Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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June 4, 2021
UP42 Announces Copernicus Masters Challenge to Augment Earth Observation Data with Generative Adversarial Networks

The global innovation competition will award the best algorithms that address challenges in EO analytics

BERLIN – UP42 is proud to announce the UP42 Airbus Challenge in the 2021 Copernicus Masters Competition. With EUR 100,000 in awards at stake, including commercial satellite data from the Airbus OneAtlas Living Library, UP42 seeks researchers, companies, and students to submit algorithm development ideas to provide new ways of performing EO analytics.

Copernicus Masters is an international competition held annually to foster innovative applications of EO data that address the world’s most compelling environmental, social, and business problems. In 2021, UP42 joins other leading geospatial organizations such as the European Space Agency (ESA), European Commission, and German Aerospace Center (DLR) in devising 10 Challenges spanning the full spectrum of EO applications.

“We are excited to be part of a global innovation competition in Earth observation along with other key industry players,” said Sean Wiid, CEO at UP42. “This is a unique opportunity for ground-breaking ideas to be brought to life and have a tangible impact on our planet — a goal that perfectly aligns with UP42’s core mission.”

The UP42 Challenge calls on participants to propose algorithms that advance EO analytics by using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to augment satellite imagery. GANs are an advancement in deep learning technology to generate realistic synthetic data to supplement existing data sets.

The Challenge seeks GAN solutions addressing common EO problems, including:

Unregistered objects in unsupervised change detection – Use GANs to generate better co-registered images that enable better change detection between images.

Cloud cover and shadow filling – Leverage GANs to create new pixels that fill in areas of images hidden by clouds or shadows.

Improved super-resolution – Apply GANs to increase the resolution of Sentinel-2 optical images for enhanced object detection.

The deadline for idea submissions is July 19, 2021. UP42 and Airbus experts will select five finalists to move on to the evaluation and live pitch phase based on scientific merit, business value, quality of implementation, and ecological impact. One Challenge winner will be chosen from the five finalists.

UP42 will announce the winner in October 2021. The winner will receive the following prizes:

  • EUR 20,000 voucher to access all geospatial data and algorithms on the UP42 developer platform and marketplace,
  • EUR 80,000 voucher for commercial satellite data from the Airbus OneAtlas Living Library,
  • Eligibility to win the EUR 10,000 Copernicus Masters Grand Prize.

To learn more about the UP42 Airbus Challenge and to submit your idea, visit https://copernicus-masters.com/challenges/up42-challenge/

About UP42

UP42 is changing the way geospatial data is accessed and analyzed. The platform and marketplace bring together multiple sources of data such as satellite imagery, weather data, and more—together with algorithms to identify objects, detect change, and find patterns. Industry leaders use UP42 to inform business decisions and build scalable customer solutions. Know when and where to fertilize crops. Measure air quality and map emissions. Count cars, trucks, planes, and ships. Developers and data scientists across all industries now have access to a platform to build, run, and scale projects in one place. Visit www.up42.com.

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