Earth Observation driving the demand for more satellites?21st Jan 2020
The demand for an increasing number of satellites to be placed into orbit is driven by a number of factors including the increased need for improved and more widespread communications and internet as well as earth observation to meet the commitments of governments to tackling climate change and to monitor adverse weather events.
The need to tackle climate change drives new market for Earth Observation satellites
Local authorities and governments are increasingly declaring their commitments to recognising a climate emergency and to dedicating increased resources to tackling the resulting climate change. All of this can only be achieved by having the ability to monitor certain aspects of human life from space.
Satellites can have a number of sensors installed, as well as high-definition cameras and tracking functionality. All of these give us the ability to closely monitor weather patterns, changing sea levels, changes in forest areas, changes in a mass migration of wildlife and many other aspects of life on Earth.
As technology evolves, and we continuously improve the way in which we monitor the earth, the need to send more satellites into orbit will also increase to put those new technologies into action.
So, Earth observation becomes one of the driving factors of the need for a new network of launch facilities that not only gives increased capacity for satellites but also opens up new orbits from which Earth can be observed.
Increasing demands for governments to tackle climate change with frequent protests by the likes of Extinction Rebellion, a growing number of disasters, including the Australian bush fires and widespread recognition of the need to reduce our use of plastics have all contributed to a considerable shift in demand for knowledge and action.
Recently, the UK Government announced a renewed focus on taking serious steps towards tackling climate change with a meeting of industry leaders discussing the UK-lead TRUTHS (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio- Studies) project, whose primary objective is the creation of a climate and calibration observatory in space.
TRUTHS is an ESA Earth observation mission, the initial phase of which was adopted at the ESA Space19+ Ministerial Conference last November. Financed by the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Greece and Romania with full implementation planned (for decision and funding) at the next ESA Ministerial Conference in 2022.