Satellite Data Repository Launched. “Missing Link Between the Satellite and the Entrepreneurs”

PUBLISHED AT: Thursday, 13 October 2016, 11:52

Now, entrepreneurs from all around the world have gained access to more than a million gigabytes of data gathered by the European Satellites. This is possible thanks to the work carried out by a consortium involving the Creotech Instruments, CloudFerro and Brockmann Consult companies, which created an innovative database containing the satellite data, fused with the Earth Observation Cloud computing cloud system. The said data, along with the relevant computing potential, remain at disposal of anybody who is interested in processing that data and using it for both commercial, as well as for the research purposes. This is the first initiative of this type in Europe.

Polish Satellite Data Repository and Fast Cloud Computing System

On 5th October 2016, in Warsaw, official inauguration of the EO Cloud programme took place. The initiative assumes that a satellite data repository, along with a cloud computing system, is going to be established. The value of the project ordered by ESA exceeded the amount of PLN 8 million, while implementation of the initiative was placed within the area of responsibility of a consortium of Polish companies led by Creotech Instruments S.A.. President of the said company, Grzegorz Brona PhD, stressed the fact that the whole project is going to make it possible to significantly reduce the cost of accessing the satellite data, not only for the administrative organs, but also for the commercial entities, including start-ups. President of the Creotech company also noted that this is the only infrastructure of this type in Europe, and that the whole database and the related systems were created, in 95%, by the Polish entities. The Consortium in question completed the task rapidly, in a very short period of 6 months. 

Vast, constantly updated database, user-friendly interface and flexible price-list, tailored to the needs of the entrepreneurs. EO Cloud is also going to be available to the researchers, Universities, state entities and research institutes which have already tested and utilized the capabilities offered by that innovative solution. During the conference held in Warsaw, the above issue was mentioned by Jan Musiał, PhD, of the Remote Sensing Centre of the Institute of Geodesy and Cartography which has been using the repository for the purpose of examining the ground humidity. He was accompanied by Przemysław Kupidura, D. Sc. Eng., of the Warsaw University of Technology.

Image Credit: Creotech

EO Cloud is the only global solution of this type, fusing the vast archive of constantly updated satellite data shared by ESA and the computing cloud which enables the user to search, classify and process huge amounts of data at a single location. The cloud computing technology makes it possible to utilize the business potential offered by the satellite data, without leaving your desk, anywhere around the world. Up until now, downloading the huge files, e.g. containing the Earth imagery, for processing within own infrastructures, could last for months.

President of the Creotech Instruments S.A. company, Grzegorz Brona.

Current and Archived Satellite Data.2 Petabytes of IncreaseAnnually

The EO Cloud servers feature data that is being updated constantly (2 hours of delay), as well as archived data (with the oldest information coming from 1984), gathered by the Landsat, Sentinel and Envisat satellites. The oldest Landsat and Envisat satellites are no longer active in the orbit and the data is not provided by them. However, the remaining instruments, in an ongoing manner, transfer high quality radar and optronic imagery from a variety of data-gathering sensors, which, once the data mentioned is catalogued, is directed towards the EO Cloud resources, stored on the system’s servers.

The data contained within the repository, at the moment when it was initiated, take up more than one petabyte of disk space which is an equivalent of one million gigabytes. What is more, the imagery collected, in an ongoing manner, by the Sentinel-1, -2 and Landsat-5, -7, -8 satellites, directed towards the repository, is going to expand the size of the database by two petabytes per annum. 5-10 terabytes of data are going to be directed towards the repository daily. In the future, data from other satellites is also going to be sent to the EO Cloud system. 

We have created a unique and effective tool which is going to make it easier for the entrepreneurs to establish satellite-data based businesses. The number of possible applications remains unlimited, and growing need of similar services confirms the fact that market development is going to be directed towards emergence of such requirements. The platform has already been tested by the Polish and foreign entrepreneurs and researchers, praising the comfort and efficiency offered by our computing cloud.

Maciej Krzyżanowski PhD, President of the CloudFerro sp. z o.o. company

European Growth in the “User Segment”

The estimates pertaining to the satellite-services market segment, also known as the user segment, as defined by ESA, can be found within the “Space Economy at a Glance 2014” study, prepared by the OECD agency. The authors assume that the whole space sector has generated, globally, throughout the year 2013, income in an amount of USD 256.2 billion. Moreover, 58% of the aforesaid amount has been allocated within the “user segment” - 58% of the total sum.

What is more, the space sector is one of the most rapidly developing business branches, globally. According to the OECD data, within the period between 2006 and 2013, the whole industry generated a growth of income at the level of 7% per annum, while the accumulated growth for that period was defined as 65%, from 165 billion dollars in 2006 up to 256.2 billion dollars in 2013.

A Missing Link

At the moment, the Earth Observation solutions may be used to create applications for fields that seem to be distant from one another at the first glance, including agriculture, energy industry, crisis management, logistics, infrastructure, public administration and more.  

The key to the commercialization of even the best ideas based on the orbital data is to be in possession of an ability to skilfully interpret huge amounts of data. Not only does this form a requirement to have a proper algorithm at disposal, as computing power should also remain at hand of the user.  Creating the infrastructure which would be sufficient to carry out such computation means that significant financial expenditure would also be required.

The uniqueness of the EO Cloud solution is not a result of the fact that it is gathering the satellite data, as similar archives exist, globally. The peculiar character of the system is seen in the fact that the data repository is fused with a computing cloud which makes it possible to commercialize the “satellite” business ideas without leaving your office, utilizing the cloud resources when they are needed, with the application of own satellite data processing algorithms within the platform. As a missing link between the data and the entrepreneurs, EO Cloud may make its contribution as a spark, for creation of new businesses which utilize the Earth Observation data gathered by the satellites. 

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