Airbus has been awarded a one year long pilot contract, following a competitive tender process, from the UK government’s Geospatial Commission to provide public sector users with access to commercial, high resolution satellite Earth observation (EO) data. Airbus will provide EO data to more than 100 users across up to 35 public sector organisations within the UK government, including complete mosaic coverage of the whole of the UK, with high quality pixels and extremely low cloud cover.
Airbus has a long-standing history of managing aerial photography, providing web-mapping services and address information to the UK public sector, but this pilot with the Geospatial Commission will create a wider user base across government enabling better coordination and the data to be better utilised.
The collaboration between the Geospatial Commission, within the UK Government’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, and Airbus seeks to address the growing interest among public sector organisations, including local authorities, government departments and emergency services, in using commercial EO satellite data.
The EO data, derived from Airbus low Earth orbit satellites, will support the increasing demand by the public sector to unlock the power of EO data to aid better informed decision-making and improved operational efficiency, as well as driving innovation. The UK Geospatial Strategy, published in July 2020, highlights the significance of location data and its potential to transform the UK’s economy, public services, and decision-making processes.
Paul Russell, Head of Airbus Intelligence UK said: “We are delighted to be working with the Geospatial Commission on this pilot initiative to improve access to EO data, promote its usability and enhance its capabilities in empowering decision-making for UK public sector organisations.”
“We look forward to seeing how public sector bodies will work with our satellite data to support the delivery of critical public services and realise benefits across a range of use cases from environmental policy analysis to local planning.” Airbus will provide EO data to users across the UK public sector, delivering a comprehensive mosaic coverage of the entire UK with minimal cloud cover, and access to Airbus’ OneAtlas platform. OneAtlas will be available to all users, giving them access to view Very High Resolution (VHR) images, as well as download functionality.
OneAtlas is a key digital platform utilised by Airbus geospatial customers on a daily basis. Through this platform customers are able to access an extensive selection of imagery products to support informed data-driven decision-making and proactively manage their operations with confidence.
Thalia Baldwin, Director, Geospatial Commission, said:
“Our Earth Observation pilot is aiming to keep the UK in its high geospatial orbit, increasing public sector capability and the demand for market innovation through testing new applications of EO data and technologies. We look forward to working with Airbus to realise the potential of the data.”