From On-Board Data Compression To On-Board Data Analysis

The On-Board Payload Data Compression Workshop aims to bring together all the professionals working in the field, to share the latest ideas and developments and to pave the way for the future technological challenges. This Workshop is co-organised by ESA and CNES with the support of the NKUA, and will take place in Athens on 28-30 September 2022.

Over the past decade, rapid developments in digital technologies and access to space have enabled unprecedented capabilities of monitoring our planet and, more generally, our Universe.

This new space race is pushing for a paradigm shift in order to respond to the ever-increasing challenge of delivering the useful information to the end users. With huge number of satellites, greater spatial and spectral resolutions, higher temporal cadence and shrinking spectrum resources, on-board data reduction becomes not only a cost saving solution but, in many cases also, a key enabling technology to achieve viable missions.

Thus, traditional data compression techniques emerged from Claude Shannon’s Information Theory might not be enough anymore to cope with the massive amounts of data of the upcoming generation of space-borne instruments. 

In essence, this paradigm shift means evolving from the ability to remove redundant data, to the capacity of extracting, on board, the meaningful information for the end users; which also requires a deep understanding of the nature of our space instruments. 

Luckily, the performances of state-of-the-art techniques in this field are massively benefitting from the adoption of two major technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and high-performance on-board processing.

What an exciting era for on-board data compression!

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