Company Update

Tilebox and Ellipsis Drive partner to enhance the data chain of the Earth Observation Industry


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We are delighted to announce that Ellipsis Drive will be partnering with Tilebox to enhance the full data chain of the Earth Observation (EO) industry, from satellite capture to end user delivery. The intent behind this partnership is to 1) expedite the deployment of new EO satellite applications and 2) advance data management and usability for end users of satellite data and derived products. The partnership will ensure that operators are able to focus solely on mission related aspects and creating valuable data, while relying on existing solutions to go to market and scale their operations flexibly and without trouble. This streamlines the otherwise years-long journey from data acquisition to usable insights.

Tilebox is a NewSpace startup that is set out to revolutionize space data management. It is the first fully integrated platform that offers a secure, high performance and scalable solution for space companies to develop in-house data pipelines. It speeds up the journey from raw satellite data to actionable insights, and allows satellite operators the liberty to focus on their hardware and algorithm refinement. 

In a recent interview on The Ellipsis Drive Podcast, Laura Costa Ortega, Co-Founder of Tilebox said, “Our goal is to streamline how companies are creating data products from raw satellite data and how we can speed up the path to commercialization, because there are many bottlenecks in the industry with regards to satellite data processing.”

The Current State of the EO Industry

The EO industry has witnessed remarkable progress over the past few decades, driven by advancements in satellite technology and data processing capabilities. However, there is a lot of room for improvement. Where does this room lie? 

Laura said, “We have seen that in the upstream sector of the industry – pertaining to building and launching satellites – there is a lot of modularity. There are many vendors and it is relatively streamlined to integrate parts of different vendors and put together a satellite as per the specific needs of a use case. But once someone receives their first raw satellite data – both on the satellite and on the ground – there are no best practices, services or frameworks that would speed up the path to commercialization by enabling companies to build their own data pipelines. And even once you have a data product that data can’t be seamlessly plugged into downstream applications. This is where the bottleneck exists in the data chain.”

The Paradigm Shift – Optimizing the Midstream Section of Remote Sensing and EO

The paradigm shift from default vertical integration to a network of external suppliers is already quite prevalent in the upstream sector, and to a certain extent in the downstream sector. However, besides general tooling and cloud providers it is uncommon in the midstream sector – the emergent field of transforming raw data and telemetry from upstream into analysis ready data that is consumed downstream. Tilebox provides a framework that streamlines the process of creating satellite data processing pipelines. This gives operators a framework to build in-house data pipelines efficiently and cost-effectively – both using custom algorithms, and by combining existing algorithms in a modular manner. And since satellite data is large and often distributed across regions and clusters, Tilebox works like that too, orchestrating work even across clusters. Tilebox brings the algorithm to the data, instead of the other way around. 

Another key feature to talk about is where Tilebox makes the magic happen. Tilebox intends to allow the creation of these pipelines while the data is still in orbit. Here’s what Laura had to say about this. “It’s a natural benefit for every stakeholder involved and a much better use of your space assets. You can reach your customers faster. Right now processing in orbit is mostly scripts that call out to co-processors. But there are a lot of aspects that can be optimized. You also have observability on your payload – its performance, logs, etc. There is a software orchestration gap that exists, currently. There are a lot of AI applications, but how you can orchestrate and leverage them in an effective manner still needs to be figured out.”

Here’s what our CEO & CO-Founder, Rosalie van der Maas had to say about this initiative, “This partnership will help new operators in getting to market, start generating revenue and become serious competitors in the landscape within months of getting their space assets online. This is unequaled".

We can’t wait to see the fruition of this partnership in the new year. NewSpace? We have your back.

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