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RISE will set the framework for AI and satellite imagery

22 February 2024, 10:43

Sweden's research institute RISE has been commissioned by the European Union's Satellite Centre (SatCen) to conduct a feasibility study. It will provide an overview of the potential of a common framework for artificial intelligence in applications based on satellite imagery data. The results will be presented at the end of 2024. The feasibility study will be produced within a public contract concluded with the SatCen and jointly financed by the European Defence Agency and the SatCen.

RISE's investment in Earth observation and artificial intelligence, through the Digital Earth Sweden project, connects total defence and space. Satellite-based image intelligence is based on satellite images and AI to analyse and map the movements of e.g. boats and aircraft. It is important for detecting illegal fishing, human trafficking, oil spills, environmentally hazardous activities or threats to our security.

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- From a total defence perspective, it is important that space systems are used optimally, and that AI is utilised. Together with our expertise in cybersecurity, RISE will deliver value on a national and European level," says Tobias Edman, who is responsible for Digital Earth Sweden at RISE.

An AI hub is proposed to be part of the framework and core for the development, testing, integration, and use of the advanced AI technologies. An important part of the AI hub's capabilities is to coordinate several different types of analyses and handle different types of data formats, with very high security.

The joint framework is predicted to foster shared knowledge and AI expertise across the EU, by improving cooperation between SatCen, member states, industry and other stakeholders. It will also increase analytical capabilities in security and defence contexts, which is important for Sweden's and Europe's total defence. The results will be presented in a report to SatCen at the end of 2024.

The opinions expressed herein are those of RISE only and do not represent the European Defence Agency and SatCen's official positions.



Tobias Edman, RISE,


About Digital Earth Sweden

Digital Earth Sweden is a Swedish hub for stakeholders working with Earth observation data, initiated by the Swedish National Space Board with RISE as project manager. The mission is to make space data accessible to everyone.