The UK Space Agency has certainly been in the headlines a great deal, and now an announcement from Earth-i reveals that a consortium it is leading has received a grant from the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI), funded by the UK Space Agency.
The consortium will develop a number of new Earth Observation technologies that will enable processes, such as the enhancement of image resolution, cloud-detection, change detection and video compression, to take place on-board a small satellite rather than on the ground. This will accelerate the delivery of high-quality images, video and information-rich analytics to end-users.
Earth-i’s partners in the consortium are:
Chief Technology Officer for Earth-i, John Linwood, who said that this is another example of how the UK Space industry continues to invest collectively in new technologies and innovation. Their goal with OVERPaSS is to develop further world-beating capabilities to ensure that British satellites remain at the forefront of the global space industry for the benefit of customers worldwide.
Eduard Vazquez, Director of Research for Cortexica, added that this project is about opening up space by delivering industry-ready technology into the hands of companies and governments. On-board video processing marks a major step change, as it will allow more sophisticated data and analytics to be transmitted efficiently, bringing a new range of video applications for businesses globally.
Andrew Cawthorne, Director of Earth Observation at SSTL concluded that SSTL is a pioneer of new innovations in satellite optical systems, and we welcome this opportunity to work with our consortium colleagues to develop new technologies that will improve and expand image and video services to end-users.
On-board cloud detection will make the tasking of satellites more efficient and increase the probability of capturing a usable and useful image or video. To achieve these goals, ‘Project OVERPaSS‘ will implement, test and demonstrate very high-resolution optical image analysis techniques, involving both new software and dedicated hardware installed onboard small satellites to radically increase their ability to process data in space.
The project will also determine the extent to which these capabilities could be routinely deployed on-board British optical imaging satellites in the future.
Earth-i’s Vivid-i constellation offers a potential first application for the OVERPaSS technology, enabling a wide range of clients in industry and Government to benefit from the higher quality imagery, video and analytics, and faster processing and delivery times, that OVERPaSS could enable.