Leads: Professor James Geach & Dr William Alston
We are innovating analysis techniques in Earth Observation (EO). Astrophysics is the ultimate remote sensing challenge. We figured that the problem of inferring the properties of distant galaxies from a limited set of (very) remote observations is no different to inferring the surface properties of the Earth using data taken from orbit. Complex data, weak signals and buried information is our bread and butter. So we are applying our experience in astrophysics-based hyperspectral image and time series analysis to EO, bringing to bear some of the latest AI techniques. We are particularly interested in applications of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) observations, which are insensitive to cloud cover.
Our patented ClearSky deep learning algorithm, which can predict the full 400-2300nm Optical/Infrared ground response using SAR imaging alone, allows us to derive intelligence about ground conditions (such as the health or growth stage of crops) even in the presence of cloud. We are currently investigating novel applications of reverberation mapping, a technique used to probe the inner regions of active galactic nuclei powered by supermassive black holes, to investigate temporal trends in crop emergence. This is an important clue in understanding the impact of climate change on food production.
ClearSky is now licenced to Aspia Space Ltd., a member of NVIDIA’s Inception programme of innovative AI start-ups. Aspia Space is currently using ClearSky to monitor the status of hundreds of thousands of hectares of arable land in the UK.