A new project from EarthNow LLC will now allow people to view real-time, continuous video of almost any place on Earth. EarthNow, which has received funding from Airbus, the SoftBank Group, Bill Gates, and Greg Wyler, will deploy a large constellation of advanced imaging satellites to deliver real-time, continuous video that can be used to catch illegal fishing, watch hurricanes and typhoons as they evolve, detect forest fires the moment they start, watch volcanoes the instant they start to erupt, assist the media in telling stories from around the world, track large whales as they migrate, help “smart cities” become more efficient, provide on-demand data about crop health, and observe conflict zones around the world.
According to EarthNow’s founder and CEO, Russell Hannigan: “EarthNow is ambitious and unprecedented”.
“We believe the ability to see and understand the Earth live and unfiltered will help all of us better appreciate and ultimately care for our one and only home. With existing systems, users can see only what has happened in the past. With EarthNow’s constellation of satellites, you will see events unfold as they happen in real-time,” commented Hannigan.
EarthNow takes advantage of an upgraded version of the satellite platform, or “bus,” developed originally for the OneWeb communications service. Each satellite is equipped with an unprecedented amount of onboard processing power, including more CPU cores than all other commercial satellites combined.
Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb added: “We created the world’s first low-cost, high-performance satellites for mass-production to bridge the digital divide. These very same satellite features will enable EarthNow to help humanity understand and manage its impact on Earth.”
Initially, EarthNow will offer commercial video and intelligent vision services to a range of government and enterprise customers. In parallel, EarthNow plans to create compelling “live Earth video” mass market applications that can be accessed instantly from a smartphone or tablet.