UAE and UK team up to make satellite data more useful
The UK and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre have joined in a year-long project to get more valuable data from their satellites.
The countries’ space agencies will use a technique called feature extraction, which will automatically monitor changes in the UAE by comparing data from different satellites.
Changes flagged could be useful for urban planners to keep track of local development, said Dr David Parker, chief executive of the UK Space Agency.
The data could also be used, for example, in detecting illegal fishing or the location of ships. Another type of advanced satellite can monitor and take pictures and other images through clouds, fog and at night.
“There are a lot of satellites that produce a lot of data but it’s got to be made useful to solve real problems down here on Earth,” Dr Parker said. “It’s not just about boys and big toys, it’s about how it affects the citizens.
“All these different sorts of data are about answering questions that cities, governments and the general population have.
“It’s a very specific project and this is all about the whole challenge of space at the moment.”
The technique has been used before but this project involves an advanced form combined with a satellite belonging to the UK company Elecnor Deimos.
“There’s the technical know-how from the UK and the access to satellite data from the UAE,” Dr Parker said. “We’re testing driverless cars in the UK and using that data to control autonomous vehicles. Details