The Earth Observation (EO) market has significantly grown over the past 10 years. However, extracting information from EO satellites data holding poses an enormous technological challenge: users of satellite EO data therefore face technological challenges due to the volume, variety and velocity of the data. Recently, the term Data Cube (DC) is receiving increasing attention as it has the potential of greatly simplifying Big Earth Data services.
Data Cube (DC) is a disruptive technology that is transforming significantly the way that users interact with EO data. EODataBee is an EO service targeted to the water market based on DC technology, composed by four pieces: software, environmental information layers, training workshops and consultancy services.
The first market application of EODataBee focuses on providing the service within the coastal and inland water market. As part of the blue economy, different market segments are affected by the exploitation and preservation of coastal and inland waters. More precisely, the use of EO data and ocean modelling can benefit maritime exploitation and marine and litoral preservation.
There are several domains related to coastal and inland water exploitation and preservation, so this opens the initial market niche defined, broadening the scope to include new key segments within the blue economy:
- Fishing and Aquaculture: The importance of aquaculture has been growing rapidly in recent decades as an expanding world population, rising incomes and changing food consumption patterns have all combined to push up global demand for fish food. Disruptive technologies have the potential to optimize and safeguard fishing activities by providing fishers with more accurate information.
Map of aquaculture locations (EMODnet Central Portal)
- Maritime surveillance: The increasing traffic at sea of vessels, helicopters and their personnel on board makes the navigation complex around critical infrastructures, so it is important to keep track of these movements to provide the required navigational assistance.
- Maritime weather: The availability, diversity, sophistication and use of weather information is increasing rapidly within the public and private sectors globally. The demand is also growing as a result of widespread negative impacts of climate change across these sectors. Space-based observations are needed for quality meteorology over oceans, known as metocean: the demand for these services is growing with the expansion of offshore activities.
- Marine & offshore energy: Marine energy refers to the energy carried by ocean waves, tides, salinity and ocean temperature differences. The ocean energy sector is still at an early stage of development with a huge growth potential for offshore energy, and modest growth in some large sectors such as oil and gas.
Historical and projected total installed capacity of offshore wind, 2000-2050 (IRENA, 2018)
The Earth’s surface waters are a fundamental global resource. However, they face multiple and compounding pressures from changes in land use and climate change, nutrient enrichment, brownification and other natural anthropogenic driven environmental perturbations operating and interacting over scales ranging from local to global. The complex interaction between physical, chemical and biological processes in surface waters poses significant challenges for in situ monitoring and assessment and often limits the ability to adequately capture the dynamics of aquatic systems and the understanding of their status, functioning and response to pressures. There is also an increasing regulatory need to increase the coverage and frequency of freshwater monitoring, so remote sensing and EO offer a lot of opportunities to monitor the water quality over the surface waters, with the potential to complement conventional approaches.
The target users of the EODataBee service are classified as EO experts, the intermediate users, and Non-EO experts, the end users interested in the innovative products obtained from the integration of other data with EO data. Several interviews to potential users have been conducted, showing their expectations, functional requirements and willingness to pay.
Type of users for EODATABEE service (Adapted from Copernicus Market Report, 2019)
The application of EODataBee for the Coastal and Inland Water Market is promising due to several factors. Within the current context of climate change, coastal and inland areas are facing even more changing conditions than they are used to, which makes this domain in search of accurate data, both near-real time, forecasted and also long-term. This, added to the increasing regulatory need, makes the use and integration of EO data with other data sources (as provided by EODataBee) a big opportunity to service the required information in the different market segments related to Coastal and Inland water exploitation and preservation.