The researchers' proposal entered the ESA’s Digital Twin Earth challenge. The purpose of the challenge was to combine Artificial Intelligence and Big Data from Copernicus Sentinels with Earth observation data. The proposal tries to solve the problem of drought, a major concern that affects people worldwide – it disrupts agricultural activities and displaces communities.
Aya Rizk, PhD student in Information Systems explains:
– The technical solution focused on providing our stakeholders, Västmanland’s administrative county board, a digital twin or mirror of the land’s drought and moisture level to enable them to take early and effective interventions. The solution utilizes a machine-learning algorithm that maps drought values in time series and potentially predict alarming drought levels. This is computed accurately and quickly thanks to the data infrastructure hosted by our partners at RISE.
A digital twin and early warnings will enable effective interventions and recommendations for e.g. to farmers.
– With an accumulation of enough historical data, we can also start studying patterns of moisture and stress in particularly vulnerable areas, says Aya Rizk.
As finalist, the researchers from Luleå University of Technology got the chance to pitch their proposal to the evaluation committee. The winners will be announced later this December. The proposal was developed within the framework of the Swedish Space Data Lab, a collaboration between AI Sweden, the Swedish National Space Agency, RICE, and Luleå University of Technology.