Earth Observation with Scalytics Connect

May 24, 2023
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Dr. Jorge Quiané
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Summary

The collecting of data on our planet's physical, chemical, and biological activities is known as earth observation (EO). Scalytics Connect advances EO through Federated Learning (FL), which allows multiple devices to train a shared model collaboratively without transferring data. Scalytics Connect is perfectly suited to build a digital twin that combines FL and EO data to create a shared global model for monitoring sensitive environments such as the rain forest, ice shelves at our poles, or cultural heritage sites. The use of Scalytics Connect enables a wide range of applications that can enhance decision-making across a wide range of organizations, such as understanding climate change, tracking the environment, reacting to natural disasters, monitoring global inventories and commodity production, and monitoring infrastructures. Scalytics Connect and EO data can be used by insurance firms to estimate risk and by electricity companies to plan power generation and delivery.

Intro to Earth Observation

The collecting of data on our planet's physical, chemical, and biological activities is known as earth observation (EO). Remote sensing technology (Earth observation satellites) or direct-contact sensors on ground-based or aerial platforms (for example, weather stations and weather balloons) can be used. The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) defines the concept as "both space-based or remotely sensed data and ground-based or in situ data." 

Earth observation offers a wide range of applications that can provide significant insights for decision-making in a variety of businesses. Businesses and organizations may make better decisions about how to run their operations and adapt to changing situations by using the potential of EO data.

How Scalytics Connect advances EO

Federated Learning (FL) is a machine learning technique that allows multiple devices to train a shared model collaboratively without transferring data. This means that each device can train the model with its own local data before sharing the updated model with other devices. Based on the contributions from all devices, the shared model is then aggregated and updated.

Earth Observation (EO) data can be used to train the shared model in FL as local data. Multiple satellites, for example, can collect EO data and use it to train a common model for monitoring cultural heritage sites. Each satellite can train the model with its own local EO data before sharing the updated model with other satellites. The shared model is then aggregated and updated based on the contributions of all satellites.

By combining FL and EO data with Scalytics Connect, we can now create a shared global model (digital twin) for monitoring sensitive environments such as the rain forest, ice shelves at our poles, or cultural heritage sites. This improves monitoring and prediction capabilities while maintaining global data security. Scalytics Connect is perfectly suited to enhance EO use cases, and is used in current implementations, like monitoring the degradation of sites, the level of air pollution in surrounding areas, coastal erosion, or even discovering heritage hidden beneath the ground's surface and revealing lost landscapes can all benefit from EO data. 

The use cases for Scalytics Connect powered EO

Earth observation (EO) has a wide range of applications that will enhance informed decision-making across a wide range of organizations and enterprises. By combining information about the physical, chemical, and biological systems of the entire planet via remote sensing systems or direct-contact sensors on ground-based or airborne platforms, EO provides important insights into changes occurring over time in remote locations, across multiple locations, or over large areas.

Understanding climate change is a typical use for EO. EO can give vital data to scientists by monitoring changes in temperature, precipitation patterns, sea levels, and other climate-related factors over time, helping them to better understand the effects of climate change on our planet.

Another important application of EO is tracking the environment. Tracking changes in land use, such as deforestation or urbanization, monitoring air and water quality, and tracking biodiversity and wildlife trends are all part of this topic. EO data may also be used for border surveillance and civilian protection by giving full photographs of border zones to help in the discovery of unlawful activities.

One of the key use cases for civil protection organizations is to assist emergency responders in making educated decisions about where to deploy resources and how to successfully respond to a disaster by providing real-time data on weather conditions, water levels, and other disaster-related variables which are mandatory to effectively organize rescue operations or first aid operations.

Another great use case for EO is the tracking of global inventories and commodity production. By providing precise data on agriculture yields, mineral reserves, and other resources, using Scalytics Connect can help firms make educated decisions about where to invest and how to manage their supply chains.

Organizations and public planning authorities can also use Earth Observation to monitor infrastructure for a variety of applications. Scalytics Connect managed EO data can be used to assess the risk of construction and road-building projects by providing detailed information on soil conditions, terrain, and other critical factors. 

Links:

ESA - Observing the Earth

Earth Observation Case Studies | U.S. Geological Survey (usgs.gov)

Earth Observation applications and machine learning for cultural heritage preservation - ESA Commercialization Gateway 

Agora-EO: A Unified Ecosystem for Earth Observation -- A Vision For Boosting EO Data Literacy (agora-ecosystem.com)

What is Federated Learning? Use Cases & Benefits in 2023 (aimultiple.com)

About Scalytics

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