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GEO-Microsoft Planetary Computer Grants Program Has Been Expanded to Include Recipients of The NICFI Satellite Data Program

ByJerzy Nawrocki

Oct 8, 2021

Planet has partnered with Microsoft to create tropical forest Basemaps that are of high-resolution, available to chosen researchers on the Planetary Computer platform in order to improve scientific study, development, and research from NICFI Satellite Data Program. The Group on the Earth Observations (GEO), in collaboration with Microsoft, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for scientists who want to use the capability of the Microsoft’s Planetary Computer to help halt and reverse tropical forest loss using Planet’s high-resolution imagery.

The GEO-Microsoft Planetary Computer RFP, which was presented at the FOSS4G event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, will assist a number of twelve-month projects that integrate NICFI Satellite Data as well as the Planetary Computer to tackle environmental concerns. Successful applications will gain access to NICFI Satellite Data through the Planetary Computer platform, as well as financial support of up to $60,000 for a period of 12 months, Microsoft Azure credits of up to $60,000, and technical assistance and guidance.

The Microsoft Planetary Computer and Microsoft Azure will be used to create and grow the projects. All project outputs will be made available to the public, allowing the global network of researchers to collaborate and build on one another’s work in order to address the global concerns of climate change and deforestation.

“The unprecedented magnitude of high-resolution data made available through the NICFI program, combined with the computational power offered by the Planetary Computer, will facilitate the conservation community to ask entirely new questions about the state of Earth’s forests and to create innovative approaches to deforestation tracking that are desperately needed,” stated Dan Morris, who serves as the Principal Scientist with the Microsoft’s AI for Earth Program.

Planet is going to present the onNICFI Satellite Data Program at Microsoft’s AI for the Earth session during FOSS4G on September 30, in addition to today’s announcement. Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT), in collaboration with Planet and Airbus, has been offering universal access to the high-resolution satellite tracking of the tropics to assist attempts to stop deforestation and be able to save the world’s tropical forests since September 2020, when Norway’s Ministry in charge of the Climate and Environment granted an international contract to them.

Planet is the main provider of daily satellite imagery as well as insights from across the world. Planet is on a mission to image Earth’s entire surface every day and make global change visible, available, and actionable. Planet, which was founded by three NASA scientists in 2010, plans, builds and runs the world’s largest fleet of imaging satellites, as well as the online software, tools, and analytics required to distribute data to consumers. Planet’s data and machine learning-propelled analytics are used by decision-makers in industry, government, and organizations to build new innovations, power research, drive revenue, and make knowledgeable, timely decisions to solve the world’s hardest challenges.

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