Teledyne e2v’s Space Imaging team, a part of the Teledyne Imaging Group, has secured funding from the UK Space Agency’s National Space Innovation Program (NSIP) that will demonstrate and help support intelligent image processing platforms — the funding is in response to the 2020/2021 NSIP theme for “Earth Observation to Tackle Climate Change” and will be jointly delivered with Craft Prospect, based in Glasgow, Scotland.
Earth Observation (EO) satellites have a significant role in monitoring both the causes and effects of climate change. This includes detecting and identifying sources of emissions, measuring levels of greenhouse gases and studying vegetation growth. Image sensors designed for Earth Observation (EO) have large number pixel formats and fast operating rates which present great challenges for data management in the satellite itself and for data downlink given the vast amount of data generated. The RAPID project is designed to help manage the high data volumes generated.
Often only a small part of this data is needed to service the mission goals i.e. capturing, processing and transferring via downlink. Handling the entire image scene may be wasteful, instead determining the data of interest within the image capture system and only processing that information before transmitting to a ground station on Earth is an obvious advantage.
The NSIP is the UK Space Agency’s program established to support the development of innovation in the UK’s space sector. In collaboration with Craft Prospect, the RAPID project establishes a new consortium bringing together Teledyne e2v’s world-leading space imaging capabilities with Craft Prospect’s cutting-edge machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. In the discovery phase the consortium will use space-ready hardware to establish the RAPID test and demonstration system.
Steve Greenland, Managing Director, Craft Prospect, said, “Craft Prospect is thrilled to be working with Teledyne e2v, combining their cutting-edge CCD-on-CMOS detectors with our real-time image processing capabilities. Together, our RAPID project will lay the groundwork for the next generation of responsive Earth observation missions, providing AI powered detection on-board instruments.”
Christophe Tatard, VP Product and Business Development, Teledyne e2v said, “Providing a route to test and develop intelligent Earth observation solutions is an important UK capability to grow, building off our industry leading CMOS image sensor technology and partnering with Craft Prospect we are in a unique position to leverage the flexibility of our CMOS sensors designed for space applications.”