New technologies – AI and satellite imagery, area of ​​excellence of French intelligence

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The many satellites in orbit around the Earth provide valuable information on major conflicts such as the war in Ukraine. Every day, thousands of these satellite images are recovered by the French intelligence services. These images are analyzed using artificial intelligence programs developed by a young French company.

In the field of military intelligence, France has satellite image analysis software considered by international experts to be the most efficient in the world.

The artificial intelligence programs developed by the young French company Preligenscreated in 2016, allow French intelligence agents to decrypt today in a few minutes thousands of images from satellites, whereas these operations previously took several days. These devices are capable, after analysis of the images, of issuing alerts on the evolution of a crisis situation. ” This software automatically detects all objects of military interest “says Eve Arakelian, communication and marketing director of Preligens.

Objects detected in seconds

This highly specialized software is able to detect objects of military interest in a few seconds on a satellite image. This is why we work exclusively with intelligence. The objects in question can be planes, ships, armored vehicles, anti-aircraft defense systems or even the number of tents in refugee camps, in order to estimate the evolution of a crisis situation, for example.

But what is important to understand is that our company has no access to sovereign data from the defense and military intelligence services. And to train our visual recognition algorithms, we buy very good resolution satellite images from, for example, the constellation Airbus Neo and Pléiade or with the American company Maxxar. And once trained, we install our artificial intelligence programs in the computers of intelligence agents who will use them on satellite images that we will never have consulted, continues Eve Arakelian.

We provide our geospatial image analysis solutions mainly to France, but we also work with the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and also with NATO intelligence agencies. Finally, we have developed an equivalent program within the European Union. »

Evidence of massacres

The programs of the young company Preligens are, without a doubt, used to analyze in detail the satellite images of the war in ukraine. Information that is, most of the time, classified for obvious reasons of discretion, in order to effectively carry out counterintelligence operations.

Some of this geospatial data has, however, been published, in particular by American news agencies and media, allowing Internet users to examine the movements of troops, to identify columns of tanks. The satellite photos of the conflict also revealed the extent of the destruction in the country and provided the first evidence of the massacres of civilians that were perpetrated by the Russian military.

If you have any questions or suggestions, you can write to us at nouvelles.technologies@rfi.fr

© RFI

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New technologies – AI and satellite imagery, area of ​​excellence of French intelligence


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