Earth observation (EO) satellites find its applications in agriculture, weather prediction, environment monitoring, and mining industries, among others. The U.S., Canada, France, the U.K., Japan and India are some of the major countries who have developed earth observation (EO) satellites for different applications. With the data and images from EO satellites catering to ever increasing applications, several commercial players have come up with disruptive technologies such as integration of geospatial data with precision positioning which has given rise to opportunities in new segments such as precision agriculture, financial service, and retail industry among others. These trends along with the conventional ones are expected to consequently drive the market in coming years.

The global earth observation satellite, data and service market research study offers a wide perspective on the analysis of the industry. The research is based on extensive primary interviews (in-house experts, industry leaders, and market players) and secondary research (a host of paid, and unpaid databases), along with the analytical tools, that have been used to build the forecast and the predictive models.

The earth observation satellite, data and service market is not expected to play out the same way for every region or end user, so this report segments the market accordingly and breaks down the industry geographically as follows: North America (the U.S. and Canada), Europe (France, the U.K., Germany, Russia, and Rest-of-Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Rest-of-APAC), Latin America, Middle East and Africa, and others. Each regional analysis details the individual push and pull forces in addition to the key players from that particular region.

The era of satellites particularly for earth observation began many years ago in 1957 with Sputnik 1 satellite that orbited the earth every 96 minutes and communicated the radio signals received from the earth. Post this, many satellites were launched including TIROS-1 in 1960 which successfully entered the atmosphere and produced a footage of weather through space. Earth observation satellites, back then, had a resolution of 100 meter (m) which was sufficient for meteorology, but given today’s application in the field of agriculture, cartography, natural resources survey and so on and integration of this data with precision positioning, the resolution provided by such satellites was not sufficient. This ushered a revolutionary demand for launch of meteorological satellites with advanced instruments for sea and land observation. SPOT 1, a satellite launched by France-based company Spot Image, was the first satellite with 1m resolution which showed images of damaged nuclear plant in Chernobyl. This success of earth observation satellite to spot minute information about the earth stressed the need for more such satellites.

Currently, aggregate of successes achieved in the past 50 years in the earth observation satellites, thesatellites have evolved as the most important source of data for monitoring and understanding the climatic environment and terrestrial changes. In today’s scenario, more than XX remote sensing satellites are orbiting the earth and supporting the weather forecast and subsequent studies. Following figure shows the satellites launched from 2009 to 2018.]

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Earth observation satellites have been providing satellite data to the government agencies and other such critical institutions, wherein data was closely guarded. However, times changed, and commercial operators and service providers recognized in the near past the huge potential in data and images provided by earth observation satellites. This has led to new business models wherein government agencies and commercial operators work together on operation missions of national importance such as weather prediction, border surveillance, natural resources survey, and so on. With new market opportunities and satellites like GeoEye, WorldView, IKONOS, and Quickbird constellations having the capacity to capture very high-resolution images of 0.5m, private companies are emerging as worldwide champions. Today, start-ups companies have been acquiring investments, with the aim of combining information technology with earth observation. This disruptive market trend has turned space into a profitable commodity and these players are known as “New Space”. Together, the government agencies, commercial operators and new space actors with big and new ambitions in space are now using this as an instrument of soft power and sovereignty.