From the moment Russian troops began building up along the Russia-Ukraine border, satellites have been playing a critical role in providing intelligence to military and media alike. With the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops a few days ago, this intelligence from space has quickly turned into one of the few unbiased sources of information.
Nevertheless, this critical resource remains underutilised, as can be concluded by urgent calls to the global Earth Observation industry for more information and AI resources to support Ukrainian defence!
On 1 March 2022 Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov called out to the global Earth Observation community to support the armed forces of Ukraine with actionable intelligence data. Earlier he successfully personally appealed to Elon Musk to enable Starlink internet connections in Ukraine and send Starlink terminals, which SpaceX promptly did.
“We badly need the opportunity to watch the movement of Russian troops, especially at night when our technologies are blind in fact! SAR satellite data is important to understanding Russian troop and vehicles movements at night considering that clouds cover about 80 percent of Ukraine during the day,” Fedorov wrote in a letter that he posted on Twitter.
Calling for SAR and optical space data
Ukrainian entrepreneur Max Polyakov made the initial request on Monday with an urgent plea saying, “We need the data now.” His company, EOS Data Analytics, is offering to quickly analyse and process the data for use by the Ukrainian Defence Service. The company has set up a webpage with more information.
Today, EOS Data Analytics announced today that they shifted all their efforts to work for the benefit of the Ukrainian people and army. In addition, they urge global space firms and organisations to provide real-time SAR data (contact EOS at firstname.lastname@example.org).
EOS requesting YOUR support
“Сurrent/live SAR data will provide situational awareness and relevant intelligence regarding enemy troops and equipment activities (especially refuelling operations) during the night and irrespective of cloud coverage, which is impossible with optical data.
We are appealing to Capella, Iceye, IQPS & Synspective, Spacety, Airbus, COSMO SkyMed, Sar-Lupe, Umbra to provide SAR data and Planet, MAXAR, Airbus, SIIS, Space View, Blacksky and other companies to provide optical space data for Ukraine.
EOSDA understands that some data providers may face certain restrictions when engaging with a private company in Ukraine. If that is the case, data suppliers will be put in touch with Mykhailo Fedorov, the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine as well as other government and security officials for direct data delivery and/or sanctioning of further processing by EOS Data Analytics.” (source: EOS DA Ukraine Website)