Mar 11

Commercial satellite industry is getting sleeker

Category: Technology

Search for the missing Malaysian Airline jet is getting much needed help from satellites covering the globe 24/7. NASA’s dominance of the orbit is fading due to budget issues of the US government and handfuls of private companies are hurrying to fill the gap. Two big companies in the field of imaging the globe for commercial purposes are DigitalGlobe and Airbus Defence & Space (ADS). The infamous Google, Microsoft and many governments worldwide use their services for imaging. While most satellite data are somewhat old, two new companies, California based Skybox Imaging and Planet Labs, are attempting to provide real-time data. They can provide higher as well as lower-resolution images. Their satellites are less costly than those are currently orbiting the planet. Launching their satellites on rockets also cost less due to the smaller size.

Most pictures you find on the Internet are few years old. Real-time pictures may take few more years to come. It will require a network of satellites covering the entire globe at any given time, but the data could be invaluable for many including the missing airliner. Imagine using satellite images to find best planting and harvesting times to maximize profits for farmers?

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