Monthly Archives: May 2016

Google Terra Bella (previously SkyBox)

Since Google bought small-satellite-constellation company SkyBox Imaging in 2014, there have been further players advancing in the small-satellite market. Google has done a strategic refocussing recently by renaming SkyBox as Terra Bella, with a focus on satellite imagery analytics. In combination with Google’s other geospatial data sources, machine-learning algorithms, and the cloud-based big geospatial data processing Google Earth Engine, I see lot of exciting developments coming out from Terra Bella in the near future. It is pertinent to mention here that Google seems to be aiming at setting up / supervising its own full end-to-end chain of satellite remote sensing: from satellite / imaging sensor manufacturing, ground stations, data downlinking, raw imagery processing, to image analytics. Perhaps Google Terra Bella will be a rival to industry-leading DigitalGlobe and Airbus Defence & Space.

See the revamped Terra Bella website, and follow new developments at the Terra Bella blog.

NASA’s FINDER Radar Saves Lives on Earth

NASA’s FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response) radar is a stunning application of radar remote sensing, where a specifically designed radar equipment can detect movement due to heartbeat and breath under piles of rubble. Read about its use in the Nepal 2015 earthquake. More details at FINDER’s NASA JPL page. And here is a recent Mathworks blog post, with many more informative links regarding the system.

PIMSyS: Monitoring Pipelines from Space

 

Here is a really interesting remote sensing application developed by Dutch company Orbital Eye: pipeline monitoring from space. The application is called PIMSyS, and highlights another unique application of SAR and InSAR remote sensing. The company has developed customised algorithms to measure ground subsidence to a high accuracy of millimetres. They use Sentinel-1A SAR data, with a repeat cycle of 12 days. With the recent launch of Sentinel-1B, it might be possible to observe pipeline disturbance incidents with higher temporal resolution as well.

For more information, please see:

https://artes-apps.esa.int/projects/showcases/monitoring-pipelines-space