The year of data: What 2023 has in store

Radical shifts are on the horizon — and we must be prepared.

Sfera Technologies
4 min readJan 30, 2023

To say that 2022 was eventful would be an understatement. Just as the pandemic eased, the world was jolted by the first full-scale war in Europe since World War II. In the meantime, inflation has spiraled, energy markets have been shaken, and AI has taken off — for the moment it’s threatening mostly illustrators and copywriters. We won’t even mention what the crypto world went through with FTX and Alameda. They are no more, and their collapse is symptomatic of the problems plaguing the industry. To put it softly, things are in a state of flux.

While all this has made Sfera Technologies revisit roadmaps, plans and epics, we’ve weathered the storm and charted a more efficient course.

In 2022, without fanfare, we set the stage to create the the most efficient satellite data delivery system. We further expanded our ground station network, established partnerships with space companies, supported high-profile events, and progressed with the development of our systems.

But first, a recap.

From the Equator to the ice caps and the edge (in) space

We’ve already spoken about the value of Earth Observation (EO) data and the means to democratize it through our HomePort platform and our tokenization framework — Ephemeris. Throughout 2022, we’ve built a solid basis for a kick-ass product:

  • We partnered with Satellogic to supply very high resolution multispectral (MSI) and hyperspectral (HSI) imagery to the entire Southeast Europe region. The NASDAQ-listed company is a leader in affordable EO data, operating a constellation of 30 satellites providing imagery with up to 70 cm resolution;
  • We have further expanded our ground station network, signing agreements or MoUs to include 14 more locations in our pipeline to be activated by Q2 2023 — including three new US sites, four new Europe sites, two new Africa sites, two new South America sites, and three new Asia sites, all operating X-band stations suitable for EO data downlink, bringing our total network size to 28;
  • We established a partnership with Canadian space startup Exodus Orbitals to develop new solutions for in-space data processing and integrations with ground networks;
  • We were a co-organizer and key backer of the 2022 Bulgarian National Space Research Forum, which gathered in one place the European Space Agency, OneWeb, Intelsat, IBM Space, the European Innovation Council, Satellogic, Vivacom and EnduroSat and other institutions that showcased the latest advances in the space industry;
  • We initiated several pilot projects for data delivery in the agricultural, insurance and disaster management sectors.
Sfera Technologies founder Zdravko Dimitrov presenting the HomePort data delivery system during the EO data panel of the 2022 Bulgarian National Space Exploration Forum. The panel covered the latest advances and trends in Earth Observation and included Sfera Technologies, IBM Space and Satellogic.

Data in 2023: breakout year?

There are strong indications that EO might take off immensely this year. Some companies like Skywatch and SkyFi have placed their bets on making data more widely used through intuitive interfaces and simple setups for EO data acquisition. UI is finally entering the equation as a potential game-changer, further facilitated by the growing diversity of suppliers which drives lower prices.

Now think of the factors currently affecting every sector — global security deterioration (defense), increasing disaster risks (insurance), food insecurity (agriculture), climate emergency (every industry seeking vastly improved ESG compliance). All these require data streams for improvements and efficiency upgrades.

Add the tremendous recent advances in AI to the mix and voila —we have a perfect storm of factors that enable EO data to be easily procured and digested, a phenomenon entirely driven by organic demand that will only grow in the coming decade.

The missing pieces

There remains, however, one more problem — data offerings are still too fragmented to become a meaningful, consistent component of business processes. Businesses don’t just need useful data, they need to know it can be smoothly fed into their operations so it can make a real difference.

This is where we come in. HomePort is designed to optimize the delivery of data through better infrastructure, both in terms of receiving (downlink) and delivery (UI+API). Our efforts so far have been focused on building the data delivery system of the future.

Finally, with our efforts to adapt this system for a decentralized user base through our Ephemeris Protocol, we seek to supercharge Web3 with EO data sources, radically changing the space from one operating in a data bubble to a universe of decentralized projects capable of solving real-world problems.

To sum it up, 2023 will be the breakout year for EO data — and we plan to be at the forefront. More news coming soon…