NOAA taps Orion Space Solutions to develop observation processing system

Oct. 14, 2022
OSS says its technology will allow users to visualize the Earth's past and present, and predict future environment.

LOUISVILLE, Colo., - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded Orion Space Solutions in Louisville, Colo., a grant to build a platform to process, analyze, and visualize Earth observations using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technologies. The resulting system will further human understanding of environmental change on Earth, considering both current and past environments to provide important insights on rapidly changing environments.

Wanli Wu, project principal investigator at Orion, and his OSS colleagues have deep AI, modeling and data expertise. With partners Booz Allen Hamilton providing digital twin technology capabilities, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research providing Earth system modeling and data knowledge, the team will maximize NOAA's data collected from various sensors and platforms into valuable knowledge.

Digital twin technology acts as a real-time digital counterpart of a physical object or process, for example digitally replicating how an ecosystem looks before and after wildfire. It seamlessly "connects the dots" across data sources, bringing Earth observation data to a single place for processing, analysis, and visualization. In doing this, the platform provides unprecedented visibility and insight into the data and, in the example, a view on current or future ecosystem impacts.

"Leveraging AI technologies and digital solutions, the platform being developed for NOAA will automate processing, analysis, and visualization of Earth observations collected by spaceborne, airborne, and ground-based sensors," says Wu. "Our system seamlessly connects space, atmosphere, land, and ocean observations from NOAA and elsewhere in a single location, allowing users to reconstruct past and present Earth environments. It can also act as frontend infrastructure supporting operational numerical weather prediction models."

"The team brings a depth of AI, data science, and digital twin expertise to bear, developing new ways to support NOAA in better understanding and addressing pressing environmental challenges," says Rachel Hauser, Orion Space Solutions' Senior Director of Business Development.

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