UNOSAT, information technology for humanitarian mapping

Space imagery is essential for providing aid to rescue teams as quickly as possible after a disaster. Over the last 20 years, UNOSAT (UNITAR’s Operational Satellite Applications Programme) has helped guide emergency teams through various locations and supported humanitarian assistance efforts and programmes to protect cultural heritage. Hosted at CERN, UNOSAT benefits from the Organization’s IT infrastructure whenever a situation requires it, helping the United Nations to stay at the forefront of satellite analysis.

Quantum computing for Earth observation and scenarios forecasting

Quantum technologies are a rapidly growing field of research and their applications have the potential to revolutionise the way we do science. In the case of Earth observation, previously intractable problems can be solved by exploiting quantum phenomena such as superposition, entanglement and tunnelling.

Preparing for this paradigm change, ESA and CERN have decided to extend their long-standing collaboration to include quantum computing. This partnership implies new synergies in data mining and pattern recognition, as well as the generation of new knowledge and expertise.

Read more: Alberto Di Meglio, "CERN & quantum technologies", CERN Courier.

Artificial intelligence for a better understanding of our planet

In the same way, expertise from CERN and ESA can support the EU Destination Earth initiative, aimed at creating an AI-driven dynamic, digital replica of our planet, which accurately replicates Earth’s behaviour. Combining actual space and ground data and Earth system models with artificial intelligence, the Digital Twins of the Earth would provide an accurate representation of the past, present, and future changes of our world. Consequently, it would help visualise, monitor, and forecast natural and human activity on the planet and generate scenarios for decision makers to meet the goals of the European Green Deal.