AI+X researchers win COVID-19 Custom Script Contest from the European Space Agency

May 21, 2020


Dr. Mauricio Pamplona Segundo, a postdoctoral researcher at the USF Institute for Artificial Intelligence + X (AI+X), Dr. Rodrigo Minetto, UTFPR faculty (Brazil), and Dr. Sudeep Sarkar, Professor and Chair of Computer Science and Engineering, and co-director of AI+X Institute, were the sixth week’s winners of the COVID-19 Custom Script Contest launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the monthly winners in the “Human Activity Distribution” category.

This contest focused on the support of space assets during the COVID-19 crisis. ESA, in coordination with the European Commission, is looking for ideas on how satellite data could help monitor and mitigate the situation for the upcoming months while the world will organize to get back to business and will need to adapt from this crisis.

The awarded work was entitled “Measuring Airport Activity from Sentinel-2 Imagery to Support Decision-Making during COVID-19 Pandemic”. It showed how to detect airplanes in the air and on the ground over an area of 700 square miles around the Charles de Gaulle International Airport. The authors devised an indicator, based on AI and deep learning, of abnormal behavior in human activity by analyzing the number of detections over a two-year sequence of satellite imagery.

To learn more about the contest, go here.