Spacemetric is a leading provider of processing technology for airborne and satellite geospatial imagery to customers in the civilian and defence sectors. An important differentiator is Spacemetric’s proven track record in operational infrastructure where large volumes of imagery are efficiently managed, processed and distributed rapidly to users.
SWEDISH COPERNICUS DATA HUB, SWEA, 2016-2017
The Swedish Copernicus data hub (SWEA) is the long-term solution for storage and distribution of imagery from the Sentinel satellites of the European Copernicus programme for Earth Observation. The SWEA system is developed and hosted by Spacemetric and started operations early in 2017. It hosts imagery from the Sentinel radar and optical imaging sensors, providing automated access, visualisation, processing and delivery of products to users. An interim extension to the Saccess national satellite data archive to accommodate Sentinel data was also provided by Spacemetric.
Bluestone is a concept for to make data available more quickly while drastically reducing the bandwidth wasted by downlinking low-value imagery from satellite sensors. The Bluestone Simulator project is simulating critical elements of the approach in software before elements that will later be part of functions on the satellite are ported to a typical example of onboard hardware. Bluestone is a collaboration with ÅAC Microtec, NASDAQ-listed specialists in miniaturised spacecraft avionics and data management products, including onboard computers and mass memory storage.
A processing system upgrade was provided to support satellite data direct download at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil. The existing Keystone Enterprise system was extended to support the Deimos-1 satellite in addition to the existing capability for the UK-DMC2 mission, with data received directly by INPE from both satellites.
The ENVI Photogrammetry Suite builds upon a cooperation that began in 2008 with the development and release of the ENVI Orthorectification Module. The Photogrammetry Suite is based on Spacemetric technology licensed by Exelis VIS and was released in September 2015 to complement the release of ENVI 5.3. Along with new sensor support, the ENVI Photogrammetry Suite offers capabilities to generate 3D point clouds capabilities for a wide range of satellite sensors based upon Spacemetric’s market-leading Keystone technology.
Following the successful PSLV-C28 launch from India on 10th July 2015 of the 3 platforms in the DMC-3 constellation of 1-metre imaging satellites, Spacemetric supported SSTL in the validation of the overall system performance and capabilities. Spacemetric’s specific area of responsibility was characterising and optimising the geometrical properties of the imagery within the constraints represented by the overall platform and imaging system capabilities. This work exploited the company’s specific expertise in satellite photogrammetry and leveraged the Keystone software as a critical tool in the analysis and validation work.
The KazSTSat mission is a joint effort between SSTL in the UK and Ghalam in Kazakhstan. Spacemetric has provided a Keystone system and is developing the sensor model for image product generation. Following launch late in 2016, Spacemetric will perform the in-orbit geometrical calibration that ensures high-accuracy products can be generated. The KazSTSat satellite is based upon the new SSTL-X50 platform from SSTL and includes a new 6-band configuration of the SSTL 22m sensor carried on previous DMC missions.
Spacemetric provides continuing support the image data management and production solution used by DMC International Imaging Limited, now a part of Airbus Geoinformation Services. The calibration and deployment of the custom sensor model for the Nigeriasat-X (NX) sensor adds this sensor as an additional data source in DMCii’s portfolio. The NX mission represents the latest satellite in the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) and provides delivery of 22-metre resolution commercial satellite imagery. Following development of the calibrated sensor model this new capability will be deployed on the DMCii production system for automatic generation of image-map products from NX.
Participating countries in the European Copernicus programme can access dedicated streams of data from the Sentinel satellites by supporting a Collaborative Ground Segment. Spacemetric defined the technical requirements of such a system to meet Sweden’s national needs on behalf of the country’s space agency, the SNSB (Swedish National Space Board). The first Sentinel-1 radar satellite was launched in 2014 and the first Sentinel-2 optical satellite followed in mid-2015.
The Cloud Cover Service Project aims to develop an automated cloud-cover estimation service based upon a multi-method approach using both spectral analysis and change detection that can be applied to a wide range of visible/IR satellite imagery. Spacemetric provides software systems to customers including satellite builders and satellite operators with cloud detection a currently highlighted theme, particularly for EO satellites that lack specific cloud-detection channels.
NATO UV14 SUPPORT - NETHERLANDS MOD, 2014
The Keystone software was installed in May 2014 at the Ørland airbase, Norway, to support the participation of the Dutch Air Force in the Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Trial Unified Vision 2014 (UV14), part of the MAJIIC 2 programme. The UV14 exercise successfully tested a joint reconnaissance data network integrating the ISTAR platforms and components of the different branches of the armed forces of the participating nations.
LANDSAT 8 PROCESS SYSTEM AND PORTAL - ESA, ITALY - 2013-2015
The Central Infrastructure Facility (CIF) of the ESA LDCM Ground Segment provides the data repository, processing and dissemination functions for all Landsat 8 data received over Europe. The system is located at the Matera ground station, Italy, and processes all received data to orthoimages and distributes them through ESA’s product delivery portal. Spacemetric delivered a complete turnkey system consisting of both software and hardware, and initially hosted the operational service for 6 months before delivery to Matera. The LDCM CIF was developed for ESA under contract to CGI. System enhancements and maintenance are ongoing.
The KazEOSat-2 project involved development of a satellite-specific image processing and catalogue software solution. The mission is largely a copy of the RapidEye satellites with some heritage from Nigeriasat-2. The KazEOSat-2 satellite launched in June 2014 and delivers wide-swath, medium- resolution multispectral imagery. The imagery is catalogued and processed using a customised Keystone software installed at the Astana facilities of Kazakhstan Gharysh Sapary (KGS).
Spacemetric is supporting SAAB in extending the capabilities of the reconnaissance pod used by the Gripen multirole fighter aircraft to include a new infra-red imaging capability. The role of Spacemetric in the scope of the MS20 development package is to add support for the new infra-red sensor data within the existing Keystone image management server that provides the in-theatre cataloguing, search, georeferencing and visualisation of Gripen reconnaissance imagery.
Spacemetric provided a Keystone Spot processing and cataloguing system to Airbus for a customer receiving Spot 5 data via direct-download services. The system is configured for fully automated processing of all received Spot data using the Ref3D reference data with minimal operator intervention. It was fully operational until the end of the Spot 5 mission and can be upgraded to the later Spot 6/7 missions.
The DMC3 constellation of 1-metre resolution satellites is being built by SSTL to enable Beijing-based Twenty-First Century Aerospace Technology Co. Ltd. (21AT) to lease their image-taking capacity. Spacemetric is acting as technical consultants to SSTL in the area of image data validation, assisting SSTL in pre-launch sensor and AOCS design trade-offs for optimal image data processing and product quality.
The FORAN Group is a Nordic forestry consultancy that develops and markets a range of geo-information products aimed at the forestry industry. A Keystone system is used to host a range of raster products over Sweden derived from lidar and aerial photography data sources that can be ordered and delivered online including forest height, ground slope and forest density.
Demonstration of methods to generate dense point clouds from stereo airborne imagery over urban areas as a complement to and potential replacement for airborne lidar surveys. Project confirmed results are very promising with the aim of applying and generating a range of 3D products for urban planning and cadastral applications.
The MAJIIC2 workflow was implemented in the Keystone software enabling operators from the Dutch armed forces to used Keystone for storage, archive and access of image data during the MAJEX13 exercise. In the exercise the operators processed image data into products in response to tasking requests received through the MAJEX13 baseline services. These products were published to the Keystone CSD that uses the MAJIIC2 synchronisation mechanism for dissemination.
Spacemetric led the NGI project that demonstrated near real-time online access to satellite imagery (less than 10 minutes from download) using Keystone’s service-oriented approach and advanced photogrammetric capabilities. The demonstration encompassed the UK-DMC2, Terra and Pleiades satellites and previewed subscription and notification services, plus image annotation and collaboration functions to support hot-spot monitoring and quick-reaction services for security applications that share the common need for rapid delivery of imagery.
Direct download services have been launched by DMCii over South America. A DMC Keystone Enterprise system has been deployed at the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil. This installation provides a high-capacity, high-performance processing capability for satellite imagery from the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) received directly by INPE.
The Version 2 integration of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) of satellites with the GMES Space Component Data Access (GSCDA) infrastructure of the European Space Agency provides enhanced service automation for the supply of satellite imagery within the EU’s GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative. Spacemetric has integrated the HMA (Heterogeneous Missions Architecture) interfaces into the operational DMC ground segments and extended back-office systems to support service delivery.
The Saccess database of satellite imagery over Sweden has been a huge success since its launch in Summer 2008. Discussions with other Nordic mapping agencies led to an agreement with the Danish National Survey and Cadastre to host historical satellite imagery over Denmark (saccess.dk). The system uses a common infrastructure for service cost-effectiveness with a separate Danish web interface. Spacemetric is responsible for ongoing maintenance and development of system enhancements.
Spacemetric was commissioned by SAAB and the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration on behalf of the Swedish Army to provide an advanced airborne video management and visualisation tool for the Örnen (Eagle) unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV). This provides an operational capability deployed since mid-2011 in support of Swedish participation in international missions.
This project explored the use of lidar data for high-accuracy orthorectification of satellite imagery. The work was performed with forest consultants FORAN Remote Sensing and lidar data from the New National Heightmodel (NNH) of Sweden. Shadow images from the lidar surface model enabled image-matching methods to tie the satellite image to the lidar surface with orthorectification errors of less than 0.2 pixels.
Spacemetric has developed next-generation browse services for the European Space Agency’s satellite image holdings. The Interactive Browse Server is built upon Spacemetric's Keystone system and enables a richer and more flexible access to browse imagery. The services allow users to access browse images in higher resolution, select which channels are displayed, and use interactive tools to refine image geometry and mask cloudy areas before ordering data. A monitoring service also sends users automatic notifications of new imagery meeting their criteria. Ongoing maintenance of the system is part of a contract led by CGI/Logica UK.
Spacemetric has integrated the ground segment of the Disaster Monitoring Constellation with the GMES Space Component Data Access (GSCDA) infrastructure of the European Space Agency. This integration enables GMES users to place orders and make planning requests to the DMC missions within the scope of the GMES Space Component and for DMCii to provide relevant reporting and status information in a standardised form. The GSCDA V1 implementation is the first stage of a longer-term cooperation to enable the rational supply of satellite imagery within the scope of the European Commission’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative.
Spacemetric has developed the OGC-based interfaces for the DMC satellite ground segment compliant with the European Space Agency’s Heterogeneous Missions Architecture (HMA). The HMA infrastructure is being developed to enable the automated supply of satellite imagery within the scope of the European Commission’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative.
Spacemetric provided and maintains the aerial image production system used by the Swedish Land Survey. As an extension to this project Spacemetric has added further tools and workflows to enable scanned historical aerial photography to be accessed through the same system. This has involved workflow design and providing tools to geolocate both scanned paper maps showing flight plans and exposure centres and the scanned aerial photographs themselves.
The UK-DMC2 satellite operated by DMC International Imaging (DMCii) Ltd. features a 22-metre multispectral imager designed for wide-area monitoring and mapping applications. This satellite is the latest in the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC) supported by Spacemetric in the Keystone system. It is the sister satellite to Deimos-1 and was built by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL).
The project concerned the definition of a physical sensor model through an in-orbit calibration exercise that provided highly accurate measurements of the UK-DMC2 camera. This in turn ensured that UK-DMC2 image products could be generated with the highest possible geolocation accuracy.
Spacemetric has worked with the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) in the Netherlands within the JIGSAW initiative to provide airborne video data management and processing system using the Keystone Image Management System platform. This forms part of the NLR flying testbed for demonstration of technologies for Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAV).
The video imagery is geoprocessed in near real-time and supports the NATO STANAG 4609 video standard. The video server has been demonstrated at the Purple Nectar exercises in the Netherlands in 2009 and 2010.
Spacemetric has provided the image management system for the Nigeriasat-2 satellite being built for the National Space Research & Development Agency of Nigeria by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). This satellite features an agile platform carrying a high-resolution 2.5 m sensor and a 32m multispectral imager.
The solution delivered by Spacemetric is based upon the Keystone system and provides the image catalogue, archive management and product processing functions for Nigeriasat-2, including automated support for advanced imaging modes. The system has been installed at the ground station in Abuja and the in-orbit sensor model calibration will be performed following the satellite’s launch in Summer 2011.
Spacemetric entered into a significant cooperative venture during 2008 with Exelis Visual Information Solutions (formerly ITT Visual Information Solutions). Based in Boulder, Colorado, Exelis VIS develops and markets the popular ENVI suite for image processing through its own distributors and ESRI resellers.
The cooperation with Spacemetric concerns a rigorous orthorectification module to complement the existing ENVI tools. Spacemetric’s Keystone technology provides the advanced back-end capabilities consisting of physical sensor models for the satellite and airborne sensors and advanced geometrical processing. Exelis VIS provides the user interface and worldwide product marketing. Released in early 2009, the ENVI Orthorectification Module continues to be improved by Exelis VIS and Spacemetric and has been adopted by a number of organisations including the US Marine Topographic Production Center.
Saccess (saccess.lantmateriet.se) is the national database of satellite imagery covering Sweden. It came online in mid-2008 and has over 3000 registered users who have downloaded more than 40,000 products amounting to about 10 TB of data. Ordering and delivery is a fully automated process with products generated on demand and delivered a few minutes later.
Saccess provides easy access to Landsat, Spot and other imagery covering Sweden that is updated annually and stretches back to the 1970s. Saccess is run by the Swedish national mapping agency, while the system was developed and delivered by Spacemetric based on Keystone. Spacemetric is responsible for ongoing maintenance and development of system enhancements.
In 2007 Spacemetric delivered the Image Distribution and Archiving System (IDA) for the airborne imagery of Lantmäteriet, the Swedish national mapping agency. The solution provides a catalogue and high-throughput image production from the Survey’s digital airborne imagery.
IDA enabled support for the older RT90 and new national map system, Sweref99, while also providing seamless access to older aerial photography and new digital airborne imagery from two Z/I DMC cameras. The Spacemetric solution supports on-demand generation of image products to standard map-sheet boundaries from an archive expanding by 10-15 TB per year, representing an annual survey of 150,000 km2 of Swedish territory. The system is deployed on a cluster of servers with multi-core CPUs that make maximal use of the advanced parallel processing capabilities integrated within Keystone.
Spacemetric's Keystone system is used for the management of imagery from the reconnaissance pod of the Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripen combat aircraft. The Keystone solution provides rapid access to the high-resolution imagery for use by analysts in the delivery of intelligence reports and provides image cataloguing, georeferencing and visualisation.
Defence contractor Saab AB is responsible for the complete recce pod system development and integration while the Spacemetric’s technology manages the imagery and metadata. The Keystone system provides seamless integration of the reconnaissance imagery with other IMINT sources including satellite and airborne survey imagery.
Spacemetric delivered a comprehensive image supply solution for Deimos-1, one of the latest satellites in the Disaster Monitoring Constellation (DMC). The satellite was built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) for Spanish operator Deimos Imaging. It features a 600 km wide-swath multispectral imager with pixels of 22 metres and is a sister to the UK-DMC2 satellite.
The Keystone system for Deimos-1 provides an OGC-compliant catalogue and image product orthoprocessing designed to support the operational data acquisition rate of 15TB per year. The in-orbit sensor calibration activity was conducted in late 2009.
Spacemetric led the development of technology managing the exchange and synchronisation of metadata and imagery between multiple satellite ground segment nodes. The concept uses advanced catalogue techniques to provide an effective way to create seamless overview of catalogue holdings over distributed ground segments.
The project is being conducted in conjunction with the Disaster Monitoring Constellation and its network of international partners and ground stations.
The JRC Image Portal is an archiving and online distribution system for a wide range of satellite images including Airbus, Digital Globe and Sentinal imagery. It is based on Spacemetric’s Keystone technology and supports the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in support of the Control with Remote Sensing (CwRS) campaigns for monitoring agricultural subsidy claims in European Union Member States.
The JRC manages the subsidy control activities for the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy. It is Europe’s largest image data purchaser and annually procures satellite imagery with a value of 6-7 million Euros. These data are distributed to contractors in the EU Member States via the Image Portal. Spacemetric is responsible for ongoing maintenance and development of system enhancements.