Novel Technologies and Collaborations
Commercial satellite imaging has become helpful in many applications that include healthcare, defense, and agriculture. The high quality images of the Earth and the planet’s oceans provide important insights for organizations to take further steps in analyzing client requests.
Each company operating in this space has been generating images ranging more than 100 terabytes (TB) per day for an entire year and new companies have been launching their satellites on a regular basis. According to Janice Starzyk, the Vice President of Commercial Space at Bryce Space and Technology, an analytics and engineering firm, more than 40 companies have launched commercial imaging satellites during the past decade. Nearly 36 Earth Observation (EO)vcompanies are startups and 21 of these firms were founded between 2014 and 2019.
These new satellites are equpped with the latest technologies to ensure the capture of enhanced image quality in any conditions at any location. Pproviding high quality images and also making them quickly available to customers is a priority for image providers. They have adopted collaborative approaches to enable rapid service to their customers across different domains as well as developing solutions that are focused on particular market segments, such as precision agriculture.
The market for commercial satellite imaging continues to gain momentum. According to a report published by Allied Market Research, the global commercial satellite imaging market is expected to generate $5.25 billion by 2026. Following are some of the activities occuring within global commercial satellite services.
Commercial satellite imagery providers have been equipping their satellites with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to gain enhanced quality of images. PredaSAR Corporation announced that the company will launch 48 satellites via the Falcon 9 launch vehicle of SpaceX. With the help of this technology, these satellites will capture the images of the Earth in 2D and 3D at any time and in any weather conditions.
Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc., the launch integration provider and manufacturer of the spacecraft, is collaborating with PredaSAR and SpaceX to execute these deployment plans.
Roger Teague, Maj. Gen. USAF (Ret) and the CEO at PredaSAR, highlighted that the company aims to offer essential rapid insights and data to both military and commercial companies. The company collaborated with SpaceX to realize the PredaSAR constellation vision of offering consistent and fast ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance).
Companies have been enhancing their satellite capabilities to gain better image views. ICEYE, a New Space concern from Finland, launched their SAR smallsats that are able to capture 25 cm resolution imagery. This high resolution enables the company to achieve the the resolution quality of larger and more conventional commercial SAR satellites. Pekka Laurila, the CSO and Co-founder at ICEYE, highlighted that this new resolution was made available to company customers in mid-2020.
The company’s solution provides a native slant plane resolution of 25 cm in the azimuth direction. Moreover, it offers 50 cm resolution in the range direction before ground-plane adjustments are applied. This high resolution imagery data is offered in ICEYE's standard product formats and can be accessed through standard geographic information system (GIS) tools.
Dr. Mark Matossian, the CEO of the U.S. subsidiary of ICEYE, outlined that the 25 cm resolution SAR imaging in smallsats is a ground-breaking advancement. Commercial and government customers can avail themselves of detailed change detection capabilities, carry out improved object classification as well as monitor small objects from orbit.
SkyWatch Space Applications has joined with AgIntegrated Inc., a software consulting and technology integration firm that provides precision satellite imaging for agriculture concerns. AgIntegrated provides access to the SkyWatch EarthCache, a platform that provides the satellite data, to customers. Graham Stickler, the Chief Marketing Officer at SkyWatch, outlined that collaboration enables the company to offer essential Earth-imagery access.
SkyWatch is offering imagery through AgIntegrated’s Field Data Exchange, an application program interface (API), to agriculture related applications. During the coming years, AgIntegrated will offer aerial and drone imagery along with data analytics through its platform.
Mike Santostefeno, the Vice President for Business Development at AgIntegrated, outlined that collaboration with SkyWatch helps to solve issues related to imagery data for agriculture. Customers do not need to purchase the entire satellite swath — they can purchase data from particular areas of interest that can be as specific as one-tenth of square kilometer.
Additional information regarding commercial satellite imaging is available at this direct infolink...
Author Pratik Kirve is writer, blogger and sport enthusiast. He holds a bachelors degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering and is currently Sr. Specialist — Content Writer at Allied Market Research.