Enterprise grade services offer faster access to new imagery, archival images, and derived data products.

Conventional models of identifying, buying and delivering imagery are giving way to new cloud-based selection and delivery models. Users can search through archival content from multiple suppliers to find the best suited imagery, buy the imagery through an enterprise subscription, and have it delivered online. As the value of raw pixels pivots, there is greater innovation and competition to provide data products derived from imagery, often referred to as data derivatives.

New business models are making imagery more accessible to development partners. Providers are considering new pricing options that make older imagery available for free or at significant discounts, this is being facilitated through partnership purchases. For example, discussions are underway to streamline new licensing models that allow products licensed to the development partner to be accessed by their partner’s clients in country. As providers offer analytical and processing services, new business and pricing models accompany these services, being realized as imagery “rentals”. In some cases, analytical tools may come at a premium, but are dropping in cost as competition increases. Increasingly, providers offer analytical products derived from imagery for less than the cost of the raw imagery itself.

New satellite systems - Several new satellite systems are coming online, offering information for development use. E.g.:

  • NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) continue to launch new earth observation missions in partnership and on their own that provide invaluable open data for global development. Some upcoming earth observation launches include XRISM, JPSS-2, and the Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) mission. These are planned to launch before the end of 2023.
  • Landsat 9 – launched in 2021 – land use management and climate change.
  • Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) – scheduled launch for December 2022 will support the world’s first global freshwater survey and support the monitoring of the impacts of ocean currents.
  • Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory – This satellite will measure greenhouse gas emissions and vegetation health and is scheduled to launch in 2024
  • Sentinel 6B – scheduled launch for 2026 will support monitoring sea level rise and climate change.
  • WorldView Legion Satellite Constellation is slated to launch in late 2022. It is being developed by Maxar, a U.S. based commercial satellite company. It will provide 30 cm resolution for up to 15 revisits per day to better inform critical and time-sensitive decisions for some of the Earth’s most rapidly changing areas1. Worldview legion will support use cases in emergency response, infrastructure mapping, and security
  • EOS Data Analytics and Dragonfly Aerospace are planning to launch it’s first of a seven Earth observation satellites in 2022. With a focus on Agriculture, the satellites will support use cases in crop prediction, vegetation state control, weed and pest management, weather forecasting, and monitoring climate change2.
  • China has recently begun launching the first of its SuperView satellite constellation into space. When complete the constellation will consist of 28 satellites categorized into SuperView 1 (20-30cm optical imagery satellites), SuperView 2 (50 cm synthetic-aperture radar imagery satellites), and SuperView 3 (1m or better large swath-width optical imagery satellite)3. Commercial delivery of the images from the first missions will become available in the final months of 2022. Superview will support use cases in land and forestry management, high accuracy mapping, and defense intelligence.

1) https://www.eoportal.org/satellite-missions/worldview-legion#eop-quick-facts-section
2) https://eos.com/blog/eos-agrisat-first-satellite-provided-by-dragonfly-aerospace/
3) https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2022/07/cz-2c-siwei-gaojing-2/