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Exploiting the latest advances in satellite capabilities, high performance and geo-computing, coupled with our depth of expertise, we deliver practical solutions.

Data solutions for the world

Agricultural information systems

Feeding the world’s growing population, while reducing agriculture’s environmental footprint represents a huge challenge. Climate change is only adding to these pressures.

Earth observations can provide near real-time, field-scale information on crops across the globe. Such data offer great opportunities to improve productivity, increase food security and achieve greater sustainability.

Assimila is creating operational systems, based on satellite data, to help manage crop production, forecast yields, and reduce losses from pests and diseases.

With a range of partners, we can provide:

  • Crop mapping and analysis
  • Crop yield forecasts and historical benchmarking
  • Climate change assessment
  • Pest risk prediction and management of biopesticide application

We work in the UK, China and Ghana on wheat, maize and coffee, but our techniques are applicable worldwide and to many crops, pests and diseases.

Farming UK
Sustainable crop productionSustainable crop production

Assimila is working with partners to develop operational crop forecasting systems using crop modelling, coupled with Earth observations and weather data.

A combination of satellite data from optical sensors and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can give information down to around 10 m. Such information helps us fine tune crop model output to provide more accurate forecasts at the field scale.

Example projects:

Accessible data

The atmosphere, land surface and oceans are being observed like never before – with petabytes of data being collected daily. Sophisticated modelling techniques are providing scenarios of future conditions. However, the volume and complexity of such data represent a barrier to realising their full potential.

We can provide the tools needed to access, manipulate and interpret data from the vast array of available satellite sensors and providers. We understand the complexities of Earth observation data – so you don’t need to.

Our tools and accessible data include:

  • Assimila Data Cube – a customisable tool to access, pre-process and analyse Earth observation data
  • Analysis Ready Data – pre-processed Earth observation data
  • ClearSky images – cloud free satellite imagery

We are using the Assimila data cube in pest risk modelling  and to understand changes in UK peatlands – just two examples of its potential.

The core tasks that you can perform in the Assimila Data Cube.
Assimila Data Cube tools
The Assimila Data Cube
The Assimila data cube provides easy access to Earth observation data and analysis tools which, in partnership with clients, we can customise for particular applications. The Assimila Data Cube provides:
  • Access -a set of tools that provide access to multiple data portals to either directly download or access data in a cloud environment.
  • Pre-processing –to provide analysis-ready datasets with user-specified resolutions, projections and formats.
  • Analysis -smart spatio-temporal querying and analysis tools tailored to your needs.
The technical basis of the Assimila Data Cube The core of the Assimila data cube is Cloud Optimized GeoTiffs (COGs) to enable efficient workflows on the cloud. Several Python libraries such as xarray are used to manage the multi-dimensional data arrays, since real world datasets are more than rows and columns. X-arrays have labels to encode locations in space and time. Additionally, we use DASK for parallel computing in Python. Data is downloaded automatically and catalogued in a PostGIS database. We have a layered object-oriented(OO) architecture which can then deliver these data via an http interface. Users can request timeseries for locations ranging from one point to the whole globe, via a Python API, through Jupyter Notebooks or via a QGIS plugin.

Climate metrics

Climate change means that the future will not be like the past – this brings environmental, social and economic risks. We are already experiencing changes in the severity, frequency and location of extreme events, such as storms and heatwaves.

Assimila is using Earth observation data, coupled with models and ground-based measurements, to provide detailed insight into past and future environmental conditions. Used skilfully, such data can provide information about changing climate risks and tailored decision-support tools.

We are developing:

  • Metrics of climate risk
  • Methods to assess climate thresholds and changes in weather extremes
  • Tools for easy access to climate related data and modelling output
Climate Risk Disclosure-graph
Temperature, precipitation and wind power anomalies (difference from typical conditions) and changes over time.