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#51 - Earth Observation : Ecosystem & Trends - Aravind Ravichandran

#51 - Earth Observation : Ecosystem & Trends - Aravind Ravichandran

Toulouse Data Science Meetup

The Earth observation (EO) sector is undergoing a series of advancements in the last few years with the potential to reach billions of euros later this decade. Just earlier this year, a SpaceX rocket launched over 140 satellites of which over 60 were EO satellites aimed at collecting different types of data - from radar to hyperspectral. Innovations including reduction in access to space, miniaturisation of satellites and technological advancements in cloud computing & artificial intelligence have led to the development of new EO startups all around the world with an aim to solve problems across sectors. This talk will present a high-level overview of the EO market, deep dive into the market dynamics, and present some examples of how EO data is going to become a major part of the big data economy in the years to come, leveraging on the advancements in machine learning, edge computing and cloud computing


Toulouse Data Science

December 05, 2021


  1. Earth Observation: Introduction, Trends & Ecosystem Aravind RAVICHANDRAN Director of

    Strategy, Space - Tomorrow.io Writer & Podcaster – TerraWatch Space
  2. • The Earth Observation sector is rapidly growing with advancements

    in both hardware (satellites) and software (data processing) • Hardware: Launch prices have reduced by 10x ($1M for 200kg1) and cost of satellite manufacturing has reduced by 100x2, leading to the development of EO satellite constellations (average cost of $200M for a constellation of 16 smallsats – mass range 50 to 500 kg ) • Software: Developments in artificial intelligence and cloud computing have enabled the storing and large-scale processing of data collected by satellites, resulting in development of many EO-based applications • According to market reports, the EO market was valued at about $3.9 billion in 2020, with a CAGR of 8% until 20273. The key markets are defence & intelligence, agriculture, insurance and financial services • The development of new EO satellites has led to the rise in availability of high resolution and high frequency EO data - commercial and open source, continuous decrease of prices and creation of new applications across different industries The Earth observation market is going through a period of rapid innovation and advancements … 2 Sources: 1: SpaceX,, 2: NSR, 3: PwC, 4: Euroconsult
  3. Application Develop software for end users solving a industry-specific problem

    with EO data being one of many technologies used in the solution Abstraction layer for the Earth observation industry Analytics Transform satellite imagery into information using AI and remote sensing techniques, applicable across multiple industries / domains Software-as-a-Service (Domain Experts) Analytics-as-a-Service (Domain Agnostic) Insights Convert satellite-based analytics into insights, for a specific industry or domain, with EO data being the forefront of the solution Insights-as-a-Service (Quasi Domain Experts) Earth Observation: Operating Stack Aravind, TerraWatch Space https://terrawatch.substack.com *Non-exhaustive Data Build and launch satellites with different sensors to collect different kinds of data from space for a variety of use cases Abstraction layer for the space industry Data-as-a-Service (Vertically Integrated) ACQUISTION Platforms / Marketplaces Infrastructure Offer computing environment allowing access to aggregated data / algorithms and infrastructure to derive analytics based on analysis-ready data Provide scalable cloud infrastructure and supporting tools for storing and processing satellite data Abstraction layer for geospatial & remote sensing industry Platform-as-a-Service (Data Agnostic) Infrastructure-as-a- Service (Data Agnostic) DISSEMINATION INTELLIGENCE Layer Description Business Model Examples (non-exhaustive)
  4. On-board Processing Hyperspectral Infrared Optical / Multispectral (Passive Sensor) Radar

    (Active Sensor) Radio Signals Radio Occultation Earth Observation: Acquisition Aravind, TerraWatch Space https://terrawatch.substack.com AIS Microwave *Non-exhaustive
  5. Earth Observation: Verticalisation Aravind, TerraWatch Space https://terrawatch.substack.com Climate & Weather

    Sustainability & Environment Agriculture Insurance Multi-purpose data à Capacity to provide data applicable for solving problems / use cases across verticals Verticalisation à Capacity to to solve a specific problem etc. ….. Energy Climate Risk Weather Prediction Emissions Wildfires Carbon Credits Property Insurance Parametric Insurance *Non-exhaustive
  6. Retail: Using satellite imagery and AI to perform car counting

    Credit: Airbus, Orbital Insight
  7. Infrastructure & Insurance: Lebanon Case Study Credit: NASA, Airbus, PCI

  8. Weather: Tomorrow.io Credit: Tomorrow.io

  9. Weather: Tomorrow.io Credit: Tomorrow.io

  10. Understanding Earth observation 1. Data availability: What EO data is

    available? 2. Data accessibility: Where/how to access the data? 3. Data "fusability": How to work with different types of EO data? 4. Data usability: What is this data used for?
  11. Earth Observation in France

  12. Merci ! @aravind_raves aravind@terrawatch.space Aravind RAVICHANDRAN