During the summer, I worked at Geocento as a SPIN Intern. The SPIN (Space Placements in Industry) scheme is hosted by Satellite Applications Catapult and provides a link between space sector employees and those considering employment in this sector. My main role was around adding content and suppliers to a platform called the Earth Observation Broker. The platform aims to allow the discovery of earth observation products and services.

The EO Broker Project

Geocento are currently are leading the development of an ESA-funded web-based platform called the Earth Observation Broker. The EO Broker is aimed at bringing together suppliers of EO-based products and services with energy industry users, overseen by a steering committee of users in the oil and gas industry. The goal is to enhance the market for EO by making related products and services easier to find, assess and order by users who are not necessarily experts. As well as acting as a “marketplace” for EO-derived products and services, the platform provides a number of feasibility tools for bespoke EO offerings and supports API-based interactions with existing external services. The aim is to ensure that the platform is sustained as part of an ongoing service after the end of the project in November 2017. If you want to know more about the EO Broker project, please get in touch.

My role

My main focus as a SPIN intern was adding suppliers and their both free and commercial content to the EO Broker, to enable the platform to become of interest to users. I focused particularly around bathymetry, oil seepage detection, emergency planning, imagery sellers, surface deformation and iceberg monitoring. I communicated with a wide range of suppliers to understand their offerings and worked with them to make their offerings and datasets appear on the platform.

Additional tasks:

Whilst using the EO Broker, I also gave feedback to the platform development team in order to refine the design and performance and suggested additional functionalities.

As part of the EO Broker project, I created five user guide videos, to give an overview of how to use the Broker and its full functionality. I used screen capture software, OBS Studio, and editing software Lightworks and Audacity. This was my first experience of video creation and editing.

I created average cloud cover per month datasets. These used data from the NASA TERRA and AQUA satellites from 2000 to 2017. This was part of a demonstration case for the EO Broker for how the platform could be used for emergency planning using satellite imagery. Cloud cover is important as it inhibits optical imagery collection.

Average cloud cover dataset for January (2000 – 2017). Green represents low cloud whereas red represents high cloud cover.


The benefits of my SPIN internship

As a SPIN intern, I enhanced my understanding of remote sensing applications and the wide range of ways satellite imagery can be used. I have also liaised with multiple suppliers within the industry, developing my knowledge of the companies working in the space sector. During the internship, I continuously developed my organisation and communication skills whilst dealing with multiple suppliers, as well building my technical expertise in QGIS and ArcMap. This opportunity also gave me valuable insight into SME’s and the space sector, giving me a better understanding of where I could go with my career after completing my MSc in Remote Sensing and GIS at Aberystwyth University



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