OBSERVER: From space to your screen — 9 applications to improve business and everyday life with Copernicus

OBSERVER: From space to your screen — 9 applications to improve business and everyday life with Copernicus

OBSERVER: From space to your screen — 9 applications to improve business and everyday life with Copernicus

Thu, 11/08/2022 – 13:12


A new age of data

Big data, algorithms, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning — are all buzzwords common in current business and tech circles. In today’s hyperconnected and tech-oriented environment, organisations are placing data at the centre of their operations. Understanding the potential of data products has become key in improving business performance of companies and in meeting the ever-growing customer needs. This newly found interest in data has had a transformative effect on all sectors of the economy. Data-based products are extending far beyond just the strict space industry and are actively improving the health, safety, and productivity of society.


Copernicus: EU space technology in a data-powered European economy  

Over the past decades, the European Union has established the EU Space Programme, resulting in terabytes of data being gathered by the Copernicus Sentinel satellites. Near-real-time data from models, satellites and in-situ measurements are all provided as services active in different domains, such as Copernicus Atmosphere, Climate, Marine and Land services. Thanks to the European Delegated Act on Copernicus data and information policy, which provides free, full, and open access to users, Copernicus has been able to revolutionise work practices in diverse industries as a means of strategic planning and as a critical part to everyday business operations. In other words, the tools, products, and services provided by Copernicus are being leveraged to develop related downstream applications. Everyone from citizens to entrepreneurs, scientists and policymakers can benefit from such tools, which are now within arm’s reach.


Copernicus Sentinel-3 (Credit: ESA–J. Huart)


Copernicus data at the service of commercial players

By exploiting the full potential of Copernicus’ free and open data policy, developers and entrepreneurs have successfully developed a range of user-friendly, easy-to-use applications. Below is a selection of 9 apps and businesses that have used and rely upon Copernicus data to bring users creative and sustainable solutions that can make a real difference in their day-to-day life.


 Building Radar—Construction Analysis

Building Radar is a search engine platform that uses satellite imagery combined with machine learning, geo-informatics and satellite image analysis algorithms to provide real-time information about building and construction projects all over the world. It verifies this information through high-revisit rates of the Sentinel satellites and Very High Resolution (VHR) imagery. Building Radar effectively provides up-to-date information verified by satellite imagery to customers, supporting analyses of revenue opportunities, as well as industry and market trends.

Construction evolution of the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge over the Bosphorus strait, Istanbul, Turkey


 Spacept—Identifying risks to infrastructure         

Spacept offers a solution which fuses satellite images and machine learning together to support infrastructure operators and tackle climate change. This solution is based on Copernicus Sentinel-1 and -2 imagery and is a cheaper solution to traditional methods while offering almost instantaneous data collection and a larger scale of coverage. The analysis of satellite images enables inspection and management processes to be time, cost, and energy efficient.

Spacept’s AI-Automation Dashboard for Railway Inspection

 Xylene— Visible Supply Chain

Xylene provides a traceability solution that enables companies to sustainably import raw materials, perform compliance with regulatory requirements and disclose the product’s journey to consumers. As a result, consumers have more control and transparency over their supply chain and can make more sustainable choices. It also saves companies millions of euros by helping them comply within the international raw material supply chain. The company uses georeferencing integration and data timestamps from Galileo together with Copernicus Earth observation data from Sentinel-2 to assess remote areas where products are sourced from.

Sustainable production of textiles


 Portmapper—A systematic coastal observation system

Portmapper monitors marine habitats, protects coastlines against erosion, and safeguards the marine ecosystems near shorelines. The goal of their solution is to systematically and cost-effectively deliver coastal zone bathymetry derived from high- to mid-resolution satellite observations. These results are then made available in an intuitive web application and used for the purposes of protecting nature as well as tourism and fishing. The main advantage of the system is that it can consume widely available spatial datasets and use satellite observations to increase the accuracy of data and delivering the most up-to-date information to users. These satellite data help with the preparedness and react to phenomena at sea such as coral fading, algae blooms, or the appearance of pollutants. This solution also opens the door to innovative services for the maritime sector such as: dredging operations verification, support in spatial planning and real-time action support for emergency management.

Seacoasts with current bathymetric data.


 Meersens—Monitoring air pollution

By analysing environmental factors like air, water, food, noise, UV exposure, and electromagnetic wave exposure, Meersens provides analyses and recommendations on environmental conditions potentially hazardous to one’s health. This Software as a Service (SaaS) solution uses satellite data combined with open and IoT environmental data to create real-time analyses and forecasts of potential health risks. It uses Copernicus Sentinel-2, -3, and -5P data along with data from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), reaching a multi-layer model precision of 50x50m across the whole world.

User interface of the Meersens application


 Sea Conditions

The app displays ocean and weather forecasts for the Mediterranean Sea. The forecasts are based on state-of-the-art ocean models provided by the Copernicus Marine Environmental Monitoring Service to deliver the following detailed information with high spatial and temporal resolution:

“sea-forecasts” that is: sea surface temperature, surface currents, significant wave height and direction, wave period and direction
“atmospheric conditions” that is: air-temperature at 2 metres a.g.l., surface pressure, precipitation, cloud coverage, wind at 10 metres a.g.l.;
“sea satellite observations”: chlorophyll concentrationwater transparency.

User Interface of the Sea Conditions Application


 Tunnll – Urban bus service for small towns

Tunnll is an efficient and sustainable bus service for small towns using OpenStreetMap, road networks, and map datasets along with building, road, and pedestrian walkway imagery. It also incorporates a variety of Copernicus data and information, such as map tiles of Copernicus Sentinel-2 Level-2A data. With reduced waiting times and average journey times, Tunnll offers a demand-responsive transport solution.

User Interface of the Tunnll application


  SHYN Emergency management

Epic blue BV has created ‘Shyn’, described as the next generation of indoor and outdoor position solution. It consists of a personal AI-driven wearable, allowing first responders to know the location of emergency workers and their proximity to hazards in real-time. The service is based on integrating GNSS and biosensor data into an AI-driven location intelligence platform, which is Galileo and Copernicus enabled. Key data generated by the Copernicus Emergency Management and the Land Monitoring Services feed into Epic Blue’s support to incident tracking of people and involved assets, and a near real-time learning and outcome overview. 

User Interface of the SHYN application


PINA EARTH – Forest carbon certification

Getting certified to sell carbon credits is an expensive and lengthy process that requires expert guidance which prevents forest owners from participating in this market. Pina digitalises and automates the formerly manual process of forest carbon project certification to reduce the time and costs involved. Pina uses AI models based on LiDAR and hyperspectral data in combination with the Copernicus Climate Change and Land Monitoring Services obtained by Sentinel-2 to quantify and reward forest carbon capture. It detects forests at risk due to climate change, simulates the carbon storage benefits of forest restructuring, and precisely measures and monitors forest carbon stocks. 


The value and potential of EO data-derived products

As exemplified by these solutions, the high resolution of Copernicus information combined with innovative AI-based algorithms have proven to be instrumental in the development of innovative products and services spreading over various sectors. EO data has provided fresh solutions for industries such as construction, air pollution monitoring, disaster monitoring, supply chain management and sustainable forestry. Copernicus aims to stimulate the development and use of innovative downstream applications that incorporate its services and data, which are in turn, key elements for developers and entrepreneurs.

The above applications exemplify the potential of the free and open data and information provided by Copernicus as a great resource for individuals to create innovative business solutions tackling current global challenges.

Disclaimer: The European Commission does not endorse or support any of the above-mentioned applications. These applications have been selected to reflect the broad range of potential opportunities of the EU Space Programme.

Thu, 11/08/2022 – 12:00

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