Sentinel Hub - Easy Access to Satellite Imagery

The startup from Graz is revolutionising the EO industry with its cloud-based processing service that provides unprecedented access to global archives of satellite data
The Team behind Sentinel Hub (from left to right): Chung-Xiang Hong, Maxim Lamare, Dorothy Rono, William Ray, Pontus Berg and Max Kampen. (zur Verfügung gestellt von Sentinel Hub)

With European satellites alone capturing dozens of terabytes of Earth observation (EO) data every day, there is an obvious need for an effective way to access and manage this deluge of data. Sentinel Hub provides a solution to this by taking on the complex challenges of downloading, archiving and processing petabytes (PB) of raw data and making complete global archives of satellite data available via web services. This allows users to focus on data analysis and solution development rather than dealing with data wrangling.

Winners with innovative solutions

Sentinel Hub GmbH is a Graz-based startup and graduate of the ESA BIC Austria programme that operates in the field of EO. The company was founded in 2016 after the satellite image processing service Sentinel Hub had won the Copernicus Masters Award. Geographers, developers and remote sensing engineers from six different countries make up the diverse team, which focuses on developing value-added services and providing actionable information from satellite imagery. By combining various technical backgrounds, they are able to produce tailored solutions for a wide range of applications in environmental monitoring, disaster relief and land management, to name a few. Special customer requests such as the generation of cloudless mosaics, which are derived from a temporal stack of images and usually cover large areas, can be easily handled by Sentinel Hub.

Great potential

Sentinel Hub's API (Application Programming Interface) for processing EO data leverages cloud technology with innovative and efficient processing methods to make both freely available and commercial VHR satellite data easily accessible to anyone through a common platform. The service powers hundreds of applications around the world, processes more than 200 million requests each month, and delivers more than 7 PB of satellite data to value-added service providers. The free visualisation web tools EO Browser and Sentinel Playground are prime examples of the service's strength.

"It's time to stop downloading and processing EO data on your personal computer and rather bring your workflows and algorithms to the data in the cloud."

Instead of downloading large amounts of raw satellite data that requires complex pre-processing before analysis, users send their algorithms and processing instructions to the cloud-based service and within seconds receive analysis-ready EO data that can be seamlessly integrated into their workflows (read more). Hence, both non-expert and expert users can focus on deriving meaningful information and respond to today's challenges in novel ways to make sustainable decisions in their respective fields. In this way, Sentinel Hub facilitates the global monitoring of environmental processes and makes an important contribution to climate change mitigation and the green transition.

EO and AI

The Sentinel Hub team notes that "despite a large customer base, this streamlined way of processing EO data is far from reaching its full potential, as we believe it is still underutilised." Future plans include expanding the existing support for machine learning workflows and AI-powered applications (read more). To broaden the reach of their ground-breaking service, the team is always looking for enthusiastic software developers, remote sensing experts, and data scientists.