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north.io Pioneers a New Era in AI-and GPU-based Ocean Data Processing with NVIDIA

north.io Pioneers a New Era in AI-and GPU-based Ocean Data Processing with NVIDIA

San Jose /Kiel - March 18, 2024 -  Geospatial cloud specialist north.io today announced it aims to revolutionize the modeling, collection, and processing of ocean data using NVIDIA technologies.

“The synergy between north.io’s innovative TrueOcean marine data platform and NVIDIA’s cutting-edge technologies is unlocking unparalleled insights into our oceans, signifying a new era in oceanic data exploration,”

states Jann Wendt (37), CEO of north.io. 

Wendt at the same time highlights the significance of increasing efforts in the region between the North and Baltic Seas, noting it as a major stride towards digitalization:

“The horizon of opportunity extends beyond borders; high-tech leaders are now directing their gaze towards the 'true north' of Germany,”

adds Wendt.

He underscores the economic and ecological potential of digitalization for the state of Schleswig-Holstein, emphasizing also the importance for the security of the critical maritime infrastructure in the region.

Jann Wendt at the opening of the NVIDIA GTCJann Wendt at the opening of  the NVIDIA GTC

Wendt will - together with Shilpa Kolhatkar, global head of AI nations business development at NVIDIA - speak on March 20 at the session “How AI and Accelerated Computing are Revolutionizing Oceanographic Data Processing” at the NVIDIA GTC global AI conference, to discuss how north.io is using NVIDIA technology to drive new insights.

Applying Next-Level AI and GPU Technology to Ocean Data

north.io teams have already successfully integrated three cutting-edge NVIDIA technologies into the TrueOcean platform. These are: NVIDIA Earth-2 platform and cloud services, NVIDIA Modulus, and NVIDIA RAPIDS. The combination of these technologies are helping unlock unprecedented insights and opportunities for oceanic use and protection:

“With the burgeoning blue economy driven by offshore wind energy production and underwater infrastructure projects, there’s an increasing demand for advanced oceanographic data processing and analysis. north.io is using NVIDIA technologies to deliver the scalability, speed, and efficiency needed to handle vast oceanic data, helping drive innovation and sustainability in this critical domain,”

says Dion Harris, Director, Data Center Product GTM at NVIDIA.

Results and Breakthrough Potential

The results of the technological integrations demonstrate immense potential in making projects more efficient while reducing risk and conserving resources at the same time.

“Leveraging Earth-2 and other NVIDIA technologies allow us to save months of work spent on adaptive planning, execution, and data processing”,

says Wendt.

Taking offshore wind energy as an example, according to Wendt, the world is predicted to use 1.8 terra-watts of energy from this sector by the year 2050.

“Applying our technology could result in an acceleration of 15 – 20 percent during the planning phases of new wind farms, therefore potentially saving globally billions in consequential costs of climate change. Furthermore, the combination of high-precision weather modeling and autonomous systems drastically reduces human safety risks in rough offshore environments,”

he adds.

The importance of north.io’s work is acknowledged by The Schmidt Ocean Institute in California. It is one of the world's leading and most respected research organizations funded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt:

“Ocean data is essential for understanding our planet, fighting climate change, developing renewable energy, and protecting marine life. The integration of advanced AI and GPU-based technologies in a variety of ways will enable a small revolution in the field,”

says Dr. Jyotika Virmani, Executive Director of the Institute.


Next Steps & Blue Paper

For those interested in learning more about these innovative advancements, Jann Wendt will present at the NVIDIA GTC AI conference on March 20 and 21. Additionally, the north.io team will exhibit at WindEurope 2024 in Bilbao, Spain from March 20-22, showcasing the transformative potential of TrueOcean. For a technical deep dive into the deployment of the NVIDIA technologies on the TrueOcean platform we invite you to download the Blue Paper: "Zeus: The Future of Geospatial Big Data Processing"


Background Information:

The Crucial Role of the Oceans

Our oceans are vital for climate regulation, renewable energy utilization, food production, and infrastructure development. Despite their significance, only about 25 percent of these vast waters have yet been mapped. Understanding our oceans is paramount in the face of climate change, requiring cutting-edge technologies to go beyond exploration and develop new approaches for climate understanding, nature protection, and sustainable development.

About north.io and TrueOcean

north.io specializes in geospatial cloud computing, with TrueOcean serving as a cloud-based ocean data platform driving successful offshore projects. TrueOcean is the geospatial data hub for wind farm lifecycles, facilitating accessible, discoverable, shareable, visualizable, and understandable marine, geo-referenced data. Digitalization and standardization within the platform enable automation, efficiency, and resource savings, empowering informed decision-making for all stakeholders.

About the Usage of NVIDIA Earth-2

Autonomous systems, including ships, surface vehicles and underwater vehicles, are on the verge of revolutionizing our understanding of the still largely unknown oceans. Accurate underwater data collection is critical to the expansion of offshore wind energy, the transformation of the global energy system, and global communications via cables. The integration of Earth-2 into the TrueOcean platform offers significant enhancements for smart operational planning, system management, and risk assessment for complex data collection with autonomous systems. By using the best available information on weather, historical conditions, sea state, and climate change impacts, it can optimize efficiency and risk mitigation.

About the usage of NVIDIA Modulus

To understand our oceans, we need to measure a variety of data sets, including high-resolution information about the seabed terrain. This involves using acoustic depth measurements such as multibeam echo sounding (MBES), which is based on precise knowledge of the sound velocity distribution in waters. Traditionally, obtaining this sound velocity data has been time-consuming and expensive. The team at north.io, using NVIDIA Modulus technology, has made it possible to apply physics-informed machine learning to predict sound velocity profiles without information about real-world conditions. The enormous power of NVIDIA GPUs means that calculations can be performed on each measurement point, rather than on a tiny subset of the data that can quickly reach billions per measurement. north.io’s innovative approach, which is currently being discussed with industry experts around the world, has the potential to take data accuracy to a whole new level, saving time and resources in the process.

About the usage of NVIDIA RAPIDS

Ocean data volumes are increasing rapidly due to the megatrends of autonomous systems, infrastructure and renewable developments, and bandwidth availability. Working with high-resolution data is already an enormous challenge and massively time-consuming. New approaches for ocean data processing using GPUs with parallelization can help. In the future, using the gold standard of raw sensor data will enable, more quickly, new insights, major efficiency gains, and risk mitigation of complex projects. RAPIDS, NVIDIA’s open-source suite of data processing and data science acceleration tools, offers the possibility to optimize point cloud calculations and supports tasks such as ship position alignment, mathematical operations for georeferencing, and efficient data storage. Initial results show a remarkable 2.5 to 3 times acceleration of distributed computing algorithms, which is achievable even with low-end GPUs.


Press Contact

Dr. Adrian Neumann 
Tel: +49-(0)431 363 054-10

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