New capability for developing environmental intelligence applications from satellite data

The NERC Earth Observation Data and Acquisition and Analysis Service (NEODAAS) is pleased to announce the successful install of its state-of-the-art MAssive GPU cluster for Earth Observation (MAGEO).

MAGEO is an incredibly powerful computer intended to apply artificial intelligence algorithms to Earth observation (EO) data, to help develop ‘environmental intelligence’ applications that leverage patterns in the natural world. This includes research on wildfires, oil spills, macroplastic detection and habitat mapping.

The NEODAAS team intend to use MAGEO in three key areas of development: large scale computer vision neural networks applied to satellite imagery to provide automated data analysis and outputs that can be used for key decision making; development of “micro-Artificial Intelligence (AI)”, that can be used to improve the accuracy of small functions contained in larger applications; data fusion approaches, that can translate many sources into a single continuous dataset, and lastly, accelerate processing of satellite imagery, allowing the creation of higher resolution products at faster speeds using the high performance GPU computation capabilities MAGEO provides.

The system, commissioned by NEODAAS and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Transformational Capital Award, was built by OCF Limited and is hosted at Plymouth Marine Laboratory. With more than two hundred thousand Graphics Processing Unit cores, 100 times more than in a modern gaming PC, MAGEO is able to run a huge number of simultaneous simulations.

Although only just installed, MAGEO has already proved highly beneficial. At the beginning of the UK COVID lockdown, it was used in COVID-19 medical research rapidly making its way into the top 1% of computers contributing to folding@home.

Read the full article here.

Author: EARSC

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