Saudi Arabia

Orbital EOS Designs Gaia, the World’s Best AI in Hydrocarbon Spill Detection, with 98% Accuracy in Predictions

Valencian company Orbital EOS has designed Gaia, the world’s best artificial intelligence tool for satellite detection of hydrocarbon spills in the ocean, with nearly 98% accuracy in its predictions.

Pablo Benjumeda, Director of Operations at Orbital EOS, explains that their hydrocarbon spill monitoring service and data platform “have no rival in the market” for two reasons. Firstly, due to the high level of professionalism and knowledge of Orbital EOS analysts, and secondly, because of Gaia, an AI developed by the Valencian firm to detect oil and derivative spills.

The development of Gaia was made possible by Sergio Ferrer and José Ángel González, two developers at Orbital EOS who trained this artificial intelligence with over 600,000 image fragments extracted from the public Sentinel 1 satellite over two years.

This technology was funded by CDTI, an entity under the Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Universities that promotes innovation and technological development in Spanish companies. Satellite detection of hydrocarbon stains with AI has been attempted for 30 years, but all previous attempts before Gaia failed for one reason or another.

Despite the complexity in developing this technology, “Gaia has become the world’s best AI tool in detecting fuel stains in the sea, with nearly 98% accuracy in its predictions,” highlights Sergio Ferrer, CTO of Orbital EOS.

“Its greatest differential value,” adds Ferrer, “is that the dataset to train the model was designed by a group of individuals with decades of experience in locating and analyzing oil spills using remote sensing. Their experience is practically impossible to replicate.”

“Although currently Gaia is only prepared to analyze Sentinel 1 images, our long-term goal is to create an AI for every satellite in the world capable of detecting not only stains but also ships, coastlines, land spills… It seems almost like a dream due to the amount of time and resources required to achieve it, but with Gaia, we have already demonstrated that making the extremely difficult possible is one of our strengths,” he explains.

Monitoring spills

Orbital EOS has implemented the world’s most advanced satellite-based hydrocarbon surveillance system with the Saudi public company SIRC (Saudi Investment Recycling Company), including monitoring spills in the territorial waters of the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

The number of images analyzed each day, the quality of the analysis, and cutting-edge complementary information make SAIL, the SIRC department responsible for marine environmental care, “the global reference in situational awareness of hydrocarbon spills throughout the Saudi Arabia region.”

Benjumeda points out that their “constant commitment” to innovation and technological development and the recent creation of an Oceanography department in the company “will allow and improve the SAIL service and multiply the value added in the coming months.” Among the improvements are “the use of new and better images, faster and more accurate analytics, improved oceanography models developed exclusively with our own metoceanic data,” he concludes.

About Orbital EOS

Orbital EOS is a Valencian company specialized in the development of solutions based on advanced analysis of satellite images. The company has developed a pioneering platform for the detection, characterization, and prediction of hydrocarbon spills, for the oil and gas industry, maritime and port authorities, desalination plants, or environmental authorities. This digital solution was awarded in 2020 by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its highly innovative nature.

Additionally, Orbital EOS develops other types of solutions in the field of environmental security and sustainability for companies in the energy sector and space sector, leveraging the synergy between spatial data and artificial intelligence algorithms that help us extract patterns and trends, better understand the world, and make better decisions.

Their flagship product, EOS Viewer, is an online platform that combines Earth observation and geospatial analysis. It is the first digital system that provides detection and characterization of hydrocarbon spills in marine environments on a global scale.

Orbital EOS has become a reference and model in space remote sensing as an environmental solution worldwide. Environmental protection and sustainability of marine resources are foundational and fundamental values of the Valencian company, as its main activity promotes responsible practices in the oil and gas industry.


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Rafa Honrubia
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