In the business of satellite-based remote sensing, the market for optical imagery is relatively well established, with a robust ecosystem of data/service providers and customer channels. While optical imaging leads in terms of market size, commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery is not far behind, having come into its own in recent years. The ethos of commercialization that is characteristic of the new space movement has made significant inroads in these.
Satellite-based Earth Observation (EO) is changing from an imagery-driven to insight-driven business. Until now, most satellite operators have been content with supplying imagery, while emerging downstream companies have begun unlocking the value behind the pixel, through Big Data analytics. However, satellite operators are beginning to shift focus. Last month, Planet completed “Mission 1”, to image.