Rochester Technology

RIT doctorate plans to automate satellite photo peeping

You think there’s a lot of satellite information about where you are now? Just wait. RIT doctoral student Abdul Haleen Syed says 238 new satellites will be launched in this decade alone, and this is an increase from the 135 launched in the previous decade.

But analyzing that satellite image data currently takes human operators to trawl through image after image, spotting roads, bridges, houses, military installations and the like. The logical next step is to provide some sort of automated process, handled by computers, to get that work done. Lots of people are working on this kind of algorithm, and Syed’s cutting-edge research has already won him accolades in a Rio de Janeiro.

Other research and even practical applications exist. For example, the US DoD is building web applications aimed at helping many countries better analyze satellite and other data to defend their coasts from everything from pirates to poachers.

But the goal of Syed’s research is completely automated satellite photo analysis.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.