Small satellites have the potential to rapidly collect a variety of data types over an area of interest. The proliferation of small satellite constellations in recent years has made it such that satellite data are now accessible to anyone with internet access and a credit card. The US government is seeking technologies that enable analysis of data from multiple and various space-based sensors (including but not limited to Visual, Hyperspectral, RF, and large-scale media). Of particular interest are solutions that can process data from multiple sensors collecting continually over a large portion of the Earth yielding analytic output from which pattern of life information may be inferred. Solutions should be capable of processing and analyzing data from two or more aforementioned sensor types and generating solutions that at the minimum identify changes in behaviors over the area of interest.
The CubeSat standard has spawned a range of new business ventures that exploit the increased availability of data from space-based sensors. Many companies are utilizing small satellites to provide data from space as a service or to provide value-add products derived from such data. Among the analytic capabilities that are used in the creation of these products are methods to detect changes in feature on the ground. From change detection behaviors can be inferred and “pattern of life” characterized.
Human Aid & Disaster Relief (HADR) response activities are generally vastly under-resourced because information is lacking or unavailable to appropriately estimate the impact. Space-based sensors could support in preparing for disaster relief situation by providing critical information such as number of people affected, where they are coming from, and type of aid that may be required. Data aggregation could aid in preparation by adjudicating types and amount of logistical support that may be required such as medical, food, and shelter preparations. Furthermore, respective countries may prepare long term planning based on these estimations, including housing, education, or career projects.
Charlene Jacka, AFRL
Torreon Creekmore, IARPA