Classifying Urban Poor Areas with Satellite Imagery

Hannes Taubenböck and his team at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are using very high-resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, supplied by European Space Imaging, combined with auxiliary surveys to develop a base model classification system for the shape and structure of urban poor areas around the world. Slum, favela, tenement… whatever term you use, nearly every country in the world has some form of urban poor areas.  Taubenböck, Kraff and Wurm identify these locations as 'Arrival Cities', defined as places offering relatively affordable housing serving as an access to a city, its society and its functions (a concept based on Doug... (read more)
2019-08-21 12:02:07

Technology Convergence – Artificial Intelligence and Satellite Imaging

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used for years on satellite images – so why all the excitement? The application of AI and machine learning (ML) to Earth observation (EO) data is a huge growth area, demonstrated by the many online competitions, GitHub repositories and entire businesses founded exclusively on this topic. GitHub is a development platform inspired by the way people work, from open source to business. Users can host and review code, manage projects and build software alongside 31 million developers. However, taking the Oxford English Dictionary's definition of AI as ‘systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence’, AI has been... (read more)
2019-01-22 12:35:53

First GPS III Satellite Reaches Orbit

After extensive delays, the first next-generation GPS III Space Vehicle 01 (GPS III SV01) has been successfully launched and reached medium Earth orbit. GPS III SV01 was lofted aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 in the last days of 2018. Initially slated for a 2014 launch, GPS III SV01 is the first of ten GPS Block IIIA satellites, the latest generation of the US Air Force’s Global Positioning System. The vehicle’s completion and launch were successively pushed back by delays related to an untested capacitor used in the spacecraft’s construction, and GPS ground system known as the Operational Control Segment. The new... (read more)
2019-01-15 10:17:31

UK Radar Satellite NovaSAR Returns First Images

The first all-UK NovaSAR radar satellite, developed jointly by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Airbus, has sent back its debut images which feature Sydney Harbour and the Egyptian pyramids. The images are being assessed for use in diverse applications, including crop analysis, flood and forestry mapping, and maritime surveillance. The satellite was launched in September 2018, with the intention of having a constellation of NovaSAR satellites. Such a network would enable repeat images of locations to be acquired more quickly - something that is important if changes detected in a scene require a rapid response. (e.g. reacting to an oil spill).... (read more)
2018-11-28 10:38:50

UK Radar Satellite NovaSAR-1 Launched Successfully

The radar imaging satellite NovaSAR-1, carrying an Airbus S-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), has been successfully launched on a PSLV launcher from India. The spacecraft was built under the leadership of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, an Airbus subsidiary. The innovative small satellite will be used to monitor the Earth day and night. SAR instruments can see through clouds to enable uninterrupted imaging of the Earth below, which is key when monitoring changes of features on the ground. NovaSAR-1 is the first SAR spacecraft to be manufactured entirely in the UK and is a technology demonstration mission designed to test the capabilities... (read more)
2018-09-21 10:11:46

Airbus Partners with Planet for Satellite Imagery

Airbus has announced a data-sharing agreement with satellite imagery purveyors Planet, along with a project to deliver a geoinformation platform and pipeline for the Thai government. The depth and breadth of satellite data products in the marketplace may soon expand following the announcement by Airbus and Planet of a new partnership that provides access to each other’s data, and an agreement to co-develop new products. Airbus says the partnership aims to address the growing demand for continuous monitoring and accurate information, and the relative strengths of both companies’ infrastructure and data assets should result in some unique and powerful offerings. Combining satellite... (read more)
2018-06-28 10:21:05

Royal Wedding Crowd Captured by Satellite

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Marry to Massive Crowd
On Saturday 19 May, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The event was captured from above by the WorldView-2 mission satellite from the European Space Imaging. An estimated 150,000 people turned up to line the streets of Windsor, and were captured with very high resolution imagery as they waited to witness the royal newlyweds. They can be seen neatly packed into the courtyard of the chapel, and along the roads the couple drove down after the ceremony: the B3022, Park St, and The Long Walk. "The very high resolution imagery... (read more)
2018-05-23 10:54:49

Satellite Images Reveal Europe Is Facing Droughts

The past months have been the driest in the history of rainfall measurements in Europe, and satellite images reveal the scale of the problem. Recent storms, even the ones that caused local flooding, did not affect much deeper soil layers which continue to remain very dry. Large volumes of heavy rainfall flowed directly into rivers and drainage ditches and moistened only the surface layer. The UK has seen the driest May in the last 124 years. Fires, resulting from droughts, consume forests, meadows and fields. Many rivers have a record low water level. We can see the scale of the... (read more)
2020-07-13 09:58:19

Supporting Earthquake Emergency Operations with Satellite Images

Just hours after the recent earthquake struck in Italy, European Space Imaging and its long-term partner Planetek Italia sprang into action to support disaster relief efforts, being the first to supply very-high-resolution satellite imagery to emergency services and the media. The imagery was captured by the WorldView-2 satellite over the affected region, showing the extent of the damage caused. The high-resolution imagery was immediately made available to the Italian emergency services. The earthquake hit at around 3:30 a.m. on 24 August 2016, some 100km northeast of Rome. The earthquake of magnitude 6.2 severely damaged several towns and killed hundreds of people in... (read more)
2016-08-29 02:10:08

Satellite Altimeters Help Reveal Sub-Ocean Topography

It has been said that we have more complete maps of the surface of Mars or the Moon than we do of Earth. Close to 70% of our planet is covered by water, and that water refracts, absorbs, and reflects light so well that it can only penetrate a few tens to hundreds of metres. To humans and most satellite eyes, the deep ocean is opaque. But David Sandwell of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Walter Smith of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have produced a global dataset revealing the topography of the ocean bed. Their methodology used... (read more)
2017-04-28 12:59:19
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