Lead: Professor James Geach
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 hyper-spectral 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 first major project is called ClearSky, which can predict the full 400-2300nm Visible/Infrared ground response using SAR imaging alone, thus allowing one to derive intelligence about ground conditions (such as the health or growth stage of crops) even in the presence of cloud. We are working closely with satellite communications innovator and space gateway Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd., a member of NVIDIA's Inception Programme. Goonhilly is a legendary satellite data hub with outstanding data connectivity. Recently, GES has established a powerful centre for AI-accelerated data processing: Goonhilly's new green Tier 3 data centre hosts an AI & Deep Learning optimised data platform, which includes the NVIDIA® DGX-1™ supercomputer. This is enabling us to perform truly deep and innovative Earth Observation analysis at lightning speed.