Space Products & Innovation
65 countries, the European Commission (EC) and more than 40 international organizations are supporting the development of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) during the next decade. GEOSS is proposed as an overarching system of existing and future earth observations systems.
A novel application of satellite capabilities that supports retail operations came online in 2005 with the launch of Google Earth—an interactive, 3D map of the Earth’s surface constructed entirely of satellite images, taken by using various instruments and at various times in a mosaic fashion.
Remote sensing satellites will continue to be used for resource identification and management. The demand for energy is expected to rise, resulting in a greater reliance on hyper-spectral sensors for oil and gas exploration.
The agriculture industry leverages weather forecasting technologies and satellite systems that increase the accuracy of local forecasts. More accurate short-term forecasts can prevent crop loss and save an additional $40 million per year.
The dominant space technology that supports energy and Earth resources is remote sensing. Remote sensing images are not limited to the wavelengths of light that can be seen by the human eye. Earth sensing satellites record primarily microwave, infrared, and visible light wavelengths.
In space, accommodations are among the long-term goals (20 to 30 years) of several privately funded space companies. SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk has often stated his personal goal, and one of the goals of his company, is to help humanity become a “spacefaring civilization.”
Satellites will continue to provide niche services and connectivity for the hospitality industry. In areas without terrestrial cable, television is not economical, and hotels will continue to rely on direct-to-home services to provide guests with premium content.
Satellite-enabled capabilities are sometimes used to enhance guest services. In 2005, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts started offering its guests an alternative to paper maps when looking for directions.
Hotels in remote tourist locations use very small aperture terminals (VSATs) to keep track of bookings and current capacity. In 1999, Best Western had 560 sites connected by a VSAT network, while, more recently, Six Continents Hotels, Inc., contracted Gilat to provide a satellite network to more than 2,500 locations in the United States and Canada.
“Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. government has become the satellite industry’s single largest customer and the Defense Department has been the biggest driver behind the new wave of demand,” said Don Ritter, vice president of government services at PanAmSat G2 Satellite Solutions.