The earth observation science and information technology competence area uses ICT to derive societal benefits from earth observation (EO) data and technology in line with the Department of Science and Technology’s grand challenges of Global Change and Space Science and Technology.
Its focus is on addressing fundamental knowledge gaps that prevent us from reliably and operationally monitoring our changing environment with space-based and in situ sensors. The need for strong ICT involvement in EO is reinforced by the prominence of EO in national and international initiatives (e.g. Group on Earth Observations ) and the establishment of the SA National Space Agency (SANSA) that focuses on EO as one of its four thematic programmes.
There is growing understanding that unlocking information from the masses of available satellite data is a major ICT challenge that involves the application of diverse quantitative techniques to the EO field. These include signal processing, machine learning, image processing, pattern recognition, remote sensing and geo-spatial analysis.