Solve infrastructure monitoring problems with satellite data – Geospatial World


Vegetation management has always remained a complex challenge for utilities around the world. As extreme weather events become commonplace, we have had more and more cases of falling trees disrupting rail and power lines. Utility providers need to be increasingly proactive in removing troublesome vegetation. Rising inspection costs have facilitated the need for more automated monitoring solutions that provide fast and reliable information.

Geospatial technology is leading the way in solving this problem – many companies around the world have started to harness Earth observation data to provide advanced surveillance systems. LiveEO is one such solution provider, offering large-scale infrastructure monitoring solutions for utility companies.

In a joint online seminar with UP42 this month, Sven Przywarra, the co-founder of LiveEO shared how his team built a fully automated infrastructure monitoring system for utility companies. We take a look at some of the key challenges LiveEO has faced on its growth journey, and how UP42’s geospatial platform has enabled them to expand globally over the past four years.

Selection and data acquisition challenges

Utilities often have complex and distributed infrastructure networks that span entire countries. To consistently monitor such large networks, satellite constellations with wide coverage and frequent revisits become the obvious choice.

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

But selecting and acquiring the right kind of satellite data can be a very complex process. The majority of utility operators often need data from multiple satellite constellations – a combination of different temporal, spectral and spatial resolutions that can give the best results. These different satellite constellations often have inherent differences in image quality. It takes a lot of time and effort for geospatial engineers to sift through different sets of satellite data to select the right combination they are looking for.

Data acquisition is an even bigger challenge. There is no standard API that can be used on multiple satellite datasets. This presents a major challenge for geospatial engineers as they need to make significant changes to their infrastructure to integrate data from each new vendor.

The data ordering process is often done manually, costing a lot of valuable time in an area where up-to-date information is often required. Utility providers are often billed based on the Area of ​​Interest (AOI) they are looking for. If a certain AOI does not have associated satellite data, new images must be ordered by loading a constellation of satellites. This is an expensive process which is further complicated by other factors such as weather conditions and cloud cover.

The solution offered by UP42

Despite these obstacles, LiveEO continued to grow and create a fully automated monitoring system for utility companies. In the webinar, Sven talks about the role that UP42 played to help LiveEO overcome some important scaling challenges.

With a geospatial platform and a marketplace offering more than 150 data sources and algorithms, UP42 simplifies the process of purchasing satellite data for companies like LiveEO. The one-stop geospatial platform provides access to both historical images and the ability to order new images through satellite tasks. AOI-based pricing works with a pay-as-you-go model to create a flexible purchasing model for businesses looking to access geospatial data. Quite often, solution providers need to create highly customized solutions tailored to their customers’ specific use cases.

The developer platform provided by UP42 provides the foundation for such custom use cases – a mature API and SDK ecosystem that enables customers like LiveEO to build custom solutions for their end customers. This ecosystem is also truly data independent, allowing LiveEO to easily order data from multiple satellite vendors without making changes to their existing infrastructure.

By integrating the power of satellite data with their in-house AI processing algorithms, LiveEO shows how companies can solve major infrastructure problems with satellite data. Discover the full webinar here.

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