Remote sensing technology has grown significantly in recent years, increasing natural catastrophic occurrences that cause changes in the physical and chemical features of the Earth's atmosphere. The history of remote sensing began in 1840 with photographs of the ground captured by hot air balloons using the newly invented camera.
Furthermore, aerial photography was used extensively as an observation tool during World War I, while the potential of remote sensing to track the enemy using radar, sonar, and infrared detection systems were discovered during World War II. After World War II, scientists used upgraded technology to enhance remote sensing applications and planned to monitor and study the Earth from space.
Sputnik-1, the first Earth observation satellite, was launched in 1957 to study natural phenomena and measure electromagnetic energy emitted or reflected by the Earth's surface or atmosphere.
Furthermore, advances in technology such as geographic information systems (GISs), image processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and position, navigation, and timing improved the quality of image processing and analysis, allowing the broad area to give value-added services.
The majority of Earth observation satellites have passive sensors like accelerometers, hyperspectral radiometers, imaging radiometers, sounders, spectrometers, and spectroradiometers that measure reflected or emitted solar radiation or thermal energy from the Earth's surface or through the atmosphere.
Furthermore, newer satellites deployed in recent years are equipped with active sensors such as laser altimeter, lidar, radar, ranging instrument, and scatterometer, which produce energy and record the reflected feedback from which information about Earth can be gathered.
Earth observation satellites are now widely used by government agencies and other key institutions, with data closely analyzed. However, due to ongoing technological improvement in the space sector and rising demand for satellite-based services, commercial operators and service providers have recognized the enormous potential in data and images offered by Earth observation satellites.
This has resulted in new business models in which government agencies and commercial operators collaborate on missions of national importance such as weather prediction, border surveillance, and natural resource surveys, among others.
The increasing use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components can readily meet the demand for satellites, such as low costs and quick satellite services. This brisk growth in the satellite sector as a whole is propelling the satellite Earth observation market forward.
According to BIS Research, the global satellite Earth observation data and value-added services market is expected to reach $15,903.0 million by 2032, with a CAGR of 6.92% during the forecast period 2022-2032.
What are the Types of Earth Observation Satellite?
There are two categories of EO satellites based on how they capture imagery: passive and active. Passive satellites detect visible light and infrared radiation reflected off the Earth's surface. Passive satellites, in general, are unable to operate through clouds. Active satellites send energy into space and measure the returning signal, which provides information about the Earth's surface. Active satellites, in general, can see through clouds.
Earth observation satellites move in a range of orbits, providing distinct views of the Earth. Due to power and memory constraints, most satellites do not gather data continually. Some provide consistent and dependable data collection, while others collect small amounts. Data is held on the satellite until it is in range of a ground station, at which point it is downlinked.
The time it takes for a photograph to become accessible for download might range from a month to a few minutes, and it is increasing faster as technology advances. Since multiple firms possess satellites, there are a variety of data providers, each with its price structure.
Many operational remote sensing satellites have been launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). There are now 13 active satellites in sun-synchronous orbit and four operational satellites in Earth's orbit.
Agriculture, water resources, urban planning, rural development, mineral prospecting, environment, forestry, ocean resources, and disaster management are just a few of the applications that employ data from these satellites.
To summarize, Earth observation satellites aid in the monitoring and protection of our environment, the management of our resources, the response to global humanitarian crises, and the promotion of sustainable development. They give crucial data on fields, such as ocean salinity, ice thickness, agricultural health, and air quality.
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