Earth Observation in the New Space Age

The “NewSpace” age has been a great disruptor of the earth observation industry ecosystem over the last few years, more so in the last three years with several new startups announcing plans to develop constellations of microsatellites with the ability to provide very high spatial resolution data. This competition is significantly accelerating innovation in both hardware and software, thereby contributing to the enhancement of the quality of data. The amount of high-resolution data is significantly increasing both from optical and radar satellites. Along with the spatial resolution, the concept of constellations has greatly improved the temporal resolution of the data and this is expected to get better with the launch of new constellations and adding more satellites to the existing constellations such as Planet, ICEYE, Satellogic, etc. In parallel to the data explosion, the field of machine learning has gone through a significant disruption due to the improving hardware capabilities and the exponential growth of deep learning architectures. This is greatly supporting the processing of the large amount of data becoming available from the satellites. In line with these developments, this talk explores how data and the corresponding processing architectures are expected to be handled in the future with an outlook on opportunities that can be created.


15 Jun 2021


10:00 am - 11:00 am




  • Dr. Prashanth Marpu
    Dr. Prashanth Marpu
    Tech Lead of Space Program at Group 42

    Dr. Prashanth Marpu is the Tech Lead of Space Program at Group 42, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Prior to joining G42, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Manager of YahSat Space Lab at Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE. His specialization is in small satellites, image processing, machine learning, remote sensing and internet of things. Before coming to the UAE, Dr. Marpu worked as a researcher at the University of Iceland and at the University of Pavia, Italy, where he was a Marie Curie Fellow working on developing advanced methods for earth observation data analysis. He holds a PhD in Remote Sensing from TU Freiberg, Germany, and MSc in Wireless Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark. He was involved in designing and building small satellites as a project manager of four satellite programs MYSat-1, DhabiSat, MeznSat and Light-1 while participating as an advisor and reviewer for several other satellite programs. He has also actively contributed to the development of novel approaches for processing remote sensing data for a wide range of applications. Dr. Marpu has been a Council member of the International Society of Digital Earth since 2020 and has been part of several international committees related to Earth Observation technologies. He has contributed to more than 150 publications in various journals and conferences and has been actively involved in the space and remote sensing educational activities.