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27/10/2022 News

From observations to decisions

  • The DEMETER web application developed between Pau and Paris covers four themes: renewable energies, greenhouse gases, vegetation, and water.
  • Developed by the TotalEnergies R&D Division, DEMETER recovers data from satellite images to make them “useful” for Company activities. 
  • Combined with artificial intelligence, the images hold a whole host of crucial information for the implementation of sustainable energy solutions.

"Making Earth observation more accessible for low-carbon energy" is the ambition of the Demeter project, which comprises around 15 researchers, more than half of them based in Pau at the CSTJF. "For several years now, it has been increasingly easy to access free space images. All you need is a computer, a mouse and a bit of patience to download photos of any site you want, seen from space..." explains Anthony Credoz, Head of the Demeter project since 2021. "And yet these raw images do not readily reveal their secrets. That’s where the idea came from to create a web platform and software applications to recover data from images, and then sort, classify, analyze and correct them, to convert them into information with added value for Company operations." The first version of Demeter has been up and running since May 2022 and about a hundred TotalEnergies entities have already logged on to it.


When an image becomes instrumental in decision-making

The combination of images and new digital technologies has revolutionized data interpretation. Storage and calculations in the cloud are almost instantaneous, and the final image is displayed on-screen in just a few seconds. Artificial intelligence and its powerful algorithms transform a simple observation tool into a crucial part of the decision-making process. Today the Demeter web application is a valuable asset for strategic areas such as reducing greenhouse emissions, developing solar and wind energy, carbon storage in forests, the evaluation of water resources, and so on. About a dozen "products" are available on the menu in just a few clicks through four themes: renewable energies, greenhouse gases, vegetation, and water.
"The spectrum of applications is extremely large," Anthony Credoz confirms. "DEMETER gives our end users inhouse a new perspective on their activities." In the renewable energies sector, the images analyzed by DEMETER facilitate the prospection of sites for the construction of solar and wind energy facilities, both offshore and onshore. As regards greenhouse gases, the images help detect and quantify the major potential methane and carbon dioxide emissions on industrial sites worldwide. The business lines will also be able to monitor the status of nearby water resources and evaluate – based on images of vegetation – the farmland resources available for the production of bioenergies and the capacity of forests to store carbon dioxide.



New uses in the pipeline

2023 will see the release of a new version of DEMETER. With twice as many "products" – 24 instead of the current 12 – to provide solutions to new applications suggested by users. "User experience is going to be revised and navigating through the application will be even easier. Employees will be able to generate files and export them into the software applications they use every day," Anthony Credoz explains. It’s still too early to reveal the new applications for DEMETER, but the team is hard at work training in the forest in Pau and at the Platform for Experimental Research in Lacq, to test the consistency of space data in the field.