Monitoring Wildfires and Assessing Damage from Space

Rezatec’s geospatial data analytics service is helping foresters to salvage timber after devastating wildfires.

Not a day goes by without a wildfire burning in some part of the world. Fires are spreading across larger areas and burning more severely than ever before in modern times. Forest fires have occurred naturally for millions of years and play an important role in the long-term health of forest ecosystems; however, they also threaten lives and property, and leave many dying trees in their wake that act as kindling for yet more fires in the future.

Except for all but the most severely damaged, most trees can retain much of their commercial value directly after a fire. For the trees that survive, the resulting stress weakens them and makes them more vulnerable to disease, rot and moisture – meaning salvage is a very time-sensitive operation.

Satellite data analytics provide foresters with the information to locate, date and assess the extent of the damage accurately and quickly, allowing them to make informed and rapid salvage decisions.

Leading geospatial AI company, Rezatec, has produced a free guide ‘Assessing Forest Wildfire Damage from Space’ which outlines some of the key benefits of using satellite data to assess wildfire damage and plan salvage operations.

Download Guide


Tim Vallings, Vice President of Global Resources at Rezatec commented
 “With a complete and accurate picture of damage in hand, foresters are better prepared to make informed decisions on all timber salvage operations, resulting in both improved decision-making over which trees to salvage, and a higher resulting commercial return on salvage than would have otherwise been the case.”

Rezatec has produced a number of other guides relating to the application of satellite data for effective forest management including: Tree species identification form space and the early identification and mitigation of Spruce Beetle.

To learn more about how regularly updated satellite data could help you to better manage your forest or woodland, email info@rezatec.com or call +44 (0)1865 817500.

‘The Evolution of Earth Observation’ – Featuring Rezatec

The Evolution of Earth Observation’ published in this month’s Ingenia magazine (by the Royal Academy of Engineering) is a feature article exploring how satellite images are used to monitor changes in Earth’s natural and built environments, with applications in areas as diverse as land use, natural disasters and climate change.

The author, Science writer Tereza Pultarova, spoke to three industry leaders, including our very own COO Philip Briscoe, on how artificial intelligence is helping innovative companies such as Rezatec using satellite data to solve problems on Earth.

The article focuses on how Rezatec helped one of our clients, Portsmouth Water, which had witnessed rising nitrate levels in groundwater to understand more about the sources of this pollution.

You can read the article here.

Identifying Spruce Beetle infestations earlier using satellite data

Spruce Beetles have become an increasing threat to the forestry industry over recent decades. Outbreaks used to be episodic but are now at epidemic levels in many parts of the world.

Once an infestation is identified, it is a race against time to contain the outbreak and salvage affected timber before it loses its commercial value.

Rezatec, leading providers of geospatial data analytics for the forestry sector, have produced a guide: ‘Identify Spruce Beetle Infestations Earlier Using Satellite Data’, which examines how beetle infestation affects timber quality over time, the challenges of identifying infected trees using traditional methods, and how multi-spectral satellite data can help to identify affected stands before they lose much of their commercial value.

By assessing multi-spectral bands such as infra-red to measure more subtle indicators of plant health, infestation can be detected up to three months earlier than when using purely visual methods.

Tim Vallings, Vice President, Global Resources at Rezatec commented: “Identifying diseased trees as early as June allows foresters to validate, plan and fell in the same year, and thereby sell the timber as much as a year earlier than traditional methods allow to obtain a better market price.”

The key benefits of using satellite data to identify Spruce Beetle infestations are:

  • Regularly monitor subtle changes in tree health across entire forest
  • Identify outbreaks up to three months earlier
  • Salvage and sell timber up to one year earlier

Rezatec have produced a number of other guides relating to the application of satellite data for effective forest management including: tree species identification from space and a comparison of the benefits of satellite and lidar data for forestry analytics.

To learn more about how regularly updated satellite data could help you to better manage your forest or woodland, email info@rezatec.com or call +44 (0)1865 817500.

Rezatec provides AHDB with innovative geospatial data analytics to map true extent of potato crops across the UK.

Harwell, Oxfordshire, 2nd October 2018 – Rezatec, the leading provider of geospatial data analytics to the Infrastructure, Forestry and Agribusiness sectors, has been working with The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), to demonstrate the effectiveness of using satellite data to map the extent of potato crops in pilot locations across England and Scotland.

AHDB is the UK’s statutory levy board funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain. Its purpose is to inspire farmers, growers and industry to succeed in a rapidly changing world. The assessment of innovative technologies that can enable its vision is an important focus for AHDB and this project aims to evaluate the use of satellite data.

Looking at four sites spread across the UK, Rezatec applied its proven crop identification techniques to map locations of potato crops, down to individual fields, some of which just a few hundred square meters in size. A crop health map was then generated to highlight the extent and abundance of each potato field. This enables AHDB to better understand production areas of potatoes in the UK from season to season at a micro level.

Rezatec applies its geospatial data techniques to extract specific spectral indices across the growth cycle to create a signature that identifies the crop, using both optical and radar satellite data sources. By applying its in-house machine learning algorithms to these indices, Rezatec can distinguish potato from other crop types with up to 95% accuracy.

Additionally, through active remote sensing monitoring, Rezatec can also assess variables of crop performance, e.g. health, against the crop model through the growing season, and, using its data science techniques provide growers with critical information to take corrective action and ultimately increase crop yields.

Dr Jim Dimmock, Resource Management Scientist at AHDB summarised: “It is evident from our collaboration with Rezatec that the application of satellite data for mapping crop extent is of great value and compared to more traditional methods, we were impressed by the ability to scale across large areas with high levels of accuracy.”

Dr Andrew Carrel, Chief Technology Officer at Rezatec commented: “Rezatec’s agriculture management services are very versatile, ranging from identifying crops at a field, and even sub-field level, and monitoring crop performance, up to macro-level analytics to support commodity crop trading for multiple end-users including Government and traders.”

Rezatec provides its agricultural management services around the world to a wide range of agricultural end-users from sugar cane and wheat farmers in Mexico to dairy farmers in the UK.

Funding

Rezatec completes follow-on investment led by Harbert European Growth Capital to underpin continued global expansion

World-leading geospatial data analytics company Rezatec has announced a follow-on investment to its 2018 £2m Seed Round equity financing round, with Harbert European Growth Capital now providing a substantial growth debt facility to the Company.  This new facility will lend additional financial support to Rezatec as it continues its rapid rate of new customer acquisition across North America, Africa and Asia Pacific. Rezatec is seeing particularly strong demand for its geospatial data analytics in the Forestry, Infrastructure and Water sectors worldwide. This financing round follows on from a financial year that saw Rezatec subscription revenues grow by 7x from Q1 FY18 to Q4 FY18.

Rezatec plans to significantly expand its portfolio of proprietary geospatial technologies in the coming months. This expansion of Rezatec data science, machine learning and software tools will serve to meet new customer demand in existing vertical markets and beyond. The Company anticipates completing a substantial Series A transaction in the period ahead to finance this expansion of the business and its operations.

Patrick Newton, Chief Executive Officer at Rezatec stated, “We are very pleased to have secured the support of Harbert in building the Rezatec business. Their focus on high growth, innovative technology companies makes them an ideal fit for our business.”

Fahad Khan, Vice President at Harbert European Growth Capital said “We are delighted to partner with Rezatec’s strong management team and give them a global network in addition to capital to help support their growth ambitions. We are pleased to bring our close relationships within the European and American technology sector and welcome Rezatec to a portfolio of over 70 high growth companies”.

Rezatec delivers accurate, cost-efficient, highly valuable and scalable satellite data analytics to optimise the use of natural and man-made assets in the Forestry, Water, Agriculture and Infrastructure sectors.

Tree species mapping from space – it’s revolutionary!

Whether you’re the owner of a small private woodland or a forestry company responsible for millions of acres, Rezatec have created a free, useful guide on identifying and mapping tree species distribution.

Understanding what tree species you have and where they are is critical for effective forest management and commercial decision-making. The ‘Earth Observation for Tree Species Mapping’ guide, available here, explores the common challenges of identifying species using traditional aerial technologies and how satellite data can be used to quickly, accurately and cost-effectively identify and map tree species distribution.

Tim Vallings, Vice President, Global Resources at Rezatec commented:  “It shows you what’s going on in the entire forest, not just small parts of it, giving you a complete and accurate picture of tree species and their location.”

Rezatec presents the data in an online portal which makes it easy to understand for any stakeholder as well as taking the risk out of commercial ventures and supporting informed business decisions.

Tree species identification from satellite data requires calibration plots of less than 1 per 100 acres. Compared to other methods, this represents a significant saving in operational time and money.

The key benefits of using satellite data in tree species mapping are:

  • Savings of up to 80% in operational expenditure,
  • Refreshes up to every week,
  • Tree species accuracy up to 90%

So far, Rezatec have mapped tree species distribution to meet a variety of requirements across an expanding list of locations around the world, including the UK, US, Europe, Canada and Australia. Their robust methodology enables an ever-growing number of species to be classified with 80 to 90% accuracy, supporting informed commercial decisions. Rezatec can apply confidence limits for risk assessment, and as a result can create data suitable for a range of users.

To find out more about how your business could benefit from the detailed tree species insights they can provide using earth observation data contact Rezatec on +44 (0)1865 817500 or email info@rezatec.com . In the meantime, you could also learn more by reading their case studies on forested asset decision support and forest mapping in British Columbia.

Mobile app helping Mexican farmers improve sugar cane and wheat yield through the analysis of satellite data

Rezatec has launched a new mobile application aimed at helping Mexican farmers improve crop productivity and stabilise their incomes to facilitate rural community economic development under the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP).

Wheat farming in the Yaqui Valley is at the forefront of new technologies for wheat compared to other parts of the developing world, however, the area was hit by a fungal disease (Karnal bunt), and export profits suffered. The effect from droughts from 1996 to 2004, also contributed to an overall fall in income from agriculture in the Valley of 40%. Average wheat yields are currently around 6.2 tonnes per hectare, with considerable variability from year to year. Annual profits from wheat production in the Valley varied by 60% per tonne from 2009 to 2017, with a steady rise in the total cost of production over time. Better management practices by smallholder farmers for nitrogen application, irrigation and weeds would help to improve yields and productivity.

The sugarcane industry currently generates more than 930,000 direct jobs and employs another 2.2 million people indirectly, contributing a total of around US$2.5 billion a year to the Mexican economy. The average yield is currently close to 70 tonnes of cane per hectare however smallholder farmers have below average productivity partly because they have not adopted modern methods of agriculture. They are also threatened by drought (especially because of under-developed irrigation infrastructure), pests, disease and weeds.

The overall challenge for both the wheat & sugarcane sectors is to transform both traditional extensive as well as modern intensive systems into sustainable systems producing more crop output with better use of resources and this requires better management of the interacting parameters controlling yield.

In response to these challenges, Rezatec has now launched a free mobile application ‘COMPASS V1.0’ (Crop Observation, Management and Production Analysis Service System) aimed at helping wheat and sugarcane smallholder farmers in Mexico, benefit from using Earth Observation (EO) satellite data with in field measurements to reduce production costs and increase crop yields. The ultimate aim is to ensure that farmer incomes become more stable, and therefore directly benefit farming families and rural communities, as well as addressing potential environmental issues.

Mexican COMPASS, is a four-year project launched in December 2016 under the UK Space Agency’s lnternational Partnership Programme (IPP), which aims to address real issues faced by emerging economies using satellite solutions whose outputs lead to a measurable and sustainable economic or societal benefit.

Ray Fielding, Head of IPP stated that “The UK Space Agency is delighted to be working with Rezatec on the Mexican Crop Observation, Management and Production Analysis Service System (COMPASS) project under our lnternational Partnership Programme. The release of this application will provide decision support tools to help Mexican farmers and smallholders to improve their crop management of wheat and sugarcane so that income stability is improved, thereby providing economic and societal benefit.”

Under the project, Rezatec has partnered in the UK with the University of Nottingham, supported by Booker Tate, and in Mexico, with CIMMYT (International Maize & Wheat Improvement Center) and MASCAÑA sugarcane research group from COLPOS (Colegio De Postgraduados).

Andrew Carrel, Chief Technical Officer, Rezatec commented, “Rezatec is excited to be part of the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme, contributing our Earth Observation and Data Science technology to enable positive social, economic and environmental change in Mexico. We look forward to building on the success of this project to help other farming communities around the world.”

The project aims to target at least 1,200 farmers in Mexico during the project, with initially 38 farmers currently engaged and providing invaluable field data via the new mobile app which will be freely available to farmers.  The app will provide a portal for farmers to submit crucial information about their farming activities (such as sowing date, crop type and irrigation) and in return receive free recommendations as to when to undertake such activities in the future to maximum yield, as well as yield predictions.

Javier, one of the wheat farmers currently using the mobile app. said “The COMPASS App v1.0 is going to help me have all the management information from my fields handy and having the app. In the future advising on an optimum irrigation schedule to maximise my yield will be a huge benefit”.

Recently, the project was presented to the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture – SAGARPA, SIAP and INIFAP – and received very positive feedback, as well as offers of support from Government bodies to potentially extend the initiative for wheat and sugarcane farmers nationwide.

The services developed in the project will be sustainable after the funding from the IPP programme ceases through a fee-based subscription model whereby commercial companies, processors, government agencies and crop insurance providers will pay for enhanced datasets, aggregated data and more detailed analysis than the basic free data which is made available to smallholders.

The proven Mexican COMPASS model will be extended to other developing countries growing wheat and sugar cane to increase the viability and returns from using earth observation data to support smallholder farmers.

To find out more about the Compass project, click below.

COMPASS Project Showcase Page

Rezatec and Eden Project partnership secures ESA funding to promote benefits of Earth Observation (EO) data for small-scale land owners.

Global leaders in geospatial data analytics, Rezatec, working in partnership with the Eden Project, an educational charity, have successfully been awarded funding from the European Space Agency’s Business Applications to demonstrate the benefits of Earth Observational data as part of a major public exhibition.

Invisible Worlds, a new permanent exhibition at the Eden Project, introduces the interconnectedness of life and the Earth’s varied environments at all scales, exploring how life shapes, and is shaped by, an invisible ‘Life Support System’. The joint activity involves the curation of an area within the exhibition, dedicated to the impact of geospatial analytics. The exhibition aims to highlight how the interpretation of Earth Observation data can provide innovative and alternative landscape intelligence, with a particular focus on forests and agricultural land.

“Eden is pleased to be working with Rezatec and this project will serve as a great opportunity to bring the good work that is being done by ESA and Rezatec to the forefront of public consciousness. The exhibit will serve as a great shop window and has the potential to inspire further action both commercially and within the public sector.” explained Gabriella Gilkes, Project Lead, The Eden Project.

“Rezatec is really excited to be working with such an inspirational organisation as the Eden Project made possible through funding from ESA’s Business Applications. Satellite-derived data analytics is highly relevant to addressing global challenges in response to increasing demands being placed on land and its efficient use, which are being fuelled by growing populations, water and food security challenges and more efficient natural resource management,” commented Tim Vallings, VP Global Resources, Rezatec.

Rezatec and the Eden Project, drawing upon their respective areas of expertise, will explore how the analytics generated for the exhibit could benefit individual growers or forest owners with small areas under management, by providing commercially valuable and actionable decision support tools accessed via a self-service, digital platform. In addition, these analytics could also be provided as an operational service to other creative installations at relevant institutions and organisations around the world.

To find out more about the Invisible Worlds exhibition at the Eden Project, visit: https://www.edenproject.com/visit/whats-here/invisible-worlds-exhibition.

Rezatec join forces with specialist pipeline inspection and water loss management contractor Detection Services in Australia and New Zealand

Industry-leading geospatial data analytics company Rezatec has announced it has partnered with Australian-based company Detection Services to bring its state-of-the-art satellite data driven asset risk monitoring solutions to Australia and New Zealand.

Detection Services is the largest specialised, technology-based water management services provider in Australasia focusing on developing, sourcing and delivering better ways of managing water resources in the region and offer a broad range of services including condition assessment, trunk main leak detection and monitoring solutions.

Together with Rezatec, the provision of these critical decision support tools will provide unparalleled insights for utility companies for remote asset monitoring to reduce the cost of managing pipeline networks and other assets. The partnership represents the latest stage in Rezatec’s international growth, following recent partnerships in Europe and North America.

Philip Briscoe, Chief Operating Officer at Rezatec stated, “Detection Services is a natural partner for Rezatec in Australia and New Zealand. Their focus on bringing innovative technology solutions to the water industry and their reputation in the region makes them an ideal fit for our business.”

Steve Simmons, Director at Detection services “Adding Rezatec’s services to our portfolio is a great fit and we are confident that the demand in the region is strong for geospatial analytics to meet the increasing challenges of asset monitoring and management we’re currently facing”.

Rezatec and Detection Services will now continue to promote the accurate, cost-efficient, highly valuable and scalable nature of satellite data analytics when used to detect existing leaks, monitor infrastructure assets and predict asset failures.

To find out more visit www.rezatec.com/pipeline or contact Detection Services on +61 2 9651 5263.

Rezatec wins Most Innovative Technology award two years running at Utility Week Live.

Rezatec, the leading provider of geospatial data analytics to the Infrastructure, Forestry and Agribusiness sectors, is very pleased to announce that it has won the ‘Most Innovative Technology’ award – for the second year running – at the Big Water Pitch run by Isle Utilities at Utility Week Live 2018 at the NEC, Birmingham.

The Isle innovation competition features a range of exciting and ground-breaking technology companies from all over the world, aiming to solve complex problems in the water utilities sector. Finalists were pitched against each other in this fiercely fought competition and asked to present a seven-minute pitch in front of a panel of distinguished industry judges.

The judges decided that Rezatec’s geospatial analytics, utilising satellite-derived earth observation data to provide utility companies with critical decision-support tools, offered the most potential and was the most innovative technology in the competition.

Piers Clark, Chairman, Isle Group, commented, “In winning this prestigious award Rezatec has clearly demonstrated (for the second year in a row), that they are a truly disruptive and innovative technology that is capturing the interest of utility clients across the UK and beyond”

Rezatec’s Asset Risk Monitoring Service is an effective early warning tool providing regular alerts and enabling the targeting of ground survey teams and sensors, that can be applied to clean and waste water pipelines, and other assets such as aqueducts, dams and reservoirs.

Philip Briscoe, Chief Operating Officer, Rezatec responded, “A recent report from the UK’s Environment Agency, stated that enough water to meet the needs of 20 million people is lost through leakage every day. Geospatial analytics is proving to be a very viable technology to complement existing methods of asset management to provide a regular monitoring service across networks to act as an early-warning system to detect risk that then enables more efficient second-level targeting and ultimately more effective asset management”.

The Rezatec service incorporates frequently updated satellite-based observations, derived from the interpretation of optical and radar data; asset network information on pipe material, depth and age; and geospatial data for the area of interest such as soils, geology, elevation, drainage, temperature and precipitation into a sophisticated risk model using machine learning techniques to highlight areas of high risk.

Any Risk Zones are presented as color-coded hotspots with a classification of high, medium or low priority based on the expected likelihood of an incident occurring, and their status is routinely updated as new satellite data becomes available or remedial/maintenance action is undertaken.

Based in the UK, Rezatec provides its geospatial analytics in the Water, Infrastructure, Forestry and Agriculture sectors, in North and South America, Asia Pacific and Europe.