To better monitor and anticipate extreme weather and climate events shaped by the interactions between human activities and natural forces.
Luxembourg, October, 23 2023 – In the context of Destination Earth (DestinE) ambitious initiative of the European Union, the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) has been supporting since early 2023 Thales Alenia Space (Joint Venture between Thales 67 % and Leonardo 33 %) and their Partners, the Luxembourg Institute of Sciences and Technologies (LIST) and PricewaterhouseCoopers Luxembourg (PwC) in their initiative to develop a Proof of Concept of a flood prediction Digital Twin. The project is funded by the Government of Luxembourg through an ESA Contract in the Luxembourg National Space Programme, LuxIMPULSE.
Using innovative Earth system models, data sources and technologies, Digital Twins are developed with the ultimate objective to allow a large variety of users to explore the effects of climate change on the different components of the Earth system, and to assess possible adaptation and mitigation strategies. Several structural institutional initiatives in this area exist in Europe like Destination Earth funded by the European Commission or ESA Digital Twin Earth, funded by a large number of ESA Member States. The ultimate goal of these initiatives is to create a digital model of the Earth that will be used to monitor the effects of natural and human activity on our planet, anticipate extreme events and adapt policies to climate-related challenges. The national initiative by Thales Alenia Space in Luxembourg could at the end contribute to this goal by integrating a new regionally developed component to the flood prediction Digital Twin Earth.
The Proof of Concept Digital Twin Earth prototype will be presented to the community in order to get their feedback and brainstorm together on the added value it can bring to their activities as well as on evolutions they imagine for next steps.
Water flooding has recently caused enormous damages across Luxembourg. With this Proof of Concept, Thales Alenia Space Digital Center of Excellence in Luxembourg and their partners intend to demonstrate the benefits of a Digital Twin of the Earth applied to flood management: flood inundation forecasting, and impact assessment and prediction.
Since its creation on September 2021, Thales Alenia Space in Luxembourg focuses on the development of state-of-the-art digital solutions for all space Domains : communications, observation, and navigation exploration. It leverages big data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity technologies to address complex end-to-end satellites systems’ challenges, while fostering user experience excellence.
“We are proud to lead this Flooding Digital Twin Earth initiative which is perfectly on line with our moto “Space for life”, declared Etienne Barritault, General Manager of Thales Alenia Space in Luxembourg.
Thales Alenia Space’ competences will create the foundation of the data infrastructure and orchestration necessary to efficiently operate the PoC Digital Twin system. A large amount of data streams will need to be extracted, transformed and loaded for the simulation model used in calculating the predictions to work correctly. To make the system attractive to a variety of end-users additional attention is given to topics such as cybersecurity, scalability, performance and cost-efficient deployment.
LIST bring their experience and expertise in satellite-based flood detection and forecasting, AI, data management and visual analytics for decision support and provides advanced capacities in data visualization and high performance computing.
“With our algorithms we have recently contributed to the successful launch of the first satellite-based global flood monitoring system. The proof-of-concept study gives us the opportunity to develop and test technologies that enable the reduction of uncertainties of flood forecasts using satellite data”, said Patrick Matgen, the responsible of the remote sensing group at LIST.
PWC is animating the community of potential users in Luxembourg, evaluating their needs per segment. While some users are interested in short term prediction and risk assessment, others are interested in long term impacts of global trends such as global warming on flooding.
“This regional flood twin is a great twofold opportunity for Luxembourg: build a new level of expertise and solutions to prevent adverse climate events and build a world class ecosystem to meet large international opportunities” said Laurent Probst, Partner, PwC Luxembourg.
“Digital Twins of the Earth are set to revolutionize the way we predict and react to natural catastrophes and climate change. LSA is enthusiastic about supporting this initiative, a perfect intersection between digital and space for the benefit of Earth” said Alessandro Grasso, Project Manager for Earth Observation at LSA.
ABOUT THALES ALENIA SPACE
Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 2.2 billion euros in 2022 and has around 8,500 employees in 17 sites in 10 countries across Europe and a plant in the USA.
THALES ALENIA SPACE – PRESS CONTACTS
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