SmartSat is integrating the capabilities from the priority areas set in SmartSat’s Technology Roadmap across three primary research program areas as below.

Advance communications and more intelligent satellites will give us the ability to generate higher resolution, higher frequency data.  This will enable us to generate image data from sensors and high resolution real-time video so that we can monitor our land, oceans and our environment in real time.

AI, deep learning and other advanced analytics techniques will enable us to build analytical models and AI systems that can analyse satellite generated data and provide insights or trigger actions in real time.

See projects in Next Generation Earth Observation Data Services projects below:

Topic of this theme may include:

  • Secure & integrated data intensive space systems
  • Customer-centric EO Analytics
  • EO data fusion architectures
  • EO data visualization
  • Hyperspectral sensing
  • Design methodologies for mission specific services
  • Integration Test bed for rapid product development


Next Generation Earth Observation Data Services

A Proof of Concept and feasibility study utilising space technologies to advance the aquaculture markets in Western Australia remote and regional areas.

There is enormous opportunity to grow the market of the aquaculture sector in Western Australia, yet there are several challenges that need to be addressed for this to happen.

To grow the sector, producers need to access data that can inform them of suitable shellfish growing sites and use this site characterisation to better assess stock carrying capacity and feasibility of farming. With this intelligence, producers can target suitable areas to develop with greatly reduced risk. This pilot project will prototype a software solution ingesting EO, in-situ and model data, which can be trailed by our end-users to assess whether such a tool could assist them in determining the suitability of future sites. The prototype will focus on two sites, one in the Pilbara and one in the Kimberley, both remote areas of North West Australia. This solution will be designed so that it can also evolve towards an EO-based farm site monitoring tool.


Project Leader:
Professor David Antoine, Curtin University


Next Generation Testbed Design for Earth Observation

Next Generation Earth Observation Data Services

Australia is in a privileged geographical position when it comes to Earth Observing space missions: our land is representative of almost all climate zones in the planet, terrestrial and aquatic systems and covers most biome types.

Increasingly, multiple stakeholders – including industry, government, defence, academia and NGOs – rely on EO data for their mapping, monitoring, and modelling activities across several application areas. For EO data and products to become widely used and adopted, providing the right level of “trust” is critical, especially on key sectors where benefits of EO could be invaluable such as agriculture, mining, emergency services, and natural resources in aquatic and terrestrial environments. This trust comes from understanding the explicit link between the satellite derived information and sampled ground measurements (calibration) as well as knowing its level of accuracy (validation).

The project aims to identify promising areas of research in the field of pre-operational testing of Earth Observation sensors (calibration), and algorithms and analytics (validation) for Earth Observation. It will concentrate on developing a prototype testbed for calibration and validation for commercial or research satellites.


Project Leader:
Phil Delany, Frontier SI


Knowledge gaps and opportunities for earth observation tools in mine-rehabilitation at the property scale

Next Generation Earth Observation Data Services

Australian industries and land managers are required to restore and rehabilitate land that they have disturbed. However, these industries and government regulators lack Earth Observation (EO) tools to effectively characterise progressive rehabilitation of these disturbance footprints.

This project aims to engage the mining industry and land management agencies to develop a clear understanding of EO tools needed to improve government monitoring, and industry management approaches to mine rehabilitation and restoration at the property scale (including stochastic event monitoring). We know from recent discussions with multiple mining companies (e.g. BHP, Anglo, and Rio Tinto) that there is a compelling argument to link remotely sensed observations with rehabilitation success criteria.

This project includes a needs analysis based on industry and government engagement; a literature review on EO for rehabilitation monitoring and tool development; and the development of a roadmap that highlights current capabilities and recommendations for future research.


Project Leader:
Associate Professor Peter Erskine, University of Queensland


Enhancing Earth Observation for Maritime Domain Awareness (E04MDA) – Phase 1

Next Generation Earth Observation Data Services

EO4MDA is ultimately planned to be a multi-phased project aimed at enhancing Earth Observation practices and to generate robust and reliable information about the maritime domain to support the Commonwealth interdict and enforce laws across its Exclusive Economic Zone and coastal areas.

EO4MDA will produce a downstream processing capability to correlate, federate and reason from data sourced through ground, air, and naval-based systems integrated with space-based Synthetic Aperture RADAR (SAR) data reports generated by the COSMO-SkyMed constellation data, satellite-based optical data as well as satellite-based AIS and SIGINT collections.

This project, EO4MDA Phase 1, is the first collaborative step to test the limits and bounds of new AI/ML/statistics-based processing methods in a realistic scenario employing constrained space-based Earth Observation data. The aim is to resolve operational queries (anomalous vessels and vessel behaviour) put to system in a real world demonstration with maritime decision-makers with space-based Earth Observation.

In particular, it is currently best practice to exploiting non-cooperative characteristics of vessels from space imaging sensors for the detection of anomalies:

  • vessels with failed or malfunctioning GPS and/or transmitting equipment;
  • vessels that deliberately “turn off” the System so as to avoid detection;
  • vessels that, because of their smaller size, are not under the obligation of having an on board positioning system as well as sport fishing vessels;
  • abnormal behaviours


Project Leader:
George Coulloupas, Leonardo Australia


Earth Observation Analytics Solutions: Know the Market to Grow the Market

Next Generation Earth Observation Data Services

This 15-month project seeks to  develop a commercial assessment of a focused selection of Earth Observation (EO) end user needs to define future SmartSat CRC Research activities and projects.

The research will address what end user problems EO can address and which of these problems people will pay to have solved. The output will be a report covering defined problems, customers, commercial viability, due diligence and top level mapping to SmartSat partner capabilities that can inform research that can be progressed now or requires capability development to progress.


Project Leader:
Phil Delaney, FrontierSI


Crop monitoring service to protect the agricultural supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic

Next Generation Earth Observation Data Services

Using Earth Observation (EO) data to reliably inform on which crops are growing, their geographical extent, and their status, will enable logistics companies involved in the agriculture sector to better manage their supply chain this year, and beyond. We have teamed with Glencore Agriculture Ltd, one of Australia’s leading agriculture logistics companies, to ensure that the capability that this project will develop can be ready for commercialisation via their current software system with a simple, dedicated API link between our technology and theirs. Elders Ltd have also given their support for this project and the potential for providing additional ground truth data to support the project validation activities.
The outcome of the project will be a commercially-ready SaaS capability for Glencore to integrate with their existing system(s) and


Project Leader:
Moira Smith, D-CAT