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Turning Space Data Into Smart Insights

08 March 2019

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Today, big data is being collected thousands of miles up in space by a whole host of orbiting satellites. The increase in data volumes continues to grow exponentially as more satellites are launched. According to a report by Sparks and Honey, 6,200 small satellites are expected to be launched over the next 10 years. The falling costs of satellites and their growing sophistication have enabled new uses for "space data" across many industries and fueled investment in the sector.

The satellites orbit 99 to 1,200 miles (160 to 2,000 kilometers) above the Earth and provide an overhead view using cameras and sensors to create a very unique dataset. Those images are analyzed by computers using Machine Learning (ML) algorithms that extract information and extrapolate patterns. The applications for this space data are many and diverse.

Traffic patterns in large cities can be used to better design future cities; maritime transportation activity and logistics can be tracked; foot traffic patterns at retail locations can be analyzed to determine consumer behavior; and farmers can better understand what factors influence the growth of crops.

Source: Via Satellite

Image credit: Shutterstock/ PPM-ViaLite - Artist's rendition of an Earth station with High Throughput Satellite (HTS) data flow.