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Using satellite images for business

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Satellite Imagery

Satellite images can be used to solve different data asymmetry challenges and business problems. The industries that benefit the most from this are agriculture, forestry, intelligence and military, land planning, geological and hydrological research.

Not long ago, Earth Observation data was only available to government-employed analysts to monitor and analyze worldwide events. Nowadays, almost any person can access this data for personal or business purposes. Also, companies that provide these services allow the integration of satellite imagery API that extend their data sources and indices.

As of now, geospatial data has become more valuable than ever. This is mainly due to three obvious reasons: A significant decrease in satellite and launch manufacturing costs; small payload launches have also become cheap; bandwidth cost has drastically gone down. With the use of AI analytics, many different businesses can now get essential insights from satellite images and make informed decisions.

The quality of a satellite image depends on the satellite’s orbit and the payload. For example, a 10m resolution indicates that anything below that level will get pixelated and may also be analyzed. High-resolution images ranging from 5m to 0.3m have become the mainstream for data collection. Satellite images are classified in the following way:

High resolution has a value of 0.3m – 5m

The medium resolution has a value of 5m – 10m

The low resolution has a value of 10m and above

High-resolution images provide the most information, but there are certain cases where we can use medium and low image resolutions, especially when analyzing large land cover.

This article will elaborate on the critical use cases of satellite images in business and science.

Business and Science Use

Mining

Aerial photography and satellite imagery are now vital tools used in mineral exploration projects. They provide field crews and geologists with the locations of roads, inhabited areas, obstructions, and tracts. So, experts can use the data to map accessible routes to mining regions with little negative environmental impact.

Satellite images are also beneficial to scientists, geologists, and exploration managers because of the multiple bands the satellites have that allow them to process and analyze wavelengths not visible to the human eye. Thermal infrared, shortwave infrared, and near-infrared are often used to identify different objects on the earth’s surface.

Researchers can use thematic mapping and multispectral imaging to collect and analyze absorption and reflection properties of rocks, soils, and vegetation. Now, photogeologists can use the data obtained from satellite imagery to identify soil, clays, and oxide types.

Energy and infrastructure

Exploration of oil, minerals, and gas is one of the most established markets in remote sensing. With the aid of remote sensing, experts can discover suitable areas for oil and gas exploration worldwide. Remote sensing can pinpoint locations for 2D and 3D surveys for drilling programs using satellite images and geophysical and geological interpretation.

Defense

Defense contractors and government agencies can now have access to geospatial products and services provided by the satellite imaging companies for security mapping and defense.

The security programs of any local government can be augmented using satellite imagery and GIS maps. It helps them better develop tactics to protect properties, provide economic stability, and ultimately save lives. Some threats that could be prevented range from information attacks and incidents of terrorism to the spread of infectious diseases and the potential use of weapons of mass destruction.

Oil and gas

GIS and satellite images provide project managers an overall view of oil and gas development and exploration operations. The specialists can monitor production fields remotely and support the assessment of facilities, emergencies, pipeline corridor planning, and hazards that may be harmful to workers.

Research

Images from satellites can be optimized using the correct combinations of multispectral bands to create maps for vegetation indices, such as SAVI, NDVI, and RNDVI. Using GIS and land cover maps, researchers can now integrate population and satellite data efficiently.

Commercial satellite imaging market

The global commercial satellite imaging market has been boosted by the rise in the use of satellite data in smart city planning, location-based services, connecting vehicles, and defense services. The North American market generated the most revenue from the commercial satellite imaging market in 2020. However, mission deployments and new product deliveries slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, market growth is hindered by strict government regulations. Despite all of this, there is an expected surge in incorporating new technologies, which will open multiple opportunities for those seeking to get into this business.

Allied Market Research published a report which shows that in 2020, the global commercial satellite imaging market was about $2.63 billion and is expected to hit $6.99 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR rate of 10.8 percent.

Conclusion

Satellite imagery and remote sensing have become an integral part of human society’s development, and many businesses are using them. It can help provide better insights, giving specialists the ability to make informed decisions. It can also help to cut the cost of labor and resources needed to accomplish certain tasks.

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