Birds eye of the coast line and ocean from above shot from a drone

Centre for Geospatial Applications

Satellites provide timely and comprehensive large spatial scale observations of the Earth’s surface, with aircrafts and drones providing detailed views, complementing in situ and shipboard measurements. The Centre for Geospatial Applications (CGA) team of experts apply and develop algorithms and software to produce data products from these on a commercial, operational basis.

The CGA focuses on Earth observation (EO), geographic information system (GIS), and data visualisation activities, providing local, to regional and global Earth observation data and analysis in relation to:

  • Industrial operations such as for shipping (including i.e. fouling risks projections), oil spill detection and coastal power plants, e.g. monitoring jellyfish blooms and drifting seaweed concentrations
  • Food security through fisheries and aquaculture, e.g. the impact of harmful algal blooms and monitoring illegal, unlicensed and unreported fishing
  • Water quality, e.g. eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, identification of floating debris including marine plastics

Near real time and delayed time satellite data are available as well as access to long term time-series data. Technical support is provided, with a 24/7 option available.  A comprehensive open source web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) tool has been developed by the team and is available for visualisation and analysis of geospatial data.  
Clients range from UK and international SME’s to large multi-nationals as well as government departments and intergovernmental organisations. The CGA is closely aligned with the Plymouth Marine Laboratory Earth Observation experts, globally acknowledged as being at the forefront of developing and refining techniques, improving accuracy of the information that can be gained from satellites, aircraft and drones.
Training courses by our experts on using satellite data for ocean observation are available for a range of audiences. CGA is working with the intergovernmental European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) to provide training on using satellite-based ocean observation Sentinel-3 data from Copernicus, a European system for monitoring the Earth using satellites and ‚Äčin situ sensors.

For further information and enquiries please contact: Ben Calton, who heads up the CGA.

Upcoming training

Copernicus Marine Data Stream for Ocean Applications Online Training course - Summer 2021

PML Applications Ltd is running this training course on behalf of EUMETSAT through the Copernicus Marine Ocean Training Contract. 

The purpose of this EUMETSAT Copernicus Marine Data Stream (CMDS) training course is to share knowledge, skills, resources and code so attendees are able to independently access and process data from Sentinel-3, supporting missions and CMEMS for their marine work-flows and applications...  Read more


The intergovernmental European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), a global operational satellite agency, contracts PML Applications to provide training to international stakeholders on using satellite-based ocean observation data. PML Applications’ considerable satellite data analysis and visualisation expertise means that they are ideally suited for this important activity. 

Christine Traeger-Chatterjee - Training Officer, User Support and Climate Services at EUMETSAT

PML Applications helped us plan and deliver a virtual 2-day workshop on ‘Using earth observation for water quality monitoring’.  The team were so generous with their time and expertise - they helped plan the programme, gave very engaging presentations about their own research, participated in a discussion panel and ran two excellent training sessions.  The workshop was attended by 174 delegates from 19 countries and received overwhelmingly positive feedback – we are extremely grateful to PML Applications staff for their invaluable support in making it such a great success.  We would welcome the opportunity to work with them again!

Paula Lightfoot - Earth Observation Specialist at JNCC