The data capability of South Australia’s first built satellite, Kanyini, will be explored through a South Australian Government and SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) partnership.

To enhance environmental monitoring on Earth, the South Australian Government has committed $500,000 to two pilot new research projects that make use of AI-based analytics and hyperspectral imagery captured by Kanyini.

SmartSat CRC, the country’s foremost industry-research collaboration and Lot Fourteen resident, will spearhead the projects which CEO Professor Andy Koronios believes will usher in a new era for South Australia’s satellite imagery.

“Prior to these projects, images of our state (South Australia) were sourced from foreign satellites, limiting access to current and detailed images,” he said.

“With the Kanyini mission, we are demonstrating the capability to capture images of specific locations tailored to particular applications.”

In collaboration with the Department of Environment and Water, the first project makes use of Kanyini’s onboard thermal imagery and AI-based analytics capability to monitor surface temperatures across Adelaide and parts of regional South Australia.

With climate change in firm focus, the aim is to pilot updated heat maps for adaptive planning and responses to the impact of heatwaves. Outcomes could include infrastructure planning and mitigation strategies, community resilience for heat events and greening investment.

In collaboration with the Department for Environment and Water and Primary Industries and Regions SA, the second project will pilot new approaches to land-use in South Australia. This enhanced data could be used to help monitor changes in native vegetation cover, crop health and land-use.

Focusing on Kangaroo Island and the Northern pastoral region, Kanyini’s hyperspectral imagery combined with AI-based analytics aims to deliver improved understanding of South Australian native vegetation communities and key species important for carbon sequestration.

Chief Executive for the South Australian Space Industry Centre (SASIC) Matt Opie acknowledged the power of the partnership to deliver unprecedented opportunities to deliver tangible benefits to the South Australian community.

“The Kanyini satellite exemplifies this potential, and these projects will provide critical insights derived from space to help our experts on the ground make informed decisions to tackle environmental management and sustainability challenges,” he said.

“The State Government is fostering the development of an innovative, thriving and sustainable space sector and our partnership with the SmartSat CRC marks a significant milestone in utilising space technology for environmental benefits here on Earth.”

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