21–23 September 2020, Online
7th International Workshop on On-Board Payload Data Compression (OBPDC 2020)


The spatial and spectral resolution of space borne instruments is increasing steadily. Assuming a linear trend for the increase of instruments’ resolution, the growth of produced data volume follows a quadratic curve, or even a cubic one in case of multi-band instruments. Together with the need of continuous observations, all this results in Big Data volumes to be handled on-board. Mission planners are increasingly coming up against the thorny problem of how to manage such Big Data from Space – in particular, how to handle them on-board and relay them down to the ground. Because of the huge amount of data, powerful compression algorithms are required to match the available channel resources. Moreover, many Earth Observation satellites are required to transmit data on-ground in real time, this means that compression devices with very high throughput are requested.

As outlined here above, it can be considered that “Big Data” starts on-board. For some specific very high-resolution missions, it can happen that data compression cannot be powerful enough in order to download all the science data on ground. Optical data relay could be a solution, but not always affordable for low-budget missions. In this edition of OBPDC, particular emphasis will be placed on the topic of data reduction, that means that, on top of data compression, other pre-processing techniques will be taken into account, e.g. cloud detection, Region of Interest selection, feature extraction etc. A dedicated round table will be organised, among others, on the topic of data reduction, with particular emphasis on cloud detection, on-board classification, feature extraction, deep learning, etc.
At the same time, effective data compression and data reduction algorithms require powerful hardware for the on-board implementation. A well-established trend for High Performance Computing is the use of COTS component, as demonstrated in “cubesats”. COTS-based implementations of compression and data reduction will be one of the major topic of the workshop.

The On-Board Payload Data Compression Workshop aims to bring together all the professionals working in the field, to share the latest ideas and developments and to pave the way for the future technological challenges. This Workshop is co-organised by ESA and CNES and it will be hosted in an online event on 21 and 23 of September 2020.

The top-quality papers presented at the workshop are invited to submit an extended version to Remote Sensing Special Issue:"Remote Sensing Data Compression"(

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