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Air & Space Evidence was founded in late 2014 to provide an investigatory service to clients by using EO imagery from satellites, drones and aircraft as evidence in formal situations such as in courts of law. We help individuals, companies and governments with image sourcing and analysis so that the data can be used as evidence to resolve legal disputes, and we also advise on using EO in dedicated monitoring and compliance programmes.

The Company’s origins lie in academic research undertaken at University College London by Ray Purdy (a lawyer with an interest in evidence from EO) and Professor Ray Harris (an EO specialist with an interest in legal applications for EO), and although we are still an SME we now have an unrivalled blend of academic and military intelligence expertise in the legal, security and technical fields of EO. Fast Company listed us as one of their top 15 “World Changing Ideas” of 2015

Team photo. L-R: Jon Carver, Peter Hjerp, Ray Purdy (centre), Ray Harris, David Tellett

The company is deliberately very distinct from other organisations operating in the space sector. When we started out we decided the company would be built on four key ideas.

1. It would be deliberately interdisciplinary and focus on law and EO.

Unusually, we bring unrivalled interdisciplinary expertise in both Earth observation technologies and the law. Our approach is legally orientated but purposely holistic, and this enables us both to source imagery for clients and to interpret the findings from the imagery. We offer advice on EO data policy issues and the management, control and authentication of imagery to be used as evidence (including appearing as expert witnesses in court); the assessment of the correct technical procedures to apply to EO data and the implications of privacy legislation and search warrants; and the implications of implementing EO monitoring into regulatory, policy or industry programmes.

2. It would seek to help encourage the greater use of EO to some industry sectors that do not utilise it (and could do).

We believed that the opportunities for evidence collection presented by EO would become progressively more important to those working in fields where formal evidence was important (e.g. law firms, insurance companies, regulatory bodies). Our experience in academia was that many of those working in these sectors had little awareness, knowledge or understanding as to what EO technologies can offer, its limits and its value as evidence. Further, we received many calls to the university from law firms and regulatory bodies asking how they might get imagery, which could potentially be used in evidence in legal disputes. These sectors had little idea where EO imagery could be sourced from or the evidential implications of using it. Spotting a gap in the market, Air & Space Evidence sought to bridge the link between the imagery from EO technologies and those working in a legal context. We spend a lot more time going to events which have prospective clients rather than interacting with other members of the EO industry – not because we don’t want to talk to other people in our sector, but because we want to focus spending our time finding out what potential applications there might be for the data. Our largest number of enquiries relates to criminal investigations and also environmental regulation.

3. It would give greater opportunities for the general public to use EO data.

There are significant opportunities available in looking back in time and EO archives are important as they can often provide historical (legal) evidence that would be otherwise unavailable. We wanted to seek to help move commercial remote sensing from the world of intelligence uses by the military and government agencies to the world of commerce. The general public is a huge market and we considered that there would be interest in a service whereby they could get access to EO data that could be used in an evidential context. To enable this, we marketed ourselves in a way that we thought would be understandable and engaging to the public at large – we styled ourselves as the World’s First Space Detective Agency. We have found that the public is very interested in EO as evidence. Most of our cases relate to planning disputes, but we deal with a large volume of different types of enquiry. One key problem we have encountered is managing people’s expectations following TV programmes like Homeland, Spooks and Hollywood films like Enemy of the State.

4. It would seek to communicate the value of EO to the media.

We also felt that the EO industry can sometimes be viewed as being in a bubble that doesn’t always connect sufficiently well with the outside world. We wanted to seek to promote the use and value of EO within the media. We also wanted to initiate debates that we considered important such as the privacy implications of EO. We have found that the media are extremely interested in EO and very willing to publish stories in this area (especially as the term ‘space detective agency” importantly did seem to strike a chord). In our short life span the company has been covered on TV, radio and the internet by national broadcasters such as BBC, Sky and CNN; national newspapers from many countries across the world; scientific publications like the New Scientist, Scientific American, Environmental Scientist; public interest magazines such as Wired, Fact Company, Quo and Vice; and industry sector publications. Whilst media communication can be time consuming and does not directly result in income, it can still be rewarding.


Whilst it has been extremely interesting building up the company and handling enquiries from the public and government, we also wanted to ensure that there was a regular flow of income into the company. This meant designing and selling our own monitoring services. At the same time, we also wanted to tackle a problem that was hugely problematic for society at large.

We decided to tackle the issue of waste crime, because this was increasingly causing significant damage to society and is estimated to cost the UK (where we are based) more than a billion pounds sterling a year. It is estimated to cost all EU countries €72 – 90 billion per annum. Interpol, Europol and the UN have identified waste crime as one of the fastest growing areas of organised crime. It is increasingly recognized to have the potential to rival drug trafficking in terms of scale and profits. Waste crime can also cause environmental damage to surrounding land, air and water, and poses a risk to human and animal health. Living near an unlawful waste site can also ruin people’s lives. Our aim was to try and use EO technology to significantly reduce the scale of the waste crime problem.

The key problem with waste crime was that it was often hard to detect – or to detect quickly before the damage is done and the criminal gangs have moved on. We decided to develop a semi-automated detection model, using satellite and map data from open data sources to detect unlawful waste dumping sites, whereby we could identify waste crime that governments are not aware of, bringing immense value to their work and enabling them to catch more waste crime gangs in the act.

Air & Space Evidence received funding for three projects in the last year:

  • The ASE team won a major award from the European Open Data Incubator to test the semi-automated detection model. Three sets of trials were conducted in Northern Ireland, with the cooperation of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, to determine the effectiveness of the detection model. The model had a 71% success rate in detecting illegal waste sites.
  • We undertook a project for the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency examining remote sensing technology developments and their potential to detect waste crime. The ASE team conducted an examination of the types of waste crime problems that were taking place, and undertook a detailed technical assessment of which ones might benefit from remote sensing evidence. We then designed trials which will test the usefulness of remote sensing data in practice for detecting waste crime at both licensed and unlicensed sites.
  • ASE were part of a consortium (with Telespazio Vega UK) that won an ESA project on “Space Based Support Services for Waste Management”. The project (which has only just started) will examine how a combination of space imaging, satellite tracking and monitoring technologies can be used to tackle and enhance two specific problems facing the waste management sector – the tracking of waste and the illegal dumping of waste, and will demonstrate whether there is a business case for such a service.

An image from a potentially illegal waste site that we were investigating

We have developed a service called Waste from Space based on the work in the above projects. Finding illegal waste sites is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. They can be concealed, be different shapes and sizes, and be in a wide variety of locations. To tackle this, we combined a variety of techniques from both radar and optical satellite sensors, aided by mapping data, to discriminate standard land use types, concentrating on anomalies. We effectively focused on finding the needle by eliminating the haystack. Our technique discards the vast majority of items in the search area and allows us to isolate a realistic number of suspicious areas for further close-up satellite investigation.

Air and Space Evidence were this year’s winners of the European Earth Observation Product of the Year award. This award, given by the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC), was for our Waste from Space product, and was received at a ceremony in Brussels on 4 July 2017. Our product was selected because it supported the implementation of some of the key United Nations sustainable development goals (and the monitoring and reporting of these against the global indicator framework), in the most innovative way. Winning was a huge surprise and we were really very honoured to have been selected.

Receiving the EARSC Product award: Jon Carver, Air and Space Evidence and Rob Postma, Airbus and event sponsor

We are currently engaging with governments, environment agencies, EU bodies and supranational environmental compliance networks to discuss regulatory needs and the potential opportunities of implementing space based technologies into regulatory regimes to ensure better waste crime monitoring and compliance. A high-level workshop is to be held in Brussels in co-operation with DG Environment of the European Commission in late October 2017 to discuss the role of space technology in tackling waste crime. The Commission are involved as they are very supportive of the use of EO to tackle the growing problem of waste crime, and they also think our approach is very relevant to the promotion of Copernicus and the INSPIRE Directive.

Earth-i is an innovative and forward-thinking distributor of very high resolution satellite imagery. They plan to capture a significant share of the global market for Earth Observation services by launching Europe’s first commercial satellite constellation to offer both video and still images, and the first in the world to provide full colour satellite video.

Headquartered in Surrey Research Park, Earth-i takes an active role in supporting the UK space industry. They actively sponsored this year’s UK space conference and maintain close ties with industry leaders, co-located with companies such as Surrey Satellite Technologies, manufacturers of their new satellites, and the country’s largest academic research centre: The Surrey Space Centre.

Since 2013 Earth-i have been providing very high resolution imagery from three identical, British-built satellites. The DMC3/TripleSat constellation offers daily revisit opportunities to any location on Earth, multispectral imaging and scene capture individually or in strips up to 175 scenes long and a very wide swath width (23km). Across track and along track stereo imaging are also available. These satellites have found uses across industries including agriculture, wide area mapping and disaster response. Their combination of rapid revisit times and very high resolution is unmatched in the industry and Earth-i’s rigorous quality standards are maintained throughout acquisition and processing. Last year, these values were recognised by the State government of Queensland, Australia.

Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) awarded Earth-i the contract to supply very high resolution, optical data of the the entire state. DNRM will be using the data to update their geospatial database. No other satellite operators were able to provide the same resolution of images, with a similar frequency of acquisition at such a competitive rate.

©Earth-i ©21AT All rights reserved

To meet the needs of the DNRM, Earth-i provide a complete end-to-end service that covers acquisition, processing and delivery. Speaking about the contract, Steve Jacoby, Executive Director of Land and Spatial Information, DNRM, said: “We are delighted to have awarded the contract to Earth-i. They demonstrated a clear understanding of our needs in Queensland, the DMC3/TripleSat Constellation provides us and other Queensland government departments with both the wide area capability and the very high resolution imagery required to meet the needs of the user community. We were impressed with the professionalism of the Earth-i bid and the quality of data we will be able to work with to support a wide range of applications.”

At the UK Space Conference held in May Earth-i announced plans to launch and operate Europe’s first commercial constellation to offer both video and imagery. The announcement was greeted with excitement and interest from across the industry.

The launch of its own constellation is a natural evolution of Earth-i’s existing and well-regarded image and Earth Observation analytics business and will enable it to meet the rapidly growing demand for high-resolution Earth Observation data from traditional end-users and the growing sector for big data analytics and insights drawn from such EO data.

Using advanced, proprietary technology mostly developed in the UK and already proven on small satellites designed by the world’s leading small sat experts, Earth-i has commissioned a highly sophisticated small satellite for its constellation. The building of the constellation begins with the 2017 launch of Earth-i’s first prototype satellite (expected later in the year). Named by Earth-i ‘EiX2’, the satellite is being manufactured and launched in partnership with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), part of the Airbus Defence and Space Group and originally spun off from the University of Surrey.

This R&D satellite will be used to test performance and demonstrate capabilities for the future constellation including tasking, data downlinks to ground stations, and image quality and video from space before the launch of commercial satellites planned for 2019. 

During this time Earth-i will also be developing a cutting-edge service that will enable easy acquisition and analysis of imagery, and use advanced algorithms to extract value from the data. The use of video enables more images to be captured which can be stacked to create virtual 3D models.

Richard Blain, CEO of Earth-i, said: “We’re now at the forefront of the commercialisation of space and the rapid evolution of the New Space market. We’re a well-funded, capable and confident business that is following a different route to our US counterparts. We have designed and developed our constellation for organisations that need to strike a different balance between the cost of acquiring data from space, and access to sufficiently high-resolution of quality images and video to enable the detailed analysis that will help to further improve their own performance and capabilities. Owning our own constellation will enable us to completely customise our offering because we’ll have total control over mission planning and tasking, as well as assured access to our own significant global data source. We are also pioneering new value-added services and big data analytics that promise to extract the highest value from space data, as well as working with partner organisations to support in the delivery of global services.”

Josef Aschbacher, Director of Earth Observation at the European Space Agency, said: “There is an almost insatiable demand for data from space as people are realising its true value to both their planning and daily operations. Higher resolution image data from commercial organisations is likely to be very valuable either in its own right or when used in conjunction with other data sources including medium-resolution image data such as that provided under the European Copernicus Programme.”

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Besides the huge touristic potential of the area, the Romanian seaside represents a complex and vivid environment, a unique interlacing between wild and protected life, traditional rural lifestyle and economic development.

Romanian Black Sea coastal zone is represented by 240 kilometres of the western waterfront of the Black Sea, situated between the Musura Gulf (Ukrainian border) and Vama Veche village (the Bulgarian border).
From geomorphological point of view, this area has three sectors: Danube Delta in the north, Razim-Sinoe complex (an area with natural levees), both included into the UNESCO biosphere sanctuary, world heritage, and the Dobrogea coast (sea fronts, beaches and harbours) in the south. Given this particular collage of different environments, the Romanian coastal zone represents for TERRASIGNA an interesting and challenging study subject with important benefits both for private and public sector, local and worldwide.

The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe and one of the youngest and most complex ecosystems in the world. This natural open-air biodiversity museum is affected by both natural phenomena, and anthropic changes (from exploitation of natural resources to increased navigation). A wider understanding of the environment is made possible with the HydroSAR service developed by TERRASIGNA that allows mapping and monitoring activities related to hydrodynamic features of wetlands, by using optical and SAR imagery and InSAR techniques. HydroSAR service exceeds limitations like: lack of consistent time series of in-situ measurements and the remote character of the study area, which makes the acquisition of in-situ observations not an easy task. Activities related to environmental protection and risk management mitigation can reach a higher level of effectiveness by using HydroSAR products: water extent maps, water flow directions maps and water level changes maps. This technology is completely non-invasive, accurate and cost-effective and can be also used for activities related to monitoring variations of the shore line and detecting changes imposed upon the environment by storms or other anthropic events for the entirely Black Sea coast.

Given the economic interest of the Black Sea’s basin in the region, it became one of the most environmentally challenged areas in the world and, consequently, a subject of transnational interest. In line with the high investments made by the European countries and their international partners in Earth Science data collection and dissemination systems (e.g. satellites, in-situ networks, ICT frameworks) as well as with the European Space Agency’s policy regarding free and open access policy to data, TERRASIGNA created ESPOSS (Earth Science Data Access and Processing Service for Black Sea). ESPOSS is the first online open source platform that gathers large amounts of information for the Black Sea area and provides its users access to customizable processing and analyzing tools. Environmental issues such as: water pollution, phytoplankton bloom, sediment transport, water balance, ocean surface topography as well as marine animal’s mortality due to anoxia can be address by using ESPOSS. ESPOSS platform can also be tailored for any area of interest: ocean, lake, river or land.

The experience of developing ESPOSS was used by TERRASIGNA in relation to implementation of the Thematic Exploitation Platforms – Coastal (C-TEP). C-TEP is an online service, funded by ESA, which will provide access to an extensive archive of over 20 years of EO data, near-real-time (NRT) satellite data streams, in-situ measurements, and the tools necessary to process and extract information from said data.

Coastal fields of study, such as climate change, economic development, habitat classification and coastal research, can be addressed by users of the C-TEP through a cloud-based workspace. Common problems like managing huge amount of data, access to data or data availability are thus solved and a collaborative environment among users is promoted.

TERRASIGNA is a leading global provider of customized Geo-Information services. The company offers flexible, faster and economic solutions for deep exploration, understanding or control of highly complex systems or natural phenomena.

TERRASIGNA follows a visionary strategy for the design of new system intelligence integrating mathematical models, statistical analysis, signal and image processing with computational sciences for data, processes or phenomena understanding. The company has developed and continues to improve fully processing chains for interferometric processing of radar data and for automatic extraction of features from large time series satellite imagery databases.

The main development directions:

  • Data processing and EO monitoring services and applications based on satellite radar and optical data: since 2014, TERRASIGNA has been certified, within TERRAFIRMA project, to apply the PSInSAR technology for Earth surface monitoring. The company has successfully used the technology in customized applications for monitoring:
    • Critical infrastructure
    • Oil and gas industry
    • Mining industry
    • Natural hazards
    • Insurance
    • Environment
  • Thematic exploitation platforms for data searching, downloading, management and processing: TERRASIGNA started this line of development in 2010, and, since then, several initiatives have been implemented or are currently under implementatation.

Black Sea Geoprocessing Portal ESSPOS is a Black Sea dedicated web platform for EO data access and processing, the first online platform that gathers large amounts of information for the Black Sea area and offers to its users access to online processing and analyzing tools. Current application areas: water pollution, phytoplankton bloom, sediment transport, water balance, ocean surface topography.

Using the expertise from ESPOSS, TERRASIGNA is part of ESA’s Coastal Thematic Exploitation Platform C-TEP, an online service funded by ESA to provide access to an extensive archive of over 20 years of EO data, near-real-time (NRT) satellite data streams, in-situ measurements, and the tools necessary to process and extract information with focus on dynamic marine processes and coastal interactions. Within C-TEP, among other tasks, the company is responsible for the web interface and for the development and operation of a use case for the Black Sea.

TERRASIGNA also coordinates a consortium for a pathfinder assessment for a Regional Exploitation Platform for Earth Observation data EO4SEE (Earth Observation for South East Europe), mainly dedicated to Black Sea, that will provide high volume data access, process and information service delivery. Within this initiative, the company will be responsible for the Carpathians, Black Sea and Daube Delta region.

  • Data mining / Big Data – in-house algorithms developed by TERRASIGNA and embodied in innovative applications:

    • SITS platform for exploitation of the information contained in Satellite Image Time Series (SITS);
    • Content Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) platform for searching of similar patterns in both optic and radar high resolution satellite imagery;
    • Suitability Coverage Engine, platform for effective selection and download EO products on the basis of advanced user criteria and analytic needs;
    • Visual Data Mining, visual data exploration tools for browsing and understanding the structure of large data sets of EO imaging products.
  • Mobile Applications for Earth Observation developed by TERRASIGNA aim to increase public awareness in regards to environmental, social and health aspects of life by using satellite data. They help both scientists and casual users to have constant access to and work with complex information.
    The ESA Proba-V App provides users with a wide range of information regarding vegetation health in the surrounding environment, by associating photos taken here on Earth with relevant information from satellites above. C-Land App has been designed to present dynamic land cover changes occurring on international level at different spatial and temporal scales.
  • Development of educational softwareTERRASIGNA understands the importance of preparing new generations of specialists and provides tools for trainers to support their students education in a friendly and modern way:

    • LEOWorksESA main tool for teaching remote sensing and GIS to upper level secondary school students;
    • Interactive Meteosat – Meteorological Application (ESA main tool for teaching meteorology to students);
  • Complementary ground based data acquisition sensors (radar) for different monitoring applications and services – TERRASIGNA developed its own ground based SAR technology that the team can use to tailor better, faster and cost efficient services for the clients.

Downstream applications for the agricultural sector that make agricultural advisory services accessible, affordable and easy-to-use.

Founded in 2000 in Greece, DRAXIS focuses on providing Environmental Consulting Services, Solution Development and Implementation & Management of Environmental Technologies.

Our steadfast dedication to new technologies, in conjunction with our active involvement in National and European Research Projects, enables us to provide high quality services and technological standards. We are passionate about implementing the latest and the most advanced technologies when tackling Environmental issues with an impact on the operations of a large number of industries. We provide whole life cycle support to such projects, covering the whole range from initial requirements, development, and implementation to management and maintenance.

Through the combined use of Environmental Databases and Software, our clients can achieve substantial improvements in all aspects of their work. As a result of our R&D activities and expertise we have acquired extensive knowledge in the following segments/sectors:

  • Software and ICT tools for Specific Scientific Fields, such as Precision Agriculture Technology and Farm Management Services, Numerical Weather Prediction, Air Pollution, GIS, Solar and Wind Energy, Climate change.
  • Policy Making Tools, such as Strategic Decision Support Systems, Operational Workflow Systems, Dissemination Tools, Target Oriented Portals, etc.
  • European Funding Programmes for Specific Scientific Areas.
    While DRAXIS has long-standing experience in the GIS sector, in 2015 it expanded its activities into the field of Earth Observation by developing downstream applications for the agricultural sector. DRAXIS is the coordinator of two H2020 European funded projects, namely APOLLO and RECAP.

Making agricultural advisory services accessible


The APOLLO project aims at developing an information system that will offer a set of farm advisory services based on Earth Observation data. These services will be available through a user-friendly website and mobile application and will be targeting primarily (but not exclusively) small farmers, as well as farmers’ associations and agricultural consultants. Free and open EO data from Copernicus missions Sentinel-1 and 2 will allow APOLLO services to be offered at a low cost, while, at the same time, the high temporal and spatial resolution of data enables services to be useful for a broad range of different crop types. APOLLO services will be validated in an operational environment at three pilot areas in Greece, Serbia and Spain.

Reinforcing CAP with remote sensing


The RECAP project aims at developing improved remote monitoring of CAP obligations and at supplementing in-field inspections by Payment Agencies. The overall objective is to develop and pilot test a platform for the delivery of public services so as to enable improved CAP implementation.

RECAP will be a cloud-based SaaS platform capable of collecting information from open satellite data and commercial channels of satellite data providers. It will extract useful features from earth observation, correlate them with user-generated and geo-information data and model this information so as to enable identification of potential breaches of compliance.

RECAP services will be tested and validated in an operational environment in the UK, Spain, Greece, Lithuania and Serbia, with the participation of farmers, agricultural consultants and public authorities. RECAP aims at offering farmers a tool to help them comply with regulations and enable agricultural consultants to develop their own services within the platform, via tools and communication with the database using an open approach. Paying agencies will benefit because of less administrative work while enhanced transparency is ensured in CAP monitoring procedure.

Contact Information
63 Mitropoleos Str., 54623, Thessaloniki, Greece
Tel.: +30 2310 274566

Clermont-Ferrand, 12 October 2016 – The French company PlanetObserver, specialized in imagery basemap production for more than 25 years, announced today the coverage of Asia with PlanetSAT 15 L8 basemap, that covers now 40% of the Earth’s land mass.

Processed with fresh Landsat 8 source data, PlanetSAT 15 L8 is a unique natural colour imagery basemap that offers highly detailed, seamless and cloudless geographic information, perfect for 1:50,000 scale mapping.

Landsat 8 source data are carefully selected according to precise specifications, in particular concerning season and cloud cover. With PlanetObserver internal data processing chain, satellite images are assembled and processed homogeneously with high quality colour balance. Processed exclusively in natural colours (RGB channels), PlanetSAT 15 L8 basemap is the product closest to the Earth true colours.

Production of PlanetSAT 15 L8 imagery basemap goes at a rapid pace. Further to the coverage of Northern Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, India and Australia, PlanetObserver has finalised Asia that includes China, Mongolia, Korean peninsula and Japan. Western Europe will be ready for delivery early 2017. Our roadmap for end of 2017: North America, South America, and Southern Africa.

PlanetSAT 15 L8 imagery basemap covers today about 55 million sq km, i.e. 40% of the Earth’s land mass (excl. Antarctica).

For all projects requiring a global basemap, PlanetSAT 15 L8 imagery can be easily combined with PlanetSAT 15 global basemap processed by PlanetObserver with multisource data (Landsat 7 and Landsat 8).

“PlanetObserver is positioned as a key supplier of high quality imagery basemaps, with regional and global coverages”, said Laurent Masselot, CEO of PlanetObserver.
“PlanetSAT 15 L8 and PlanetSAT 15 basemaps are value added cartographic solutions, ready-to-use in any professional solution, from GIS to visualization and simulation systems, both for civil and military applications.”

To find out more about PlanetSAT 15 L8 base maps, visit PlanetObserver website at

PlanetObserver offers a full range of value-added geospatial products, ready-to-use in any professional solution for visualization, simulation and mapping.

Founded in 1989, PlanetObserver is a French company specialized in geospatial data processing and production of ready-to-use imagery basemaps and elevation datasets. We control the whole supply chain, from raw data selection to in-house production of ready-to-use geospatial products. This approach is the key to offer a high level of service to our clients and partners. All geospatial products are developed internally, backed up by our know-how in geospatial data processing and more than 25 years of technological expertise.

Our product range includes global satellite imagery basemaps in natural colours with a unique visual quality, and global and accurate Digital Elevation Models. PlanetObserver is also a reseller of AIRBUS DS very high resolution imagery, and orthophotography from different suppliers (IGN, Getmapping, etc.).

With a constant commitment to R&D and innovation, and mastery of cutting-edge technologies, we are positioned as the supplier and partner of leading companies located in Europe, North America and Asia.

PlanetObserver imagery and elevation products are used in numerous commercial, military and consumer applications, ranging from orthorectification solutions, visualization and simulation solutions, web-mapping to cartographic mapping and audio-visual production. Our network of distributors includes East View Geospatial (US) and GAF (Germany).

Our Earth Observation (EO) clients include the European Space Agency and its centre for EO, ESRIN, in Italy and the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, the French space agency (CNES), RapidEye/Planet, and Thales Alenia Space, developer of space systems and solutions.

In the defense industry, our products are used as high quality geographic information layer in mission planning systems and flight simulation solutions. AIRBUS DS and AIRBUS Helicopters are amongst our customers. We also partner with developers of visualization and simulation solutions such as Agenium and Diginext (VirtualGeo solution).


PlanetSAT 15 global imagery basemap: Unique global imagery basemap at 15-meter resolution processed in natural colours (RGB). PlanetSAT 15 global basemap benefits from an annual update programme with cloudless and up-to-date imagery from different sources (Landsat 8, Sentinel-2). PlanetSAT 15 seamless basemap is available off-the-shelf in different standard formats.

[Image 1] PlanetSAT 15 global imagery basemap

PlanetSAT 15 L8 imagery basemap: Processed from fresh and cloudless Landsat 8 imagery, PlanetSAT 15 L8 is a seamless and natural colour basemap at 15-meter resolution. This entirely up-to-date imagery basemap covers 40% of the Earth’s landmass, including North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, India, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and all Asia (from China to the Korean peninsula, and Japan). PlanetSAT 15 L8 product is used for PlanetSAT 15 annual global update.

[Image 2] PlanetSAT 15 L8 – Abu Dabhi, UAE

On-demand very high resolution imagery: We offer on-demand Pleiades and SPOT 6/7 imagery as ready-to-use files as per customers’ requirements.

[Image 3] SPOT 7 – Sydney, Australia

PlanetDEM 30 Plus global elevation product: Digital Elevation Model offering a global coverage at 30-meter resolution and providing seamless, reliable and accurate data.

[Image 4] PlanetDEM 30 Plus – Mount Everest, Himalayas


PlanetObserver is a recognized supplier of high quality imagery and elevation products for different projects, such as:

Project with Diginext – End-user – Airbus DS: Diginext offers VirtualGeo solution for visualization and analysis of 2D & 3D geospatial information. PlanetSAT 15 global imagery basemap is part of the data package embedded in the solution and supplied to Airbus DS.

[Image 5] VirtualGeo

Project with Airbus Helicopters: PlanetDEM 90 global elevation product is used in Airbus Helicopters mission planning system. PlanetObserver has processed the product in specific data format in order to match the solution requirements.

Project for Flight Path 3D – In-flight Entertainment (IFE): PlanetObserver has supplied a specific version of PlanetSAT 15 global product embedding bathymetry information. This product is used in all Flight Path 3D solutions.

25 bd Gergovia
63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
Phone: +33 473 44 19 00

Now Astrosat, one of Europe’s most consistently award-winning space services and management companies, is throwing open a challenge to space innovators everywhere to join in the international effort to help realise the possibilities of space.


Space has never been more exciting.

  • NASA’s Juno probe has arrived at Jupiter after a five year voyage and is about to probe the gas giant’s deep interior.
  • Work is proceeding apace on the InSight mission to Mars.
  • Earth is under observation as never before by the most sophisticated satellites ever made by man.

Around the world, questing, adventurous agencies, companies and individuals are pushing the boundaries of space technology with missions which enable science to seek out and answer some of the most fundamental questions in the universe.

Now Astrosat, one of Europe’s most consistently award-winning space services and management companies, is throwing open a challenge to space innovators everywhere to join in the international effort to help realise the possibilities of space.

This time we want to revolutionise the way earth observation can solve problems on Earth – at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time by working with innovators to place bespoke sensors in orbit – sensors with missions designed to solve problems End to End.
Astrosat want the world to come up with ideas that need Earth Observation data from the Copernicus suite, but also from data that currently isn’t available, for example, maybe they need better resolution or specific spectral bands.
Astrosat will use this information to determine what kind of sensor you need and get it placed onboard Teledyne Brown’s MUSES platform on the International Space Station!

In association with engineering giant Teledyne Brown, Astrosat is asking participants in the prestigious European Copernicus Masters Challenge to design a new earth observation suite of sensors which can be placed on-board Teledyne Brown’s Multi-User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES) platform on the International Space Station (ISS).

As a frequent Copernicus Masters winner, Astrosat will sit on the judging panel for entries and will look at entrants as potential partners in its commercial exploitation of space. Special focus will be placed on applications which help developing nations with disaster relief, or in increasing their economic resilience.

Once again, Astrosat is changing the way space solutions are delivered through earth observation. It is co-opting Copernicus entrants into its business philosophy, which is: Tell us the problem and we’ll solve it.

Astrosat’s access to the international space station can speed up the process – and ISS is much more specific than other satellites.

Steve Lee, Astrosat’s CEO, said: “Traditionally Earth Observation solutions are a technology push – long lifetime and expensive satellites are launched and the data has to be squeezed into a solution.

“BUT what if the solution needs something not up there, what if the budget and timescales don’t fit or don’t need a long campaign using big satellites.

“What if the satellites are in the wrong orbit (most earth observation happens from polar orbits.) We can change all of that with our ISS solution and we want the world to bring its ideas to us through the competition.

“Our new COO Georgy Dean has made a short video which you should watch.”


Here’s some examples of applications we’ve looked at ourselves – to spark your innovative thinking!

Urban heat island effect. Urban heat islands are an increasing concern in built-up areas. Copernicus data can be used to provide detail indicating where above average temperatures are being experienced. Current thermal sensors in space have too low resolution. An adapted off-the-shelf thermal sensor on-board Teledyne Brown’s MUSES platform on the ISS gives better information about potential threats and allows us to “profile” the equatorial regions over a short campaign with data spread across the full daily cycle of heat islands.
Algal blooms. Harmful algal blooms cause huge economic losses worldwide. Currently the repeat times for optical images of the algal blooms are too low. By using a sensor adapted for algal bloom observation on Teledyne Brown’s MUSES platform, alongside Copernicus data, repeat times are greatly increased and harmful algal blooms can be detected more frequently, increasing the likelihood of a cloud-free image. Furthermore, Algal blooms come in many forms – some good some bad – all with different spectral signatures. Our sensors could look for specific types of good or bad bloom.

In General.
Can you think of any other new business applications for the above sensors? Do you have a sensor or a plan for a constellation that needs tested in space whilst also giving valuable Copernicus supporting data in the near term? Come to us with your ideas.

The winner will be awarded a bespoke support package prize valued at €8,000 that includes business and technical assistance to help bring the product closer to market, as well a substantial satellite data quota worth €10,000 made available by the European Commission.

The winner will also get the opportunity to partner with Astrosat in further developing its service to sell to select existing end user clients.


Entrants will be expected to have identified a novel or interesting new earth observation service that would benefit from bespoke sensors on the ISS; to have defined the type of sensor(s) needed to deliver their service; and to have presented a solid business case.


This challenge has been set by Astrosat in association with Teledyne Brown. Astrosat is a private sector managed earth observation company based in Edinburgh, Scotland, that focuses on commercial development and exploitation of EO data. Its clients are spread internationally from South East Asia to Central America and consume products as diverse as deforestation monitoring to energy efficiency in the urban environment.

For a few more details and examples, see our video and to register, please go to

Astrosat is a leading space services and management company which specialises in earth observation, using data from an impressive array of orbiting satellites to provide services of vital value to countries on several continents.

Established only in 2012, its innovative space technology merges satellite and ground-based data to provide valuable information to a wide range of sectors. It has also made its mark in the space business with satellite communications and technology transfer.

The multi-award winning company has created solutions for space beacons which would allow distressed satellite tracking. It also works on spacecraft systems – the systems and instruments a spacecraft must carry depending upon the data it will gather and the functions it will carry out.

At the core of Astrosat’s success is the dedication, scientific knowledge and enthusiasm of its 24 staff, who come from a wide range of disciplines, including astrophysics, astronautics, robotics, engineering, oceanography, hydrography, urban planning, building engineering and geoscience.

The company has become a successful exporter and it now delivers 80% of its products and services to countries as far apart as Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, India, Nepal. It also intends to establish a presence in South America and Africa.

The company, which under the leadership of Steve Lee and Alan McLarney has built a multi-million pound turnover, has consistently been in the vanguard of those who have grasped the limitless potential of the vast amounts of data gathered by the world’s satellite arrays.

It has looked at the data with a critical and analytical eye and established a product stream which can provide vital information and alerts, in comprehensible formats, particularly for countries in which satellite coverage has been intermittent.

These products include:

  • Coastal Sentry, which uses satellite data to monitor changes in the coastal environment, particularly in relation to coastal erosion;
  • Expedite, which can track people from orbit no matter where they are on Earth;
  • Field Aware, which is designed to receive and access the information from Astrosat’s award-winning RAPID (Recovery and Protection in Disaster) system;
  • The Powerless Space Beacon, a technology that could be carried by any spacecraft and would transmit a signal which would let ground stations identify its position and track it even if its electrical system has failed;
  • Geo-Secure, a unique and innovative combination of GPS technology and satellite communications which enhances currently available encryption technology;
  • Transport DataHub, which installs sensors which can help enhance satellite data.

The innovative techniques which the company has put, and continues to put, in place have been regularly recognised by a steady flow of awards from major international space bodies and agencies.

The most recent was the 2015 Copernicus Masters Smart Cities and Intelligent Transport Challenge, sponsored by technology company Satellite Applications Catapult, for its eXude flood monitoring application.

It is the sixth major award that Astrosat has won in the four years since it was established and it has been a consistent winner in the Copernicus Masters. This year, for the first time, Astrosat has been asked to use its expertise to set the challenge for entrants in the prestigious competition.

Astrosat is calling on entrants to design an innovative earth observation suite of sensors which can be deployed on Teledyne’s Multi-User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES) platform aboard the International Space Station.

The data from these sensors will be analysed on earth to create a commercially viable application, with special focus placed on developing nations and disaster relief, or increasing their economic resilience.

Astrosat, an innovative space services and management company based in Scotland, is in a space race of its own as it powers into place among the leading UK contenders in the commercialisation of the near cosmos. This video will introduce you to the excellent work Astrosat is doing and will give you an insight into what solutions we can deliver for you.

For further information, contact Astrosat via email: or website:
Issued by Michael Crawford at Blueprint Media, 0141 353 1515.
Date: July 2016

In 2015 ACRI-ST joined EARSC membership


ACRI-ST is a member of a SME group made of companies that provide services whose scope spans from satellite remote sensing, ocean & land surveys to
civil engineering in hydraulics through environmental research, Computational Fluid Dynamics and dynamic similitude.
In the group, ACRI-ST specializes in:

  • Earth Observation (EO) missions’ specifications & End-to-End simulations; numerical analysis, algorithms’ and data processors development; operation of components of the EO missions’ Ground Segments
  • Environmental monitoring -the so-called EO Missions’ user segments
  • ITC research and data services for EO missions’ ground segments and environmental engineering

Key Elements
Since 1999 | Incorporated in France | capital: 2 000 000€| Integrated turnover: 8M€| CEO: Odile Hembise|

The company is organized in 3 establishments (France -Sophia-Antipolis, Toulouse & Paris) and 4 subsidiaries, i.e. ACRI-HE (France) and its own Moroccan subsidiary, ARGANS (UK), ARCTUS (Can) and AdwäisEO (Lux) in order to span the value chain.|

Born from a research company, ACRI-ST sustains a strong R&D in satellite remote sensing of the ocean, coastal waters & shoreline, of continental waters, of land cover & land use, as well as features’ & dynamics’ modelling and data assimilation in models. Innovation feeds the services in data collection, processing, archiving and distribution, in information design incl. environmental risks’ assessment, health’s changes and ecological mitigations (e.g. air quality, water quality, storm water collection – drainage – sewage, rivers’ restauration), as well as support to economic activities (e.g. aquaculture & shellfish farming, shipping & off-shore activities, insurance).

satellite EO EO missions´specifications ACRI-ST
satellite EO EO missions´s Ground segments ACRI-ST, ARGANS, ARCTUS
in-situ & other surveys ACRI-HE
data services adwäisEO
information services ACRI-HE, ACRI-EC

ACRI-ST’s strength is the thorough command of the EO data chain, with outstanding efforts to be at the cutting edge of

  • sensors’ calibration, data QC and information validation, thus allowing to simultaneously deliver data-information and statements of their reliability & accuracy;
  • big data volume processing (reprocessings, archiving, data fusion, analytics).

from market analysis to data services, the original career path of ACRI-ST in EO

The company likes to consider its social goal as:
(i) advocating EO as the core tool for perennial environmental monitoring, i.e. bridging the gap between surveys and delivery of information of relevance to policy-makers, economic stakeholders and courts:
- by properly handling the passage from S&T research to (a) operations of data centres and (b) environmental consulting, through (c ) engineering processes standardization;
- by helping build environmental monitoring’s capacity in ESA member states with “economies of scale” and “economies of scope” in mind;
- by bringing together research & public agencies, government’s’ technical offices (local, regional, national and European) and companies to make the best of existing knowledge and know-how; and
(ii) facilitating transfer of knowledge between labs and industry.

Business Objectives
ACRI-ST’s goal is to build-up a reliable services supply chain, established on sound ground segments components of EO missions and geo-data user segments to be set in partnership with Space Agencies, Environment Research and IT Research agencies, to capture/attract solvent commercial markets in environmental data/information services.

Background and references

Expertise and production capacity is based on a the knowledge and knowhow of a group of high-level scientist with combined PhDs and Engineers‘ certification which were successful with:
i) ENVISAT & SMOS commissioning + their Cal/Val operations + the design & updating of the MERIS, GOMOS and SMOS data processors;
ii) the development and industrialization of the Sentinel-3 data processors (e.g. OLCI , SLSTR, MWR, SRAL) ;
iii) the set up of EO Mission Performance Centres (e.g. S2 & S3), Processing and Archiving Centres (e.g. S3/ SLSTR+SYN…);
iv) S&T research in Earth Observations and geophysical fluid dynamics and downstream services’ demonstration on EC FP7’s & H2020’s, ESA EOP’s, CNES programmes’ and ANR’s funding
(e.g. MARCOAST, AQUAMAR, GlobColour, MyOcean, SENSYF, Co-Resyf, OSS2015, SAFI, E-AIMS, SeaExplorer…)
v) The preparation of an ESA collaborative Ground Segment in public-private partnership (MCGS)
vi) Services to local communities (air quality, submersion…) and industrial & farmland facilities (salmon farms, heat pumps, water discharge, waste disposal…)

A few examples in aquaculture as an illustration of end use application

In this case, end-use of EO is of two kinds, policy-making & enforcement, and support to farmers to help them select the best sites, optimize feeding, and plan sales. Here are some outputs available to professionals

a) Monitoring of fish-cages deployment

maps of fish cages in the Western Med (April 2016: 4478 at more than 200 m from the coast) detection with SAR data and classification on optical EO data (prototyping funded by the ESA DEU-Innovator project SMART)

b) Growth of fishes and shellfishes -surveys and modelling

Left: growth rate of salmon juveniles ,South of Ireland, a model. Right:concentration of pico & nano plankton along the coast of Morocco-from EO data analysis.
(the FP7 SAFI consortium)

Mussels growth at various locations ,Northern Adriatic, surveys and modelling based on EO

260, route du pin Montard, BP234, F06904 SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS cedex, France