Satellite data as new business opportunity: HPC and the “space economy”


The Space Economy is the value chain which, starting from research, development and deployment of space infrastructures (upstream), generates products and innovative space-based value-added services (downstream), (OECD 2019). A recent webinar, organized by the Emilia-Romagna Innovate Clust-ER, focused on Downstream data as an opportunity for innovative products and services.

Highlander lead partner CINECA illustrated how High Performance Computing can enable new data platforms and services with the examples of Mistral and Highlander projects, both financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Program.  MISTRAL is the Meteo Italian SupercompuTing poRtAL platform – for sharing, publishing and exporting meteorological data. It facilitates and fosters the re-use of datasets by the weather community, as well as by its cross-area communities, offering added value services made available thanks to the use of HPC resources. 

Highlander, building on Mistral experience, will make use of HPC to produce an open data portal for climate data and short/medium term predictions to support sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. Highlander portal will offer the integration of short-term forecasts with medium term climate projections, including extreme events and related risks, to support planning and decision making on resources and territorial systems. The use-case “Crop water requirements forecast” was presented as an example application of Highlander portal. Also, the Highlander climate portal will integrate prediction data with sensors and satellite data to enable better resource management and risk management, for example within forest management and natural parks.

Thus, in addition to the development of the space economy, data and HPC are key assets to cope with the current social, climate and environmental challenges, and can guide decision makers towards a more resilient future.