Shifting lines and new horizons in Earth observation markets

Shifting lines and new horizons in Earth observation markets

The growth in demand for Earth observation (EO) data has triggered significant interest by established operators and NewSpace companies whose strategies are a mixture of higher resolution and higher revisit. There are two main options: the high end approach, with increased imagery resolution for customers acknowledging the value of these products and the service approach, which assumes that value comes from the information and services derived from EO data. Expanding on their first article on disruptive trends in EO (ROOM, Summer 2017), the authors now add a prospective dimension, reviewing possible scenarios and their consequences, addressing the convergence between commercial […] Read more

Safeguarding Our Most Precious Resource: Water

Safeguarding Our Most Precious Resource: Water

According to this year’s Global Risk Report by the World Economic Forum, water crises are one of the five biggest risks to society. ESA is working with development banks to help water-resource authorities use information from satellites to manage this precious resource.

With water under pressure from over-exploitation and pollution, one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

While progress is being made, there are ever-increasing demands for freshwater, especially for agriculture. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization states that 70% of the freshwater drawn is used for […] Read more

ESA Partners with Iceye to Explore Earth Observation Opportunities

ESA Partners with Iceye to Explore Earth Observation Opportunities

Iceye has announced a partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) to mutually explore opportunities provided by Iceye’s technology. The cooperation encompasses activities that focus on the design of Iceye’s microsatellite and its X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrument, as well as identifying the most promising applications for the data collected by such a microsatellite constellation.

According to Iceye, its Earth Observation (EO) data benefits both researchers and a wide range of commercial industries. Challenging issues such as natural disaster response and climate change research, oil spill and illegal fishing detection all require repeated and timely imaging, regardless of the weather conditions or time […] Read more

Radar returns to remote sensing through free, near-real-time global imagery

Radar returns to remote sensing through free, near-real-time global imagery

Satellite imagery has transformed how we assess changes in forest cover.

The standard optical sensors carried by Earth-orbiting satellites capture the energy from sunlight reflected off objects on the Earth’s surface. These sensors recognize levels of brightness and color in the reflectance, which enables users to distinguish between greener and browner vegetation, or row crops and savannah, as well as among objects, such as tree species, with different chemical properties.

They cannot, however, see though clouds. Clouds block the reflectance data from reaching the sensor, which limits the effectiveness of even high-resolution (3-5 meter) satellite data, such as Planet or DigitalGlobe, in rainy regions like the Amazon.

The Monitoring of the Andean […] Read more

Regional Data Cube to Help Manage Food Security in Africa

Regional Data Cube to Help Manage Food Security in Africa

The African Regional Data Cube has been launched at the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data’s inaugural Data for Development Festival in the United Kingdom. This new tool harnesses the latest Earth observation and satellite technology to help Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Tanzania address food security as well as issues relating to agriculture, deforestation, and water access. The Committee on Earth Observation Satellite (CEOS) in partnership with the Group on Earth Observations, Amazon Web Services, and Strathmore University in Kenya developed the data cube.

While satellite data is not new, it has traditionally been difficult to access and use, limiting its […] Read more