May 06, 2016

UK Space Agency and NCEO funding project to push big data from space to climate companies

The UK Space Agency and the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) are jointly funding a project to provide data processing facilities, community tools and software to help organisations better harness climate data from satellites.

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The project is a good example of the way the UK is making better use of public sector data to simulate growth in the private sector and improve decision-making within government.

For the next two years the UK Climate Data from Space computing zone will provide dedicated infrastructure and software for its community of users and will be hosted on JASMIN-CEMS, data compute facilities with low latency networks offering 4.6 Petabytes of fast storage co-located with data analysis computing facilities.

This effectively gives the project access to supercomputer power and storage to collect all the space observation data being harvested by the satellites in Earth’s orbit.

Beth Greenaway, head of Earth Observation at the UK Space Agency, said the project builds upon the work conducted by the Climate Data from Space Stakeholder Group over the past year.

“It has put us in a really great place to make the tangible changes needed to create a seamless supply chain of climate data,” she said. “It is anticipated that commercial, societal and scientific benefits to the UK will result from projects hosted.”

Climate, weather and earth observation data is becoming an increasingly important resource for companies beyond the sectors it normally reaches, as other industries look to make use of such data to protect and streamline their processes, infrastructure and supply chains.

An example of this can be seen with IBM’s recent acquisition of The Weather Company to mix its data with the cognitive computing capabilities of its Watson artificial intelligence and data analysis service.