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#SpaceWatchGL Opinion: ISU SSP22 Special – Team Project – Space-Ocean-Climate Interactions

By ISU SSP22 Team

Team ORCAS; photo courtesy of Team ORCAS itself

The Ocean is the birthplace of our species and essential to our survival. It is responsible for producing approximately one third of oxygen on Earth and allows the regulation of Earth’s climate. The oceans are also an important source of food and 10% of world’s population depend on it. Since the advent of space in 1958 humans have learned to use satellites to observe our planet. Nowadays earth observation systems help us to map the ocean floor, forecast the weather, track marine vessels, enable precision aquaculture and predict natural disasters amongst other relevant use cases.

Portugal has established itself as a centre of expertise in ocean sciences. The Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre) is an international non-profit organization headquartered in Terceira, Portugal. The centre is advancing technology, methods, and services in the ocean sector and is in continuous exchange
with nations around the Atlantic basin with representatives from Africa, America and Europe. The activities are categorized in the following six thematic areas:
• Marine and costal resources and biodiversity
• Clean and healthy oceans
• Earth observation from deep sea to near space
• Mitigation and adaptation to climate change
• Sustainable energy systems
• Data science
The AIR Centre and its partners are developing a satellite constellation to address the above areas. There is currently a lack of combining earth observation systems, with low-altitude, ground, ocean and under-water imaging and sensing (e.g., drones using specific payloads, marine robotic systems, 5G and IoT systems). A decentralized international network spanning over earth and space has the potential to create a powerful geospatial ecosystem to better understand and tackle ocean challenges.

Want to hear the experience of a SSP22 participant? Here you can listen to our interview with Sejal Jain on the day of the final team project presentations.

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