New frontiers

Using space data to address climate change

Carine Saüt works with some of Europe’s leading climate experts, applying space data to address society’s problems such as climate change. Here, she gives us an insight into her work

“When I was seven years old, I dreamed about working with the European Space Agency,” says Carine Saüt. “Now it’s in my job description.”

Through her work as a business developer in Capgemini’s science and space applications team, Carine tries to find solutions to the problems facing society – using data gathered from space.

“My role is to promote this new and exciting field as an answer to some of the biggest challenges we face like climate change,” she says. “And in doing so, I work with major partners such as the European Union and ESA.”

It’s raining data from space

According to Carine, the scope and potential of space data is growing all the time. “The Copernicus program, for example, is the largest earth observation European program in history,” she says. “It generates huge amounts of data from numerical simulation outputs, in-situ networks, and of course the satellites. So, it’s raining data, all which is open and free to access.”

According to Carine, the sheer volume of data, together with the maturity of cloud and AI technology, has enabled a huge leap forward in terms of monitoring the Earth, and improving our understanding of climate related issues.

A climate platform powered by data and AI

As a digital integration specialist, Capgemini is at the heart of collecting, processing and enhancing this data. “We play an important role at the European level through our digital climate platform. Essentially, Capgemini operates a sustainable IT environment in which the top scientific researchers in Europe can provide their expertise on algorithms, code and simulators, to help us make sense of all the data.”

In simple terms, AI and algorithms are used to valorize the data, which massively reduces the time it takes to process all the information pouring in from the Earth observation missions, allowing better insights to be drawn more quickly.

“It means that the entire European ecosystem, from scientists, citizens and businesses, to public and private authorities, can access and explore the information being generated by ESA satellites, almost as soon as it is processed,” says Carine.

Using space data to answer society’s challenges

Turning raw data into useful insights is crucial for helping policymakers and organisations make better decisions for society and the planet, says Carine. “Insights from space data can be applied to address many areas related to climate change, such as food security, agriculture, air quality, smart mobility, and the reduction of CO2 emissions more broadly.

“For example, our platforms can facilitate near-real-time decision-making based on intelligent indicators of air quality, the spread of deforestation or urbanization, or the state of the oceans and crops.”

Carine explains that her work is aligned with the high level goals set by the UN and EU, such as Sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate action, the European Green Deal, which is the growth strategy for Europe.

“Space data provides clear evidence of climate change, and allows people to see the bigger picture. Our platforms and apps are intended to enable the right decision at the right time, to improve society and improve people’s everyday lives.

Working at the cutting edge

Working with agencies such as ESA is a source of great pride for Carine. “I feel incredibly lucky to be working with the leading experts in Europe on tackling climate change with advanced satellite technology and data driven solutions. They’re very open and easy to work with because they want to collaborate with companies like ours, and I find that very motivating.”

And what would Carine say to anyone with a scientific background considering working for Capgemini?

“Open the door,” she says. “You can’t imagine what we have in Capgemini. Forget your assumptions about traditional IT companies: we are much, much more than that.”

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