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Working towards AI and Earth observation

11 March 2019

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Satellites observing and measuring our planet deliver a huge amount of data that not only helps understand how our world is changing, but also benefits society by feeding into a myriad of everyday applications. Taking this to the next level, ESA is exploring how even more could be gained from these valuable data by using artificial intelligence (AI).

While satellite data leads to new scientific discoveries, AI can create pathways to new Earth observation. Satellites provide us with vast quantities of data, over 150 terabytes per day, which is not always processed efficiently.

In light of the growing importance of AI, a selected group of scientists and AI experts met recently at ESA's centre of Earth observation in Italy to share strategies and goals of its benefits.

"In the next 10 years with so many new satellites under development, we will need to tackle the issue of extracting information from their observations and making use of it in terms of an ever-growing variety of applications and services," said Pierluigi Silvestrin, Head of ESA's Earth Observation Φ, or Future Systems Department.

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