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The Hephaestus application is a software product that allows access to complex sets of data that were traditionally only available to experts in Earth Observation and Remote Sensing teams. This application was initially conceived as a result of the Chilean Mining opportunity funded by Innovate UK.
The pilot application showed how the satellite data products could be visualized in 3D by end-users without requiring any specialist knowledge, skills or expensive hardware. This interactive application allows users to “fly” through the region of Chile where the products were created and navigate directly to specific points of interest.
Hephaestus showcases the potential of using satellite-based data to drive business process changes, reducing the need to visit the locations and reaching a broad number of stakeholders. Collectively, the tools demonstrate how satellite data and analytics can enable and facilitate evidence-based decisions, to help agencies clearly identify where they should focus their efforts in order to support and accelerate regional mining ecosystems.
The aim of the application and associated satellite-derived data products is to deliver significant economic improvements to Chile’s mining sector over the next decade, as well as improvements in the environmental management of extractive industries, which would also have broader applicability worldwide. There are several activities currently being undertaken within South America to seek future funding opportunities and projects and the outputs of this project are also supporting this.
We are not actively working on project Hephaestus now, but we continue to use a lot of the technologies and modules that were used within that original project. We have continued to develop on top that. Furthermore, that project continues to be a brilliant example of the power of satellite technology for the mining industry.