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Using Satellite Monitoring for a Sustainable Future

This week marks The World Environment Day, International Day Against Illegal Fishing, and The World Oceans Day. All these topics are of great importance to KSAT.

It’s estimated that 1 in every 5 fish caught worldwide comes from illegal fishing activities. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, illegal and unregulated fishing are responsible for the loss of up to 26 million tonnes of fish annually. Illegal operations at sea are hard to detect and act upon, threatening the future well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.

Satellite technologies against IUU

KSAT has offered vessel detection services for decades. Today, we use the most comprehensive analytical methods, from statistical analysis to machine learning (ML) and human experts. Using our ground network, we can distribute the analytical results within minutes of obtaining data. Time makes all the difference in taking effective actions.

IUU fishing is often conducted by dark vessels, that do not appear in public monitoring systems and are therefore difficult to spot. By combining the four satellite technologies of SAR, high-resolution optical, RF, and AIS, we can provide an effective tool to combat this issue.

        Our comprehensive approach allows for the detection and tracking of these elusive vessels, Martin Røymo Skedsmo, Key Account Manager at KSAT’s Earth Observation division says.

Martin Røymo Skedsmo

Protecting the land

The UN theme for this year’s World Environment Day is land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience. The rapidly changing climate and human activities, such as deforestation and pollution, bring us to a critical point.

By using satellite technologies in combination with advanced data analysis, we can better understand our planet and human impacts on the environment. This includes Land mapping using integrated optical, SAR, and terrain data.

The recently launched InSAR service, Inio, combines KSAT’s earth observation technologies with the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute’s geotechnical engineering expertise to provide rapid geotechnical analysis from space. It enables observation of ground motion with millimetre-scale precision and assessments of ground stability and risk.

Since 2020, the NICFI satellite Data program uses high-resolution images to help reduce and reverse tropical forest loss. The unique program, led by KSAT with partners Planet and Airbus, provides universal access to high-resolution satellite monitoring of the tropics. The aim is to support efforts to reduce and reverse the loss of tropical forests.

        We already see the impact the program has had in terms of improving country reporting obligations as well as improving transparency in forest management, Martin Røymo Skedsmo says.

The program has registered over 26000 users from 97 countries so far.

Saving the Oceans

About 97 percent of Earth’s water is in the ocean, which covers more than 70 percent of our planet's surface and is home to many species. Monitoring and protecting such a vast area would not be possible without help from space.

KSAT benefits from access to the largest available constellation of satellites, allowing us to download imagery with near real-time efficiency. For customers, a fully analysed Oil Spill Detection report is delivered normally between 20 and 120 minutes from the moment the satellite acquires the image. By monitoring ice movements in the Arctic, we can increase the understanding of climate change and protect these most affected areas, and through our vessel- and iceberg detection services, we contribute to safety of people and assets operating in this area.

Sea life populations can also greatly benefit from space-obtained data. Satellites help track the growth, behaviour, and movement of different species, such as marine mammals and turtles.

Through our network and advanced EO services provided to end- users all over the world, we proudly contribute to a better tomorrow.