Satellite based sensing and monitoring is helping tackle global issues such as climate change.
There’s something a bit “Yin and Yang” about satellites. However, the ideal platform for spying and the future battlefield between global superpowers is also a major part of the world’s infrastructure, providing GPS, high speed communications and a platform for scientific experiments and telescopes that can see deeper into the universe.
Satellites have potential capabilities that we haven’t even begun to fully explore and the increasingly sophisticated sensors that are deployed on them are at the heart of those capabilities.
Now, an organisation called 4EI (4 Earth Intelligence) is using its capabilities in Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data analytics and machine learning to make use of satellite data for smart monitoring and analysis creating city, region and countrywide data for applications such as air quality, asset management, ecology and urban heat monitoring.
According to David Critchley of 4EI, the group has witnessed an exponential increase in the demand for new methods of addressing a variety of issues affecting the planet. As a result, 4EI intends to use space and remote sensing technology to address such challenges as climate change, pollution and population pressure.
So far, the company has engaged in projects such as the development of a new global air quality index, the creation of multiple iterations of the satellite environmental inventory of Abu Dhabi and innovative data fusion techniques in detecting soil quality and climate resilience analysis for Local Authorities in the UK.
Using consistent and repeatable spatial data derived from satellites, 4 Earth Intelligence can provide insight about a wide range of measurable impacts using a variety of data analysis techniques and show change at very regular intervals. The company will work collaboratively with commercial companies, agencies and governments to help improve decision making.
With the quantity of sensors available on satellites now and the vast amounts of data they generate, the company is able to generate information that can have a tangible effect on the big issues that are most topical today such as climate change and the factors that contribute towards it.