China launches high-resolution remote-sensing satellite
China has successfully sent a highresolution multi-mode imaging satellite into the planned orbit from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China’s Shanxi Province recently. The satellite is a civil-use optical remote-sensing satellite with a resolution up to the sub-meter level. It will operate in Sun-synchronous orbit.
Global radio signal monitoring service by HawkEye 360
HawkEye 360 Inc., the first commercial company to use satellites to create a new class of radio frequency (RF) data and data analytics, has announced that it is offering a daily Regional Awareness Subscription (RAS) service. It delivers mission-critical insights by allowing organizations to identify, monitor, and analyze signal behavior over time. Large-scale RF signal mapping provides deeper situational awareness in these regions, with the data sets.
HawkEye 360 will work with customers to define a Regional Awareness Subscription that can span millions of square kilometers. Current RAS collection areas include the Mediterranean, South China Sea, and the Korean Peninsula. HawkEye 360 curates a collection plan that routinely gathers a combination of high-demand signals. The company delivers the data in an open standard GeoJSON format that seamlessly integrates with most applications. www.he360.com
Planet and SpaceNet partnership for Multi-Temporal Urban Development Challenge
Planet partners with SpaceNet LLC, a nonprofit focused on machine learning techniques for geospatial applications, to support the SpaceNet7 Multi-Temporal Urban Development Challenge, which was just recently announced. The challenge focuses on developing better methods to track building construction over time using Planet imagery mosaics. Rapid and accurate remote-sensing of infrastructure change can aid in a variety of efforts, from infrastructure development to disaster preparedness to epidemic prevention.
Established in 2016 by In-Q-Tel’s CosmiQ Works, and DigitalGlobe (now part of Maxar Technologies), SpaceNet is dedicated to accelerating the research and application of open source AI technology for geospatial applications. It offers free, precisionlabeled, electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery data sets and runs challenges with prizes to foster emerging analytical frameworks.
Planet images the entire landmass of the Earth on a daily basis at 3-5 meter resolution. The high temporal cadence and planetary coverage of their Dove constellation enables an entirely new class of remote-sensing applications, including detecting rapid urbanization, updating maps in a diverse set of geographical areas (not just dense urban areas), detecting unplanned infrastructure development, finding illegal activities in protected areas and uncovering precursors to deforestation. www.planet.com
DAVILUS – the first 3d map of Germany
The DaViLuS project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and is part of the German “Action Plan for UAVs and Flight Taxis”.
FlyNex and HERE Technologies, together with the Northern Business School, visualized Germany’s airspace for drones in 3D for DaViLuS. The result: a complete 3D map, including air areas, topography and important buildings, is now available to every user free of charge and in full. DaViLuS stands for data visualization of airspace structure and is a map that visualizes the lower airspace in 3D. This means that hills and mountains, as well as individual buildings, are represented in 3D. As in Map2Fly, the regulations and zones are drawn in, so that the requirements for unmanned flights can be viewed. In total, over 21 million objects have been classified and displayed.
The visualization of the lower airspace structure allows autonomous movements. Due to current applications and legal requirements, drone flights are directly dependent on the earth’s surface conditions. To automate flights, not only hills, mountains, and heights but also buildings and risk areas have to be considered in the planning.
This is because the surface conditions on the ground, in conjunction with legal requirements, create new airspaces, which are explicitly associated with requirements for the use of drones. In the future, the drone itself must be able to orient itself in space and recognize spaces, constraints, and obstacles. This can be done either actively or passively. www.flynex.io
UP42 partnership with Vultus
UP42 has announced a new partnership with Vultus, a leader in precision farming technologies. UP42 customers can now use Vultus Fertilization Zoning Maps algorithms to finetune crop management—with more agricultural technologies coming soon.
Fertilization Zoning Maps—the first in a series of proprietary algorithms Vultus brings to UP42 as a partner—shows farmers which parts of their fields need more or less fertilizer. Conventional methods of fertilizer application treat all areas of a field uniformly, despite specific areas requiring a tailored approach. Integrating AI, historical data, and three years of extensive research, Fertilization Zoning Maps divide fields into five zones that are classified according to the variable fertilization rate the soil requires. up42.com
Astronauts to fly on SpaceX Crew-2 mission
NASA and its international partners have assigned crew members for Crew- 2, which will be the second operational SpaceX Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, for the mission. JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will join as mission specialists.
Crew-2 is targeted to launch in spring 2021, following the successful completion of both NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight mission, which is expected to return to Earth Aug. 2, and the launch
of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission, which is targeted for late September.
The Crew-2 astronauts will remain aboard the space station for approximately six months as expedition crew members, along with three crewmates who will launch via a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The increase of the full space station crew complement to seven members – over the previous six – will allow NASA to effectively double the amount of science that can be conducted in space.
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews to low- Earth orbit and the space station. Commercial transportation to and from the station will provide expanded utility, additional research time, and broader opportunities for discovery on the orbital outpost. www.nasa.gov