As private space companies worldwide launch more and more nano satellites into orbit, new data is shaping farmland development, Arctic shipping routes, and more.

Space is now much closer than before. Companies like Planet and Spire are sending many more satellites into orbit than ever before, providing incredible real-time observation of our planet — from the wheat fields of Egypt to the glaciers of Antarctica. Below, you can read about ways in which satellite imagery alone can improve business operations and increase efficiency across various industries.

Precision Agriculture

A number of modern farm software use satellite imagery for ensuring sustainability and precision. All thanks to the use of AI algorithms and machine learning for advanced satellite imagery analysis, taking into account external factors such as location, weather, and historical data. This information can help farming businesses to monitor their field effectively and remotely, track changes timely, save costs on labor and inputs, estimate yield, and much more.

Satellite imagery analytics for farming businesses mostly relies on vegetation data, calculated with the help of vegetation indices. Each index shows different parameters of crop health: chlorophyll content, moisture content, etc. Most importantly all of this data is visualized on the map for the user to track the vegetation and productivity of not only the whole field but each field zone. And that is what ensures precision in planning and performing field work. Based on precise data farmers can estimate the right amount of water, fertilizer, etc for each acre, hence ensuring better yields and higher profits. You can see more on eos.com to find out how precision farming tools work and what they offer for an agricultural business.

Energy Management

Satellite data in energy management is used for the following purposes:

  • Monitoring the state of objects of the fuel and energy complex
  • Monitoring and planning the construction of energy facilities
  • Forecasting possible flood zones during the construction of hydroelectric power plants and power lines during floods
  • Identification of places of damage to power lines
  • Monitoring of forest vegetation along power lines, determination of the height of trees to be cut down.

Emergency Response

Analysis of satellite imagery allows for solving the following tasks regarding emergencies response:

  • Monitoring of emergency situations caused by natural or anthropogenic factors
  • Study of transport accessibility of areas of natural disasters
  • Development of a search and rescue plan in the impacted area
  • Assessment of damage resulting from a natural or human-made disaster

Thanks to the ultra-high resolution, even small objects are displayed on a satellite image. The materials obtained as a result of space photography will help organize the evacuation of people from the disaster area.

National Security

Satellites imagery offers numerous opportunities for national security assurance, including:

  • Exercise the right to self-defense and ensure the protection of allies
  • Ensure the necessary access of the country to outer space
  • Deter, prevent and, if necessary, repel enemy attacks
  • Use of space data in military and intelligence operations
  • Counter the use of space systems by the enemy
  • Fulfill the requests of military and intelligence structures in peacetime, during a crisis, and at all stages of a military conflict

Economic Development

Satellite imagery is a “macroscope” for economists who, using data from space, can evaluate economic dynamics, trade relations, oil reserves, and even problems with obesity among citizens: for example, an analysis of satellite imagery of infrastructure in six large US cities showed that a lack of parks, sports facilities, and health food stores in urban areas correlates with the prevalence of obesity among local residents.

One of the promising areas of satellite observations is the measurement of the intensity of artificial illumination. As scientists have found, the activity of artificial light is associated with electricity consumption, GDP and population density, and is inversely proportional to poverty. By observing the map of night lights, one can check the data of official statistics, which in many countries are inaccurate or distort the real picture for political reasons.

Scientists from Brown University and the US National Bureau of Economic Research confirmed a positive correlation between artificial lighting at night and economic growth in their study. The consumption of almost all goods in the evening requires light; with an increase in the income of the population, consumption, and investment activity and, the use of light increases accordingly, they explain.

Satellite imagery is also used to count the number of cars in the parking lots of large chain stores to assess the state of the retail industry. The big hedge funds use satellite data as a kind of insider information, to gauge retailers’ sales before they release their financials and win by selling or buying these companies’ shares.

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