The ECOSPACE is an umbrella web-based subscription service with capacity to store and process Earth Observation and field observation datasets - spanning over a range of spatial and temporal resolutions - and to deliver meaningful information in overseeing and managing risks to critical infrastructure in coastal and riverine settlements.
Users and their needs
Coastal and riverine settlements are ever more affected by extremes of climate. Increasing their resilience through maintaining healthy ecosystems – like beaches, dunes or controlled flood plains – or man-made structures – like seawalls or dikes – or securing their re-establishment in case of damage or destruction is essential to preserve economic, social and environmental functionality at the hinterland. However, assessing the condition of such ecosystems and structures is time-consuming and hence costly. Further, the time interval between data collection and data post-processing and analysis is long preventing authorities to act fast to avoid or mitigate risks in coastal and riverine settlements. Moreover, data is collected from different sources and stored and visualised in different systems, for which there is no consistency in data analysis and quality control.
The ECOSPACE service tool translates user needs into specific product benefits. It creates value to customers by (1) integrating earth Observation and field observation datasets – spanning over a range of spatial and temporal resolutions – into a centralised web-based tool; (2) using standardised protocols for data storing, extracting, processing and (raw) data quality controlling; and (3) translating datasets into meaningful information in overseeing and managing risks to critical infrastructure in coastal and riverine settlements.
The ECOSPACE service tool has a global market potential. However, the initial target markets will be Belgium, France and West Africa where our project end-users are based on.
Service/ system concept
The ECOSPACE is an umbrella web-based subscription service. It consists of independent product modules – namely, topography/displacement, algae blooms and subsidence – that are offered in three customer segments: basic giving access to product features like the ‘monitoring and quick assessment’ toolbox, trend analysis and (raw) data extraction; silver giving access to additional product features like the ‘early warning’ toolbox and cloud storage; and premium giving full access, including to the ‘complex modelling’ toolbox.
Space Added Value
The added value of space-borne data in overseeing and managing risks to critical infrastructure in coastal and riverine settlements is threefold: (1) Earth Observation data creates value through cost savings in operational processes; (2) space-borne observations from satellites provide a potentially rich source of long-term historical datasets across spatial scales ranging from localised studies to unprecedented global applications, which can be used to identify long-term trends at timescales from individual storm events, to months, seasons and several years and decades; and (3) Earth Observation data enables to repeatedly observe and quantify changes in ecosystems and structures, ability which is key to present-day coastal and riverine management and future planning.
Working with design thinking, IMDC and Vito’s remote sensing group have firstly engaged together with 4 private and public end-users to define where users’ problems are, what they want and what they really value. Secondly, the technical feasibility of both satellite and field technologies – namely, satellite-based radar and optical, drone-based, SAR interferometry, very high resolution optical satellites, radargrammetry, airborne RGB stereo and airborne LIDAR – has been assessed against user requirements, TRL level and cost. In parallel, diverse ideas have been generated and three distinct products – namely, topography/displacement, algae blooms and subsidence – have been prototyped and finally tested by the users for feedback on their desirability, viability and feasibility. Finally, still within the feasibility study phase of this project, a roadmap and recommendations for implementation of the ECOSPACE service tool will be prepared together with the outline proposal for a IAP demonstration project.
The current phase will be finalised in September 2019.