way engineers do their daily work and at Sensar we work exactly on this interface. We believe in grounded decisions; no more surprises. We want to enable engineering experts to use satellite data in analyzing and managing their processes by making this data easily accessible, easy to use and attractively priced.

We are a team of 6, working from our offices in Delft and Mendoza (Argentina), with specializations as remote sensing, software engineering, cloud computing, civil engineering and mathematics. Sensar was established in 2017.


What services and products do you offer ?

In our cloud-based platform we use the InSAR technique to produce deformation monitoring products for civil engineers, allowing them to always have access to the most recent information on their assets. We show our clients how much their assets and infrastructure are moving with millimeter precision and help them managing the related risks with our industry-specific products.


What advice would you give someone that wish to start an eo company ?

Make sure that you start with identifying the end-user problems first. EO techniques have a lot of potential, but generally the gap between the technology and the end-users is large. Therefore, EO techniques often tend to be a solution looking for a problem.

EARSC has recently made a donation in your name to Kiva.org. Why was it important for you to help this organisation ?

Kiva.org is a platform that stimulates entrepreneurship and local economic development, by enabling direct microfinancing to small enterprises all over the world. Furthermore, they allow selecting on woman-owned enterprises. We can monitor from space, but we can only make a real impact on the ground. That is what Kiva.org enables.

Tell us a bit more about your Company

TerraScan offers a new generation of remote sensing services. We specialise in discovering, finding and exploring natural resources in an ecologically sensitive process. We combine extensive use of remote sensing technologies combined with proprietary approaches of signal processing, statistics and machine learning.

Our service offerings address governments, investors and operators. Experienced inhouse geologists interprete our findings.

We are operating globally out of Berlin, Germany.

What makes your services and products unique?

TerraScan is capable of identifying targeted resources (hydrocarbons, water, minerals, geothermal sources) on- and offshore down to 10.000 m below ground. TerraScan is capable to work very discretely without having to physically access the territory of interest. Wildlife and nature are preserved.

TerraScan uses a proprietary algorithm called gScan® that allows to identify surface patterns in standard satellite pictures. 

gScan® uses the radiation emitted by Earth to detect reservoirs and geological faults in satellite imagery. The findings are refined by taking fingerprints of already discovered natural resources and integrated into the model. We create a 3D subsurface data cube applying KI and statistics. Our models can reach accuracies of up to 50 cm offset in the depth distribution of natural resources.

The resulting subsurface maps, cross sections and 3D models can be analysed and compared with traditional seismic tools allowing traditional seismic to focus and verify findings and therefore save risk, time, money and ecological impacts.  

What are your future plans for the company?

TerraScan continues international rollout and creates references beyond the existing 60 projects in numerous industries.

TerraScan welcomes industrial players to benefit from our search capabilities for strategic materials such as in the e-mobility megatrend. Our reference case of finding Lithium for Volkswagen is a very strong proof of concept.

TerraScan offers additional services addressing its existing client base as well as addressing new fields such as Water supply, Ground Water Services and applications for agriculture.

What would you advice to someone who wishes to start their own EO company?

TerraScan believes in understanding the client´s day to day tasks, challenges and restraints. Anyone setting up their own EO company should build its services coordinated closely with future first customers for testing and reference. 

Don´t be stopped by: “This can impossibly work!” statements, especially not from your competitors or default technology users.

We still benefit strongly from working with Serial Seismic- and Oil-exploration entrepreneurs and geological opinion leaders. Transforming believers in traditional technologies into serial customers is the best proof of concept and a strong signal to future new customers.



1) Tell us a bit about the history of your company

SatSense is a spinout of the Earth and Environmental department at the University of Leeds. Their technology is based upon many years of research from internally renowned InSar experts Professor Tim Wright and Professor Andy Hooper. The company attracted seed funding in 2018 from Mercia Fund Managers, Unipart Rail and the University of Leeds

2) Describe your services and products:

SatSense has developed algorithms that convert Sentinel-1 InSar data to ground movement data. This data is stored online and is automatically updated every 6 days. Interfaces are available for direct access to this data and application programming interfaces have been developed to allow for integration with our customers’ applications. Our target markets are Property Conveyancing, Insurance, Geotechnical and Environmental consultants and Infrastructure owners such as rail and road networks and water utilities.

3) What makes you different from other EO companies?

The resolution of data is considerably higher than from other companies utilising Sentinel-1 readings. Further our data is automatically updated every 6 days making it applicable as a preventative maintenance solution for large asset owners.

4) What are your future projects?

Our plans are to expand our coverage across the whole of Europe and utilise artificial intelligence techniques to further improve our predictive maintenance solutions.

5) What would be your advice to someone who wants to start their own EO company?

Research the applicability of your invention to target markets as companies need to understand the value proposition of your technology and if this is a new capability plan on having to educate your customers on its benefits before achieving revenue.

Found out more here:
https://www.satsense.com/

Meet Penta Technology, a Consulting and Software Engineering operating in Italy since 2010, developing cutting-edge ICT solutions that create value and contribute to the improvement of processes and the digital transformation of the client companies.

1) Tell us a bit about the history of your company

Penta Technology was born as a consulting company in the ICT area engaged as a solution and system integrator, gaining considerable experience in the activities of digital & cloud transformation and in the use of systems based on neural networks to support the processes of automatic detection and classification on images. The company’s activities have always been complemented by continuous investment in research and development activities to increase the level of expertise of its team and to find new solutions to the problems of its customers. Three years ago, the shareholders decided to progressively transform the company from a consulting company to a product/solution company, identifying the earth observation sector as a great opportunity, leveraging the more than ten years of experience of some of them on projects in the field of space and earth observation. The idea behind the transformation of the business model was to combine technological expertise in cloud technologies and artificial intelligence sectors with the experience in space-based solutions. At the moment this is a bet on which the company aims to scale quickly in the national and international market in the next years.

2) Describe your services and products

The company’s research and development activities have led to the creation of the EarthAlytics platform, with the paradigm “analytics as a service”, able to offer integrated geoinformation services based on the complete control of the service value chain, from the acquisition and processing of images, in virtual multi-constellation logic and merging together information from optical and radar sensors, then moving on to the extraction of information of interest through the use of a system of convolutional neural networks, capable of recognizing objects, classifying phenomena and creating data fusion with information from IOT sensors or external data streams (for example weather forecasts or data from the customer’s information systems) and finally offering a representation of the information collected through graphical interfaces that are easy to consult or through the use of a cartographic system.

The basic technological solution, the EarthAlytics cloud platform, is then completed with a series of vertical applications, which combine the different internal service blocks, creating solutions for specific business needs of our customers from monitoring water pipes (and critical infrastructure in general) to urban planning, up to innovative solutions to support marketing planning in the retail sector. The last solution in order of time is that relating to new algorithms to support the insurance sector based on the analysis of satellite images.

The application of artificial intelligence, deep learning and big data analysis solutions have allowed us to explore a number of markets not yet fully reached by solutions based on earth observation (not space users) and provide an innovative solution, minimally invasive and quickly usable to solve some problems that customers encounter in their daily activities.
Finally, our position as a solution of analytics allows us to make the customer independent from the knowledge of the problems involved in the processing of satellite images, leaving it to focus on the business application and automatically managing the provisioning of the image with providers in relation to the vertical application needed.

3) What makes you different from other EO companies?

The downstream sector of the earth observation market is showing a strong competitive push, the sector’s startups are rapidly gaining positions compared to traditional players in the same market, still very focused on an image-oriented business model. Our marketing team analyses the competitive scenario on a daily basis and always discovers new competitors with interesting solutions and innovative business models.

Penta Technology has decided to compete in the market segment of Analytics-based solutions, where technology and the ability to provide a vertical solution represent one of the keys to market success. In this segment, we believe that we have a high-performance solution that can adapt very accurately to the needs of our customers. The unique selling proposition of Penta Technology is based on the ability to integrate solutions, which leverages on our background as system integrator, and on the level of service that will always have a specialist, with experience on the technology domain, able to support the customer in the analysis of data and understanding of phenomena.

4) What are your future projects?

Penta Technology has launched a three-year investment programme on the EarthAlytics platform with the aim of making the provisioning of services and the use of vertical applications even easier. The investments will make the platform an open system able to allow customers to build vertical applications independently from the building blocks of the system, combining them dynamically with a system based on rules, to build the solution that best suits the specific needs of the business model. Our goal is to become in the next three years a reference point for geoinformation services based on analytics at European level.

In the near future we will invest heavily in the international development of the business to consolidate the investments in technology, we want to attract the best talent in the field of geoinformation and put them at the service of solutions for our customers.

5) What would be your advice to someone who wants to start their own EO company?

The challenge to enter this market is increasingly complex, with an increasing number of competitors. The suggestion for new entrants is to focus on problem/solution fit, then start from the problems of a specific market segment and build a solution around these problems and, finally, to adopt a lean startup approach, which allows you to constantly validate your solutions with an audience of early adopters. Learning from errors is the best way to succeed in this market.

For more information about Penta Technology visit their website: http://www.pentatechnology.it/

It is our pleasure to present to you Spottitt Ltd. the winners of our Copernicus ecosystem workshop elevator pitch session.

Spottitt automated Land Cover Analysis generated from 10m resolution Sentinel 2 imagery.

HARWELL, United Kingdom, Spottitt Ltd. has launched a cloud-based workspace that puts massive satellite imagery sources and advanced analysis capabilities at the fingertips of energy, environment, and infrastructure professionals.

“Spottitt provides users with everything they need to extract valuable information from satellite imagery and related data sets in a secure, self-service cloud workspace,” said Spottitt CEO Lucy Kennedy. “With Spottitt, clients do not need powerful computers, image processing software or formal GIS training to leverage the value of geospatial data.”

The Spottitt online portal gives users instant access to multiple satellite image sources, including open source data from the U.S. Landsat and European Sentinel-2 satellites and sub-meter commercial image products from Airbus Defence & Space and DigitalGlobe. Other geospatial products include Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and infrastructure feature layers.

“A Spottitt user simply defines their geographic area of interest, and the system provides thumbnail images of available data sets for purchase,” said Kennedy. “The experience is fast, simple and efficient thanks to cloud-based processing and storage.”

The major differentiator of Spottitt is the powerful data analytics it offers in the cloud. The user selects from a variety of enhancement and information extraction algorithms that can be applied to their chosen data set. Designed primarily for use in energy, environmental monitoring, and infrastructure development applications, these analytics functions include the following:

• Land Cover Classification
• Building Recognition Analysis (Footprint extraction)
• Normalized Difference Vegetation Index
• Normalized Difference Water Index
• Rule-based Greenfield Selection
• Rule-based Wind Turbine Site Selection

“Analytics results are delivered to the client workspace for viewing, editing, and further manipulation within Spottitt,” said Kennedy. “They can be shared with other users or downloaded in GIS-ready formats into other mapping software environments.”

The Spottitt solution has already been used extensively in the renewable energy and infrastructure management fields. Energy firms have used it to select the optimal locations for wind turbines by mapping land cover and terrain characteristics in areas of interest. The Spottitt building recognition and change detection analytics are ideal for energy utilities to monitor changes and risks in infrastructure assets over time.

Spottitt workspaces are securely hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud, giving clients access from any browser-equipped device at any time. Clients are offered the option of paying for imagery and processing as they go or under subscription arrangements.

As well as being available to clients directly through Spottitt’s own online portal we are thrilled that Spottitt’s services are also available through Veracity, DNV GL’s industry data platform and online marketplace. DNV GL, a global quality assurance and risk management company based in Norway, who established the Veracity ecosystem to provide easy access to databases, analytics, and applications for its worldwide customer base in energy, maritime and other industries.

“We are delighted to welcome Spottitt to Veracity and our rapidly growing ecosystem of applications, services and data,” said Barry Authers, Commercial manager Veracity by DNV GL. “We see big potential in combining satellite data with existing asset data and the Spottitt Energy solution is a valuable contribution to our marketplace.”

2019 will see us expanding our offering to our base of energy, environment and infrastructure customers to include analyses based on satellite Single Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery sources such as Sentinel 1 which can see through cloud cover and satellite derived atmospheric data from the Copernicus program, helping our clients automatically detect and quantify an increasing range of changes to land cover, features and atmosphere.

“The Spottitt team believes passionately that satellite imagery and data is a powerful source of global information that is underutilized because it a perceived as being inaccessible, expensive and complex to work with,” said Kennedy. “We believe that by making access to satellite imagery and complex analytics as easy as shopping online Spottiitt can bridge this gap but there is still a long way to go interns of getting the message out to industry that satellite imagery and data has arrived and is ready to support them. Pitching at the Copernicus Ecosystem workshop alongside many other interesting companies working with satellite data all helps to get the message out there.”

To learn more, request a free demonstration, or just find out what satellite imagery and analytics could do for you please visit us at www.spottitt.com or contact us at info@spottitt.com.

DRAXIS was founded in 2000 in Thessaloniki – Greece. During the early years, DRAXIS’s field of interest was the implementation of environmental studies and the provision of consulting services. Later on, and with a small dedicated group of experts, DRAXIS expanded into the environmental ICT sector; it was one of the first and few companies in Greece active in this domain.

Today, DRAXIS is a dynamic company that focuses on developing real life environmental and agricultural ICT solutions and providing specialized environmental consultation services. Passionate about applying ICT, DRAXIS uses, combines and integrates remote sensing technologies, compound algorithms, GIS and different data sources to build multi-functional web-based platforms and mobile applications, decision making tools, crowdsourcing platforms, workflow systems and other software solutions.

Leveraging its unique know-how and expertise on the environmental and agricultural sectors, DRAXIS anticipates market needs and develops state-of-the-art solutions for the private and public sectors at local, national and European levels. The solutions provided mainly target the fields of environment, agriculture, air quality, citizen science, weather forecasting, e-government.

Having an experienced diverse pool of professionals, DRAXIS puts a great deal of effort into its own research, so as to keep up with the latest scientific advances; this, coupled with its active involvement in European and National research projects, enables the company to develop solutions and services that help users to address challenges and customers to explore new business opportunities. The implementation of several research projects, brought into DRAXIS valuable experience, so in the last 5-8 years the company has created a new department and has entered the field of Earth Observation. As part of its expertise and involvement in R&D projects, DRAXIS delivers products and services that make use of EO data for the agricultural and the air quality sector.

A. Services for the Air Quality Sector
Air pollution is one of the major environmental challenges of the present age that poses threat to human health. Having years of expertise in this field, DRAXIS develops ICT solutions that help citizens, industries and governments to monitor and forecast the air pollution levels and tackle their negative impacts.

Envi4All

Envi4All is a service built by DRAXIS to provide direct access to targeted, localised, and easy –to-understand information on air quality (current, forecast, and historical), making use of diverse sources of large datasets of open data on air quality, including Earth Observation data. Envi4All is offered through a mobile application and an API service, while the forecast methodology was developed by DRAXIS using CAMS products, official air quality measurements and data from IoT sensors. Personalized recommendations and alerts for poor air quality conditions are providing to citizens according to their needs and sensitivities, while businesses can provide added value services by using and integrating the Envi4All forecast in their offerings.

AirQast

DRAXIS also participates in the Horizon2020 project AirQast that builds a self-sustainable platform providing air quality services based on Earth Observation data. The services that will be developed in the framework of the project include monthly updated regional emissions at 1km resolution using top-down observations, street level air quality maps taking into account the meteorological conditions and local emissions, advanced hourly air quality forecasts, and decision-making tools to manage air quality events. The AirQast project envisions building a one-stop portal platform containing tools and functionalities that facilitate and simplify the access, visualization and management of air quality data for commercial and policy purposes.

B. Services for Agriculture

Crop management is a quite difficult and continuing challenge for small and large farm holdings, agri-food companies and public agencies responsible for delivering the agricultural policy. DRAXIS uses its expertise both in the agricultural and the ICT sector and combines different technologies to develop software solutions and services that make farm management more efficient and the implementation of agricultural policy simpler. Today, DRAXIS coordinates two H2020 earth observation projects, APOLLO and RECAP, aiming to make the big step from providing geospatial services for the environmental sector to providing earth observation services for the agricultural sector.

Operational Crop Advisory Services

APOLLO is a commercial platform that provides a suite of EO based farm management advisory services designed to address the needs of small farmers, agricultural cooperatives and agricultural consultants. The core application is a web-based platform with GIS capabilities, which is accessible using all operating systems. The platform is complemented by a mobile application, designed to assist agricultural consultants to conduct tasks in the field related to the APOLLO platform.

ICT Solutions for the Common Agricultural Policy

RECAP is a commercial platform (cloud-based Software as a Service – provided as a web-based and mobile/tablet application) that integrates satellite remote sensing and user-generated data into added value services for farmers, public authorities and agricultural consultants. RECAP responds to the Common Agricultural Policy monitoring challenges, allowing a remote compliance control system for specific rules of Cross-Compliance and Greening, providing advanced manual and fully automatic hybrid Earth Observation (EO) techniques combined with user-generated data (geotagged and timestamped photos).

Following the successful implementation of a number of R&D National and European projects, the next steps for DRAXIS are to bring the developed solutions into the relevant markets and thrive. Additionally, the company aims in establishing fruitful synergies for new R&D projects and ideas, so as to extent its current market portfolio of EO powered applications to other sectors like water management, circular economy, waste and climate change mitigation.

“As the founder of the company and the CEO for almost 15 years I would urge other entrepreneurs to always keep a high standard in their work no matter how tight the projects are. Hard work and High quality in the final deliverables never failed anybody!” Evangelos Kosmidis (Founder of DRAXIS ENVIRONMENTAL SA)

“Website:“https://draxis.gr/

By combining technologies from immersive 3D, financial services, television and earth observation, 3DEO have developed a new approach to the interaction with and presentation of diverse data, from space to smart phones. 3DEO think and inform visually revealing much more than can be seen from traditional perspectives. 3DEO solutions have widespread application, from defense to disaster risk management, estate management and financial markets insight.

3DEO deliver solutions along the chain from the sensor to information, including on board technology, RF links, and full scope ground processing, including atmospheric and geometric processing, analytics, and visualization. We have partnered with the organizations we feel are most suited to enabling us to reach of goals, including First Derivatives, Ghalam, and Spacemetric.

3DEO are based in the Scottish Provident Building by the City Hall in Belfast. There are 15 of us currently, and we are always recruiting talented and enthusiastic engineers, developers and data scientists.

Our goal is the elimination of time between sensor and information, to this end we work with the best in class technology providers from the sensor developers through to the data visualisation and immersive technology providers.

From our work on sensor to information, we determined a need to improve the RF links available for a small, micro and nano satellites. The costs of the RF links and ground processing exceeding the costs of the satellites in some cases.

3DEO NI Limited have partnered with Ghalam to introduce the software defined radio RF link for flexibility, multi satellite utility, and significant hardware, and subsequent ongoing operating costs reduction.

We have found RF Links and Ground Processing tended to be a significant, but usually under specified element of the development programmes for satellite EO missions.

Many EO small satellite missions are using dedicated RF and ground processing systems with little flexibility in the capability of the hardware, and subsequent software, which had to be developed or bought, tested and dedicated to the mission.

The aim of 3DEO has been to introduce a solution to increase the application of payload data from the satellite, by providing a software defined RF link, for transmission and reception of payload and platform data, to reduce the hardware costs for initial capital outlay, and to enable scale for multiple satellites and rapid deployment for shorter missions.

3DEO have developed an SDR based RF link, for full duplex communications, proven to work well with EO satellites, and capable of handing the data needs for UAV’s, HAPS, Live Video, as well as meeting other, typically time critical communications needs.

The solution developed has been under test since early 2017, and has demonstrated capability beyond expectations in surety of reception and transmission, and in the volume and veracity of the variation of applications for rapid re-configuration tests.

The hardware requirements have gone from a dedicated 6U rack space to an ‘RF link in your pocket’, with substantial cost savings on comparable products, but with the fully duplex solution only available from 3DEO.

The SDR will be deployed for the KazSTSAT satellite in the Summer, when 3DEO will have its first fully operating demonstrable solution.

3DEO are also in dialogue with a number of additional organisations looking at the full ground processing solution, built around the reception capabilities of the SDR RF link.

The SDR RF Link is the first development from 3DEO into the market is at one end of the full sensor to information scope we offer. The ongoing development of the ground processing, including analytics and visualisation, continue at pace, with the benefits of full turn-key solutions in data reception, processing, analysis and visualisation being particularly well suited to those customers with time critical data needs, from a wide variety of data sources and the need to gain decision support insight in a timely manner.

Source

Breaking point was a discovery that it actually is possible to process source EO data in real time, without compute intensive pre-processing or expensive infrastructure. This has opened the door for Sentinel Playground, a web application giving access to complete global Sentinel-2 archive to anyone. Something, that a few years ago could be only built by a company like Google. This put Sinergise on the “Earth observation map”. After winning the Copernicus Masters award, a recognition of Sentinel Hub – the service for processing and distribution of satellite data – reached a tipping point and other application developers, who struggled trying to use free and open Copernicus data, started coming.

Sinergise is a GIS software development company with a decade of experience in agriculture, land management and cloud GIS solutions. Although Sinergise was founded in 2008, the story of the Sentinel Hub started a couple of years later. Working with public institutions in Europe, Africa and Asia, Sinergise was keenly promoting potential of on-going monitoring based on Sentinel-2 data even before the satellite was launched. However, it quickly became apparent that using existing technology for pre-processing of raster data, the task was too costly, both from infrastructure and maintenance point of view. A small group of engineers decided to do the unthinkable – to build a system from scratch. And it worked. Unbound from limitations of 3rd party software they could tweak and re-tweak each part of the puzzle until it worked fast enough. Amazon lent an ear for storage and together they have established Sentinel-2 Open Public Dataset. A combination makes it possible to process majority of requests in under a second – querying a database with millions of entries to select appropriate scenes, downloading relevant data from peta-byte archive, decompressing, compositing, re-projection and more. Quite an unthinkable.

Today, Sentinel Hub is empowering application developers around the world building EO-based applications. It is a payable service, but users have quickly realised that it is much more cost effective to pay a small amount every month than to develop and maintain the system by them. Analytical tools built on top of the core data distribution, such as multi-temporal processing, statistical API, custom band combinations and algorithms, make it even more attractive.

It is business but it is also much more. Sinergise wanted to do something good for society as well. They believe that just about everyone should be able to access Copernicus earth observation data so that they could get an objective and up-to-date view on what is happening with the Earth, either in their neighbourhood or thousands of miles away.

Showcases

To explore the satellite imagery, the Sentinel Playground is a good way to start. It is a public showcase demo application providing access to complete archive of Sentinel, Landsat and MODIS. Everything in full resolution, globally, either years ago or as recent as a couple of hours after acquisition. It is as simple as possible, to engage as many users as possible.


Various stages of ice formation on Lake Erie. Cold winds are driving the pattern of thin ice streams in the area of open water. – Sentinel-2 from 2018-01-05. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2018], published by Zack Labe on Twitter

Similar, a bit more advanced, application is EO Browser, which opens other EO archives as well. After becoming freely available to anyone at the beginning of October 2017 it exceeded all the expectations. Today it counts almost 4,000 users who contribute to its success and improvements based on users’ experience.


Wildfire in Mendoza, Argentina – Sentinel-2 L1C from 2018-01-08. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data [2018], processed by Pierre Markus, full resolution image available here.

Who are the users?

Playground and EO Browser became well known and used among the EO enthusiasts and remote sensing experts, but what really drives Sentinel Hub forward is its core purpose, working with application developers who use Sentinel Hub services to power their applications for end users. We can talk about farm management tools in Europe, Africa, South America, Canada and Australia, or how paying agencies are using Sentinel Hub service to control subsidies. There are organisations from security field – EU SatCen and European Maritime Safety Agency among the users, who integrated it in their tools. Working with some of the biggest providers of geospatial tools and data shows, that they are on the right path. Just to give you an idea about the scale, Sentinel Hub processes over million requests per day, which is five times more than three months ago.

“We believe our services are empowering application developers to translate space data into useful information. And there are quite a few applications around the world in precision farming, security, land administration and environment monitoring. For example, FAO, Global Forest Watch and Greenpeace all use our services, and we process more than 1 million requests per day.”
Grega Milčinski, CEO at Sinergise


CLAAS Crop View application for farmers to get more value from Copernicus EU data is powered by Sentinel Hub and Sentinel-2 as part of 365FarmNet portfolio.


A South-African company Aerobotics offers on-demand satellite analytics and farming tools based on Sentinel Hub services.


Global Forest Watch uses Sentinel Hub’s imagery to monitor forests. Among others, their application helps discovering illegal deforestation, illegal mining and logging in protected areas.

Behind the scenes of Sentinel Hub

Since the Sentinel Hub’s technology is optimized for on-demand real-time processing of satellite’s big datasets it makes it possible to effectively and efficiently leverage open data distributed by several cloud providers – instead of the standard pre-processing, this platform does practically all the steps on-the-fly, as the user requests the data. There is only one pre-processing step, the indexing of data and their associated files, making access to the data much faster. There are two important benefits of this approach.

  • First is cost-of-operation, which is an order of magnitude less than similar systems, due to the fact that costs occur almost entirely when the user requires data specific to their area of interest. Their unique approach solves a common problem with EO data, namely that users are only interested in small percentage of data available, but it is impossible to accurately predict, which ones are those areas of interest.
  • The second benefit, possibly even more important, is flexibility of the service. By avoiding time-consuming dataset processing tasks, it is possible to add new features to the platform in a matter of minutes, which gives the user all the flexibility of additional data management.


Satellite imagery used as a basic component for planning UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) flights by MAVinci GmbH. Image shows true color imagery overlaid on 3D globe.

What the future holds?

After integrating all major open EO data sources as well as some commercial ones (Planet, Airbus) the amount of available information has become so large that it is simply not possible to check them all. It became apparent that machine learning is required to sift through the volumes and provide added value information or trigger alerts.

At Sinergise, they started with a pretty boring but extremely important problem – identification of clouds. This will make it possible to get a clean data for other tasks such as crop classification, flood detection, identification of new built-up areas, etc.

“When starting with Sentinel Hub, we came to a completely new world of remote sensing. But with a tremendous support by ESA and H2020* programme, we are capable to look a bit further in the future not worrying on day to date business only. And, without Copernicus team, we would have not even started. – Thank you!”
Grega Milčinski, CEO at Sinergise

For decades, people were using the EO data in various domains. However, with free and open data provided by Copernicus, USGS and alike, they became accessible to just about anyone. EO field was a game of big industry guys and research until recently, but not anymore. Anyone can engage. Either by simply going to their Sentinel Playground, observing and monitoring his location of interest, sharing the findings with others, or by building an app for end users or, for experts, using machine learning to help finding relevant things.

More info : www.sentinel-hub.com | info@sentinel-hub.com

Sentinel Hub has received funding from European Union’s H2020 programme, no. 755899.