EOSDA scientists field-tested the Sunscan device within the GoldenEye project
  • Media

EOSDA Team Successfully Field-Tested SunScan For GoldenEye

Recently, FC EOS Ukraine, the subsidiary company of EOS Data Analytics, a global provider of AI-powered satellite data analytics, acquired the SunScan Canopy Analysis System and successfully tested it within the GoldenEye project. By integrating this cutting-edge device, the company has taken another step in advancing its ecological monitoring capabilities, aligning with the project’s roadmap.

SunScan’s precise measurements and comprehensive analysis are set to propel the GoldenEye project towards its initial goals, reinforcing EOSDA’s commitment to driving sustainability to Earth.

What’s GoldenEye

GoldenEye is an ambitious three-year project under the EU Horizon 2020 program, aimed at creating a comprehensive platform that combines Earth observation technologies with on-site sensing to analyze mine sites across Europe and promote environmental monitoring for mining safety.

With a total budget of €8.3 million, the project targets five mining sites across Europe, including Pyhäsalmi Mine in Finland, Trepça Mine Complex in Kosovo, Erzgebirge District in Germany, Panagyurishte District in Bulgaria, and the Roșia Poieni District in Romania.

The EOS Data Analytics team has been a vital part of the GoldenEye project, contributing its expertise in satellite data processing and analytics. Its role includes ecological monitoring on various indicators such as slope stability, humidity, surface temperature, and vegetation condition of adjacent territories.

By leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, we have developed an algorithm to downscale land surface temperature data, providing highly detailed maps of surface temperature and assessing the impact of mining sites on the environment.

The GoldenEye project commenced in May 2020 and has been progressing through various stages. In summer 2023, while adding the already developed technologies and integrating satellite monitoring data to the platform, the team needed to validate the application of these technologies with the field trials.

Hence the need for specialized equipment, such as SunScan.

Why The SunScan Device

The SunScan Canopy Analysis System is a sophisticated device designed to measure various aspects of plant canopies. It can estimate the leaf area index, measure levels of photosynthetically active radiation, and determine what fraction of solar radiation is intercepted by a plant canopy.

The system includes a one-meter probe containing 64 photodiodes, a Beam Fraction sensor for separating direct and diffuse components of PAR, and SunData software for controlling and analyzing the reading.

The EOS Data Analytics team used the SunScan Canopy Analyzer to validate satellite monitoring technologies by collecting and processing ground data. The device fits this purpose best as the way data is collected in both cases is physically identical. Specific tasks the team has with the SunScan Canopy Analyzer include assessing vegetation conditions near extraction areas, evaluating soil moisture in extraction and buffer zones, and analyzing slope stability.

How The Scientists Tested The Device

In the context of the GoldenEye project, the SunScan device plays a vital role in conducting ecological measurements and hence needed to be tested first. A local quarry near the city of Boguslav in the Obukhiv district of Kyiv region, Ukraine, was selected as a testing site.

The “Boguslav Quarry” specializes in sand, gravel, clay, and kaolin extraction. It covers an area of 0.7 km2, began its operations in 1969 and joined the COMPSPACE group in 2003. The industrial capacity of the enterprise for gravel production is 400,000 m3 per year.

The EOSDA scientists used the SunScan Canopy Analysis System to evaluate the forest cover state and the ML3 ThetaKit to determine soil moisture levels. The analysis of the ground data, in conjunction with satellite monitoring technologies, allowed a comprehensive assessment of the enterprise’s impact on the environment and nearby populated places.

the SunScan device
The SunScan device installed on a tripod to collect ground data.

It revealed the presence of a buffer zone and reclamation areas around the enterprise, covered with younger vegetation, acting as a natural barrier.

The assessment of the vegetation state showed compliance with the normal phase of vegetation corresponding to early August, which is when the measurements took place.

This allowed the EOS Data Analytics team to conclude that the normal development of vegetation in buffer zones adjacent to the enterprise helped contain dust raised from production processes, and shrubs and young vegetation reduced soil moisture on the slopes of the quarry’s banks.

Taking Measures Today For More Sustainable Development Tomorrow

The use of the SunScan Canopy Analysis System in the GoldenEye project provided valuable insights into the environmental impact of mining activities. By combining ground data with satellite monitoring technologies, the project successfully assessed the influence of industrial extraction processes on the surrounding environment. The findings contribute to a better understanding of ecological dynamics and offer a robust validation of satellite monitoring technologies, reinforcing the importance of ground-based measurements in environmental monitoring required for safer mining.

As GoldenEye continues to advance, the integration of the SunScan device has proven to be a pivotal component in achieving the project’s ecological monitoring objectives. With its precise measurements and comprehensive analysis capabilities, SunScan will play an essential role in the final stages of the project, aligning with the roadmap and ensuring that the scientists at EOS Data Analytics reach the project’s initial goals in a timely manner.

The collaboration between cutting-edge technology and dedicated scientific inquiry underscores the company’s commitment to promoting sustainability practices and innovation, setting a benchmark for future endeavors in satellite imagery analytics and environmental monitoring.

About the author:

Natalia Borotkanych Project coordinator

Natalia Borotkanych has been working in the space sector for more than 15 years now. Her experience includes working in business, science, education, and government projects.

Natalia has a PhD in space history, Master’s Degree in Foreign Policy from the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine, as well as Master’s Degree in Public Management and Administration from National Academy for Public Administration under the President of Ukraine.

Building upon her experience of working in the State Space Agency of Ukraine, Natalia now specializes in helping the state bodies and NGOs to implement the satellite monitoring technologies for solving real-world problems and for smart decision-making.

Natalia is an active science communicator. She is a scientific editor at The Universe. Space. Tech magazine. She also teaches a “Space diplomacy” course at the National Aviation University.

Natalia's experience in project coordination and scientific expertise in the space sector are much appreciated at EOS Data Analytics.

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