GEOCART at the Canada-Italy Business Forum on artificial intelligence
October 20, 2021
After the opening of the new North American headquarters in Montreal, Geocart will be present at the next Italy-Canada Business Forum to talk about the new research and development activities based on artificial intelligence in the fields of earth observation as well as environmental and infrastructure monitoring.
In Canada and Quebec, the green economy is the most important axis of the economic recovery strategy. Environmental impact is therefore a key topic and a development priority shared by Western countries, which is being addressed by examining the potential environmental damages caused by the raw materials' processing cycle, starting from extraction, through transport and transformation into energy and finished products, up to the potential environmental damage generated by final elimination or disposal.
The effective management of power grids' maintenance is strictly related to environmental protection and can contribute to contain environmental impacts through the predictive analysis of the damage caused by the electrical infrastructure's interference on vegetation and, more generally, on local plants and animals.
One of the main causes of forest fires, which are our planet's green lungs, is related both to the poor infrastructure maintenance and the tree interference with power lines. In 2018, in the United States, the wildfires that ravaged some states and caused more than 100 victims and $12 billion in damage, were provoked by obsolete power grids and poor control over the vegetation growth near cables.
Effective networks monitoring and control can prevent natural disasters, which cost human and animal lives, as well as money, and impoverish the landscape, due to the deforestation of lands that will take decades to recover. Moreover, it allows to optimize energy saving in electricity transmission and offers an efficient service that minimizes the occurrence of prolonged interruptions in electricity distribution to citizens and enterprises, which is essential for any business and economy.
Artificial Intelligence is both an accelerator and facilitator in improving these activities. Geocart is investing in the research and development project "Geo A.I.", which involves a qualified team of experts working on different fields of application that aim to link Artificial Intelligence to Earth Observation. The development of a software platform will enable us to carry out automated analyses of environmental and infrastructures monitoring and control operations. Machine learning and automatic recognition of data and images will make it easier for operators to quickly identify geometries, network elements (such as cables and supports) and criticalities, in order to draw up detailed maintenance, emergency plans and rapid responses.
The automatic detection of anomalies through the development of machine learning algorithms is crucial to enhance network security and environmental protection, granting customers a further improvement in service delivery times and cost benefits. The software will allow to completely automate some processing methods, such as the classification of the point clouds coming from laser scanner surveys.
The analysis of lidar data, orthophotos and satellite images through the A.I. software platform will also provide regular and accurate information on the state of vegetation in the vicinity of the infrastructures. In addition to the automatic detection of high-risk points, the tool will include several features that will allow to perform a detailed predictive analysis. The software will automatically calculate growth rates for each classified tree species, and assign priorities and associated cost estimates, to ensure more aware management of infrastructure monitoring activities and activate timely and constant control, even remotely.
In addition, application of Satellite Technologies combined with Artificial Intelligence, and in particular the automated optical and radar image processing, will provide an innovative system for protection of citizens and the planet. The software platform will allow to monitor the stability of strategic infrastructures (roads, bridges, dams, railways) and territorial transformations (drainage basin variations, deforestation, landslide, subsidence and soil deformation phenomena) in relation to climate change, extreme phenomena and anthropization.
The rationale behind the project, therefore, is offering customers a valid tool supporting decision-making processes, to reach a perfect balance between effectiveness and efficiency: maximum service reliability combined with resource savings, environmental impact mitigation and protection of individuals as well as the environment.