Geospatial data has been playing a pivotal role in solving crucial problems of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us closer to this realization. e-Geos has been a leader in providing data from optical and radar satellite imagery, aerial data, integrated non-EO and IoT dataand much more for developing geospatial solutions, which could largely impact the world.
Taking things further, e-Geos has launched CLEOS, the all-in-one solution to master the digital revolution of geoinformation services. To explore the nuances of the new platform, we engaged into an interaction with Paolo Minciacchi, CEO, e-Geos.
Q. What role is e-Geos playing in making the most advanced satellite data available to the community?
A. e-Geos has the relevant task of managing the value chain of the massive amount of data from the advanced Radar Satellite COSMO-SkyMed system. It operates a radar hub infrastructure where data from most of the available commercial radar and optical satellites are processed and analyzed on a 24/7 basis.
The first step is to acquire raw data from the satellites, real-time information about different topics, such as environment, air quality and traffic. Afterwards, e-Geos platforms integrate these data with the IoT information gathered over different sources, thus producing analytic records and big data customized on-demand monitoring services for specific requirements (e.g. Oil Spill, illegal fishing, anti-piracy, intelligence and security).
Our advanced assets and algorithms provide significant indicators that allow e-Geos platforms to recognize and extract data suitable for several markets.
Q. How would you define ‘Geoinformation Services and Applications’? What makes e-Geos leader in this space?
A. Geoinformation Services and Applications are products, both for institutional and civilian customers, developed out of the main Earth Observation data. e-Geos, in particular, can rely on the largest and most advanced Radar Satellite constellation available today, COSMO Sky Med.
The constellation operates a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), an advanced system that enables the four satellites to operate in all visibility conditions at high resolution and in real-time.
The satellites provide data on a global scale to support a variety of applications that include risk management, environmental protection, natural resources exploration, land management, defense, and security.
Our partnership in the most relevant Earth observation European programs, such as Copernicus, has further strengthened our leadership in this field.
Also Read: e-GEOS CLEOS goes live!
Q. AI in Earth Observation- How’s the concept evolving?
A. Every day, satellites provide us with terabytes of data via images, producing a considerable volume of valuable information that is not easily processable in a systematic way.
Artificial Intelligence can convert these raw images into Earth Observation products and services for businesses and institutions, thus releasing the massive potential of Geoinformation.
AI tools and methods versatility and reliability allows the user to set secure, automated, and repeated machine to machine processes modeled on his specific requirements, bringing him benefits in terms of runtime, accuracy, and resources.
For example, through AI algorithms it is possible to automatically extract satellite imagery for time-series-based analysis for modeling, predicting scenarios, or detecting changes in human settlements.
Q. What is the latest trend in Space and Earth Observation?
A. The most interesting emerging trend is the beginning of a more resolute transition to New Space Economy, one of the main levers for the revival of the national and international economy. A growing number of companies and associations are investing in spatial data and services, recognizing the great potential of Geoinformation.
We are witnessing a growing pervasiveness of space-related products in the private sector, a development that will pave the way for New Space Economy, the economy model based on the sharing of spatial data and services.
The new marketplace developed by e-Geos perfectly meets the market demand, offering businesses and SMEs quick and easy access to complex data and technologies, thanks to an efficient and intuitive interface.
Q. With your latest innovation, CLEOS, how do you envision creating a bigger impact on the geospatial community and the world at large?
A. The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have strained the world, provoking a global economic crisis with very few precedents. Now, it is time to put the pieces together and return to normality, thus determining also new possible scenarios.
We are sure that New Space Economy can contribute to the revival of the national and international economy, and CLEOS is projected to be a vector for this pathway.
Our smart, responsive, and integrated platform fills the gap between the GI field and non-space business offering tailored all in one solution for companies, associations and institutions.
CLEOS guarantees immediate access to geoinformation data and services, through the support of pioneering infrastructure and technologies, such as cloud computing and IA.
CLEOS can leverage the rich e-Geos portfolio, which includes interferometric measurements for ground subsidence and landslides analysis and thematic mapping, rush mapping in support to natural and man-made disaster, specialized services for defense and intelligence, near real-time oil spill and vessel detection services for maritime surveillance.
In conclusion, CLEOS is the platform of platforms, a strategic asset that will strengthen the positioning of e-Geos globally by focusing on research and innovation, two fundamental elements of our business strategy
In this context, I’m pleased to recall that at the beginning of September, e-Geos signed “COVID-19 economic impact assessment from Space in Italian Ports and Logistic Centers – Enabling Industry Growth”, a contract with the European Space
Agency (ESA) for the development of a useful tool for monitoring the economic recovery after the COVID-19 outbreak.
The solution will integrate and analyze large amounts of both satellite and non-satellite data to characterize the effects of the lockdown and the subsequent gradual return to normality, such as the ship’s traffic, the pollution, and the presence of mobile phones as data representative of the changes in progress.
Q. For CLEOS, you have three business models- subscription, pay-per-use and revenue sharing. Usually, which user segment prefers to use which model? Why?
A. CLEOS gives e-GEOS great flexibility to tackle the new requirements of the platform economy that is going to move from pay-per-use to subscription supporting integration among different sources a revenues streams. This will open to new products and continuous monitoring services enabled by COSMO-SkyMed and the upcoming small and mini sat from commercial side and by Copernicus and the other open missions.
Subscription: The main advantage for our customers is to have foreseeable costs and different subscription tiers to choose depending on their business needs. They can always upgrade/downgrade if their business needs change over time. This is the most suitable business model for consolidated customers who know their needs (commercial, academia).
Pay-per-use: Suitable for customers who are beginning to use CLEOS services or who do not yet have a precise idea of which subscription tier would better fit their usage profile.
Revenue sharing: Suitable for CLEOS partners that intend to sell data or processing services through CLEOS platform.
Q. How will CLEOS be useful for Research and Academia?
A. CLEOS offers direct access to a wide set of Space and non- Space Data, sharing with universities, research centres, and all relevant stakeholders almost real-time analytic information about air quality, pollution levels, geomorphology, and so on.
The precision and immediacy make this platform an essential reservoir of knowledge to draw upon for research and studies in several fields.
In fact, researchers can set the platform to receive Big Data and analytic reports focused on specific areas and gathered in the chosen time laps.
Take for example CUBEO, the scalable platform that provides easy access to Spatio-temporal subsets of large collections of heterogeneous satellite data.
Amazon in Cloud Services and IA algorithms underlying the platform ensures a very efficient data management. Every user can prepare and pre-process data over his area of interest by setting the field and the frame. CUBEO will provide any available data, along with analytic reports showing the changes that occurred.
Q. What role is CLEOS playing in bringing platform federation and interoperability?
A. In the world to come, the Platform Economy will play a key role in fostering cross- domain while ensuring data confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
Moreover, the platforms will contribute to strengthening the concept of sharing by providing advanced technologies and infrastructures in the cloud to businesses, institutions, and stakeholders. However, these systems must ensure interoperability and scalability.
CLEOS has a service-oriented architecture (SOA) that allows the platform to interact and cooperate with other ICT systems to exchange real-time data, providing full management of the system, flexibility in operations, and investment guarantee.
Our smart platform tends to form a virtuous mechanism that ensures advantages both for the user and for the marketplace itself.
In fact, the user can leverage EO and non-EO data and services provided by e-Geos and our partners thanks to a smart, immediate, and highly responsive platform.
On the other hand, the already rich e-Geos portfolio can be smoothly injected in our partner offer, therefore enriching CLEOS range of services.
One of the great potentiality of cleos.earth is that it is open to support academia in defining, promoting and monetizing R&D algorithms able to unlock new information still trapped into the data and in the isolated platforms. Thanks to the upcoming developer portal, scientist and students may “play” in an advanced and ready-to-use playground, accessing also to dedicated pricing policies.
Also Read: CLEOS: Enabler of New EO Recipes
Q. The AI Factory- What makes it stand out? With the integration of AI in EO picking up, do you foresee intense competition in this market?
A. The outstanding feature of the AI Factory is the capability to manage to full lifecycle of AI models, from the testing and experimentation phase to the deployment in production environment and the management of further model improvements and fine tuning. The AI Factory offers also tools for non AI experts to successfully cope with complex tasks related to AI models development such as retraining, fine tuning, performance metrics evaluation, though a simple and user friendly interface.
From another perspective, the scope of the AI Factory is to facilitate the process of creating new geospatial products and services powered by AI algorithms and models. This applies both for e-GEOS internal developments as well as for e-GEOS partners that choose CLEOS as the digital platform to boost their digital product development roadmap.
The market is observing an exponential growth of platforms and tools helping customers in the successful exploitation of AI in their business tasks, however there are still few, if no platforms capable to provide access to an ecosystem of data (satellite/non satellite), pre-trained AI models and a robust and scalable deployment environment where new AI developments immediately become part of a new operational geoinformation service.
Q. Your message to the geospatial community.
Cleos.earth is not only a platform or and industrial investment, but it would be a gate to play a new game based on cooperation and integration between EO industries and even non EO experts, to tackle new needs thanks to the capability to manage different data sources fusing all kind of data, to publish the value of the EO market segment that is growing and is becoming part of the actual workflows of both industries and public administrations, during the daily life.