Unique satellites come with unique challenges. Based in Louisville, Colorado, EOI Space is developing a constellation of unique, low-flying Stingray satellites that collect ultra-high-resolution imagery for various Earth observation applications. By operating from a Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO), EOI Space will capture the highest commercially available views of our planet for real-time intelligence, asset monitoring, situational awareness, and more.
Although the satellites must be designed specifically to thrive in the new VLEO environment, the team knew that it could leverage existing solutions for many of the software components. However, the method of processing and archiving data needed to meet three main criteria. First, it needed to be able to scale as the constellation grew to 60 satellites. Secondly, it needed to be capable of processing on the edge, in the cloud, and on-premises. Finally, it needed to be highly secure.
As an Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner, Element 84 was in the ideal position to provide a hybrid solution that meets clients’ needs across all of EOI Space’s industries — from environment to defense. Plus, with a proven track record working with similar organizations to develop processing pipelines, Element 84 had the skills and knowledge necessary to create a robust architecture for the Stingray constellation.
Developing an architecture to suit any environment
The Project Team began by implementing FilmDrop, Element 84’s AWS-based suite of open source tools that ingest, archive, process, analyze and distribute geospatial data in the cloud. By deploying FilmDrop into EOI Space’s accounts, the engineers had access to an operational processing pipeline that could be used immediately for prototyping and testing purposes. Consequently, it was easier to assess which pieces of the architecture needed to be built from scratch and identify any additional software they would need to incorporate into the final product.
For example, due to the occasionally sensitive nature of their client work, EOI Space’s processing pipeline needed to support certain security and compliance requirements. As such, Element 84 incorporated Landing Zone Accelerator (LZA) on AWS. LZA deploys a cloud foundation that aligns with multiple global compliance frameworks and AWS best practices, making it the perfect addition to the FilmDrop architecture.
Once the cloud architecture was complete, Element 84 worked with EOI Space’s product owners and technical leads to define the requirements for the on-premises FilmDrop Kubernetes solution. While Kubernetes is a cloud-native platform, it runs on-premises just as well and was therefore a great starting point. From there, the Element 84 team researched and selected a suite of services that, in sum, are able to deliver the equivalent processing capabilities of the cloud-based solution when used on premises.
The Kubernetes solution is currently in development and Element 84 will continue to partner with EOI Space throughout the process, helping them build custom workflows for the data, assisting with operational aspects of the system, and offering guidance on their product and application using their industry expertise. Thanks to the Kubernetes-based architecture, EOI Space’s clients will be able to operate clusters on their private infrastructures once the Stingray constellation is launched. With the need for a public server eliminated, organizations will gain peace of mind that any imagery they store is controlled and secure.
Because FilmDrop is so familiar across the industry, we had a really strong understanding of its capabilities and how they aligned with our specific needs. So, when we were looking at potential software to add into the solution, we were able to make faster and better informed decisions.Benjamin Tuttle, CTO at EOI Space
Ready for lift-off
As a result of Element 84’s solution, EOI Space’s customers will be able to find everything they need on a single user-friendly platform, while a dynamic series of tools work in the background to keep the service fast, seamless, and secure.
Stingray satellite images boast an impressive 15cm resolution — the highest in the world — and Element 84’s cutting-edge processing pipeline delivers them to the client in just seconds, rather than hours. Rapid access to such detailed images will facilitate better informed decision making, speed up response times, and improve outcomes across a range of applications.
And, not only will EOI Space have the ability to scale processing as demand for their data increases over time, they can also take advantage of improvements made to the processing pipeline at no additional cost with contributions made to the FilmDrop open source repositories.
Want to learn more about how FilmDrop can help you?
At Element 84, we love hearing about your projects — whether they’re napkin sketches or almost ready-to-launch. Whatever stage you’re at, our FilmDrop suite can help you manage your geospatial data, from small image collections through petabytes of complex SAR and remote sensing data. Reach out to our team to learn more.