Issue #4(22) 2019 Opinion

Discipline - a formula for success in the Earth observation market EO sector

Since launching its first Earth observation satellite in 1986, Airbus Defence and Space has built and delivered almost 50 Earth observation satellite systems.
Since launching its first Earth observation satellite in 1986, Airbus Defence and Space has built and delivered almost 50 Earth observation satellite systems.
William Hosack Orbital Micro Systems, Boulder, USA

Like any new technology that has captured the imagination of market influencers and investors, the NewSpace industry is finding itself in the midst of an explosion of interest. We’ve seen this before in the halcyon days of the internet, during the rush to deliver new Fintech solutions, and even more recently in the love affair with Blockchain. All kinds of manufacturers, service providers, developers, entrepreneurs, scientists and marketing professionals are striving to find a lucrative path to market to capitalise on the scientific and economic benefits of space research and exploration.

Space is a highly complex ecosystem where opportunities and challenges abound. We can draw parallels with other industries facing complex supply chains that take in raw materials and produce a broad spectrum of solutions and products. In this case, the raw material is the burgeoning flood of new Earth observation (EO) data now becoming available from NewSpace assets such as CubeSats. The challenges in obtaining, processing and utilising EO data are many, but expertise to overcome and succeed is available at every step.

At every stage there are providers and customers that add value and satisfy needs, and relying on the core competencies of leaders in each stage of production will provide the best business outcomes for end users or beneficiaries.

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