What Is Remote Sensing?

TerraStream Edge is an extension of TerraStream, SkyWatch's data management, monetization, and data distribution platform for satellite operators.

LAS VEGAS, December 1, 2022 (Newswire.com) - SkyWatch Space Applications Inc. (SkyWatch) announced today at AWS re:Invent TerraStream Edge, a suite of embedded edge computing software modules for on-orbit satellite computing platforms. 

TerraStream Edge is an extension of TerraStream, SkyWatch's data management, monetization, and data distribution platform for satellite operators. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, TerraStream Edge reduces operational costs for satellite operators by up to 70%.

TerraStream Edge includes SkyWatch's industry-leading machine learning cloud detection capabilities, which have demonstrated better accuracy and performance than any other model on the planet, as recently published in our comprehensive research paper. Identifying and excluding cloudy images from downlink enables operators to optimize ground station, image processing, and storage costs. TerraStream Edge also includes the ability to only downlink an area of interest, such that only monetizable data is sent down to Earth.

TerraStream Edge runs on industry-standard edge computing platforms. 

"At SkyWatch, we believe driving down the operational costs in Earth observation will improve profitability for satellite operators and improve fulfillment for data consumers," says Joel Cumming, Chief Technology Officer at SkyWatch. "Cost continues to be the greatest barrier for widespread capture and distribution of Earth observation data, and our mission is to find ways to make this data more accessible and affordable to those who need it."

TerraStream Edge will be made available to satellite operators via SkyWatch's TerraStream platform in 2023. To learn more about TerraStream, visit skywatch.com/terrastream.

Cost-effective access to Earth Observation data enables farmers to reliably predict crop yields to mitigate food insecurity worldwide.

KITCHENER, Ontario, November 21, 2022 (Newswire.com) - SkyWatch Space Applications Inc. (SkyWatch) announced today its collaboration with Farmdar, an agri-tech company based in Pakistan. Farmdar's app allows farmers to monitor their land, increase productivity, reduce farming costs, and reduce waste through artificial intelligence (AI) and remote sensing technologies.

Food production is a complex science. With the use of technology and analysis to predict the best growing conditions, agriculture has come a long way. However, the food production process isn't consistent or sustainable globally. Predicting crop yields is increasingly difficult due to climate change, often resulting in poor productivity and high waste. While access to insights and predictive analytics can mitigate these risks, these technologies have not historically been readily available, leading to increased food insecurity worldwide.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2019 Global Rankings, Pakistan's crop yield was only 60%, and 20% of the fruits and vegetables were wasted in the harvest. Analyzing rural Pakistan production was enough motivation for the Farmdar's founders, Muhammed Bukhari, Ibrahim Bukhari, and Muzaffar Manghi, to take action.

Using SAR and medium-resolution data, Farmdar's reports provide insights on crop classification, harvest monitoring, yield estimation, sowing classification, variety detection, NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium) variable application reporting, water stress reporting, plant health, and stress reporting. 

In its early stages, Farmdar found that using only high-resolution optical data was expensive. Farmdar needed to balance quality data outputs and affordability. Using a mix of high- and medium-resolution data on their platform, SkyWatch made accessing 3-5m data easy and cost-effective, supporting their needs as one of the market's most affordable precision farming technologies. 

Pricing was not the only factor that mattered to Farmdar in a partnership. Farmdar chose SkyWatch as a partner because of SkyWatch's deep understanding of Farmdar's work and strong customer success practices. As a result, Farmdar's investment in earth observation data has seen a return for themselves and their customers.

"Any solution is only as good as the partner delivering it. There is a huge service aspect to technology, especially technology that is new to us, and the reassurance and confidence we get from a partner really is key," says Muzzafar Manghi, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer at Farmdar. "I can't emphasize enough how we've received that in spades from SkyWatch [and it] really encouraged us to do more with what SkyWatch offers."

"We are thrilled to be supporting the Farmdar team as the data provider for their precision agriculture projects across both Pakistan and the world," says Jordan Fox, SkyWatch's Senior Director of Sales and Customer Success. "This partnership was ultimately born out of a shared vision regarding what we can accomplish together for producers and the communities that rely on them. Together, we are fighting for food security by making precision agriculture more accessible, efficient, and intuitive."

Commercial Real Estate Investments

Commercial real estate developers are looking at long time horizons. They're developing buildings that are going to be only in place in a few years, if not decades and hypothetically operational for decades to come.

You're looking at a property to ultimately build something on, and you want to make sure it's going to be around for the next few decades.

For example, if you are trying to build a commercial real estate development on Miami Beach, how do you know that Miami Beach coastline will be the same in 10 years time as it is today?

As a commercial real estate developer, you'd want to know that your facility is safe for the next X number of years.

If you look at something like coastal erosion, which is easily able to be monitored via satellite imagery, you could be able to get a good sense as to what your location will look like in 5, 10, 20 years time.

We have many customers monitoring coastal erosion across the globe to understand the impact of climate change and ultimately, from a commercial real estate developers perspective how it would affect their bottom line.

The investment community is always looking for a competitive edge and satellite imagery can actually offer that in space.

Lumber Production, Livestock Tracking and Electric Vehicles

One of the most interesting applications is in something like lumber where you would be able to track specific lumber production across various mills in North America.

We saw this be particularly apparent in 2021 with the influx of lumber pricing and we actually had a lot of customers coming onto the platform for that specific use case

These types of use cases are able to give investors a competitive edge when they're looking at public markets.

Electric vehicle production is another interesting use case where people can see the week by week progression on, say, Tesla factories producing Tesla vehicles.

What this gives a sense of is the downstream implications for that production and how that would influence something like Tesla stock price.

Satellite imagery can be used to track a wide range of commodities and production facilities.

Global Supply Chain Monitoring

Another area being disrupted by satellite imagery is the global supply chain.

What we can do with satellite imagery is monitor each individual part of the supply chain and better understand how it's functioning.

As an example in 2021 there was a significant number of ships outside Long Beach port.

We had an influx of customers asking for data to count the ships to understand how many ships are there, trying to get access to trucks and offload their goods.

These are just a few of the examples of how customers are leveraging observation data.

There is an infinite number of possibilities, and ultimately, what we want to enable here at SkyWatch is for you to look at the Earth a little bit differently from space.

Managing Critical Infrastructure In Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas is an industry where old practices are used for a long period of time and new technologies can be difficult to be introduced.

However, satellite imagery is one of those technologies being introduced into the Oil and Gas industry and changing how operations are being done on a day to day basis.

What we see is critical infrastructure like well pads or pipelines can be monitored using earth observation data in a much more scalable and repeatable way than using other items like drones or helicopters.

Pipeline Monitoring

Where satellite imagery really is useful is by using a wide range of resolutions to ultimately solve a business problem.

As an example, you could use low resolution data to see some macro changes on a pipeline.

You might see those changes, be perhaps worried about something occurring, maybe vegetation encroachment.

Then you would taska high resolution satellite to go capture imagery over that pipeline. That then allows you to see in depth what is actually going on.

Then, if you need to stage an intervention, you know exactly what needs to be done, and can be fully prepared for that in advance of deploying people.

The Human Impact Of Satellite Imagery

This satellite imagery is impactful on both the business's bottom line, but also on the human component, ensuring that humans who are going off into sites are not putting themselves at risk.

This is referred to as “third party interference” - when a third party may be interfering with the pipeline over a stretch of land.Pipeline operators need to know what's going on and they can use satellite imagery across a range of resolutions to accomplish this.

They can use low resolution data to look at the entire pipeline, see any macro changes and then task, high resolution satellite data to see exactly what's going on.

Then they can decide if a human team needs to be deployed.

Real Operational Impact

Oil and Gas operators have a lot of challenges on their day to day work flows.

Using satellite imagery means that they don’t have to use human resources for every application.

Oftentimes what will happen today in Oil and Gas operations is humans are sent to site, say to a well pad to do a visual inspection.

What that will entail is perhaps them taking a company truck, on a poorly maintained or maybe snowy road out to a rural site in say, Western Canada.

There is both a cost from a business perspective on sending a human out there, but also a safety cost where there could be issues in the actual operator getting out there to see if there's a well pad issue.

 Both the human and the safety costs are where satellite imagery really shines.

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