Based on high-resolution photos and precise space data, the National Space Sciences Agency (NSSA) has undertaken a census to examine the number of palm trees throughout the kingdom. The study is in keeping with the NSSA’s strategic goal of addressing national needs by delivering space data and earth observation information that support the national comprehensive development agenda and advance space science.

About this subject, Space Data Analyst Shaima Al Meer said:

The study had been conducted by NSSA’s Lab for Processing Satellite Images and Data in a relatively record time, by using artificial intelligence techniques to deal with the huge data collected over the past months through satellites orbiting in the near space of the Earth and monitoring changes on its surface. This study is an important source of information for relevant government agencies, as it provides accurate and reliable results related to agricultural development, environment protection and food security.

It’s worth noting that this is one of the studies that the NSSA conducts every two years to update the agricultural geographical database, which the Agency built and is responsible for overseeing. This study demonstrates the advantages of utilizing satellite data and AI algorithms to provide timely, accurate and less costly data to decision makers.

Engineer Aysha Al Hajeri, and Space Data Analyst, said:

The study was the second to be conducted in the last 24 months, and was proud to have contributed to the study that benefits the country. She went on to say that the analysis revealed a 16 percent increase in the number of palm trees in the Kingdom over the previous study, demonstrating the monarchy’s effective plantation and food security programs.

During the last quarter of this year, the NSSA, in partnership with three national agencies specialized in the agricultural sector and a foreign entity, intends to launch a unique project at the level of the Kingdom, which is to exploit space technologies and the Internet of things to support agricultural development efforts and improve production quality.