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Dark side of the earth

Fund Name

Dark side of the earth

Project Value

Up to $800k



This UK R&D grant funding competition seeks to explore the feasibility and commercial potential of utilising satellite-based night-time datasets for various sectors.

Traditionally, remote sensing satellites operate during daylight hours, leaving nocturnal events and phenomena unmonitored. However, recent advancements have made medium and high-resolution commercial datasets available in both mid and thermal infrared, which were previously either low-resolution or confined to defence applications.

The scope of the proposed feasibility study activity is to assess the technical feasibility and commercial viability of innovative satellite-based downstream services and solutions leveraging on space-based night-time datasets for diverse vertical sectors.

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Fund details

The Open Competition call “The Dark Side of the Earth” promotes the development of new downstream applications that exploit existing and/or upcoming space assets during night-time, mainly through the use of visible, and infrared datasets.

The objective of the call is to:

  • develop new downstream applications based on events/phenomena that can only be observed at night-time;
  • develop new downstream applications based on events/phenomena that only occur at night-time;
  • enhance existing downstream applications with high temporal resolution requirements through the use of night-time observations;
  • consolidate the business plan for supporting an informed decision for investment in further activities and establish the roadmap for service implementation through a potential follow-on demonstration project.


  • Up to 200.000 Euro (firm-fixed-price)
  • 80% funding of the total cost
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