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FDL Europe 2018

FDL Europe is an artificial intelligence research accelerator established to apply AI technologies to challenges in space exploration for the benefit of all humankind. 

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Challenges

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EARTH OBSERVATION

Challenge 1: Overview - A ‘Mission Control’ for Planet Earth

The advent of 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? One notion is the concept of a ‘Mission Control’ for Planet Earth, where AI workflows automate the task of large scale multispectral data fusion and change detection. 

An example use-case of such a tool might be to rapidly build an accurate model of a region after a seismic event such as a volcano eruption, which would allow civil defense teams to quickly understand the changes in the environment and integrate air traffic, sea transport and other human activity. The ‘Mission Control’ would allow a strategic overview, allowing more co-ordinated responses, targeted warnings and quicker deployment of help and aid. This challenge is a big vision, however requires a number of innovations in workflow suited to AI techniques that could be investigated and resolved to enable others, such as improved change monitoring and detection of other temporal attributes, automated data choice, calibration and validation of multiple data types, real-time quality control, intelligent choices on on-board space craft processing, smart downlink, co-ordination of assets, satellite tasking and targeted viewing.