A ‘MISSION CONTROL’ FOR PLANET EARTH
The advent of earth observation (EO) spacecraft systems such as Sentinel 2 and Planet’s Dove constellation allows us to - in theory - understand the changing nature of the Earth as never before. However the bottleneck remains the ability to quickly make sense of this new data availability, both in terms of refresh rates and heterogeneity, particularly when paired with ground data (such as mobile phone, drone and social media).
How can these awesome new capabilities come together to provide a useful way of observing our entire planet dynamically? And how can Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and techniques give us the ability to understand, absorb and apply that information in a more timely way?
One notion is the concept of a ‘Mission Control’ for Planet Earth (MC4PE), where AI workflows automate the task of large scale data fusion and change detection.
The first tools being developed in line with this vision allow decision making with a far higher degree of insight. Today we are looking to support infrastructure planning such as water systems, schools and hospitals as well as emergency response deployment across floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. These initial application are a just the beginning of what is possible as part of the MC4PE vision.
Over the past three years, FDL has successfully demonstrated the potential for interdisciplinary approaches and 8-week sprint methodologies. Past projects in planetary defence, space weather and lunar prospecting have delivered exemplary results and we are excited to be now exploring the possibilities in EO.
FDL is also a community - now over 2000 strong - of world class Earth, space and data scientists along with commercial and academic partners - who are dedicated to tackling problems that matter to humankind as whole. It is not an exaggeration to say that the coming decades will push human ingenuity to its limits.
FDL is laying down the foundations to become a key player in building a future that is better for the next generation and we invite you to come along on the ride.
Lastly, we would like to thank the wisdom, foresight, and friendship of our FDL Europe partners, the Satellite Applications Catapult, Oxford University, Nvidia Corporation and ESA.