The current market of live space data is difficult to access for most users due to its technical and specialised nature. Visual data feeds are generally unavailable to most users or require specialist knowledge to access, limiting their reach and accessibility to a global audience.
RASOR will provide an accessible and engaging platform for real-time space images, videos and visualisations. Users will be able to choose from and view space data feeds from multiple sources directly through a single platform, including different satellites and telescopes. Feeds will be categorised for users based upon the type of space data, for instance images of the Earth, videos of the Sun or a rocket launch. RASOR will enhance the effectiveness of available feeds for its users, but also provide access to feeds currently not available. The service will be targeted at a wide variety of audiences from different backgrounds including general enthusiasts, educational organisations, and the greater public. Clear captions and information for each space data feed, along with logical time-stamps will increase the user-friendliness of the platform.
Users and their needs
The initial targeted user groups of the RASOR service include:
- Educational Organisations
Users include: School & University Students, Teachers, Authors, Educators
There is a specific need for more engaging and informative visual space-related content to involve and inspire students with STEM-related subjects and careers. There is a lack of exciting and accessible activities based around real space content for educators, to help supplement learning
- Space Organisations
Users include: Employees, Clients, Customers, Visitors, Investors
There is a need for space organisations to connect and engage with their users through visual space content. Raising their brand awareness and promoting their organisations through a platform which displays feeds of the projects they have contributed to through software/hardware is required.
- Retail Organisations (including cafes, pubs, Space Store)
Users include: Customers, Visitors, Patrons
There is a need to connect and engage customers and visitors within in-store locations on the high street and online platforms, such as organisation websites. Retail organisations require a higher footfall of visitors and increased level of dwell time in their premises in-store and websites online.
Service/ system concept
RASOR will provide visual data including live and replays of images and videos from a variety of space sources, such as Sentinel satellites and Mars Express. Users will be able to browse through these data feeds, which will display accessible and engaging captions about the visual content.
Data streams from sources such as SEDAS will feed into the RASOR server and be converted into the correct format for good-quality visual content. This selection of visual content will then be made available through the customer and user interface.
Space Added Value
For RASOR, the following space assets are being explored for potential use with the service:
- International Space Station (external instruments and internal cameras), ExoMars – Trace Gas Orbiter, Mars Express, Space Weather, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, European Space Operations Centre, Europe’s Space Port, Sentinel 1, 2, & 3
RASOR offers the ability to access multiple streams of live and replay space data on one platform. Current methods are generally focused towards specific feeds of data on different platforms, leading to a difficult user experience for most audiences.
The RASOR project commenced in February 2020. The project team successfully held a Launch Event for RASOR in early March, attended by over 40 representatives from the UK space sector, schools, universities and retail organisations. Over 10 interviews have been conducted with representatives keen on trialling, testing and providing feedback on initial service concepts of the RASOR platform. User surveys have also been completed by over 70 users to help the project team understand the interest towards the service. The technical and viable studies of the project are now underway.