11 December 2018
A new programme has been launched to use data gathered from satellites and Earth-based sensors to help resolve some of society’s big challenges.
The Situational Awareness Information National Technology Service (SAINTS) will bring together experts from business, universities and the public sector who will use AI to combine travel, business and satellite data to come up with solutions to some of the country’s most pressing problems, traffic congestion to border security issues.
It’s been launched by the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence which is operated by regional economic development organisation Business Durham.
It will be supported by the Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Space Agency, as well as advanced manufacturing supply chain specialists and global centres of academic and industry excellence in areas such as space instrumentation, sensors, printable electronics, smart data, GPS, amongst others.
Together, the organisations will offer: innovation and incubation support to turn opportunities into commercial markets for new technologies and applications; skills development and outreach; and inspiration to attract partners and investment from government, business and academia.
Those behind the programme believe situational awareness enables organisations to have the power to respond quickly, such as deploying emergency services to the right critical places during major incidents, or following patterns of behaviour that might predict threats, like a terror attack.
Austen Atkinson, CEO of technology agency Lexicon Group, says: “The scope for the data harnessed from satellites is huge. We live in a massive data world but there’s no one really processing all this data for the UK, pulling it together, and using it to help us all. SAINTS will be our ‘data-glue’, holding high technologies together.”
Satellite Applications Catapult CEO Stuart Martin adds: “We have only just scratched the surface of the information satellites can provide, especially when they are combined with new technologies like AI.”
Other companies involved in SAINTS include Intelligence Fusion which helps security companies and global businesses manage risk; NORSS, which helps track and monitor satellites; and 3DEO, which combines Earth observation, Big Data and 3D interactive visualisation to provide solutions to a wide range of industries.