SuperVision Earth becomes the first German company to perform InCubed work
SuperVision Earth is a German start-up established in 2018 by the winners of that year’s local Copernicus Hackathon. Since then, the start-up has benefited greatly from the Copernicus Accelerator, Copernicus Incubator and ESA BIC programmes. This latest InCubed activity will develop SuperVision Space, an automated satellite-based monitoring solution for routine pipeline monitoring.
More than a million kilometres of high pressure pipelines, often buried underground, run through countries supplying gas and energy to businesses and communities worldwide. The pipelines are subject to various risks, such as third-party activities, vegetation and ground movement. Third-party activities, such as construction or digging close to pipelines, are the leading cause of incidents. An early and efficient detection of risks is necessary to minimise environment exposure and damage, natural gas explosions, loss of lives and carbon emissions. In addition, it could also save gas companies millions.
To address this issue, SuperVision Earth developed SuperVision Space (SVS) based on proprietary AI-powered software to analyse satellite data, detect and regularly report on various risks. ESA’s InCubed programme will co-fund SVS, support its development, and de-risk the activity by providing technical and programmatic support. As part of the programme, SuperVision Earth will also gain access to potential investors and networking opportunities through dedicated events and possible arrangements being explored in 2021.
Alongside ESA’s InCubed programme, SuperVision Earth has partnered with the energy and infrastructure companies Entega and Terranets. These partners have already conducted several pilot projects in the field of satellite-based pipeline monitoring.
The InCubed contract was signed and the kick-off meeting took place end of March 2021, attended by SuperVision Earth, Entega and Terranets, alongside representatives from ESA. Members of the German delegation, who backed this activity were also in attendance, alongside representatives from the German industry association DVGW, a standardisation body for the gas and water industry, who are supporting SuperVision Earth with their expertise.
On signing the InCubed contract, SuperVision Earth’s COO and co-founder Jan Kolmas said: ‘’We are honoured to be the first German company to sign a contract with ESA’s InCubed programme. This activity is essential to SuperVision Earth’s mission of making gas infrastructure more secure, with a positive impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions, increased competitiveness of the European EO and AI sectors, and generation of high-tech jobs in Europe.’’
Satellite-based monitoring represents a useful addition to the toolbox of gas infrastructure operators, thanks to its low cost, its convenient frequency and its absence of carbon dioxide emissions. SuperVision Earth’s SVS downloads satellite images of pipeline corridors from providers around the world. These are analysed by an embedded AI model in order to detect potential threats. SVS then sends prompt warnings to the operator’s engineers, who use the product to make informed decisions, so preventing threats from becoming catastrophic incidents such as natural gas explosions, environmental damage and economic costs. More information on SVS can be found here.
Amanda Regan, InCubed programme manager, added: ‘’This activity offers an innovative solution aimed at gas and energy pipelines monitoring. This is the first German InCubed contract to be signed and we would like to thank both SuperVision Earth and the German Delegation. This is an innovative concept which will contribute to the overall European EO commercial landscape.’’